The Eagle-Tribune: Reaching Higher NH, "A ‘supergroup’ that’s looking out for the good of the kids"

In a long piece, thoroughly reported by Doug Ireland, the Eagle Tribune featured the Reaching Higher NH announcement today.  Here are some of the highlights:

You could call it a “supergroup” of sorts.

But this isn’t a conglomerate of well-known musicians producing an album.

It’s a high-powered group of business professionals, politicians, educators and community leaders looking to make their mark on education in New Hampshire….

That goal includes teaching the public and lawmakers about key educational issues affecting New Hampshire, according to Alan Reische, the group’s co-chairman.

Reische, an attorney with the law firm Sheehan, Phinney, Bass & Green, is just one of nearly a dozen members of the organization’s board of directors charged with improving schools and promoting education policy in New Hampshire.

The other co-chairman is Tom Rath, an attorney with Rath, Young & Pignatelli and a familiar name in Granite State political circles.

Rath is a former New Hampshire attorney general and adviser to five presidential campaigns, including those of George W. Bush, Bob Dole and Mitt Romney.

“It’s a very disparate group in terms of what we do professionally and what our political beliefs are,” Reische said Friday. “There is one thing that unites us …. .”

That’s the passion to ensure students receive the kind of education they deserve and need to succeed in a rapidly changing, technologically advanced world, Reische said.

“Reaching Higher NH will help parents, educators and policymakers 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,” he said….

Rath agreed with Reische on the group’s overall goal of rallying to improve education.

“We as a board are a heterogeneous group but we speak together with a clear voice for a greater good,” he said in a statement….

Gov. Maggie Hassan praised the organization’s bipartisan approach and mission when asked about the new group Friday.

“A strong public education system is critical to helping our students develop the skills and innovative thinking needed for success in the 21st century economy,” Hassan said.

“By bringing together a bipartisan group of leaders from business and education, parents and other community organizations to support strong public education,” she added, “Reaching Higher NH demonstrates our shared commitment to ensuring that our young people are college and career ready, and I look forward to working with them.”….

The organization has also been widely discussed among educators, so Southern New Hampshire school administrators knew all about the group and its mission when contacted Friday….

“I think it will be a very positive improvement in education in New Hampshire,” [Londonderry superintendent Nathan] Greenberg said. “I don’t see a downside to it. … It’s not like anyone is speaking from a far left or far right agenda.”

“I think this group can support those communities and it can lead to major improvements in school districts, including Salem,” [Salem superintendent Michael Delahanty] said.

[Sanborn Regional High School principal Brian] Stack said just the group’s website alone includes information on countless education issues, including Common Core standards and Blending Learning. Many other groups tend to push a specific political agenda, he said.

As a father of five children, Stack said it’s an invaluable resource to not only school administrators like himself, but also parents and community members.

“They are looking to highlight the great things in education we are doing in New Hampshire,” Stack said. “I think it’s great to have them. It is refreshing to have a group that is looking out for the good of the kids.”

Read the whole story here.