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Top Stories: Common Core Not Yet In Place, Already Controversial; Common Core Skeptics & Supporters

Sam Evans-Brown

The most popular stories of the past week, from our newsroom, Word of Mouth, and The Exchange.

1. The Common Core State Standards: Not Yet In Place, Already Controversial

As this school year comes to a close, teachers are preparing for next fall, when a massive transition will begin. Starting next year, schools are expected to align their teaching to the Common Core State Standards. Those standards are a set of learning goals for public school students that have been adopted in 45 states and the District of Colombia.

2. Common Core Skeptics And Supporters Cut Across Political Boundaries

Support and opposition to the Common Core does not break down cleanly along party lines. On the one hand, Florida’s former Republican governor Jeb Bush is a big supporter of the standards, as are many liberal politicians. On the other hand, many educators are skeptical of the entire "education reform" movement, and while their reasons different they find that they have some strange bedfellows.

Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

3. Change To The Common Core Will Be ‘Messy’

Next year is the deadline for New Hampshire schools to transition to the Common Core State Standards. This means a change in topics for different grades, and a change in how teachers teach. For some schools this will be a big change, but others are well on their way to adapting to the new academic standards.

4. Cut The Cord On Cable, Still Watch Your Favorite Shows…Legally

Premium TV channels like HBO, Showtime, and AMC are pricey, and with  many programs available on Netflix, Hulu, and other online sources, viewers are cutting the cable cord.  Those hanging on say they want to watch what they want, when they want it.

Credit Sarah VanHorn, Manager of NH Community Seafood / N.H. Sea Grant
N.H. Sea Grant

5. What The Hake? N.H.’s New C.S.F. Seeks To Sell Obscure, Plentiful And Equally Edible Fish

When we talk about local food in New Hampshire, most of us think of fruits and vegetables. But with our 18 miles of coastline, seafood has the potential to be a local food as well. This year’s big cuts to catch limits for fish like cod and haddock herald a rough year for New Hampshire ground fishermen. So they’re finding new ways to connect with local consumers to help them stay afloat. And their approach may be the first of its kind.

6. New ‘Smarter Balanced’ Test Will Ask More Of Students

With the new Common Core State Standards comes a new standardized test, called the Smarter Balanced Assessment. New Hampshire schools will take it for the first time in the spring of 2015, and in many ways, it’s the new test that will determine how the Common Core is taught.

7. Bass To GOP: Don’t Be On ‘Wrong Side Of History’ With Same-Sex Marriage

As New Hampshire marked the fourth anniversary of legalizing same-sex marriage today, Former Republican Congressman Charlie Bass joined a group calling for national marriage equality.

8. Handling New Hampshire’s Homelessness

Several Granite State communities are grappling with how best to deal with this population. Issues include their use of public property, where and how they can ask for money, the right approaches to truly help these individuals. There’s been lots of debate and even lawsuits filed, including accusations that some recent actions are band-aids to a much larger problem.

9. The Coming Of Common Core

All week, NHPR Education reporter Sam Evans Brown has been looking at a massive transition underway the Granite State, a new set of school standards known as the Common Core.  Educators nationwide have been shifting toward this new system. We’ll find out kind of discussions are taking place at our local schools among teachers, principals and students.

10. Common Core Comes To New Hampshire

By the 2014-2015 school year, the new Common Core State Standards are set to be in full effect. What are the Common Core standards? Where do they come from? Why the push for new educational standards at all? What arguments are critics making against it? What exactly will change for students & teachers in the classroom? How will the new standardized testing affect school curriculum? In a week-long series, NHPR education reporter Sam Evans-Brown answers all these questions and more on the Common Core.

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