Education

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Residents in Epping say their schools need to encourage acceptance of all kinds of political speech, in the wake of a controversy at the high school earlier this month.

At least 100 people came to a forum about the incident, centered on a a student's pro-Donald Trump T-shirt, during Thursday night’s school board meeting.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Middle schoolers in Portsmouth on Wednesday showcased their ideas to make their city more sustainable – and more prepared for climate change – within the next decade.

The eighth graders based their projects on the United Nations' sustainable development goals – to tackle climate change, inequality, public health issues and more.

 

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is now accepting applications for its Louise Tillotson Teaching Fellowship and Professional Development Scholarship programs.

Now in its 12th year, the Louise Tillotson Teaching Fellowship was established to honor and celebrate North Country teachers in public education.

DOE

 

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is facing sharp pushback over a proposal to cut federal funding to the Special Olympics.

Celebrities, politicians and activists have taken to social media to rebuke DeVos for her plan to cut funding for the group as part of $7 billion in reductions in 2020. The organization received $17.6 million from the Education Department this year, but DeVos says it should be supported through philanthropy.

House Democrats grilled DeVos in a budget hearing Tuesday, with Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., calling the cut "appalling."

New Hampshire’s challenge in funding public schools is the topic of a new series from New Hampshire Public Radio titled Adequate: How a State Decides the Value of Public Education, which will begin airing Thursday, March 21.

The reporting effort by NHPR’s education reporter Sarah Gibson is part of the newsroom’s State of Democracy project, which looks at the impact of state policy on people’s day-to-day lives. Stories in the Adequate series will look at how schools are struggling to serve their students with rising education costs and declining state funds.

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A school funding lawsuit filed last week against the state is getting some support. The Monadnock School District announced Tuesday it’s joining the ConVal School District’s efforts to sue the state over education funding. 

 

The lawsuit claims the state is not meeting its constitutional obligation to pay for an adequate education and it seeks millions more in funding.

 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Dover school officials say they won't heed renewed calls from regional NAACP leaders for a teacher at the center of a racist controversy to be fired.

Dover High School history teacher John Carver gave an assignment on the Reconstruction Era last fall that led students to sing a racist parody of Jingle Bells, including references to the KKK and murdering African-Americans.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Around 200 Seacoast-area residents met Wednesday night to talk about their community’s relationship to race and stereotypes.

The forum was part of the district’s response to a video that surfaced last month of Dover High School students singing racist lyrics to the tune of Jingle Bells as part of a class assignment. 

Dover School District

Dover residents can delve into their experiences with racism and stereotypes at a forum at the city's high school tonight.

The district organized the discussion in the wake of an uproar over a video posted late last year, showing an incident of what the district called "extreme racial insensitivity.”  

Manchester Superintendent Bolgen Vargas has abruptly resigned from his job leading the state’s largest school district.

In his resignation letter, Superintendent Vargas said only that “personal and professional” reasons were behind the move.

But some Manchester school board members, including Richard Girard, said a culture of constant bickering within their own ranks likely played a role in Vargas’ decision.

“There are all kinds of these petty little battles that just sap your will to live, let alone be a superintendent to schools,” said Girard.

www.visitnhcolleges.com

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.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / Flickr Creative Commons

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.

James Sarmiento / Flickr

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. 

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