ADEQUATE PUBLIC EDUCATION
193-E:2-a Substantive Educational Content of an Adequate Education.
I. Beginning in the school year 2008-2009, the specific criteria and substantive educational program that deliver the opportunity for an adequate education shall be defined and identified as the school approval standards in the following areas:
(a) English/language arts and reading.
(d) Social studies.
(e) Arts education.
(f) World languages.
(g) Health education, including a policy for violations of RSA 126-K:8, I(a).
(h) Physical education.
(i) Engineering and technologies.
(j) Computer science and digital literacy.
II. The standards shall cover kindergarten through twelfth grade and shall clearly set forth the opportunities to acquire the communication, analytical and research skills and competencies, as well as the substantive knowledge expected to be possessed by students at the various grade levels, including the credit requirement necessary to earn a high school diploma.
II-a. Instruction in support of kindergarten standards shall be engaging and shall foster children's development and learning in all domains including physical, social, cognitive, and language. Educators shall create a learning environment that facilitates high quality, child-directed experiences based upon early childhood best teaching practices and play-based learning that comprise movement, creative expression, exploration, socialization, and music. Educators shall develop literacy through guided reading and shall provide unstructured time for the discovery of each child's individual talents, abilities, and needs.
III. Public schools and public academies shall adhere to the standards identified in paragraph I.
IV. (a) The minimum standards for public school approval for the areas identified in paragraph I shall constitute the opportunity for the delivery of an adequate education. The general court shall periodically, but not less frequently than every 10 years, review, revise, and update, as necessary, the minimum standards identified in paragraph I and shall ensure that the high quality of the minimum standards for public school approval in each area of education identified in paragraph I is maintained. Changes made by the board of education to the school approval standards through rulemaking after the effective date of this section shall not be included within the standards that constitute the opportunity for the delivery of an adequate education without prior adoption by the general court. The board of education shall provide written notice to the speaker of the house of representatives, the president of the senate, and the chairs of the house and senate education committees of any changes to the school approval standards adopted pursuant to RSA 541-A.
(b) Neither the department of education nor the state board of education shall by statute or rule require that the common core standards developed jointly by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers be implemented in any school or school district in this state. If the local school board elects not to implement the common core standards or the common core state standards adopted by the state board pursuant to RSA 541-A, the local school board shall determine, approve, and implement alternative academic standards.
(d) In this paragraph, "academic standards" shall have the same meaning as in RSA 193-E:2-a, VI(b).
V. (a) The general court requires the state board of education and the department of education to institute procedures for maintaining, updating, improving, and refining the minimum standards for public school approval for each area of education identified in paragraph I. Each school district shall be responsible for maintaining, updating, improving, and refining curriculum. The curriculum shall present educational goals, broad pedagogical approaches and strategies for assisting students in the development of the skills, competencies, and knowledge called for by the minimum standards for public school approval for each area of education identified in paragraph I. It is the responsibility of local teachers, administrators, and school boards to identify and implement approaches best suited for the students in their communities to acquire the skills and knowledge included in the curriculum, to determine the scope, organization, and sequence of course offerings, and to choose the methods of instruction, the activities, and the materials to be used.
(b) The state board of education shall adopt rules, pursuant to RSA 541-A, relative to the approval of alternative programs for granting credit leading to graduation.
VI. In this section:
(a) "Minimum standards for public school approval" mean the applicable criteria that public schools and public academies shall meet in order to be an approved school, as adopted by the state board of education through administrative rules.
(b) "Academic standards" means what a student should know and be able to do in a course or at each grade level.
(c) "Curriculum" means the lessons and academic content taught in school or in a specific course or program.
Source. 2007, 270:2. 2016, 84:7. 2017, 252:1, eff. Sept. 16, 2017. 2018, 224:1, eff. Aug. 7, 2018; 269:2, eff. Aug. 17, 2018; 274:1, eff. Aug. 17, 2018; 280:1, eff. Aug. 20, 2018. 2019, 346:109, eff. Jan. 1, 2020. 2020, 37:4, XVI, eff. July 29, 2020.