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Leaders Highlight Early Education for Drug Misuse Prevention

The U.S. News and World Report – Holly Ramer

“More than 100 children in New Hampshire’s largest city have witnessed an adult overdose in their home since 2016. Now, a police program that officials hope will be replicated elsewhere is working to prevent kids from meeting the same fate. Political and law enforcement leaders came together Friday to promote early childhood education and intervention to prevent substance misuse.”(more)

What happens when instead of suspensions, kids talk out their mistakes?

The Hechinger Report – Emily Richmond

“When freshman Hope Parent left her cellphone unattended at Pittsfield Middle High School, last year, her classmate Brandon Bojarsky saw his chance for a little fun. Grabbing the device off a windowsill in their Spanish class, he quickly shot off a few obnoxious text messages to people in her contact list — including one to Hope’s mother. By the time Hope figured out what Brandon had done, her phone battery had died. She couldn’t immediately follow up with people to tell them the unkind words hadn’t originated with her.”(more)

My Turn: Early childhood education helps communities prosper

The Concord Monitor – Scott Hilliard

“It’s no secret that there is now a surge of opiate use here in the Granite State, and with that, a growing presence of criminal activity, including violent crimes. As sheriff of Merrimack County, I know that New Hampshire law enforcement agencies are doing everything possible to rein in this troubling new threat. But we are well aware that we need longer-term solutions, too. That’s why we are urging public officials at the state and federal levels to support policies that will give every American child access to high-quality early education. It’s a message I have brought – and will continue to bring – personally to our congressional delegation in Washington, to state government leaders and even to the presidential candidates who appear on WMUR’s “Conversation with the Candidate,” a series sponsored by Save the Children Action Network, which advocates for expanding early childhood education here in New Hampshire and across the nation. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush just did the latest taping, on Thursday in Manchester, and I told him what I have told the other candidates: There is a tower of definitive evidence showing that early learning programs are critical to kids’ success in school and life. If we invest today in setting a strong intellectual, cognitive and emotional foundation for children before they reach age 5, we can significantly raise the odds they will stay in and perform well in school, avoid teenage pregnancy, keep away from drug-related and violent crimes and, more generally, contribute to making our communities more livable and prosperous.”(more)

My Turn: Early childhood education helps communities prosper

The Concord Monitor – SCOTT HILLIARD

“It’s no secret that there is now a surge of opiate use here in the Granite State, and with that, a growing presence of criminal activity, including violent crimes. As sheriff of Merrimack County, I know that New Hampshire law enforcement agencies are doing everything possible to rein in this troubling new threat. But we are well aware that we need longer-term solutions, too. That’s why we are urging public officials at the state and federal levels to support policies that will give every American child access to high-quality early education. It’s a message I have brought – and will continue to bring – personally to our congressional delegation in Washington, to state government leaders and even to the presidential candidates who appear on WMUR’s “Conversation with the Candidate,” a series sponsored by Save the Children Action Network, which advocates for expanding early childhood education here in New Hampshire and across the nation. Former Florida governor Jeb Bush just did the latest taping, on Thursday in Manchester, and I told him what I have told the other candidates: There is a tower of definitive evidence showing that early learning programs are critical to kids’ success in school and life. If we invest today in setting a strong intellectual, cognitive and emotional foundation for children before they reach age 5, we can significantly raise the odds they will stay in and perform well in school, avoid teenage pregnancy, keep away from drug-related and violent crimes and, more generally, contribute to making our communities more livable and prosperous.”(more)

In first, four N.H. school districts shake up testing with Feds’ approval

The Christian Science Monitor – Stacy Teicher Khadaroo

“A cluster of public school districts in New Hampshire is radically redefining testing and accountability in a first-of-its-kind pilot project approved Thursday by the US Department of Education. The pilot, called Performance Assessment for Competency Education (PACE), uses locally designed measures of student learning as a replacement for some statewide standardized testing. These assessments require students to apply what they’ve learned in multiple steps and tasks. Fourth-graders, for instance, might design a new park, calculate the cost of creating it, and write a letter to persuade town leaders to build it. At a time when cries of “overtesting” from parents and teachers are growing louder across the nation, and when Congress is working to rewrite the federal education law known as No Child Left Behind, the experiment will be watched closely.”(more)

New Hampshire’s Journey Toward Competency-Based Education

Education Next – Julia Freeland

“State and federal policymakers are increasingly talking about “competency-based learning” as the way of the future. In a competency-based system, students advance upon mastery. This model marks a sharp departure from the school system’s traditional metric: hours spent in the classroom studying a specific subject. At the turn of the 20th century, in an effort to standardize high school curricula and college admissions, a committee at the National Education Association determined that a satisfactory year’s work in a given high-school subject would require no fewer than 120 one-hour instructional periods. In 1909, the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching codified this standard as the Carnegie unit, or credit unit. Since then, the education system has measured student progress in terms of instructional hours, not student learning. So long as a student logs the necessary hours and receives a passing grade, he can move on to the next course, regardless of gaps in his understanding. And a passing grade may be based in part on non-academic factors like attendance, extra credit, and good behavior, rather than demonstration of mastery. Today, the Carnegie unit is showing its age, as more educators recognize that the time-based measure leaves students susceptible to moving on to material before they are ready, or remaining mired in a subject that they have already mastered. In addition to introducing flexible pacing, competency-based education attempts to import newfound rigor to the concept of “mastery.” In this new system, “competencies” describe what students should know,as well as what they should be able to do. Competency-based assessments aim to test students’ ability to demonstrate what they can do in real-world applications and across a variety of contexts.”(more)