NH Gov. Maggie Hassan Vetoes Bill to Prohibit Implementing Common Core

AP Photo/Jim Cole
AP Photo/Jim Cole

Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) of New Hampshire has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited the state’s Department of Education and the State Board of Education from implementing the Common Core standards in any school or school district in the state.

Ann Marie Banfield, education liaison with Cornerstone Action, told Breitbart News that parents arrived in large numbers to support SB 101 and to testify about why Common Core is not working in their schools.

“SB101 was needed because there is still confusion in districts that they must adopt the standards or risk losing funding,” said Banfield. “It then becomes difficult for parents who want to lobby their elected school board members to use standards they feel are superior to Common Core. SB101 would have helped parents move their local schools towards better quality academic standards.”

According to the press release about her veto, Hassan claimed the bill would undermine New Hampshire’s ability to have a workforce that would allow the state to be economically competitive.

“As this bill has no practical impact, its purpose appears to be that of sending a message, and it is the wrong message,” Hassan wrote in her veto press release. “New Hampshire must be clear that it is committed to developing a 21st Century workforce and citizenry, that it welcomes innovation, and that it is modernizing its education system to reflect those values.”

Workforce development or “School to Work” (STW) is a primary goal for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and many Democrat and establishment Republican governors. Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) and Gov. Mike Pence (R-IN) both have considered “workforce development” among their primary goals in leading their respective states. Establishment elite politicians and education think tanks know the data collection associated with the Common Core reform will play very heavily into a workforce development program that could ensure a source of inexpensive labor that will be available here in the United States for years to come.

The roots of workforce development were seen immediately following Bill Clinton’s election to the presidency in November of 1992. Marc Tucker, president of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), had been involved in the early stages of what would ultimately become the Common Core standards reform. With Clinton’s presidency secured, Tucker proposed his agenda to the new First Lady of the United States in his now well-known “letter to Hillary Clinton.”

In his letter, Tucker expressed his joy that Bill Clinton had won the election and that they could begin “to remold the entire American system for human resources development.” He continued:

This is interwoven with a new approach to governing that should inform that vision. What is essential is that we create a seamless web of opportunities, to develop one’s skills that literally extends from cradle to grave and is the same system for everyone — young and old, poor and rich, worker and full-time student. It needs to be a system driven by client needs (not agency regulations or the needs of the organization providing the services), guided by clear standards that define the stages of the system for the people who progress through it, and regulated on the basis of outcomes that providers produce for their clients, not inputs into the system.

In her statement, Hassan cited support she received from the Business and Industry Association (BIA) for her veto.

“SB101 undermines New Hampshire’s commitment to higher educational standards and sends a message mediocre is okay,” Hassan read regarding the statement of the BIA.

Hassan also claimed that since no school district is required to implement the Common Core standards under current law in New Hampshire, signing SB101 is unnecessary. However, with the state a member of the Common Core-aligned Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), school districts have no motivation to use alternate standards since their students’s performance will be measured by the Smarter Balanced Common Core test.

“Our schools need to prepare our young people to compete in the global, 21st century innovation economy, and college- and career-readiness standards are critical to that effort, which is why Common Core has the support of educators and businesses, and of Republicans and Democrats,” she wrote.

Banfield, however, disagrees.

“The veto by Governor Hassan misses another opportunity to stand with the parents in New Hampshire as they seek to make improvements to their local school districts,” she said.


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