Education

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The University System of New Hampshire announced this fall that Melinda Treadwell would be the next president of Keene State College.

Treadwell led the school on an interim basis since the unexpected departure of former president Anne Huot last summer. She's overseen significant cost-cutting and restructuring efforts, and like many rural colleges in the state, Keene State has struggled with enrollment declines.   Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Treadwell about how she plans to continue to handle these challenges.


Johannes Thiel via Flickr cc

A new report from a legislative commission on school bus driver shortages has recommendations on how to address the problem.

Dennis Amith via Flickr CC

New Hampshire schools have until next summer to get in compliance with the state’s new lead testing law. But advocates hope schools won’t wait to begin the process.

Exposure to almost any amount of lead can cause developmental delays and other health issues in young children.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / https://flic.kr/p/8AZbes

New Englanders can get a closer view of stars this weekend at the University of New Hampshire. 

UNH is expecting clear skies for its annual Fall Astronomy Festival.  

Kids and families can look through telescopes at the school's observatory Friday night and listen to a talk by a top NASA scientist at 7 p.m. 

On Saturday, observatory director John Gianforte says, they can do some engineering of their own.

This year, a record number of schools in New Hampshire are offering full-day kindergarten. At least six districts spent the summer hiring additional staff and amending facilities to boost their half-day kindergarten programs to full-day programs.

That puts the number of districts in the state offering full-day kindergarten to over 90%.

Mike Ross / UNH

 

Students attending New Hampshire's seven community colleges have a pathway to transfer into the 10 life sciences programs at the University of New Hampshire.

School officials said Friday the new agreement addresses longstanding challenges transfer students face: whether the courses they take at their community college will be accepted for credit and will be as equivalent in scope and difficulty to those at the four-year institution.

Students will be able to enroll in core courses like biology and anatomy and physiology that count toward their majors at UNH.

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New Hampshire is eligible to receive more than $618,000 in federal aid to reimburse schools that took in students displaced by hurricanes and wildfires last year.

The funds are part of a nearly $360 million package in new federal assistance being given to 20 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The U.S. Department of Education is awarding funds to state agencies that will then make payments to local school districts.

New Hampshire is eligible to receive per-pupil aid amounts of between $2,125 and $2,500 per displaced student.

Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

The traditional new student "Clap-In" at Keene State College on Wednesday signals the arrival of freshman for the new semester, as well as the start of a new year in which the college continues a two-year reorganization plan.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For the third time this year, the New Hampshire House of Representatives has voted against a bill to create education savings accounts. 

The bill that would have allowed for state tax dollars to be spent on private school tuition and homeschooling expenses had already been shot down by the House on two separate occasions. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A late-night parliamentary maneuver has given a controversial school choice bill another shot at becoming law.

Senate Bill 193, which would allow some parents to use state money to educate their children outside of public schools, was rejected by the New Hampshire House on Wednesday.

Mike Ross / UNH

Officials at the University of New Hampshire are hoping to avoid a repeat of last year’s racially charged Cinco de Mayo celebrations with a new community service event this Saturday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill that would expand the state’s only school choice program is one step closer to becoming law.

Under the existing education tax credit program, businesses in New Hampshire can get a tax break when they donate to scholarships.

Families who qualify for those scholarships can use them for things like private school tuition, college courses, and homeschooling expenses.

Franklin Pierce University is offering 20 full-tuition scholarships to students at a small private college in Massachusetts that is set to close if they enroll as full-time residential students at the New Hampshire school.

Mount Ida College in Newton, Massachusetts, plans to close at the end of the semester. Officials announced that undergraduate students will be offered automatic admission to the University of Massachusetts' Dartmouth campus.

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A UNH task force on campus climate has released its final report roughly a year after a series of racially charged incidents embroiled the campus.

The task force makes fifteen recommendations in the report, including one to make the group permanent as an advisory council to the UNH president.

NHPR Staff

Students applying to community colleges in New Hampshire will no longer have to pay an application fee.

The Community College System of N.H. says it is eliminating the $20 fee in an effort to remove barriers for students interested in attending college.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Senate has rejected a bill that would have rolled back the requirements needed to be a school nurse.

The bill would have repealed requirements added a few years ago that school nurses have specific skills in public health and at least three years’ experience in pediatric medicine.

Some school districts have argued the added requirements have made it hard to fill school nurse positions.

National student test scores released today show New Hampshire 4th graders declining in reading and math scores since 2015.

The new scores in reading and math for 4th and 8th graders come from the National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the Nation’s Report Card.

The report shows scores for the state’s 8th graders in reading and math were unchanged.

New Hampshire students in both grades scored above the national average.

Over the long term New Hampshire's scores are up, particularly in math.

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New Hampshire is seeking more flexibility in how it assesses student performance.

The state has applied to participate in the U.S. Department of Education's Innovative Assessment Demonstration Authority, which would allow different assessment approaches to be used in some school districts rather than having all students complete statewide standardized tests.

New Hampshire already has taken steps toward changing its assessment approach.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The chairman of the Governor’s Council on Diversity and Inclusion is raising questions about the announcement of UNH’s new president, James Dean.

Rogers Johnson, who is also president of the Seacoast NAACP, has called for more transparency in the search process.

Now he says the unveiling of UNH’s choice for president seems to emphasize his ability to raise revenue for the institution.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers are continuing in their attempt to hammer out the details of a controversial school choice bill that was first introduced over 14 months ago.

Senate Bill 193 received yet another set of tweaks on Wednesday. 

UNH

The University of New Hampshire has named James W. Dean Jr. as the 20th President of the state's flagship university.

Dean was recently executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where he is a professor of organizational behavior. He will take office June 30, and succeed Mark Huddleston.

The University System of New Hampshire board of trustees voted unanimously to select Dean. 

A new national study finds high school graduation requirements in New Hampshire don’t align with criteria for college admissions.

The research from the Center for American Progress finds that in many states, including New Hampshire, there’s a gap between what is required to graduate from high school and what is required to start at the local public university.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Superintendents, school board members, teachers, and parents held a press conference Thursday morning to voice their concerns about a bill that would create "education freedom savings accounts."

The bill, known as Senate Bill 193, would allow parents to use public money to educate their kids outside of public schools, including at home or at private schools.

woodleywonderworks via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/5p1N5a

All thirteen of New Hampshire’s cities now offer full-day kindergarten. On Monday night, Concord became the final city to join the list.

The Concord school board has been debating full-day kindergarten for years. The election of new board members, along with new funding from the state, finally tipped the scales.

Board member Chuck Crush says he’s excited for what a full-day program will mean for kids and for economic development in the city.

Jason Moon for NHPR

On Town Meeting day tomorrow, several communities across New Hampshire will vote on whether to offer full-day kindergarten in their local school districts.

It will be the first time towns vote on the issue since lawmakers in Concord approved a program that provides state money for full-day kindergarten.


The New Hampshire House of Representatives voted Tuesday to kill a bill that would have increased oversight for homeschool students.

House bill 1263 would have required that homeschool students have their annual assessments reviewed by either state officials or nonpublic school principals.

Currently, parents of homeschool students don’t have to share the results of the assessments with anybody.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

The University of New Hampshire announced last week it has selected finalists in its search for a new president, but the list of candidates will be kept private.

This has prompted leaders of the Seacoast NAACP and the ACLU of New Hampshire to demand more transparency in the search for a new president. But confidential searches have now become common among universities across the country.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Eric Kelderman, a senior reporter at The Chronicle of Higher Education, about the growing trend.


The Manchester School District says a student was arrested last Friday for making threats on social media about school shootings.

Superintendent Bolgen Vargas says despite the arrest there was no immediate threat to any students in the district.

This is the third arrest made in connection to school threats in New Hampshire following the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school last month.

Via Concord High School website

Students across the U.S. and around the Granite State are planning school walkouts calling for stronger gun control and school safety reform. This follows a national movement led by students of a high school in Parkland, Florida where a mass shooting took place last month.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Concord High School Principal Tom Sica about how he's working with his students who are organizing a walkout.

On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office announced it was filing charges against a former teacher at St. Paul’s School in Concord for witness tampering and conspiracy to commit perjury. They are the first charges to be filed in connection with the AG’s investigation into the elite prep school over allegations of sexual misconduct over several decades.

NHPR's Jason Moon has been following the story and has this breakdown of what the charges are, and what they tell us about the broader investigation into St. Paul's School.

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