By Kimberly Morin
Yesterday at the quaint and lovely New England College campus, the school hosted a town hall with Commissioner of Education Frank Edelblut. The event is the first of its kind in the Granite State, at least in recent years. The event was held so Edelblut could interact with the community to discuss the future of education in New Hampshire.
The moderator of the event was Scott Spradling who fielded questions from the audience. As each attendee signed in, they were asked to fill out a card if they had a question for Commissioner Edelblut. The questions ranged from funding issues to questions about legislation (some people forgot that Edelblut has no vote on legislation). Attendees were also able to write down questions they had while Edelblut was speaking in case they wanted a follow up.
Parent engagement and involvement is important
Edelblut started out by talking about his experience since becoming New Hampshire’s Commissioner of Education along with discussing his vision. He talked about his visits to various schools across the state, providing anecdotes about interactions in classrooms as well as the innovative teaching he saw.
Edelblut also talked about something probably no parent has ever heard from another commissioner of education in the history of the state – he talked about parent involvement and engagement and how important it is in education. That is a completely different attitude than the former commissioner who treated parents as if they were lepers to be avoided at all costs. Edelblut believes ‘parent voice’ is extremely important in the education of their children as well as the success of schools:
When I talk about parent voice, what I’m interested in is trying to find ways to engage parents substantively, in the education of their children so that they have; I like to call it ‘skin in the game.’ And there are some decent examples around our state of what people are doing. They are trying to be creative because they recognize that if I can engage that parent by helping them have substantive engagement in their student’s education then they’re going to be more interested in the success of their student and they will be more interested in the success of the school that their student attends.
Petulant progressive embarrassment
The audience was filled with people who wanted to hear what Edelblut had to say about the state of education in New Hampshire. Of course, the religious bigots of the left, Volinskyites who abhor anyone who doesn’t agree with the status quo in our education system, reared their ugly heads. There were several protesters outside of the event. Some who didn’t quite understand what the event was all about and held signs about war or fracking or something.
Zandra Rice Hawkins, who was paid to be there by an out-of-state organization, Progress Now, behaved like a petulant child and kept yelling out things at Edelblut. She was asked to stop by organizers several times or she would be asked to leave. The only purpose progressives served in being there was to interfere with Edelblut interacting with parents and educators who actually care about education in the state. As always, Edelblut didn’t skip a beat despite the embarrassing behavior of progressives.
Education, children, educators and parents
Edelblut’s town hall was non-partisan and focused on education, educators, children and parents. It was clear that Edelblut cares deeply about providing the best education for all children in the state, regardless of the education choices parents make for their children. It’s something that is an anathema to progressives because they don’t care about excellence in education for Granite State children.
For the first time, in a very long time, New Hampshire has a Commissioner of Education who actually cares about children and actively wants parents to be involved in their education. Edelblut applauded administrators and teachers during the town hall and he encouraged parents.
His approach is not a ‘one size fits all’ but what he calls ‘personalization’ of education. Each student is different and each student has different needs. Edelblut will continue to meet with administrators, educators and parents to discuss education issues in the state to work together to be sure New Hampshire provides the best education possible to all students.
You can watch the video of the town hall in its entirety below: