NH Center For Innovative Schools - Polarizing nominee threatens to politicize State Board of Education


Self described political activist with history of alarming rhetoric, public school parents feel betrayed.

The Governor's nomination of a self described "political activist", with a history of alarming rhetoric regarding public charter schools threatens to politicize the State Board of Education. The SBE is a place for diverse opinions but it is unreasonable to appoint someone who exhibits such a clear bias to a body meant to represent all New Hampshire students. The nomination couldn't come at a worse time, NATIONAL CHARTER SCHOOL WEEK. Who was advising the Governor on this nomination?


Criticism is swift from all corners of the political spectrum


Nashua Telegraph - "Hassan's choice is a polarizing one" 

"...a few things about the Duncan nomination that we think reflect poorly on the Hassan administration. First and foremost, it seems that the governor went out of her way to choose the most polarizing figure she could find. Source: http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/opinion/editorials/1036006-465/hassans-choice-is-a-polarizing-one.html 


Union Leader - "Killing innovation: Hassan nominee opposes her agenda"

"Hassan has nominated Bill Duncan, New Hampshire's leading opponent of providing parents and children with opportunities to escape bad public schools." Source: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140507/OPINION01/140509349/0/SEARCH 


Charles Arlinghaus - "The governor's inappropriate nominee"

"Bill Duncan... is regarded by the charter school community as leader of their opposition. He has said "charter schools are a political statement, not an educational improvement." He's referred to charter schools as "dismantling public education" and called them a "distraction." Despite that, he says he supports charter schools. You can see, however, why the charter schools of the state might be skeptical." Source: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140507/OPINION02/140509350/0/SEARCH 


Senator Jeb Bradley

"I can not support Governor Hassan's nomination of Bill Duncan to the New Hampshire Board of Education.Mr. Duncan is not only a longtime opponent of charter schools..." 

Source: http://www.srmpac.org/bradley-opposes-duncan-nomination-nh-board-education/ 


Associated Press - "Hassan Nominates Public School Activist To Board Of Education"

"...nomination of longtime education activist Bill Duncan to the New Hampshire Board of Education is drawing fire from supporters of charter schools..." Source: http://nhpr.org/post/hassan-nominates-public-school-activist-board-education 


Union Leader - "State Board of Education nominee had sued state over education funding"

"Executive Councilor Joe Kenney said he will be voting against Duncan's nomination. "Mr. Duncan's record as private citizen suggests he is against charter schools and therefore I cannot support him,". Source: http://www.unionleader.com/article/20140506/NEWS0621/140509519/0/SEARCH 


Seacoast Online - Nomination for N.H. education board ripped by GOP

"Opposition to the news was swift.. "How can you be on the state Board of Education while suing the state over its existing laws?" said Hemingway...The State Board of Education is a place for many opinions, but it is irresponsible to appoint an anti-charter school activist to regulate something he wants to destroy," said Havenstein. Source: http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20140505-NEWS-140509856 



Examples of past rhetoric include:

"Charter schools are a political statement not an educational improvement". Source: http://anhpe.org/2013/07/05/charter-schools-are-a-political-statement-not-and-educational-improvement/


"I always consider policy discussions about privatization - proposals to dismantle public education and replace it with charters, vouchers and home schools  - a distraction..." Source: http://nhlabornews.com/tag/bill-duncan


"You see the national education reform debate and it looks like an existential threat to public education...They'll keep the public schools open for the hardest to educate kids. And they are building separate charter and voucher systems for what they consider the most desirable kids. Source: 5/13/13 speech to NH superintendents 


The NH Center for Innovative Schools is a NH registered non-profit whose members are committed to quality public options for all children. We offer assistance to all New Hampshire charter schools and groups wanting to learn more about these innovative programs. Our services are free, we do not charge or accept payment for our assistance.