A week ago, we exposed the multiple and deliberate “straw man issues” Ward 2 school board candidate David Scannel had purposefully perpetuated in his assault on incumbent Debra Gagnon Langton. Rather than reply, Scannel has doubled down on his devious misrepresentations to continue casting himself as a champion for schools against non-existent threats.
In his candidate speech (below) on Manchester Public TV, Scannell takes his already specious claims to have saved Central High from the wrecking ball, which were debunked in the original exposé, to an even more absurd level. Said Scannell:
When the aldermen threatened to demolish Central and replace it with a strip mall, I led the charge that prompted the aldermen to vote not to close any high school.
We’ll give the devil his due. He did raise a stink over the canard of closing Central, though no proposal ever came before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen or the Board of School Committee. Lucky for us, Scannell strangled the straw man.
Not resting on his self-created laurels, Scannell’s speech set another straw man to slay. This time, he’s opposed to using Manchester taxpayer dollars for tuition to pay tuition for Manchester school kids who want to go to other high schools. That figment of his imagination came from the Education Round Table organized by Ward 6 school board candidate Jon DiPietro. In a post attempting to create a “controversy” on his Facebook page, Scannell writes:
Last Thursday at a forum for candidates for Manchester School Board, Frank Edelblut, New Hampshire’s commissioner of education, asked those running for positions on the board whether they favored a school choice plan that would enable the hard-earned tax dollars of Manchester taxpayers to be sent to institutions like Pinkerton Academy or the Derryfield School to pay tuition for Manchester students in attendance.
What seemed like a radical and half-baked proposal was actually endorsed by some of the candidates and current school board members who responded to Edelblut’s question.
If choice meant Manchester paying for children going to Pinkerton, Bedford or Derryfield, what would your position be?
In his video, Scannell clearly turns that question into something it wasn’t saying:
Recently, a proposal has been made to allow our tax dollars to pay tuition potentially at places like the Derryfield School or Pinkerton Academy. Some board members have weighed in that they support that. That is a terrible idea and I will fight for our public schools.”
In his Facebook post, he accuses the question of being a subversive attempt to normalize a “radical idea” as part of a long term plan to undermine Central High. If one actually watches the answers to the questions on school choice (which starts with 1:37:12 left on the video), they will see that no such idea was proposed, or even discussed, by any candidate.
What is particularly galling about his latest piece of propaganda is that he completely ignored the comments I published under his original post, well before he filmed his video, proving, once again, that facts matter little when they stand in the way of a false political attack. Here’s what I wrote:
Well, David, I’ll give you a mulligan on this one since you left early. As you know, we were only allowed to answer “yes or no” to the question so, I’m not sure how I was “enthusiastically” in favor of anything, let alone sending our taxpayer dollars anywhere.
Should you watch the video of the event, you’ll see that I later explained my answer by saying my assumption was that if we were paying tuition to other schools, then we’d be recruiting kids from those communities to come to our schools and they’d be paying tuition to us.
My answer also assumed tuition would be capped at the city’s per pupil cost with parents responsible for anything above that, as they do in Hooksett.
Unlike some, I am confident that Manchester’s schools can compete with the best of them. We just need to get our house in order and do what’s necessary to market our programs to kids who’d be interested in them.
Imagine buildings full of kids who want to be there because they chose to be there, not because they were made to be there. Sounds kid centered education to me.
If you want to watch my explanation of why I said “yes,” it’s on the round-table video with 9:48 left in the video. I would suggest, by the way, that you also watch the discussion that actually did take place on school choice, which starts with 1:37:12 left in the video. (My answer on school choice starts with 1:32:20 left on the video). You might be surprised what was actually said about choice and by whom. It just might also demonstrate what Scannell portrays as “new thinking,” which is unabashedly the union backed, bureaucratically empowered status quo he’s defended for many years.
An English teacher, Scannell is skilled in the use of language. (He likes to use big words and flowery rhetoric in an attempt to be eloquent and I noted with interest his slow pace of speech and use of common words in his candidate video, which was quite unlike how he was in the candidate forum.) That he’s chosen to use his skills to manipulate others and situations in such a way as to distort reality into something it’s not, all evidence he ignores to the contrary, is evidence, if not proof, that as a member of the school board, he would likely continue with such rhetoric in pursuit of those goals that adhere to his leftist ideology. The Board of School Committee has more than its fair share of such members. Another is hardly necessary and would only add to the board’s dysfunction.
David Scannell for School Committee / Ward 2
Posted by Manchester Public Television on Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Here’s the Education Round Table
Video from Education Summit with Commissioner Frank Edelblut. Candidates: Lisa M Freeman, Jimmy Lehoux Jon DiPietro, Richard H. Girard, Mark Flanders, Mary Georges, Kelly Thomas, David Scannell, Ross Terrio, Arthur Beaudry, and Leslie Want. See how they responded to audience questions.
Posted by For A Better Manchester PAC on Friday, October 20, 2017