HB 1744, a bill that will break the testing stranglehold on our students and teachers, will have a public hearing in the House Education Committee on Thursday, January 18 at 10:45am.
This is an important school choice bill because parents – not the state – should direct their children’s education. It is also important to empower parents in the opposition to College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core) that reduce educational diversity and options. Additionally, the statewide assessment is not designed to measure individual performance; it was originally created for school district comparisons as well as school and teacher accountability.
The hearing will take place in room 207 of the Legislative Office Building (LOB), right behind the State House. There is on-street parking and a nearby parking garage; refer to this Concord map. There is also a Facebook event to help coordinate the hearing.
If you are unable to attend the hearing, please call or email the committee members. Polite and brief comments are best; mention if you are a constituent. The committee’s group email is HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us. Their individual contact information is below.
This bill has had three rounds before: HB 276 (2017) that died in the Senate, as well as HB 1338 (2016) and HB 603 (2015) that were vetoed by Gov. Hassan. This bill is in response to increasing demand from parents to refuse their children’s participation in mandatory testing, including the statewide assessments that are aligned with College and Career Readiness Standards (aka Common Core).
There are many reasons why parents may wish to have their children not participate in the statewide assessment. Given that these tests have no academic or diagnostic value, many parents believe them to be a waste of valuable instructional time. This bill addresses documented instances of NH students being harassed and punished for non-participation.
The bill is consistent with existing NH DOE policies, the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and US Supreme Court rulings. Even the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) acknowledges that parents may refuse their children’s participation in statewide assessments. Unions also oppose using them to evaluate teachers. Unfortunately, federal ESSA only recognizes refusals if state law allows them; this bill will do exactly that.
Again, accountability should be to parents, not politicians. This bill empowers parents to direct their children’s education within the public-school system. Also diminishing the hyper-testing mechanisms of Common Core will encourage educational options and variety.
For information about how to refuse your child’s participation in statewide assessments, read Testing Time.
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