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Author: Ann Marie Banfield

The Dirty Politics From The Frank Edelblut Nomination

Dirty politics just got dirtier The nomination of Frank Edelblut to Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire has proven to be one of the dirtiest political games in a long time. From the inquisition by Executive Councilor Volinsky, to the Chairman of the Board of Education Tom Raffio playing politics, this leaves parents wondering if anyone will ever hear their concerns,. In 2010, the New Hampshire State Board of Education adopted the Common Core standards in Math and English. From that point forward, parents have been waging a war against Common Core in New Hampshire. You can see it...

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Why I Support School-Choice, Oppose Common Core But Do Not Support Betsy DeVos

President Trump promised to get rid of Common Core during his campaign for president.  Opponents of Common Core like me understood that the Obama redesign in public education was much more than just a set of dumbed down standards for our public schools. We expected President Trump to appoint a Secretary of Education that understood why this reform was not only going to dumb down our schools, but completely transform them into something parents didn’t ask for and do not want. I’ve always been a supporter of school-choice and I was proud to support our school-choice program in New Hampshire.  When the creators of New Hampshire’s scholarship program came to me years ago to ask for my support, I made sure our program was NOT a VOUCHER program.  As much as I’d like parents to take their tax dollars and use them for their child’s education, vouchers have been used by bureaucrats as a way to control private schools. Instead New Hampshire has the Children’s Scholarship Fund New Hampshire.  This program was set up in a way to keep bureaucrats from using the money to control our private and parochial schools.  Companies and individuals donate to the organization, they receive a tax credit or deduction, the funds are then distributed from the organization leaving bureaucrats unable to attach strings to that money. The DeVos idea is to use government funding that...

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Democrats: Should the U.S. Secretary of Ed FOLLOW Federal Law or NOT?

Yesterday the U.S. Senate Education Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Betsy DeVos as U.S. Secretary of Eduction. Betsy DeVos took questions and concerns from the U.S. Senators, and listened as several of the Democrat Senators on the Committee insisted she would uphold and enforce federal law if confirmed. Why were they so concerned about following federal law now? Under the Obama administration, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, issued waivers from the No Child Left Behind Law.  No one seemed bothered that the Department head was taking unprecedented power and issuing waivers to federal law. Where was the call for going through the democratic process or the insistence that he enforce federal law?  Many of us were very concerned that usurping the democratic process was a big problem but we didn’t see the Senators objecting. No Child Left Behind (NCLB) was a law that needed to be repealed.  It set the stage for the latest boondoggle in education reform–Common Core.  Instead of working with congress to repeal the law, Secretary Duncan issued waivers.   Those who hated NCLB thought this was a good but it needed to go through the three branches of government. That’s how a Republic works.  The Secretary took power that was never given to him and no one seemed to care. On top of that, there were many problems with the waivers that not...

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Great News: Frank Edelblut – Nominee for Commissioner Of Education in NH

Remember when Governor Chris Sununu ran his campaign promising to “scrap Common Core?”  Here is his first executive decision on education in New Hampshire and he hit a home-run! A BIG congratulations to Frank Edelblut on his nomination to become the next Commissioner of Education in New Hampshire. Frank would be a HUGE asset and improvement in this state. HE understands the problems plaguing our schools and will work to improve public education in New Hampshire. Parents need to thank Governor Chris Sununu on this EXCELLENT choice and encourage your Executive Councilors to accept this nomination. Find your councilor...

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HB275, NH Testing, Unethical and Invalid

Ann Marie Banfield 
Education Liaison, Cornerstone Action
 January 11, 2017 Testimony before the New Hampshire House Education Committee HB275 Testimony Prohibiting the inclusion of statewide assessment results in a student’s transcript without consent.  For the record, my name is Ann Marie Banfield and I am the Education Liaison for Cornerstone Action. I come here today in support of HB275. The first question you should ask yourself is, what is the purpose of standardized testing? In the past, it’s been a way to inform parents and schools on whether their children have mastered the academic content in the core subjects. Unfortunately standardized testing has deviated so far from its original intent that parents are refusing to let their children take those tests. Standardized tests are still the norm for private and parochial schools and this has served parents and administrators well. Achievement testing gives parents and school personnel good information on how well the students have mastered the academic content. The purpose of achievement testing is to test academic knowledge, return that information to the school and parents and allow them to proceed with changes if necessary. 

Psychometric assessments used in public schools are different,. They are used to measure attitudes and values and collect data on students for judging and ranking purposes. This is why parents are now refusing the standardized assessments for their children. 

That is unfortunate because...

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Look Who’s Fighting AGAINST Parental Rights in New Hampshire. AGAIN

Yesterday, January 11, 2017 there were several hearings at the House Education Committee in Concord.  One of the Bills up for consideration is HB103 sponsored by Victoria Wojdylak Sullivan.  It’s a good pro-parental rights piece of legislation.  It simply says that the schools will notify parents when sex ed. is going to be taught to their children. That’s basically it. Nothing about how it’s to be taught. Nothing about what is to be taught. Just let parents know. Who OBJECTED?  The New Hampshire School Boards Association.  NHSBA REMEMBER, you pay taxes to the school, they in turn pay dues to...

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ANNOUNCING: School District Governance Assoc. for School Board & Budget Committee Members

Announcing the formation of the School District Governance Association of New Hampshire FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Concord, NH Dec. 12, 2016 – School board and school budget committee members currently have few independent resources to assist them in improving the governance and budgeting of their districts. The School District Governance Association of New Hampshire (SDGA NH) has been created as a resource devoted entirely to to educating and empowering elected school district officials so they can effectively assert their lawful authority and be responsive to their electorate. SDGA NH is a forum of experienced elected officials committed to: Educating elected school district officials as to their proper role and responsibilities Promulgating best practices in good governance and prudent budgeting Formulating model school district policies so boards will now have an independent, alternative resource Proposing and monitoring legislation that enhances local control in education and openness in administration. “Too often school district elected officials abdicate their lawful authority to hired administrators and entrenched interests,” says SDGA President, Donna Green. “SDGA’s mission is to move the balance of power back to elected representatives for the ultimate benefit of our children’s education.” The Association meets on the first Saturday of the month in Concord. Voting membership is open to past or present elected officials with fiduciary responsibility over a school district budget. Non-voting membership is also available for those who share our mission....

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Questions for School Board Candidates

Cornerstone Action Education Liaison Ann Marie Banfield offers a list of questions voters should ask of their school board candidates in the coming elections.  It’s never too early to ask, and yes, you need to! * What is your opinion on Common Core? English? Math ? Next Generation Science Standards? * Do you support parents opting their children out of standardized tests? * Do you think teachers should be evaluated, in any way, based on standardized test scores? * Do you support/oppose Competency based grading? * Do you support/oppose Competency based education? Why? * Inquiry based learning? Good /bad teaching...

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CALL TO ACTION: Oppose National Student Database!

The new Commission on Evidence-based Policymaking is being urged (by Gates and the other foundations/corporations that want access to more and more of our children’s data) to establish a national student-unit record system that would allow government tracking of citizens from school throughout their careers. Attached is APP’s statement explaining what’s wrong with this. The deadline for submitting comments on this dangerous scheme is November 14. Please submit a short comment opposing any sort of national student database! Thank you. cep-oct-21-2016-written-public-comments Ann Marie Banfield is an Education Researcher and has been volunteering her time for Cornerstone Action in New Hampshire. She advocates for excellence in public education and for parental...

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