Our organization urges parents, grandparents and members of the public to attend school board meetings regularly to demand transparency in curricula, educational values, academic achievement and budgets.
Not all school boards seem to know that they have authority over curriculum. Even those boards that do know allow many incursions into their authority. Sadly for parents, this results in an alarming disenfranchisement of their right to know what is being taught to their children, and to guide what is happening in their schools. Nowhere has this become more apparent than in the Critical Race Theory (CRT) controversy. Many parents are shocked that the practical application of Critical Race Theory taught in teachers’ college is now seeded throughout every aspect of public school curricula in most districts in New Hampshire.
By the authority of the NH Board of Education Administrative Rules, school boards have authority over curricula. 303.01(g) In consultation with the superintendent and in accordance with statutes and rules of the state board of education, determine the educational goals of the district, develop long-range plans and identify measurable and attainable short-term objectives. The school board shall require the implementation of educational programs designed to reflect the goals and objectives and, further, the school board shall review such programs and make public the results of such investigation…
So, your school board should know if Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the soft and fuzzy buzz words for the CRT agenda, is a priority in your district. Often, they won’t have a clue and Right to Know requests may produce a false result.
Superintendents have found a way around New Hampshire’s Right to Know law by establishing superintendent advisory committees on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in their schools. Since these committees report only to the superintendent or other administrator, and not to the school board, the action plans springing from these committees are kept secret from both the public and the school board. You may ask your school board representative if DEI instruction is taking place and they may deny it in all honesty because they have never approved or discussed this. Be assured, the vast majority of schools in NH are building DEI values into every part of their curriculum – without the knowledge or vote of their school boards.
Common Core, also, spread throughout NH’s schools without a vote of any local school board. Common Core, you will be told, is a set of “standards” and is not a curriculum at all, and so, is an administrative decision. Oddly enough, this set of standards drove the purchase of millions of dollars of computers since the testing for common core material must be done via computer. It required millions of dollars in new Common Core aligned textbooks and reading materials, and there it impinged quite directly on curriculum. By then it was too late for elected officials to push back, if any had the courage to do so.
Whether you are for or against Critical Race Theory, this backdoor intrusion into the proper role and authority of your elected representatives on the school board should be heartily protested. Yesterday it was Common Core. Today it is CRT. Tomorrow it will be something else. Each intrusion is another step farther away from public control of public education.
It is clear that school administrators have an agenda, often not shared with your elected representatives, that affects your children. Parents and grandparents need to pressure their school boards to pass policies disallowing secret administrative committees that are not subject to board and public transparency. Parents also need to get their children to share their daily takeaways from school and keep track of their assignments and readings. If we are to preserve public education as we know it, every aspect of education must be public and parents’ rights to know and control what their children are learning is not to be infringed. Vote out rubber stamping school board members who are proxies for the SAU administration and teachers’ unions. Regain control of your school board and demand it be responsive to the citizens.