A symposium on education reform was held at the University of New Hampshire’s Durham campus on Wednesday, December 7, 2011. Organizers challenged aspiring teachers, and those currently in the classroom, to present their best ideas for improving those areas in education that tend to be somewhat controversial.
Senator Sharon Carson, R-Londonderry, served as one of several elected officials on the panel who listened to, then offered feedback on the presentations. Carson, who is also a member of the Senate Education Committee, said the proposals ranged from high stakes testing and merit pay for teachers to school day/year organization and corporate involvement in schools.
“I appreciated the creativity that went into each of the presentations. All the presenters were thinking out of the box and were clearly dedicated to being agents of change when it comes to school reform. I hope my questions to them reflected support for their ideas as well as my real-life concerns as an elected official and those of my tax-paying constituents,” Carson said.
The event was organized by Dr. Sarah Stitzlein, Assistant Professor of Education at UNH, who teaches a course called “Education Structure and Change” that most of the presenters are currently enrolled in. “My goal for the symposium has always been to get policy-makers and teachers talking,” Stitzlein said, noting that there is often a divide between how the two sides see each other and perceive issues.
Joining Senator Carson on the panel were Representative Mary Gile, D-Concord, and Representative Barbara Shaw, D-Manchester, both of whom are members of the House Education Committee.