Opposition to Hollis Brookline Co-op Warrant Article 14 to reject Common Core state standards

To the Editor:

Last week, a nonbinding vote was taken to reject Common Core state standards in the Hollis Brookline Co-op. We heard 20 minutes against CCSS and were cut off after two minutes of rebuttal.

This was a very one-sided debate on a very important topic. Enclosed are my remarks.

The Common Core standards spell out what skills, including math and English, students should have at each grade, and are designed to develop more critical thinking skills than traditional school work. They were first requested by governors concerned about the large number of high school graduates needing remedial college help and lacking basic skills.

The Common Core standards have been accepted by most states, the federal and state Departments of Education, the New Hampshire Legislature and the Hollis Brookline High School SAU, teachers and administration.

In 2010, the New Hampshire Legislature adopted Common Core as opposed to No Child Left Behind, which labeled successful schools as failing if they did not improve by a certain percent. Last week, the New Hampshire Legislature voted down this very same bill 201 to 138. The vote was bi-partisan despite the instructions of the Republican voter guide, which instructed them to vote to terminate state participation in Common Core education standards.

As a working parent and volunteer in the community, I provide oversight of my child’s education However, I rely on our teachers and administrators to provide a quality education for our children. These are the education professional we pay and I consider them to be the experts. Keep in mind New Hampshire ranks No. 4 in education out of 50 states, 56 percent of HBHS students take advanced placement courses and HBHS has a college entry rate of 90 percent. There is always room for improvement, however, we are doing well.

This article brought by a newly elected member of the School Board has become a politicized issue and a veiled attempt to disrupt and dismantle public education. It is important to note that the article passed but has no force of law.

If people have issues with Common Core standards, they should work with the teachers and administration to find solutions for improvement, not ask them to discard what they have adopted and implemented for the past three years. If anyone has questions on Common Core at HBHS, please ask the teachers and administrators.

REPRESENTATIVE MELANIE LEVESQUE

Brookline and Mason