Are mischevious things afoot in the Manchester School District’s administrative headquarters? Inquiring minds want to know. In what seems to be another hasty move designed to advance the imposition of Common Core, the Manchester School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee will meet two weeks in advance of its regular time. The committee’s expected to take up the Common Core Curriculum Guides it tabled on August 27th. Amidst an onslaught of questions from the public and the inability of Superintendent Debra Livingston to answer many of them, the committee tabled the use of the guides. Despite the tabling, however, Livingston is believed to have proceeded with plans directing teachers to use them on opening day. Several school board members, including Vice Chairman David Gelinas and Curriculum and Instruction Chair Sarah Ambrogi said they weren’t certain whether or not Livingston had acted as if she’d received committee approval to use the guides and Ambrogi questioning whether or not she had to. While an agenda has yet to be posted for this committee meeting, the committee is expected to take the curriculum guides off the table and have the questions raised by citizens answered by the superintendent. Perhaps at that time Livingston will answer the two questions we’ve repeatedly asked since the late August meeting regarding her claim that the district will lose twenty one million dollars in preexisting federal funds if it fails to adopt Common Core’s standards and guidelines and by what authority she acted to direct the teaching staff to use the new guidelines without board approval. It also remains to be seen whether or not the questions raised will be answered in writing. Citizens requested the answers, especially those coming from the state Department of Education, be in writing in the hopes that having the answers on paper would not only make it easy for concerned citizens to obtain them on line, but make clear answers that seem to vary depending on whose in the audience. For example, while Livingston’s telling the Manchester School Board that the city will lose funds if it fails to aline, state DoE officials told the Alton School Board the exact opposite; that no existing federal funds are tied to the adoption of Common Core. Several observers have noted that the September 16th date is just one day before a scheduled forum that will bring national experts on the topic to the St. Anselm Institute of Politics. Among them is Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who not only authored the standards that led to Massachusetts’ meteoric rise in testing scores, but also refused to sign off on Common Core’s standards despite being paid by them as a content expert to do so. We’ve linked to her interview on Girard at Large dot com as well as to information on the forum. Meanwhile, no fewer than seventeen states that originally adopted the standards are reconsidering their implementation. Haste makes waste folks. This isn’t something that should be rushed.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire has announced that the Collings Foundation’s Wings of Freedom Tour will visit the Manchester Boston Regional Airport on September 16th, 17th and 18th near the historic 1937 Terminal Building. Collings’ tour includes the B-24 Liberator “Witchcraft,” the Boeing B-17G Flying Fortress “9-0-9,” and the P-51 Mustang “Betty Jane.” The airplanes will arrive on Monday the 16th around noon and will be open to the public.Walk through tours of the aircraft are $12 for adults, and $6 for children 12 and under for access to all of the aircraft. WWII Veterans get into the ground tours at no charge. We’ve posted all the event’s details, including how you can get a flight on these historic aircraft, along with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
A couple of mop up news items: State Senator Chuck Morse Republican of Salem resigned his position as Chairman of the Finance Committee after being elected by his peers to be Senate President. Former Senate President Peter Bragdon, Republican of Milford, resigned amidst conflict of interest complaints following his appointment to be the C E O of the Local Government Center. And, in case you’ve not heard the news, former Second District Congressman Charlie Bass is in the news. Now that Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro has announced he will not run for the US Senate, Bass, Republican from Peterborough has announced his interest. Former State Senator Jim Rubens, Republican from Hanover, is set to formally announce his candidacy for the position on September 18th.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!