Common Core is part of the Obama Redesign in public education and Competency Based Ed(CBE) is the other half. Obama’s redesign originated from Marc Tucker who wrote the famous letter to Hillary Clinton on why public education needed to be transformed from a liberal arts education to dumbed down workforce training. He’s also the one who champions the eradication of local control in education.
You can read about Competency Based Ed. from the following sources:
1) Redesigning Schools Through Competency Based Education
2) The New Definition of Standards in American Education
3) Local Control Vs the Over-reach of yet another Federal Waiver
4) Testimony of Rochester School Board Member Susan O’Connor (scroll down to Competency Based Ed)
Competency Based Education is an old fad that’s failed in other states before. That’s how things work in education, fads are renamed and then leave a trail of illiterate students behind. It’s bad enough that CBE is already being implemented in our schools, but now there is an effort to put into law Competency Based Assessments.
HB323 would put into statute that all public schools must use the PACE assessments. The NH DoE is telling us that they’ve heard the complaints over the amount of standardized testing. However standardized tests are given once a year, the PACE assessments will be given on a weekly basis. So how does that reduce testing? It doesn’t, it actually increases it.
The NH DoE says that these assessments will be developed by local teachers giving the “illusion” that this is locally controlled. If you read the fine print though, they say that the local assessments have to be validated by the State. So much for local control.
“Competencies” are in the core subjects but they are also non-academic too. That means schools will be assessing non-academic “skills” that are subjective assessments on behavior, attitudes, dispositions, etc.
Competencies even in core subjects like Algebra I do not cover an authentic or quality curriculum in some of the NH schools. In other words, if your child is passing competencies, it does not mean they are literate in the core subject and it may reflect your child’s acceptance of the State’s values. Those values could possibly conflict with a parent’s values as we saw in Bedford a few years ago. (See #1)
The danger in HB323 is that these assessments will now be put into law. If they end up to be flawed like the current Smarter Balanced Assessment your school is not only tied to them by statute, you will not have an opportunity to “opt out”.
With CBE, students are required to pass their competencies in order to move on. And remember, meeting a competency does not guarantee literacy in that subject as many would believe.
Representative Rick Ladd (r) is the prime sponsor and added PACE as the assessment for the competencies in a floor amendment. This denied the public from weighing in on this important change to the original Bill.
The NH DoE and Governor Hassan recently announced the new PACE program as part of a deal struck with the Federal Department of Education. The deal was to secure a renewal of the No Child Left Behind Waiver.
This is how the Feds coerce and control public education in New Hampshire. Sadly we have legislators who are helping to facilitate this Federal take-over in public education by sponsoring and supporting Bills like HB323 and SB48.
One would think that legislators would stand up to the Federal Government and not allow themselves to be used in this way but that’s not what we are seeing in New Hampshire.
As more of the Obama redesign is implemented in New Hampshire through statute, the harder it will be to get rid of under any new Governor in the future.
SUMMARY: Why to OPPOSE HB323:
* Cements in Competency Based Assessments through state law
* Doesn’t allow “opt outs” for parents if the assessments prove to be problematic
* Adds MORE testing, does not reduce testing
* Makes it difficult for any new Governor to remove CBE from NH schools
* Further dumbs down education instead of focusing on literacy and academic excellence
* Continues to put the State and Feds in control of curriculum instead of local school boards and parents
* CBE is dumbed down workforce training that focuses on dispositions, attitudes and workforce skills vs literacy
* CBE reduces the child down to “human capital” for the state vs. educating the student to the best of their ability
Please contact your state Senator about the over-reach of this Waiver. Tell them to REIGN IN House Bill 323, which authorizes this Waiver in state law.
Jeff Woodburn (d) Dalton
Jeanie Forrester (r) Meredith
Jeb Bradley (r) Wolfeboro
David Watters (d) Dover
David Pierce (d) Etna
Sam Cataldo (r) Farmington
Andrew Hosmer (d) Laconia
Gerald Little (r) Weare
Andy Sanborn (r) Bedford
Molly Kelly (d) Keene
Gary Daniels (r) Milford
Kevin Avard (r) Nashua
Bette Lasky (d) Nashua
Sharon Carson (r) Londonderry
Dan Feltes (d) Concord
David Boutin (r) Hooksett / Manchester
John Reagan (r) Deerfield
Donna Soucy (d) Manchester
Regina Birdsell (r) Hampstead / Windham
Lou D’Allesandro (d) Manchester
Martha Fuller Clark (d) Portsmouth
Chuck Morse (r) Salem
Russell Prescott (r) Kingston
Nancy Stiles (r) Hampton