Monday, November 30th was the injunction hearing for Croydon versus the NH Department of Education in the Strafford Superior Court in Dover. We live-blogged the hearing on Facebook. The post include real-time comments as well as questions and remarks from followers after the hearing concluded.
Some of the most shocking statements of the day came from the state Attorney General when she repeatedly claimed that only public schools can provide an “adequate education.” This is consistent with assertions included previously in correspondence with the Croydon School Board and in papers filed with the court. She said that because private schools are not required to follow the state adopted curriculum and standards and do not participate in statewide assessments, the state cannot be certain students are receiving an adequate education. The AG’s statements imply that the highly controversial College and Career Readiness Standards (Common Core) and the associated assessment (including the new integrated program, PACE) are somehow guarantees of a solid education. Her allegations ignore that private schools are accountable to the parents who have the choice where to enroll their children. It also is dismissive of the rigorous and extensive approval process private schools must pass in order to operate in the state.
The AG also claimed that the four Croydon students that are currently enrolled in the Newport Montessori School are being “irreparably harmed” each day that they remain in their school of choice. Former NH Supreme Court Justice Charles Douglas, attorney for Croydon, was able to directly refute it with statements from the children’s parents and the Croydon School Board saying that they wish the children to remain at the Montessori school and that the students are thriving. The AG has the burden of proving there is irreparable harm in order for the injunction to be issued. It would immediately stop tuition payments to the private school and effectively force the students back to the Newport public schools.
Please sign our petition that will send an email to the NH DOE and Attorney General. The email includes a message that supports the Croydon school choice program and asks them to end the injunction and further intrusions.
For more information about the Croydon school choice program and their legal battle, read the following articles: