By Ann Marie Banfield
A short while ago, the Union Leader reported that Bedford parents were caught by surprise as to how many students had to attend summer school in order to pass the new Competencies per the NH Dept. of Education.
If you read the comments, you will find that many are convinced that "Competency Based Education" somehow improves academic quality in the NH schools. This couldn't be further from the truth.
Competency Education is a new name for what used to be called Outcome Based Education (OBE). Outcome Based Education was a new term for Mastery Learning. You might be wondering, what's up with the name changes? Well, it's tough to sell any program to parents when they can Google search it and find out that it's been a complete failure in other districts. Change the name and you can re-sell it to the next naive community.
So what's Competency Ed...aka...Outcome Based Ed....aka...Mastery Learning? The easiest way to get a good grasp of what's coming to the New Hampshire public schools is to watch the presentation by Peg Luksik on Google video, "Who Controls Our Children part 1-6. When you are done watching them, click on New Hampshire High School Redesign and go to page that says: Expectations for Learning are Changing and look at the list of NON-Academic outcomes. This is the vision for the NH High schools which is being promoted by Linda Darling-Hammond who was one of the folks in line for Education Secretary for President Obama (He ended up choosing Sec. Duncan)
In this article found in the Nashua Telegraph, a Litchfield student catches the absurdity of Competency Based education in a piece entitled, "Campbell High unveils new way to make the grade," noting how slackers will no longer have their homework graded. He also reports that if you don't pass the tests, you may simply retake them! If you watched the above mentioned videos by Peg, this will sound eerily familiar.
This Junior in the Litchfield High School caught on to the dumbing down of Competency Based Education, but unfortunately, many others have not.
But wait, there's more...In addition to the NH Dept of Education promoting this failed fad called Competency Based Education, you should also be aware of this: Redesigning Schools for the 21st Century, which they tout here: New Hampshire High School Redesign. Once you've scanned through that....check out the what the critics are saying by clicking here: Common Core - A Challenge to the Partnership for 21st Century Skills
One thing's for sure, the NH Dept of Ed seems to have bought into just about every fad that other districts long-ago found failed their children.
Anyone with a child in the NH public school system should familiarize themselves with OBE. It normally takes years for the public to see the negative effects of OBE. Hopefully this information will awaken the parents in NH before too much damage is done.
This Article was also posted to GraniteGrok