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New Hampshire Selected by Learning Forward as "Critical Friend State"


New Hampshire has been selected as a Critical Friend in a new initiative led by Learning Forward – a national membership and advocacy organization focused on professional development – to create a statewide, comprehensive system to support educators as they implement Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and new student assessments. Kentucky will serve as the Demonstration State for the initiative, while Georgia, Illinois, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Utah, and Washington will contribute to the development of the system’s tools and strategies and learn from Kentucky’s challenges and accomplishments.

With support from lead funder the Sandler Foundation, Learning Forward will provide coaching and technical assistance and host meetings of the seven states over the next two years of the initiative, Transforming Professional Learning to Prepare College- and Career-Ready Students: Implementing the Common Core. The resources developed through the initiative will be made available to all states as they implement CCSS.

"The Department has already compiled an array of tools to help the school leader inform his/her staff in an ongoing manner around the CCSS. These suggested resource activities are designed to build/enrich the background knowledge for educators in the Common Core State Standards,” said Virginia M. Barry Ph.D., NH Commissioner of Education. “We look forward to sharing these with other States and learning from them.” In addition the National Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) partnered with the writers of the Common Core State Standards to create grade by grade guides for parents that reflect the Common Core State Standards.

As a Critical Friend State, NH will participate in meetings with Learning Forward, partner organizations, and Kentucky’s team; provide input in developing tools and strategies; and guide the implementation of resources, tools, and protocols locally. The state will also support new school year and daily school schedules that provide substantive time for professional learning for educators and establish new systems for working with third-party providers and vendors who provide expertise.

"Congratulations and deepest appreciation to all our partners and supporters, including the Council of Chief State School Officers, our lead Demonstration State and our Critical Friends States,” said Stephanie Hirsh, executive director of Learning Forward. “I am confident that this partnership will lead to identification of new practices that substantively advance professional learning that ensures effective Common Core instruction.”

Learning Forward and the states will work in partnership with the Council of Chief State School Officers, National Governors Association, National Association of State Boards of Education and American Association of Colleges of Teacher Education on the initiative.

NH was selected from among several states through a competitive process this fall. The Demonstration State and Critical Friends States had to show a commitment to equity, professional development and substantive change.

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New Hampshire Department of Education
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