AFT-NH President Doug Ley's Written Testimony to the NH Board of Education
February 18, 2019
NH State Board of Education
c/o Dept. of Education
101 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Board Members,
Please accept this written statement from the American Federation of Teachers-New Hampshire (AFT-NH) regarding the proposed rules establishing the Learn Everywhere program. As staunch advocates of public education, AFT-NH is firmly opposed to the creation of the Learn Everywhere program.
As currently outlined, the Learn Everywhere program removes from local control the decisions regarding standards for credit-bearing activities and courses, thereby reversing longstanding New Hampshire tradition. As an organization representing educators who work closely with local administrators and school boards, AFT-NH rejects the centralization of authority over graduation standards and supports keeping it at the level closest to students, teachers, and citizens—the local level.
Many members of AFT-NH have worked over the years to develop and enhance ELO (extended learning opportunities) which are open to all students, including those with disabilities. It appears the same standards of access and transparency will not exist under the Learn Everywhere program. There are also serious questions to be raised concerning oversight and quality control in the Learn Everywhere program. Rather than create a new and centralized program with few controls for quality, access, and accountability, we should continue to expand ELOs by working in our local communities where students and parents live.
In conclusion, AFT-NH opposes the Learn Everywhere program as currently articulated as weakening the quality, standards, accessibility and accountability of public education in New Hampshire. We ask that this program proposal be shelved as unnecessary and counterproductive.