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Preparing N.H.'s Teachers For The Classroom

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We finish a two-part series on the teaching profession, with a look at how we prepare our teachers.  After criticism claiming credentialing standards in the U.S. are lax, many states, including New Hampshire, are trying to raise the bar and turn out more qualified teachers. Some say more in-classroom experience is key. But there are challenges to such changes, including the expense.  


  • Stephanie Burke - 8th grade science teacher at West Running Brook Middle School in Derry. She was the 2013 NH Recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, and got her master’s in teaching from New England College. 
  • Judith Fillion - director of New Hampshire’s Dept. of Education Division of Program Support and Bureau of Credentialing. The Bureau is responsible for the certification of all educators the state’s educators.
  • Stephen Sawchuk - assistant editor for Education Week, a national publication covering K-12 education. He also writes its Teacher Beat blog.
  • Jennifer Thompson – 6-8th grade social studies and language arts teacher at Unity Elementary School. She graduated from the Upper Valley Educators Institute in 2009.


  • Tom Schram – associate professor of education at UNH. He directs the Division of Educator Preparation, and serves as co-coordinator of the New Hampshire IHE Network, a consortium comprised of all the higher education teacher preparation programs in the state.
Laura is well known in New Hampshire for her in-depth coverage of important issues and is widely regarded for her interviews with presidential hopefuls. Laura is a graduate of Keene High School in New Hampshire. Prior to hosting The Exchange, Laura worked in public radio in Washington, D.C. as a local reporter and announcer for WAMU and as a newscaster for NPR. Before her radio career, she was a researcher for USA Today's "Money" section, and a research assistant at the Institute for International Economics. Laura occasionally guest hosts national programs such as The Diane Rehm Show and Here and Now. In 2007 Laura was named New Hampshire Broadcaster of the Year by the New Hampshire Association of Broadcasters.

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