Those who think there is never enough government have been sharing their low grade propaganda in the letters section of the Laconia Daily Sun. This time they target the Honorable Raymond Howard for a vote in 2016.
Those on the attack say “It is hard for me to understand why someone would object to having our students learn about the US and state governments and constitutions and be tested on the subject.” Now if I wanted to be deceptive, I might not have used the full quotation and left off the last six words. You see the bill was not about teaching the material; that was already the law. SB-157 did not add any new material to the curriculum, it added a testing requirement.
So the real issue with this bill is about testing not teaching. As one who voted against this bill I can tell you why. I listen to my constituents and often hear how much stress is put on our students. They have busy days in school and plenty of homework to take care of. So I had to stop and think; where will the time come from to add another test to their day. Sure it is just one more test, but the legislature wasn’t adding time to the day. Let’s also remember that much of the stress felt by young people surrounds testing. I didn’t think jamming one more test into their school year was helpful at all. One thing I remember about school and testing is that you focus so much on the test that once it is done, it is only a short time before the material studied is lost to the studies for the next exam.
I’m grateful to have served three terms with Rep. Howard. He takes the time to study the bills and more importantly consider the possible poor consequences of passing a well intended but faulty bill.
Like dogs barking in the night; they all need to chime in.
Fun fact for LRP readers: our Commissioner of Education was in the legislature at the time and also voted no to testing for civics. He knows it doesn’t help retention of the information.
And one final point for my opposition to the bill. I took the time to consider the make up of our government school system, and had to wonder what exactly will they be teaching and how will they be grading the exams.
My reply was printed August 2, 2018 which happened to coincide with a bit of support from an unlikely source.