We submit this open letter to New Hampshire Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio as submitted.  We welcome other letters and comments.  ~Publis

Dear Mr. Raffio,

In conclusion to our discussion, I present to you the following facts.

The feds did coerce the state https://nces.ed.gov/Programs/SLDS/state.asp?stateabbr=NH . The feds have control over the curriculum. You must be familiar with the 15 % clause; according to the Achieve Implementation Guide pg 22, “states are allowed to augment the standards with an additional 15% of content that a state feels is imperative….” I am also fully aware of the intentions of the present administration. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, stated, “Hopefully, some day, we can track children from preschool to high school and from high school to college and college to career. We must track high growth children in classrooms to their great teachers and great teachers to their schools of education.” This is proof of Mark Tucker’s infamous Dear Hillary letter http://www.eagleforum.org/educate/marc_tucker/ coming to fruition which was placed in Congressional Record in 1998. We would have to be naive to believe the feds are not data mining . https://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/index.html.

Mr. Raffio you stated, “States developed the Common Core, and local school districts, not the state and not the federal government, develop the local curriculum.” In fact, Common Core Standards are copyrighted by two DC lobbyist, the curriculum is based off those standards. NGA and the CCSO are the two DC lobbyist trade groups which developed Common Core. That is why we can not get records through a right to know request.

The children should be assessed and actually taught established instruction by our well qualified teachers. I do not believe these assessments are for teachers, parents or tax-paying citizens, as you have suggested http://www2.ed.gov/about/inits/ed/edfacts/index.html.  Again, this is ultimately about control. The lead writer and architect, David Coleman admits that the teachers will teach to the test. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93DNkAwsL4Y .

This curriculum and the assessments are unproven. Many psychologist have stated children are not developmentally ready for the material. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-G72KmZdV4http://www.edweek.org/media/joint_statement_on_core_standards.pdf . Grossly and improperly using the children to achieve results by the means of this curriculum is abuse. According to multiple sources, the developers of this curriculum excluded committees of early childhood experts and professionals in the development of this curriculum.

Physicians throughout the country are urging the proponents of this curriculum to heed the warning that this curriculum is causing stress on our youngstershttp://www.educationviews.org/child-clinical-psychologist-common-core-harmful-to-children-dr-megan-koschnick-compiled-by-donna-garner-9-19-13/ . Teachers in our own state have argued that children are distressed during testing.

Well respected educators, such as; Dr. Sandra Stotsky have disagreed with the curriculum http://www.uaedreform.org/sandra-stotsky/ . This is a nationally renowned educator who undisputedly has a profound knowledge regarding education, which far exceeds most. She developed “the country’s strongest academic standards k-12.” * University of Arkansas – Department of Education Reform (DER) . She has written,“The wisest move all states could make to ensure that students learn to read, understand, and use the English language appropriately before they graduate from high school is first to abandon Common Core’s ‘standards’…”

On the contrary Mr. Raffio, my rights have been violated.

The General Educational Provisions Act (20 USC § 1232a) (GEPA) prohibits federal overreach. It states:

No provision of any applicable program shall be construed to authorize any department, agency, officer, or employee of the United States to exercise any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution, school, or school system, or over the selection of library resources, textbooks, or other printed or published instructional materials by any education institution or school system, or to require the assignment or transportation of students or teachers in order to overcome racial imbalance.

Additionally, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (20 USC 7907(a)) (NCLBA) also makes the federal over-reach of CCSS ill-advised. It states:

Nothing in this Act shall be construed to authorize an officer or employee of the Federal Government to mandate, direct, or control a State, local educational agency, or school’s curriculum, program of instruction, or allocation of State and local resources, or mandate a State or any subdivision thereof to spend any funds or incur any costs not paid for under this Act.

I beg of you to be objective and listen to concerned teachers and parents like myself; we are growing in numbers.

The concerns I have shared should set off alarms.

I am interested in a resolution to this disaster. Previously, you said in our discussion, “On the topic of the Common Core, we will have to agree to disagree without being disagreeable.” It’s easy to disagree Mr. Raffio; the most fruitful position would be not to challenge the people but to respect and honor our liberties. Trying to bamboozle the general public with this propoganda is an outrage and it shows a disregard on your part for the sanctity of our democracy and it’s people. The children will suffer, as well as our education system. It is my prayer and request that you abandon the Common Core Curriculum and it’s Smarter Balanced Assessments.

With warm regards & with love & concern for my child,

Mrs. Stephanie Burnes