Parents Recognize the Value of High Standards and So Should New Hampshire


Ann Marie Banfield’s recent Letter to the Editor in Seacoast Online claims that “parents have been waging a war” against New Hampshire’s high, consistent standards and it’s time to drop them. She also argues the state’s Board of Education has been ignoring parents for too long and “implementing the federal Common Core education reforms that is dumbing down our schools.”

The truth is, high, comparable standards aren’t being dictated down to parents – parents are calling for them. Recent polling reiterates that parents want challenging learning goals to prepare their kids to succeed after high school.

That’s exactly what states like New Hampshire are delivering. A Harvard study notes, “In short, the Common Core consortium has achieved one of its key policy objectives: the raising of state proficiency standards throughout much of the United States.”

As executive director of the Collaborative for Student Success, Jim Cowen has said in the past, “No matter what label policymakers attach to them, parents and educators support rigorous, consistent education standards that fully prepare students for the challenges of college and to compete in a global economy.”

Unfortunately, it looks like New Hampshire’s legislators are beginning to let the noise get to them. This week, the Senate passed a bill that would “prohibit the state department of education and the state board of education from requiring any school or school district to implement the common core standards.”

We’ve been down this road before with New Hampshire, and should the legislation move forward, the ones at greatest risk with this move are the state’s students. New Hampshire is in the driver’s seat of its standards and accountability system. This legislation is a thinly-veiled attempt to undermine the states’ devotion to challenging, comparable academic expectations. There’s no reason to go down the costly road of dropping them.