Reaching Higher NH board members stress importance of supporting NH public schools in Union Leader

Reaching Higher NH board members were featured in a Union Leader article stressing the importance of supporting New Hampshire’s public education system and advocating for the great work that our teachers and schools are doing:

“We, as a board, are a heterogeneous group, but we speak together with a clear voice for a greater good,” said Tom Rath, president and founder of Rath, Young and Pignatelli law firm and a longtime political adviser. Rath chairs the group along with attorney Alan Reische of Sheehan Phinney Bass & Green.

“There are significant and critical changes coming in public education,” said Reische. “Reaching Higher New Hampshire will help parents, educators and policy-makers understand and respond to the challenges our schools face — from the new demands on our teachers to increased expectations for what our students will know when they graduate from high school.”

“To the extent possible, we ought to avoid politicizing it (education) and instead make sure to maximize support for a great public education for all our kids,” said Concord developer and current Republican National Committeeman Steve Duprey.

“The goal of New Hampshire public education is that every single child — from the kid from the poorest family in the state to the kid from the wealthiest — have a great education,” Duprey said. “That is the answer to the opportunity gap, and that is the way to grow the New Hampshire economy — if the state has a reputation for great public schools.”

He said the business community needs to do a better job of supporting public education and being involved at the local level. That is how businesses get the trained workers they want, Duprey said.

“We’re all in this together,” said Lew Feldstein, retired president of New Hampshire Charitable Foundation. “As parents, we want to see our children succeed. As educators, we take pride in the accomplishments of our students. As businesspeople, we rely on our work force and want to help our schools prepare students for the jobs of tomorrow. And as proud citizens of New Hampshire, we want to ensure that every student gets a fair opportunity to dream and achieve.”

“We wanted to bring together a whole lot of people who could be one voice,” [Scott McGilvray, President of the National Education Association-NH] said. “The other side is not as big as it seems in the media, but they have real loud voices at the State House and out in the public.”

Public education is doing good things in New Hampshire and has been on the forefront of such things as competency-based instruction that other states are just now exploring, he said, noting that message needs to get out.

Read the full article here.