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Back to School, and to Widening Inequality

Robert Reich Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California at Berkeley; author, ‘Beyond Outrage’ American kids are getting ready to head back to school. But the schools they’re heading back to differ dramatically by family income. Which helps explain the growing achievement gap between lower- and higher-income children. Thirty years ago, the average gap on SAT-type tests between children of families in the richest 10 percent and bottom 10 percent was about 90 points on an 800-point scale. Today it’s125 points. The gap in the mathematical abilities of American

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Legal Department Announces Changes

On September 1, 2104 NEA-NH Staff Attorneys Jim Allmendinger and Steve Sacks will become contracted attorneys and will begin a job-sharing arrangement.  Both attorneys will alternate working 3-month “shifts.” Attorney Esther Kane Dickinson has been hired as a full-time staff attorney, starting on September 1st, so there will continue to be two lawyers always actively working in the legal department.  Lori Cyr, Legal Assistant, will continue to be available to assist members as well. NEA-NH remains committed to providing members with the best legal representation possible.

Governor Hassan’s Statement on Voucher Tax Credit Ruling

CONCORD – Governor Maggie Hassan issued the following statement on the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s ruling that the petitioners did not have standing in the voucher tax credit case: “I continue to believe that the voucher tax credit is unconstitutional and am disappointed that the Supreme Court did not rule on the underlying issue. The voucher tax credit is bad public policy for public education in New Hampshire and our taxpayers, diverting millions of dollars in taxpayer money with no accountability or oversight to religious and private schools at the expense of public schools and property taxpayers across the across the state. A robust and rigorous public education system is critical to better preparing our students for good jobs and successful careers, and I believe the legislature should repeal this

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A School Isn’t About Teaching Subjects, It’s About Teaching Children

Frank Breslin Retired high-school teacher A school is a sacred place. It reveres every child as a being of infinite worth and dignity, whatever his or her ability. A school is about teaching children the skills they need to prevail in a world that makes it difficult to keep one’s bearings. It is about helping them develop belief in themselves and instilling trust in their own judgment to think for themselves. It is about having them discover and appreciate the different cultures of the past and present, with their different ways of viewing the world, their different beliefs and values, their different ways of being human; and that these cultures may be able to teach us important things about ourselves that we, in our blindness, might never discern. It is

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NEA-NH Disappointed With Court Ruling

NEA New Hampshire is greatly disappointed with the Court’s ruling today regarding the constitutionality of the voucher scheme now in place in New Hampshire. In a ruling that did not address the merits of the case, the court ruled that the plaintiffs did not have sufficient standing to bring the case before the court. “No matter how they try to dress it up, diverting dollars that should have been paid in taxes to fund public education to other sources, defunds and dilutes public education and will result in a diminishment in the scope of services provided to all the children of New Hampshire,” said Scott McGilvray, NEA-NH President. “As I have said many, many times, we have a public school system in New Hampshire to be proud of. The Legislature

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Teacher Time

Peter Greene Teacher, writer, blogger at curmudgucation Every profession measures time differently. Doctors and lawyers measure time in hours or vague lumps. Teachers measure time in minutes, even seconds. If a doctor (or his office) tell you that something is going to happen “at nine o’clock,” that means sometime between 9:30 and noon. Lawyers, at least in my neck of the woods, can rarely be nailed down to an actual time. Anything that’s not a scheduled appointment is “sometime this afternoon.” Even a summons to jury duty will list a particular time which just represents the approximate time at which things will start to prepare to begin happening. Further up the Relaxed Time Scale, we find the delivery and installation guys for whom “Between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. Tuesday,”

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NEA Launches Campaign to End ‘Toxic Testing’

Delegates to the National Education Association’s annual meeting in July voted to launch a national campaign to put the focus of assessments and accountability back on student learning and end the “test, blame, and punish” system that has dominated public education in the last decade.  The campaign will among other things seek to end the abuse and overuse of high-stakes standardized tests and reduce the amount of student and instructional time consumed by them. The anti-toxic testing measure also calls for governmental oversight of the powerful testing industry with the creation of a “testing ombudsman” by the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Consumer Protection Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission. The position will serve as a watchdog over the influential testing industry and monitor testing companies’ impact on education legislation.

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Union Contract is Quite Clear

by Cheryl Kahn Appeared Sunday, July 20, 2014 8:00 am in Sentinel Source As a retired employee of the Monadnock Regional School District and former president of the Monadnock District Education Association (MDEA), I have been reading the articles about the union’s health insurance fund with great interest. I was involved with all teacher contract negotiations since the mid 1990s, including the current contract. The current insurance fund concept was proposed by the school board, not the teachers. We were happy to continue negotiating what percentage of premiums would be paid by the employees and by the district. This meant that if the insurance company raised premium rates, both the employees and the district paid more. The school board, however, wanted to set a fixed cost for health insurance each

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