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Tag: Reaching Higher NH

Mayor Craig, Please Put Parents and Teachers First, Not D.C. Bureaucrats

Mayor Joyce Craig responded to an article in the Manchester Union Leader saying, “in her mind the points raised in Girard’s blog don’t raise any red flags.”  This was in response to School Board Member Rich Girard withdrawing support for Manchester Proud. “It’s a community-driven effort,” said Craig. “We’ve got residents, business leaders, colleges and universities who have come forward and said we want to help Manchester public schools by doing outreach to the community. I have no fears that it is politically based or they are going in with any preconceived notion.” But Mayor Craig sat next to me...

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Manchester Proud: An objective effort or a stacked deck?

Now that serious, undisclosed conflicts between Manchester Proud and Reaching Higher NH have been exposed, very serious questions about the integrity and direction of this effort to develop a strategic plan for the Manchester School District have to be asked.  Over and over again, leaders of Manchester Proud have emphatically stated they have no agenda, no political affiliations, no bias and no predetermined outcomes.  They have asserted their efforts will be guided by the input they receive from stakeholders across the city.  Those assurances have come  in response to questions and concerns I have consistently raised both privately and...

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Cornerstone’s Banfield raises red flags over Manchester Proud

Publisher’s note:  This email was sent late on the evening of Friday, October 19, 2018 to every member of the Manchester Board of School Committee.  It is published here in its entirety with photos I have added photos to improve its readability.  As a member of the Board of School Committee, I find this information troubling and will be releasing a statement about its content in due time.  ~Publius Dear Board of School Committee Members:  I was made aware of Manchester Proud a short time ago by parents who told me about this new organization.  As a former Bedford resident, I...

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Who Is Pushing Another Harmful Education Agenda On Five-Year Olds in New Hampshire?

Reaching Higher NH, an organization set up by New Hampshire Board of Education members, Tom Raffio and Bill Duncan, continue to push harmful education policies. The Feds are actively pushing universal pre-school and full day kindergarten. Organizations like Reaching Higher NH are there to facilitate those efforts.  But is this good for five year old children? The answer is NO. Reaching Higher NH posted an article from the Concord Monitor in support of full day kindergarten.  Some of the comments from NH residents said they didn’t want to pay for someone’s child care expenses.  In other words, “tax-payer funded” full day kindergarten would help the financial burden for families that have to pay child care expenses. Some comments were by former kindergarten teachers who said they didn’t like young children being pushed and that a full day schedule was not “appropriate” for all five-year olds. There were some comments in support of full day kindergarten but no one provided any proof/data that this would help students (long term) academically or that it was good for young children. In fact, I asked Reaching Higher NH for proof. I then went on and presented expert advice that we are actually doing harm to children in k-3. Dr. Gary Thompson, a licensed Child Psychologist and founder at Early Life Child Psychological & Educational Services, Inc. has stated publicly that in his professional opinion, the...

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Reaching Higher NH : Pushing fads that increase illiteracy in public education?

Reaching Higher NH is actively involved in pushing the federal education reforms in New Hampshire.   Developed by State Board of Education Members; Tom Raffio and Bill Duncan, this organization was set up to promote the federal education reforms that are now facilitated through Governor Hassan’s Department of Education. Reaching Higher NH was the organization who said that they needed “beat back parents” in New Hampshire who wanted better quality public schools for their children. They are also the same organization caught promoting illiteracy in some of their blog posts. One would think that an organization set up by members of the NH Board of Education, would be more thoughtful in promoting education reforms for our children who attend public schools.  Unfortunately, they are now promoting teaching methods that do not take into account the cognitive abilities of children and have been shown to lower academic outcomes.  From their facebook page: “Sal Khan knows a thing or two about competency and deeper learning. Check out his latest Ted Talk on teaching for mastery.” I’ve suggested to students in the past, to use the Khan academy tutorials because he does a great job of explaining a math concept step by step to solve a problem.   Khan has been a huge help to students who’ve been placed in math classes where “inquiry based learning or student centered learning” has been used....

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Education group in NH promotes ILLITERACY (Reaching Higher NH)

As an education researcher, I’ve seen education fads come and go.  They leave a trail of illiterate students (who become illiterate adults) in their path. New Hampshire has fully implemented the Common Core education reform.  This reform encompasses many of the same failed fads we’ve seen in the past few decades.  This includes the failed Outcome Based Education model now called “Competency Based Education.” To sell these failed fads as something “new and innovative,” we have New Hampshire State Board members enlisting the help of prominent individuals to join them in their efforts. Reaching Higher NH was founded by Bill Duncan and Tom Raffio, both members of the New Hampshire Board of Education.  Reaching Higher NH is funded in part by the Gates Foundation who has bankrolled the dumbed down Common Core State Standards education reform. This is hardly a group of unbiased individuals advocating for quality public education in New Hampshire. Researchers have discovered that many of these fads that have failed students in the past, have a significant and negative impact on literacy.  We’ve all seen the interviews with random people who are asked basic questions on historical events and yet cannot answer simple questions we should all know. In Manchester, the Asst. Superintendent tried to sell the Board members a recipe for turning kids into community organizers.  In his presentation that looked more like a sales pitch, he describes how...

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The Media’s Handling of the GOP Debates

(Hour 3a) Rich discussed national politics in this segment.  He shared his disturbance in the way that the media has been handling the GOP debates.  He wondered about the criteria behind who is able to participate in the debates.  He took a call from Dave in Woodstock who shared about Reaching...

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Reaching Higher NH to “Beat Back” Parents?

In 2010 when the Common Core standards were adopted, few parents and teachers knew about this latest national education reform.  Since then, there has been a growing number of parents and teachers opposing to the Common Core Standards and they have been making their voices heard. New Hampshire is no exception. Parents never asked for any of this. Instead this was another top-down reform developed by central planners that included dumbed down, developmentally inappropriate standards and fads like Outcome Based Education, that had been proven failures in the past. Now that parents across the country are mobilizing efforts to derail what is turning into a national disaster, the battle lines have been drawn.  The bureaucrats and elitists against parents. Moms have mobilized efforts to opt their children out of the Common Core assessments and have been successful in those efforts.  It’s making the reformers develop other strategies to “beat back” those pesky moms. A few years ago U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan,  disparaged moms across the country when he told a group of state schools superintendents that he,  “found it “fascinating” that some of the opposition to the Common Core State Standards has come from “white suburban moms who — all of a sudden — their child isn’t as brilliant as they thought they were, and their school isn’t quite as good as they thought they were.” New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Eduction, Virginia Barry, during testimony before the...

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