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UNH Hosts Education Reform Symposium With Political Leaders May 10

By Lori Wright, Media Relations
April 28, 2010

UNH education students who soon will become teachers will present state political leaders with their best ideas for school improvement at an educational reform symposium in May.

The education reform symposium will be held Monday, May 10, 2010, 4 to 7 p.m., in the MUB Theater I. The event is free and open to the public. The forum is sponsored by the Class of 54 Fund.

“The spring of 2010 will bring a new round of major national and state education reform as the No Child Left Behind Act is reauthorized and Race to the Top is invoked. This revised legislation will likely have significant impact on the policies and practices guiding American education for the next decade,” said Sarah Stitzlein, assistant professor of education.

“This education reform symposium aims to engage students in the actual process of educational reform by discussing their proposals for change with state and local politicians. A frequent frustration of many practicing teachers is that their views are seldom heard by elected officials, leaving them feeling disconnected from the formal process of educational change. This symposium will provide our soon-to-be-teachers the opportunity to speak directly with those who author or approve educational initiatives,” she said.

The undergraduate and graduate students presenting ideas at the symposium have been studying major educational policies and their influences on the structures and practices within schools in Stitzlein’s “Educational Structure and Change” course.

They will present plans for making improvements in teacher merit pay, high stakes testing as a part of No Child Left Behind, virtual learning academies, early childhood education, scripted curriculum, English language learners, school day and organization (lengthening the school year, etc.), and school tracking.

A number of political leaders are expected to attend the symposium, including:

  • NH Rep. Emma Rous (D-Durham), a longtime Oyster River School teacher and current chairperson of the NH House Standing Committee on Education.
  • NH Sen. Molly Kelly (D-Keene), chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education.
  • NH Sen. Amanda Merrill (D-Durham), vice chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Education and longtime Durham resident.
  • NH Rep. Nancy Stiles (R-Hampton), member of the NH House Standing Committee on Education
  • Scott Merrick, a representative for U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

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