Foster’s Daily Democrat spent the day with Commissioner Frank Edelblut and Somersworth educators during his tour of the Hilltop City’s schools:
The State Commissioner of Education spent the day touring Hilltop City schools and in his words, “did a lot of listening and sharing.”
Frank Edelblut, who was appointed by Gov. Chris Sununu earlier this year, said he is learning every day as he goes into schools, while also taking time to share what he considers to be best practices.
According to Edelblut, education is transitioning to a new model that is changing the role of educators and challenging them to become curators of the information on behalf of their students.
“In the industrial model, teachers were the possessors of the information,” Edelblut said. “Today information is ubiquitous.”
The visit was arranged by State Senator David Watters, (Dist. 4) and began with tours of the elementary schools, high school and CTC.
Watters, who also represents Barrington, Dover and Rollinsford, said Somersworth is the right place to start.
“It is a good story here — he had a great first visit,” Watters said. “This is the first visit in what I hope will be a great partnership and a great friendship.”
Edelblut said he enjoys visiting elementary schools the most, because that is where the foundation is being laid, to be built upon by the middle school, then the high school and CTC.
“I really enjoyed getting to see how the teachers are really creatively trying to engage the students, and creating learning opportunities that respect the differences in where students are in their learning horizons,” Edelblut said.
Edelblut said on every school visit he always raises two questions — how to give parents a voice and what to do to personalize the educational experience of each child.
In defining the difference between parent engagement and parent voice, Edelblut said engaged parents will come to the barbecue, but parent voice means they feel they have skin in the game.
“They are not only engaged and interested in their student outcome and success, but in the success of the school,” Edelblut said.
With regard to personalization, Edelblut said he “hates all these broad-based scores,” and said opportunities need to be created at the top and bottom.
“Education may be the only way out of generational poverty for many of our students,” Edelblut said. “What is that pathway that will allow them to succeed?”
State Rep. Matt Spencer (Dist. 18), who toured alongside the commissioner, said Edelblut seems really concerned about where education is going.
Spencer said the CTC’s have a very important role in education as they give local manufacturing firms the opportunity to provide equipment for the students to learn with and they may get a quality future employee.
Read the full article here.