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For Immediate Release
June 9, 2020

Contact

New Hampshire Department of Education
(603) 271-0448 | Comms@doe.nh.gov

Edelblut testifies in support of Learn Everywhere

SB 514 would effectively repeal innovative outside-the-classroom program

CONCORD- Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut today submitted testimony in support of the Learn Everywhere program during a hearing of the House Education Committee on Senate Bill 514, a bill that would effectively repeal the innovative outside-the-classroom program.

“For the past two decades, New Hampshire has shifted its educational system to reward competency. Under Democratic Governors and Republican Governors, under Democratic Legislatures and Republican Legislatures, we’ve agreed on a fundamental principle: students who demonstrate proficiency in a subject should be rewarded…”

“There is a broad consensus that ELOs (Extended Learning Opportunities) are a great opportunity to expand learning beyond the classroom, and to give New Hampshire students valuable hands-on learning that can lead to great careers.

In a 2011 report on four pilot ELO programs, one key finding was that ELOs are particularly well-suited for students who are ‘struggling academically and/or at risk of dropping out.’ Another is that ELOs substantially close the achievement gap between underserved students and the rest of the student body.

Yet for all the praise we hear from ELOs, we have been tragically slow in offering them.

Statewide, just 3 percent of our eligible students have taken advantage of ELOs and Work-Based Learning programs. And just 2 percent earned academic credit. Our communities are offering invaluable education resources to our students, and we are squandering them…”

“Learn Everywhere is the next step in New Hampshire’s progress to a world-class, personalized, student-centered education. It is consistent with the principle that academic credit is based on competency. If a student does the work and learns the material, they get the credit.

Nothing in Learn Everywhere changes the role of local school boards, who maintain the authority to set criteria for graduation. Under our longstanding rules and under Learn Everywhere, if a student can demonstrate proficiency, no matter how or where that proficiency was gained, that student has earned academic credit toward graduation…”

Edelblut also testified in opposition to SJR 1, which would prohibit the implementation of the Learn Everywhere administrative rules. Tomorrow, Edelblut will submit testimony to the Senate Education and Workforce Committee during the hearing on an to HB 1454, which would replace that bill with the text of SB 514.

Commissioner Edelblut’s submitted testimony: