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Hudson - Litchfield News 12 - August 6, 2010

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NH Department of Education Will Receive a Grant to Support Educational Innovation in the State

submitted by NH Department of Education The New Hampshire Department of Education received notification that it has been awarded a charter-school start-up grant to support educational innovation in the state, thanks to the legislature lifting the moratorium on creating charter schools. The final details of the award, including the total amount, are not yet available, but the New Hampshire Department of Education requested $11.6 million in its proposal. Charter schools are public schools that operate with more organizational flexibility than most public schools, which allows them to act, in many cases, as the “research and design arm” of the public system. Virginia M. Barry, Ph.D., New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Education, said “This grant will enable educators in the state to design bold and innovative educational opportunities for New Hampshire students.” She congratulated Roberta Denney, the Department’s Administrator for School Standards, who wrote the grant in collaboration with Matt Southerton, Director of the New Hampshire Center for Innovative Schools. The grant has five objectives:

• Objective 1: Increase the number of high-quality charter schools in New Hampshire, particularly those serving educationally disadvantaged students who are most at risk in rural and urban settings.

• Objective 2: Offer districts the opportunity to create charter schools within their district to promote innovative practices.

• Objective 3: Use federal grant funds to improve student achievement in secondary charter schools and increase graduation rates.

• Objective 4: Support the dissemination of best practices developed in charter schools to other public schools and districts in the state.

• Objective 5: Empower charter schools to become strong, independent organizations, while ensuring fiscally responsible practices. This new grant will help support innovators and provide the

resources to continue school improvement and innovations for students. It is the NH Commissioner’s hope that school districts throughout the state will be inspired to tap into these funds in order to meet the needs of all learners. Under New Hampshire law, school districts are allowed to establish and operate charter schools. These charter schools are administered by the local school board and may be closed if they fail to serve their students well or fall short of their mission. Commissioner Barry also stated, “That this grant will help the Department advance its strategic plan and provide necessary support to struggling schools, including efforts to improve teacher and leader effectiveness, strengthen school standards and assessments, and promote the use of performance data to drive school decisions.” New Hampshire currently operates 10 charter schools that

provide innovative, mission-driven educational experiences to students, particularly those for whom an alternative approach to learning is beneficial.

More information about New Hampshire’s Charter Schools can be found at index.htm.

NH Will Not Receive Race to the Top Funds 1011718 1

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submitted by NH Department of Education New Hampshire was not one of the 19 finalists chosen to potentially receive Race to the Top (RTTT) funds. While this is disappointing, we appreciate the superintendents, teachers, school boards, legislature, and all of the key stakeholders who helped prepare the grant and offer their support during this process. New Hampshire will benefit from this process of collaboratively creating a comprehensive strategic plan, and we will be seeking support from other sources and reform programs to raise standards, improve teaching, use data more effectively to support student learning, and turn around underperforming schools. We have received notice that New Hampshire is a recipient of a

3 & 5 Day Afternoon Pre-School Program 11:45-2:45 PM

Charter Grant, thanks to the legislature lifting the moratorium on creating charter schools. We are awaiting the amount of the award from the U.S. Department of Education. New Hampshire will receive feedback regarding the RTTT grant proposal. The areas of concern will undoubtedly focus on statewide systems that center on teacher and leader effectiveness and student achievement. The Commissioner is working closely with stakeholders to develop a plan for New Hampshire. Thirty-five states and the District of Columbia applied for the second round of RTTT. Including the 36 applications for the second round of Race to the Top, a total of 46 states and the District of Columbia applied for either the first or second rounds—or both. The 19 finalists are Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and South Carolina.

Educator Attends NCTM’s Affiliate Leaders Conference

submitted by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics Deborah Ann Luszey of Hudson joined other mathematics educators from across the United States at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) Affiliate Leaders Conference in Reston, VA, July 22- 24. The conference, with the theme “Connecting with Leadership,” included a variety of leadership-enhancing professional activities for mathematics educators and, in particular, for NCTM Affiliate leaders. The professional activities promote a commitment to improving mathematics education for all students. NCTM Affiliates are state, local, student, and at-large mathematics councils. The conference was designed to strengthen Affiliates in the areas of leadership, partnership, and membership by providing participants opportunities to identify their leadership strengths, network and exchange ideas,

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develop Affiliate action plans, and share strategies: Facilitated by members of the Council’s Affiliate Services Committee (ASC), the conference offered a rich exchange of ideas and expertise for strengthening Affiliates and for making Affiliate leaders more effective in their roles. Throughout the conference, participants had opportunities to connect with Council leadership, including NCTM President Mike Shaughnessy. “The increasing importance of mathematics for all students at every level of schooling means that more than ever, teachers look to NCTM and its Affiliates for guidance, support, and resources to meet these challenges. The Council and Affiliate leaders are partners in preparing the next generation of teacher leaders to organize professional development activities, become master teachers, support entering teachers, and lead the profession,” said Shaughnessy.

... strive for academic excellence based on a strong, traditional foundation. ... make student success a priority. ... provide a safe, nurturing community. ... foster morality, compassion and service. ... welcome parents as partners in their children’s education. ... offer need-based financial assistance to qualified families.

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Affiliate leaders conferences offer a forum for the Council’s Affiliates to examine and strengthen their role in providing opportunities for emerging, new, and seasoned teachers to grow professionally through the partnership of NCTM and its Affiliates. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics has 100,000 members and 230 Affiliates in the United States and Canada. It is the world’s largest organization dedicated to improving mathematics education from pre-K through grade 12. The Council recommends that math education for all students go beyond the basics to include higher levels of mathematics. The Council’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics provide guidelines for excellence in mathematics education. Its Curriculum Focal Points for Prekindergarten through Grade 8 Mathematics, released in 2006, identifies the most important mathematical topics for each grade level. In 2009, NCTM released Focus in High School Mathematics: Reasoning and Sense Making, which advocates practical changes to the high school mathematics curriculum to refocus learning on reasoning and sense making.

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