In a follow up to a story we brought you yesterday, Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston sent us a further explanation of why neither the state nor the school district will release the results of the Smarter Balanced Assessment until November twelfth.  

Livingston: Explanation raises more questions.

Livingston: Explanation raises more questions.

Here’s exactly what she wrote, quote:

The district results are  being released to the school districts ahead of time as has been done every year as a part of the data verification process. We are reviewing and verifying the data. This is a normal part of the process to ensure the reporting is accurate. Additionally, end of year data that will be used in the aggregation of results is not due until October first. It will take the month to complete statewide results that ensure student data privacy required by law.

After reviewing all of the business rules that need to be applied to the results (to ensure student privacy and accuracy of the aggregated results) after the state receives final end of year enrollment data (not due until Oct 1), the DOE set the date of November 12.  

In order for results to be public in an aggregate form (the DOE and the MSD cannot / will not release individual data), we need to have all of the data. Since the state allowed paper/pencil implementation, the results took longer to receive. Other states around us fully implemented the online version.

I hope this helps to answer your questions.  Debbie

Girard: Huh?

Girard: Huh?

Actually, I’m not sure it does, but I can’t say it doesn’t as this raises a whole lot more questions, such as:

“what does end of year enrollment data have to do with aggregated test scores and by the way, what exactly is that and why does it take almost four months to report?” and

“who asked for individual test scores?”

Folks, this seems pretty simple to me.  “X” number of students took the test and, of that number, here are the percentages of scores that fell within these various performance ranges.  By the way,

“what data is being reviewed and how is it verified?”

Banfield: Files Right to Know Request with DoE

Banfield: Files Right to Know Request with DoE

Girard at Large isn’t the only one asking questions.  Ann Marie Banfield of Cornerstone Policy Research has filed a Right to Know Request with the state Department of Education requesting, among other things, all correspondence from the department to S A Us or districts regarding a time-line for distribution, or advice given regarding the distribution of results to families and/or the public.

Hohensee: After it in Nashua

Hohensee: After it in Nashua

In Nashua, where Superintendent Mark Conrad has similarly refused requests to release the test scores; telling N H Families for Education Chair Doris Hohensee that the district only has are the preliminary scores, which he says are not subject to the Right to Know Law, and the so called cut score, the score that determines who passes and who fails, which he said is subject to change.  In wake of Conrad’s refusal, Hohensee filed a Right to Know request seeking, among other items, all correspondence from the D o E to the district regarding cut score determinations.

MSD: Still withholding info on which school board members take benefits.

MSD:  Hands that block the view.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, still not one member of the Manchester Board of School Committee has replied to our now multiple requests asking which of them takes the taxpayer provided health and dental insurance benefits from the district.  One would think they would gladly tell the public whether or not they do, especially if they see nothing wrong with it.  Just so you know, the district has yet to respond to our request for that information and is in clear violation, in our never to be humble opinion, of the state’s Right to Know Law.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Francis: Hes come to America

Francis: Hes come to America

Habemus Papam!  Pope Francis arrived in the United States yesterday afternoon and will address a joint session of the Congress tomorrow.  It’s the first time a pope has done so.  The trip isn’t without its controversy as the Holy Father is expected to call on the United States to be more aggressive in fighting Global Warming and more lenient with illegal immigrants.  Pope Francis has caused concern among traditional Catholics and free market advocates with pronouncements on social issues that have many worrying he’s going soft and on economic issues where he appears to believe more in the redistribution of wealth rather than with its creation.  We’ll hear this morning from First District Congressman Frank Guinta on the papal visit.

When in Philadelphia, the pope may be serenaded by our Number One Fan, Manchester’s own Christopher Duffley who will sing at the World Meeting of Families on Saturday.

Gatsas: Engineered car giveaway to motivate students.

Gatsas: Engineered car giveaway to motivate students.

This school year’s “Make the Grade” challenge kicks off today in Manchester’s high schools.  Mayor Ted Gatsas, school district officials and representatives of AutoFair will unveil this year’s initiative that recognizes academic achievements.  This is the fifth year “Make the Grade” will award a brand new car to a junior or senior high school student who earns Honor Roll, High Honors or Principal’s List status the first, second and third quarters of the academic year.  AutoFair will bring the car to each school so that students can see it for themselves.  “Make the Grade” is a public-private partnership between the city of Manchester, AutoFair, Manchester School District and the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Finally, this morning, we’re sorry to report that Yogi Berra has gone on into extra innings.  He passed yesterday at the age of ninety.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next