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Is Carol Shea-Porter Really Attacking Shawn O’Connor As A ‘Perpetrator Of Domestic Violence’?

The Democratic Primary for NH’s First Congressional District just took a very nasty turn.

The Shawn O’Connor campaign sent out an email and corresponding petition claiming the Carol Shea-Porter campaign is going around telling people that O’Connor is “a perpetrator of domestic violence.”

“Ms. Shea-Porter’s campaign has repeatedly called her primary opponent, Shawn O’Connor, ‘a perpetrator of domestic violence,’” wrote the O’Connor campaign.

This news came as a shock to many people including myself. I have known Carol Shea-Porter and her campaign staff for the better part of a decade, and this is completely out of character for her. So I contacted both campaigns for more information.

The O’Connor campaign told me that Shea-Porter’s campaign manager Naomi Andrews communicated this rumor to Julia Barnes, the former NH for Bernie campaign director, at an event in January. O’Connor’s campaign also claimed that this rumor was repeated to former Senator Jackie Cilley and Senator David Pierce by people who have supported Shea-Porter’s campaign in the past.

After getting O’Connor’s side of the story, I reached out to Julia Barnes and Naomi Andrews for their comment. While I was unable to reach Ms. Barnes, she did post her very strong support for Carol Shea-Porter.


Ms. Andrews immediately denied these claims stating, “This is just a sad and desperate attack. Nothing more needs to be said.”

O’Connor’s campaign second claim was that Caroline French, a well know local Democrat, also repeated this rumor to Jackie Cilley.

I spoke with Ms. French directly and she was shocked to hear what they were claiming and that she was somehow connected to this. She knew nothing of this. She only marginally remembered hearing something about O’Connor being the victim of domestic abuse and never said he was “perpetrator of domestic violence.”

In a response to WMUR, Jackie Cilley said, “’There is no doubt in my mind that Shawn O’Connor has been slimed with being the perpetrator of domestic violence,’ through rumors circulating in Stafford County.” Cilley continued to say that she “heard rumors about [O’Connor]” but as WMUR clearly pointed out, “Cilley stressed several times, she has received no indication that Shea-Porter or her campaign staff is the source of any sort of whispering campaign.”

Lastly, the O’Connor campaign claimed that another local member of “Team Shea Porter” shared this rumor with State Senator David Pierce. O’Connor’s campaign claimed that this person even went as far as to admit this rumor was a lie being pushed by Shea-Porter’s campaign.

After multiple attempts via phone, email, and social media, Sen.Pierce has yet to respond to me with any comment at all.

The O’Connor campaign did release a statement that Sen.Pierce affirmed that a “member of Team Shea-Porter” had told him this rumor directly. “I spoke to a member of Team Shea Porter who told me a number of allegations against Shawn, including that he was a perpetrator of domestic violence.”

Sen.Pierce has refused to talk to us but did respond to WMUR where he said that, “someone who he knows is in the Shea-Porter inner circle of supporters” was spreading this rumor. This is a giant step back from the claim it was someone on the inside of Shea Porter’s campaign.

Pierce went on to tell WMUR, “I have no knowledge that Carol knew any this was going on. I don’t know if any of her staff knew that any of this was going on because I don’t know if, and I don’t believe, this person is on her staff.”

Pierce told WMUR he could not recall “the specific words, the specific way in which this person came about this information…”

Now O’Connor is threatening to sue Shea-Porter for rumors that are floating around in the area and have yet to been connected to Shea-Porter’s campaign.

If none of these people can connect Carol Shea-Porter or anyone in her campaign, why is O’Connor calling for her to quit the race? She has done nothing wrong, and he has no evidence that she has.

Another thing that strikes me as strange is that the O’Connor campaign is claiming that these rumors have been circulating since July of 2015, yet it was unknown to pretty much everyone, that O’Connor was a victim of domestic violence until he shared his story in the fall of 2015.

Based on the evidence presented, and lack of evidence connecting the Shea-Porter campaign, I find this attack to be completely baseless and unsubstantiated. There is no proof that Carol Shea-Porter or her campaign are involved in these “rumors” about O’Connor and calling for her to end her candidacy is unwarranted. This is a well-crafted smear campaign by O’Connor against a very upstanding public servant who has represented the people of the New Hampshire with honor and dignity for years.

I do not know how well Mr. O’Connor has gotten to know Ms. Shea-Porter in the short two-years since he moved here from New York, but those of us who have been around her for many years know that this completely uncharacteristic for Carol or her campaign. This only adds to unbelievability of these claims against her.

This makes me greatly suspect of Mr. O’Connor’s character by pushing these unsubstantiated claims against Shea-Porter in an attempt to eliminate his primary competition. This entire attack on Carol’s integrity is dirty, underhanded and reeks of corrupt New York style politics.

I hope that the Shawn O’Connor campaign pulls their petition and apologizes for spreading this misinformation about Carol Shea-Porter.

I welcome real substantive debate on the issues between O’Connor and Shea-Porter, not baseless mudslinging, and look forward to moving through the primary process to see whom the people of New Hampshire will support.

If you have more information about this story or further proof that I am wrong, message me directly.

Republicans Are Not The Only One Who Want To Protect Their Freedoms

Screen shot CSPAN

Former NH Speaker Bill O’Brien is taking his extreme agenda on the road to South Carolina this week. Speaking at the South Carolina Freedom Summit, O’Brien openly mocked his own party and their choice for a Presidential nominee.


The fun began as O’Brien told the crowd that he is the “Republican Leader” in the NH House of Representatives. I am sure that the Republican leadership in the NH House would beg to differ. (For those who may not know, O’Brien and his fellow “TEA Party Patriots” formed their own Republican caucus and named O’Brien as their leader.)

O’Brien was there to push for a Conservative candidate (unnamed in this event, but locally reported that O’Brien is supporting Sen. Ted Cruz) who will hold true to their Conservative principles. As O’Brien laid it out: limited government, free markets, “stopping the governments war on religion,” unalienable right of self protection, “the rights of children born and unborn,” and personal sovereignty.

“Over the years I have heard the establishment party and the liberal media tell us who we should be voting for,” said O’Brien. “The establishment and the liberal media telling us to nominate a moderate so he can win and ends up with that moderate loosing because he cannot draw any significant distinction between himself and the liberal parties candidate.”
Obviously O’Brien was not happy with Mitt Romney as the Republican nominee for President.

O’Brien went on to say, “We win when we directly and unapologetically present our philosophy of liberty unimpeded by big government and founded on individual sovereignty, and we loose when we nominate RINOs (Republicans in name only).”

First of all I think it should be known that Republicans are not the only ones who want “personal sovereignty.”

Democrats are also pushing for more “personal sovereignty“ and less government involvement in their personal lives.

We want the government, and the Republican Party, to keep their laws out of a women’s uterus. A woman should be able to choose if she wants to terminate her pregnancy for the reasons her and her doctor have discussed.  Republicans across the country have been hard at work to strip women of their reproductive rights and force them to have unnecessary medical procedures and in some extreme cases be forced to listen to lies about abortions and the effects of having an abortion.

The freedom to choose has been upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States since Roe v Wade over forty years ago. Yet every year, Republican led legislatures, like New Hampshire push some type of fetal personhood law to take away a women’s freedom to choose. They pass laws that force health clinics to close, and force women to drive for hundreds of miles to have a safe and legal medical procedure.

What about the freedom to marry? Shouldn’t people have the personal freedom to marry whoever they choose? The Supreme Court will soon issue a ruling as to whether it is constitutional or not that a state can pass laws discriminating gay and lesbian couples from getting married.

What about “Freedom of Religion.” O’Brien says there is a “war on religion,” and to some extent he is right. There is a war by the religious evangelical right to force their religious beliefs on the rest of the country.

What about those who do not believe in any religion, should they be forced to abide by the religious beliefs of the evangelical right wingers?

What about those who already have a strong foundation in their own faith, like Muslim, Jewish, and Wiccan? Do they not have the same person freedoms guaranteed to them by the Constitution to practice whatever religion they choose?

There is a separation between Church and State for a reason, yet these same O’Brien led Republicans are trying to force their religion on us through the government. Way to uphold our Constitution.

They hypocrisy is astounding. Screaming personal freedom yet actively stripping away the freedoms and rights of millions of Americans. The Republican Party is tearing itself apart — which is fine by me – because the radical right wing of the party is attacking the more reasonable and moderate Republicans.

It is fun to watch the O’Brien bad-mouth his own party for nominating moderates. If the “moderate” Republican candidate like Romney was still too extreme for main-stream Americans, then what real chance does a fringe candidate like Sen. Ted Cruz, or Dr. Ben Carson really have in general election?

Get the popcorn, because this show is only beginning!

Right Wingers Attack Senator Shaheen Over The ACA

Image from Senator Shaheen's Website

Image from Senator Shaheen’s Website

With nearly a year and a half to go until the next major election, the mud is already flying.  This week, Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire went on the offensive against Senator Jeanne Shaheen.   Their $110,000 ad buy is focused on Senator Shaheen’s vote for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare).

The Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire is a well know conservative group focused on blocking any and all parts of the ACA.  The have also been all around the state opposing the Medicaid Expansion.  Both the ACA and the proposed Medicaid expansion (which failed to pass the NH Senate today as I am writing this) is about helping those people who do not have insurance.

The ACA extends healthcare to millions of Americans who have no other choice. Millions of Americans are turn away from insurance providers because they have pre-existing conditions. These chronic diseases allow insurance companies to deny coverage to these people in their time of need.  The ACA expressly prohibits this type of activity.

According to the Nashua Telegraph the ad says:

“Now, employers may cut your weekly work hours from 40 to 29 to avoid the new taxes and penalties. Fewer hours. Less money. Tougher times. Tell Sen. Shaheen you can’t afford ObamaCare,” a narrator says.

Here is the truth, corporations have been doing this long before the ACA was even proposed.  Healthcare is one of the biggest costs to a company. This example that Citizens for a Strong NH is using is a corporate trend.  It is another example of distorting the truth.  New Hampshire is more of a small business state.  Over 90% of NH small businesses already provide healthcare to their employees.

The ACA is actually saving the government money and the new healthcare exchanges are showing direct savings to workers. Recently reports started to surface that the ACA has added two years to the Medicare trust fund. By closing the Medicare prescription drug loophole Medicare has saved over $20 million dollars alone. In New Hampshire that saved seniors an average of $660 per year.

People in California are excited because the cost of healthcare under the ACA exchange is coming in lower than anyone ever expected.

“The most affordable silver-level plan is charging $276-a-month. The second-most affordable plan is charging $294. And all this is before subsidies. Someone making twice the poverty line, say, will only pay $104-a-month.”

Specifically New Hampshire have seen numerous benefits from the ACA already.  Over 100,000 Granite Staters have already qualified for tax credits to purchase healthcare they could not afford before. Countless thousands have been protected from lifetime limiting bans. Even more have received preventative care at no charge from their private insurance companies.

Yet with all of these positives conservative groups like this are determined to derail the program before it is fully implemented.  It seems that politics have become dirtier and dirtier with every passing election. Now we do not even have to be in an election season for right-wing   groups to begin their smear campaigns against one of New Hampshire’s most beloved politicians.

Could New Hampshire Be Setting Up A Failure Of The ACA Marketplace

If you ask anyone they will probably agree that competition drives down consumer costs. Companies routinely lower their prices in an effort to have the lowest price.  Walmart is famous for this.  If you look at their prices, everything ends in $.96.  This allows them to market their lower price, even it is only 3 cents.

When the Affordable Care Act was passed one of the main goals was to create a marketplace for consumers to purchase health insurance.  These exchanges were intended to spur direct competition and lower the price.  This has worked in states like California where initial prices came in hundreds of dollars lower than predicted.

This is not the case for New Hampshire.  As of right now there is only one company on the new marketplace, Anthem BCBS.  How can you have competition if there is only one company.  This is not really surprising since Anthem owns about 65% of the market share of NH already.

Even supporters of the ACA are not thrilled by this news.

“Conceptually, I think that by providing health care to the citizens of the United States, we make ourselves a more employable workforce and a healthier community,” says Baetz, (a NH small business owner) who provides coverage to the five employees at his company. “If we’re all focused on that, it should really reduce our long-term costs.”

Baetz now serves on the advisory council to the New Hampshire Health Exchange and describes himself as “disappointed” with the news that Granite State residents may only have one option on the new marketplace.

“There has been a lot of optimism that some of the benefits of the health-care law would mean broader choice and reduced costs,” Baetz says. “Now, it seems like those options may not be available to us.”

This does not mean the end for the NH Healthcare Marketplace.  There are still options.  NH could be one of the first states to take part in the multi-state exchange.  This would allow NH residents to purchase policies from VT or ME for example.  Some states will have this option in 2014, but all will be required to have a multi-state option by 2017.

The Affordable Care Act requires the federal government to contract with two private health insurers to create “multi-state plans” that will, by 2017, compete in all 50 states.”

My only question is now that the NH Senate has released all control over the marketplace does that increase our chances of being one of the first states to have a multi-state exchange?

A Woman’s Right To Vote Gives Women A Voice In Their Workplace Too


Guest Author, Rep Jan Schmidt

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the Woman Suffrage Parade of 1913 that marched down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. It had been organized by a small group of women who were tired of waiting patiently for the government to codify into law what many states already recognized; that women were full citizens of the US and therefore had the right to vote in every state and federal election.

The parade included ten bands, five mounted brigades, 26 floats, and around 8000 marchers, and was met with violence by many in the over 500,000 strong crowd and a police force that did little or nothing to stop the assault.

One of the organizers was a woman by the name of Alice Paul, and one of her quotes will remain in my mind as a warning for the US for both today and tomorrow.

Speaking with immigrant factory workers who toiled in horrendous conditions she was searching for some way to explain why voting rights were important to them personally. She said… “A vote is a fire escape.”

Think what that meant to women who were forced to endure unsafe factories, long hours on dangerous machines, and not only had no voice in the company – but also had no voice in government who could change the laws protecting workers.

When you have the right to vote, you have a voice and the power to shape the future.

A vote is fair wages, a safe environment, control of your own health decisions, its a good education for every child, and help when you need it most.

Your voice has no meaning until it turns into a vote. Help us remember what those women did for us, and remember not to squander their gift.

facebooktopperOn Sunday June 9th from 11:00 to 3:00 on the State House Lawn in Concord, please join us for the Second Annual NH Women United Rally.  There will be music, laughter, new and old friendships and information on organizations that support and enlighten us. We’ll even have a woman owned and operated lunch truck there – Puppy Love Hot Dogs. Bring a blanket or a chair, bring the kids, but mostly come and celebrate how far we’ve come.

Website http://NHWomenUnited.org, Facebook Page, Rally Event Page.


Obamacare Will Save You Money In Health Insurance

obamacare Approved

Over the last few years there have been great debates about Obamacare.  Some people think it going to drastically inflate the prices of healthcare.  No matter how much we said that they were wrong, they never believed us.  Well that could change now.

Many states are currently developing their own ‘exchanges’ as part of the Affordable Care Act.  California is one of the states that is moving forward very quickly on this.  Before the exchanges were set up, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of health insurance as part of the ACA would be around $450 a month.  That is what they predicted in 2009.

As other states begin to move forward these numbers are constantly being updated. The WonkBlog reported on the newly released numbers.

“The most affordable silver-level plan is charging $276-a-month. The second-most affordable plan is charging $294. And all this is before subsidies. Someone making twice the poverty line, say, will only pay $104-a-month.”

Those are amazing numbers.  This really does mean that healthcare will truly be affordable for everyone.  The news continues to get better. Looking at the millions of younger workers they can get their own insurance at a drastically reduced price.

“A young person buying the cheapest “bronze”-level plan will pay $172 — and that, again, is before any subsidies.”

These are real numbers for healthcare in California. The largest state in the country.  The real catch is that California is working to implement the ACA for the best results.  Unlike New Hampshire who have opposed medicare expansion, and the ACA at every turn.

What will they say to the thousands of people who could have seen huge savings in their healthcare costs if they would have only agreed to implement the ACA?

Senator Bradley, Let’s See How You Would Do On $290 A Week

Minimum Wage Vs RentNew Hampshire does not have the highest cost of living in the 50 United States; however, our cost of living is not cheap by any means.  For those who work in low wage jobs, the cost of living adds immense pain on their wallets.

Right now, New Hampshire uses the federal minimum wage, $7.25 an hour. That equates to roughly $290 dollars a week and $15,080 per year before taxes.  Not exactly “serious coin”.

For those who live in New Hampshire and work in these minimum wage jobs, housing is their biggest expense.  At minimum wage, a worker would have to work a whopping 106 hours per week just to afford a two bedroom apartment.  Even if two people are living together they would still need to have two jobs each just to afford their apartment.

JEB ThumbnailThat is why I am absolutely disgusted at the NH Senators — particularly Senator Jeb Bradley — who voted to kill the bill that would have restored the NH minimum wage law.

Repealing the state minimum wage law was a personal priority of former House Speaker Bill O’Brien — and he succeeded in getting rid of it, back in 2011.  Without a state-level law, the NH legislature does not have the power to raise the minimum wage to something that would be more in line with our cost of living.

First, we have to overcome the fact that some NH Senators think that we do not even need a minimum wage law.  “The free market will set the wages,” they protest.  That is crap and everyone knows it.

Today, Granite State Progress released video of Senator Jeb Bradley dodging the question as to whether or not we need a minimum wage in NH — or even at the federal level.  (For those who do not know, Bradley is considering a run at US Senate.)  Bradley conveniently believes the issue of NH’s minimum wage should be decided by the US Congress, “which we have no control over”.

Now Senator Bradley lives in a very different world than minimum wage workers.  He sits on millions of dollars in investments from businesses he has sold in the past.

I think Senator Bradley and any of the other opponents to raising the New Hampshire minimum wage law should see what it is really like for these families.  And yes, I meant to say families because “more than a third (35.8 percent) are married, and over a quarter (28.0 percent) are parents“. I challenge Senator Jeb Bradley and any other State Senator who opposed the NH minimum wage law to live on minimum wage for two weeks. That is all: just two weeks.

Let’s see how well you and your families can survive on $290 a week.

***In case you missed our previous posts about minimum wage:

Proof That Raising The Minimum Wage Would Not Put Mom and Pop Stores Out Of Business.

Less Than 25% of People On Minimum Wage Are Under 20 Years Old

66% of Low Wage Workers Work In Large Companies Who Are Making Tons Of Money!

What Can We Do To Help 50,000 Granite Staters At Once? 

NH Senate Flip-Flops On Voter ID Provisions. Advocate Spending $1 Million Dollars After Slashing HHS Budgets

Senate Republicans change position on expensive camera provision at the polls, whether student identification cards are an acceptable form of Voter ID 

Advocate to spend $1 million dollars on Voter ID law same week they drastically cut services for elderly and disabled, mental health community in New Hampshire  

CONCORD, NH – Senate Republican leaders are flip-flopping on key provisions of the Voter ID fix bill up for a Senate floor vote this week, advocating for measures they disapproved of last session and opposing provisions they supported.

The New Hampshire State Senate will vote on HB 595 as amended by the Senate Public and Municipal Affairs Committee on Thursday, May 23rd. The Senate amendment does not allow student identification cards or county and municipal identification cards to be used as acceptable forms of voter ID to obtain a ballot. In 2011 Senator Russell Prescott (R – Kingston) – who was the prime sponsor of the Voter ID law last session – testified in front of the House Election Law Committee that student identification cards should be included in the list of acceptable ID’s under the Voter ID law. He also testified that the Senate opposed wasting taxpayer dollars on the costly camera provision which requires colored photographs to be taken of individuals without acceptable forms of photo identification; this along with other phase II provisions of the Voter ID law are anticipated to cost the state nearly $1 million dollars over the next four years.

America Votes and Granite State Progress call on the Senate to not flip-flop on Voter ID provisions, and to instead prioritize Granite State families over costly Voter ID laws.

“It is unconscionable that the Senate would reverse their position and support one of the most restrictive ID laws in the country in order to target voters, specifically students, from exercising their right to vote,” said America Votes State Director Jessica Clark. “Even House Republicans agreed during recent committee meetings that we should not further restrict the forms of identification used during the last election, and not one person spoke in opposition.”

“Senate Republicans are fighting for an unnecessary law that will cost our state one million dollars in the short term alone, the same week they are drastically cutting essential health services for the elderly and disabled,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Senate Republican leaders have misplaced priorities. They should be working to help Granite Staters instead of attacking voting rights in our state.”

GSP Video: State Senator Russell Prescott on Voter ID: Student ID’s Acceptable (http://youtu.be/CHzKHXg3gZY)

“On the topic of, do we in general, accept student identification? And that should be yes, we should.”

GSP Video: State Senator Russell Prescott on Voter ID: Student ID’s Acceptable (http://youtu.be/J2kpbchE2O4)

 “The Senate position believes that if a person fills out a challenged voter affidavit, they are taking a large responsibility upon telling the truth and there really is no need to accept the funds.”

Sen. Prescott testified before the NH House Election Law Committee, April 10, 2012. The Senate must pass legislation that alters the New Hampshire Voter ID law this session or only four types of ID will be accepted to obtain a ballot starting September 2013. Individuals without an acceptable form of Voter ID will be required to have a color photo taken by a poll worker.


**ICYMI: Nashua Telegraph today also reports:  “Young Democrats, Republicans align to ask for change to voter ID”

**NHLN post on college students opposing new voter ID changes include a letter from the NH Young Republicans and NH Young Democrats.

NH Young Democrats and Young Republicans Come Together To Oppose Voter ID Changes

Young Republicans and young Democrats come together to oppose Voter ID restrictions being debated in the NH Legislature.  The current debate is about stopping ‘phase two’ of the O’Brien legislation that would greatly reduce the number of allowable forms of identification.  This means that student IDs would no longer be valid.

This prompted a group of Republican and Democratic college students to come together to write a letter to the NH Legislature.  They have serious concerns about protecting the rights of students who want to vote, but do not attend a state school like Plymouth State.

Everyone should have the right to freely vote and these Voter ID restrictions are more about disenfranchising voters and protecting the process.  These students make a great point and the NH Senate would be wise to listen.

Dear Honorable Members of the New Hampshire General Court,

New Hampshire college students have long played a vital role in our first-in-the-nation primary and electoral process, ultimately becoming heavily invested participants in our democracy. In witnessing and hosting debates and forums on their campuses, volunteering on campaigns, and voting, it is imperative that New Hampshire students are continually encouraged to take part in our deeply valued tradition.

The currently proposed amendment to New Hampshire voter ID has caused much concern among many young voters across the Granite State, as those attending a private college in New Hampshire would be unfairly treated differently than those who attend a public university.

While our students who attend Plymouth State University or UNH would have no trouble using their student ID to vote, students attending Dartmouth College or Saint Anselm College would be turned away for using theirs.

As students from Saint Anselm College in particular, a school recognized statewide and across the country for its political activity, we are gravely concerned that such an amendment would diminish the involvement and opportunities that our students have long been afforded.

While we often have our differences on issues being debated in the State House in Concord or in Congress, we have nonetheless united to ensure the equal treatment of students in the New Hampshire electoral process with strong hopes that our counterparts in the State House and State Senate will do the same.


Jesse Imse, President, St. Anselm College Democrats

Tara Sennick, Chair, St. Anselm College Republicans

Jake Wagner, Chairman, NH College Republicans

Theo Groh, President, NH Young Democrats


NHLN Note: There is also a great article on Voter ID in the Nashua Telegraph. Check it out here. 

New Hampshire And The Common Core: Stop The High Stakes Testing

common core iconOn Monday Laura Knoy and the Exchange took up the issues surrounding the Common Core.  Common Core are standards that define what all student are expected to know and be able to do, these standards focus on what is most essential. They do not tell us how teachers should teach but it will be anew way of teaching which moves away from the test and drill mentality of the past.

The Exchange had three guests on the show:

Heather Gage: Director of the Division of Instruction at the New Hampshire Dept. of Education.
Laura Hainey: President  American Federation of Teachers New Hampshire
Paul Peterson: Director of the Harvard University program on education policy, editor-in-chief of the journal called Education Next, and author of the forthcoming book, Endangering Prosperity: a Global View of the American School.

Everyone agreed that we need to move away from the standardized testing created by No Child Left Behind.  NCLB is failing our children and creating a situation where children are being drilled to pass standardized tests, and does not promote a true learning experience.

One of the biggest points in this discussions is the fact that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT)  have serious concerns over high stakes testing that are  attached to the Common Core.  Laura Hainey President of AFT-NH talked about how there needs to be more time to evaluate the Common Core standards. Teachers need time to unpack the standards and fully understand them.

Laura Hainey told the NH Labor News:

“Common core standards will lead to critical thinking, problem solving, apply knowledge and teamwork– compare to what we have now rote memorization and endless test taking but we need to give the teachers the time, resource and tools to unpack these standard and fully understand them.”

AFT and AFT-NH agree to the principles laid out by the Common Core standards because unlike NCLB, teachers were involved in developing these standards that have been adopted by 45 states.

Recently AFT conducted a poll where they found 75% support common core standards.  After the standards were adopted there was an immediate push to use this to evaluate teacher effectiveness.  Though a recent AFT survey  found that “74% (of teachers) are worried that the new assessments will begin—and students, teachers and schools will be held accountable for the results—before everyone involved understands the new standards and before instruction has been fully implemented with a rich curriculum”. This is why AFT  has called for a moratorium on teacher and student evaluations based on Common Core.

“The momentum is building to step on the accelerator of quality implementation, and put the brakes on the stakes,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “Teachers everywhere are speaking out. They know these standards can transform teaching and learning. But for that to happen, they need the necessary tools and resources to effectively teach the new standards.”

Teacher’s lack of access to the tools and resources to implement the common core standards is the biggest problem right now.

  • 27% of the teachers polled said their school district has provided them with all or most of the resources and tools they need to successfully teach the standards, leaving 73% without the necessary tools and resources.
  • 78% of teachers in low-performing schools said they have been given just some, few or no resources.

Until teachers are given the proper resources and time to unpack and understand the standards they cannot effectively do their jobs.  We need to take this implementation slowly and ensure that it is done correctly.  We need to be patient and make sure it is done correctly.


Listen to the discussion on The Exchange

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