President’s Letter Summer 2013

Dear Members of NHAWLT,

At last year’s NHAWLT Conference, I was approached by several teachers who expressed concerns about being replaced by distance-learning courses. As World Language is a graduation requirement at very few of our public schools, it seems that some school boards, desperate to save money in the hard economic times, had begun eliminating teachers in the classroom.

NHAWLT has been a presence throughout the process of the development of ED 306 – the minimum standards for education in the public schools. We have worked hard to introduce language to the State Board of Education that encourages the presence of classrooms staffed by Highly Qualified Teachers. While we have worked with the committee charged with the task of “making crystal clear the expectations “ of the Department of Education, the time has come for public input.

Earlier this week, several of our board members attended the first of two public hearings about the approval of this very lengthy document. The section about World Languages (Ed 306.48) was introduced by NHAWLT and edited by the Department of Education. I personally testified to the importance of the suggestions that we made, and asked that the Department take into account our changing world and the need to prepare our students for global markets.

The next public hearing will be held on September 9th at 10 a.m. at Lincoln-Woodstock Elementary School, 72 Linwood Drive, Lincoln NH. I will again be in attendance along with other board members. If you have something that you would like to share with the Department of Education, I not only hope that you will attend this meeting, but that you will find me and introduce yourself.

If you are unable to make the trip to Lincoln, there are other opportunities for comment. You may visit the DOE at http://www.education.nh.gov/legislation/ed306review.htm and give your input on the survey link. Public comment on general education requirements is accepted through September 16th. The proposal for Ed306.48 has not yet been made available for public comment, but if you wish to share with the state your desire to see all learning supervised by Highly Qualified Teachers, this is your chance to say so.

We will give you an update of the progress of Ed 306 at the NHAWLT Conference, October 25 – 26 at the Radisson Hotel in Manchester. Keep your eyes open for an e-mail giving you all of the details!

Good luck to all of you as you prepare for another successful school year!

Sincerely,

Ursula Askins-Huber
President, NHAWLT