The Exchange In-Depth: Exploring Education in N.H.

Jul 24, 2019

The Exchange is launching a new four-part series on K-12 education in New Hampshire. Our series begins Monday, July 29th, and will air every Monday through August 19th. We chose the topics with listener input. We put together a survey with ten subjects to explore, and our listeners helped us narrow the list to four: financial literacy, learning disabilities, teacher training, and the proposed "Learn Everywhere" program. Many listeners also submitted questions and comments about these, which will help quide our discussions. "The Exchange In-Depth: Exploring Education" is part of our continuing coverage of education issues in the Granite State. Read on for information about each show. 

Monday, July 29th: Financial Literacy

 Listen and read the transcript from this show here. 

What is the role of schools in teaching students financial literacy? What programs are available to help students learn to manage money?  Why are some districts requiring these courses and others are not? (This show was originally pitched as "life preparedness" with financial literacy as a component, but many people showed interest in financial literacy as a specific subject. We hope to cover other aspects of "life preparedness" in the future.)

Here is what you said:

"Could a mandatory consumer math class be helpful?"

"What are the responsibilities of schools and what are the responsibilities of parents? Where does one draw the line?"

"Schools have an opportunity to teach kids about debt (from credit cards and school loans)."

"How are programs chosen? Are they all determine[d] by education?"

"Can we better incorporate financial institutions like banks and credit unions to provide robust financial education training?"

Monday, August 5th: Learning Disabilities

  Listen and read the transcript from this show here. 

What is the latest research around learning disabilities, and what are the recent strategies and challenges for educators and students?

Here is what you said:

"How do accomodations help students learn to learn effectively, while also assisting them in the area of their disability?"

"Updates in research, and for each disability, what are the strengths a child may have?"

"Where is the line between enabling, and enhancing the skills and abilities of the student with the learning challenges?"

"Dyslexia, NH law, and how school districts are meeting the requirements stated in the law."

"Are the accomodations and modifications commonly put into place through IEPs shown to be effective? How can we make sure kids with dyslexia don't fall through the cracks?"

"Is parent involvement welcome and valued by school personnel? What degree are schools required to support student success and well-being at home and into adulthood?"

"Is the population growing? Why?"

Monday, August 12th: Training for Teachers

How are we training teachers today, how has that training changed, and how well are teachers being prepared for today's challenges?

Here is what you said:

"How much teacher input is there?"

"What innovative programs in teacher education are available in our area?"

"Teachers need to have training in classroom management, budget management, education law, and mental health awareness. Those topics are not really covered well in our current teacher education programs. Can we call it teacher education programs instead of 'training?' Teachers are not seals, they don't need to be 'trained.'"

"With 36 years of experience in the classroom, I can assure you, you do not have enough hours to cover how the role of the teacher in the classroom has changed! :)"

"What keeps people away from teaching as a profession? What makes teachers quit? What makes them stay?"

"Explain to people the process, not many understand it."

"Union rules, pay scale, seniority, teacher testing!"

August 19th: "Learn Everywhere"

What is this new program approved by the Board of Education, which expands opportunities to earn class credit outside the traditional classroom, and why has it garnered both support and criticism?

Here is what you said:

"What impact it has on schools, licensure, and validation of learning."

"How are 'learn everywhere' credits/education assessed and evaluated in regard to its value as compared to academic work? How can rigor be maintained?"

"How will this be implimented to ensure that meaningful learning takes place and students are college and career ready?"

"What are successful models in other states?"

"Is there any actual evidence that it is helpful? Will there be funding to support it?

"The good and the bad. I want to see examples of some of the programs that kids will have access to now. What are [t]he really great opportunities that they can use, and where are the scams and easy-way-out offerings that will weaken the value of a diploma for being allowed to get credit for."