Press Releases

 

Entries in FOIA (106)

Wednesday
Mar182015

Cornerstone on No Child Left Behind Waiver 

Cornerstone Action

Right to Know Request by Cornerstone Action
 
Cornerstone Action has filed a Right to Know Request after reviewing the current application for a waiver to No Child Left Behind.
 
After repeated attempts to gather information from the Board of Education on adopting the new national standards in science (Next Generation Science Standards or NGSS) Education Liaison, Ann Marie Banfield observed that the department of education is starting the process of reviewing the new standards in science.
 
The new No Child Left Behind waiver along with other documents found on the Department of Education's web site indicates New Hampshire Schools are already using the standards or will be using them soon.  In addition, documents indicate the Department of Education's commitment to Next Generation Science Standards prior to any public hearings by the Board of Education. This decision was made without any fiscal analysis as well as a complete lack of transparency.
 
After all of the controversy surrounding the adoption of the Math and English Common Core Standards in New Hampshire, the Department of Education should not rush this process, be fully transparent, conduct public hearings throughout New Hampshire, and offer a true unbiased process to determine if Next Generation Science Standards are the right sciences standards for New Hampshire students.
 
We submitted the following questions to Commissioner Barry today:
 
1) Did the New Hampshire Department of Education conduct public hearings in an effort to gather feedback from the public and teachers on the NGSS? If so, how many public hearings? 
 
2) Has the Department of Education compared the Next Generation Science Standards to State Science Standards that were considered the best in the country? If so, provide notes from those meetings so we can review them.
 
3) What is the estimated cost of implementing the NGSS in the New Hampshire schools?
 
4) Did you consult with Professors of Science at the college level in New Hampshire to analyze the Next Generation Science Standards and ask for their expert opinions? If so, can you provide notes and copies of those reviews? Please provide names, titles, and academic resumes of the higher education professors of science and engineering who reviewed the NGSS.
 
5) Please clarify the process for adoption of the NGSS.  According to Chairman Raffio, the NH Board of Education has just begun the process of either endorsing or adopting the NGSS. we are looking for detailed information on how this process to adopt or endorse the NGSS will go. 
 
6) Was there any kind of critical analysis done on the NGSS by the NH DoE? If so, can you provide notes and documentation on the materials used? 
 
7) Are the NGSS internationally benchmarked? If so, please provide a list of those countries.
Monday
Mar162015

The Boston Globe, Patriot Ledger, Boston Herald & GateHouse Media Push for Massachusetts Public Records Reform 

 

 

 

This week, The Boston Globe stands with the Patriot Ledger, the Boston Herald, and all of GateHouse Media Massachusetts in an unprecedented, coordinated condemnation of Secretary of State William Galvin’s rulings on the state’s public records law.
 
These newspapers will each publish editorials on open-records issues as part of a unique statewide collaboration amongst these news organizations. The Boston Globe’s editorial, now available online at BostonGlobe.com, will run in the print edition of the Sunday Boston Globe on March 15th.

 

Sunday
Mar152015

Boston Globe Editorial: With Mass. public records law in tatters, it’s time for reform 

 

 

 

 

This week, The Boston Globe stands with the Patriot Ledger, the Boston Herald, and all of GateHouse Media Massachusetts in an unprecedented, coordinated condemnation of Secretary of State William Galvin’s rulings on the state’s public records law.
 
These newspapers will each publish editorials on open-records issues as part of a unique statewide collaboration amongst these news organizations. The Boston Globe’s editorial, now available online at BostonGlobe.com, will run in the print edition of the Sunday Boston Globe on March 15th.

 

Tuesday
Mar032015

NHGOP FILES MONTHLY RIGHT TO KNOW REQUEST ON HASSAN OUT OF STATE TRAVEL 

Party Expands Request To Department Of Public Safety To Track Hassan's Whereabouts
 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today filed its monthly Right to Know request regarding absentee Governor and likely Senate candidate Maggie Hassan's out of state travel for the month of February. Given Hassan's unwillingness to provide complete information for out of state travel, the NHGOP also filed a similar request with the Department of Public Safety regarding Governor Hassan's security detail travel records to determine her whereabouts.

 

New Hampshire Public Radio reports that Hassan is in New York City and Washington today to give a speech at "NY's premier social club" and to address a reception for a liberal special interest group. The Concord Monitor reported over the weekend that Governor Hassan is undermining New Hampshire's Right to Know law and urging state agencies to ignore legal requirement to respond to requests from reporters:

 

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The Honorable Maggie Hassan
Governor of New Hampshire
State House
107 North Main Street Concord, New Hampshire 03301

 

Governor Hassan:

 

This is a request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A).

 

I formally request that you provide me with all records regarding your out-of-state travel for the month of February 2015. This request includes, but is not limited to, any information regarding the purpose and duration of travel, in addition to any costs incurred by New Hampshire taxpayers during your trips.

 

The Concord Monitor reported this weekend that you have worked to undermine New Hampshire's Right to Know law by pressuring state agencies to ignore requests made by members of the media. Your actions are extremely troubling and indicate that the Hassan Administration is trying to hide information from the public as you gear up to abandon your job as governor and run for United States Senate.

 

Should you decline to provide any requested information, please provide the specific provision under RSA 91-A that exempts such public records from the Right to Know Law. Granite Staters have a right to know how often their governor is shirking the responsibilities of her office in order to advance her career. They also deserve a full-time executive in the corner office, not an absentee governor who has been dishonest about her political intentions.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Horn
Chairman
New Hampshire Republican State Committee

 

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Commissioner John Barthelmes
New Hampshire Department of Public Safety
33 Hazen Drive

Concord, NH 03305

 

Commissioner Barthelmes:

 

This is a request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A).

 

I formally request that you provide me with all records regarding the out-of-state travel of members of Governor Maggie Hassan's state police security detail for the month of February 2015. This request includes, but is not limited to, any information regarding the purpose and duration of travel, in addition to any costs incurred by New Hampshire taxpayers during Governor Hassan's trips.

 

Governor Hassan has attempted to hide information about her out of state travel as she gears up to abandon her current job and run for United States Senate. The governor refuses to respond to Right to Know requests and has even pressured state agencies to ignore legal requirements to follow New Hampshire's transparency laws. We hope that by filing this request with your state agency, the public will be able to learn more about Governor Hassan's travel records that she is desperate to keep secret. 

 

Should you decline to provide any requested information, please provide the specific provision under RSA 91-A that exempts such public records from the Right to Know Law.

 

Sincerely,

Jennifer Horn
Chairman
New Hampshire Republican State Committee

Tuesday
Feb172015

Citizens For A Strong NH - ICYMI: Dufresne: Hassan does not believe in being accessible or accountable 

 

 

 

 

By: Derek Dufresne

 

"The people of New Hampshire expect and deserve the office of the governor to be as open and accessible as possible." 

 

- Gov. Maggie Hassan 

 

Sounds logical, right? In fact, it actually seems like government transparency is one of the few areas in modern politics where all Granite Staters, regardless of ideology, could find common ground. Gov. Maggie Hassan is correct in her premise that the people of New Hampshire deserve two things: openness and accessibility. However, despite the aforementioned quote from the governor being predominantly displayed in the opening paragraph of her taxpayer-funded website, our state's chief executive has failed to meet even her own two parameters necessary for transparency.

 

Read the opinion column in its entirety at the UnionLeader.com by clicking here.