What the buzz about Common Core in Hollis and Brookline? Find out June 16

What’s the buzz about Common Core? Find out June 16

To the Editor:

There has been a lot of discussion around Common Core state standards (CCSS). In Hollis Brookline SAU 41, we have been using them for three to four years. Yet, if you ask what they are or what it means for our students, most people could not tell you. 

In March at the Co-op meeting, a warrant article was passed to remove CCSS from our Co-op schools and in April, the Brookline School Board motioned to remove it along with the testing. This motion was tabled and offered a tremendous opportunity for the public to hear from teachers about how they teach applying CCSS. I was impressed by the deeper understanding of topics our children were getting from kindergarten to 12th grade. 

New Hampshire ranks in the top 10 for states for education! Over 40 states have adopted the standards. We are not lowering our standards, but looking for other states to rise to the higher more rigorous standards. One of our area teachers explained that when students from other states come to our schools, many times they are several grades behind. This holds back the class and makes it difficult for incoming students to catch up. Why standards? Check out the video at http://vimeo.com/51933492.

I have heard people with concerns over schools implementing new standards without taxpayers being involved even though school board meetings are open to the public and minutes are posted. All are welcome and encouraged to be a part. For the past two months, I have attended the Brookline School Board meetings and noticed very low attendance from the public while these important decisions are being made.

I asked Betty Hall, former school board member, 14-term state representative, and a person who has served in just about every role in our town, what was happening when Common Core was adopted? Her response was the attendance at school board meetings was very low and that she was disappointed in the turn out.

There is a lot of buzz around CCSS and a great deal of misinformation whether purposefully or not. For that reason, a forum will be offered Monday, June 16, from 7-9 p.m. at the Hollis Brookline High School Auditorium with panelists to include Tom Raffio Chairman, of the New Hampshire Board of Education and CEO of Delta Dental, Fred Kocher, host of WMUR Business, Lucille Jordan, president of NHCC, and Heather Gage, from the Department of Education, as well as area teachers who will explain how our children are learning in the classroom.

I know life is busy but it is important that the parents of children in all our schools be involved. Attend the forum on the 16th and attend your school board meetings. The education of our children is one of the top reasons people move to our towns. It is something we take pride in and all have a stake in.

For more information contact mlevesque1@charter.net.

REPRESENTATIVE MELANIE LEVESQUE

Brookline