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Tag: Dr. Sandra Stotsky

Manchester Proud: An objective effort or a stacked deck?

Now that serious, undisclosed conflicts between Manchester Proud and Reaching Higher NH have been exposed, very serious questions about the integrity and direction of this effort to develop a strategic plan for the Manchester School District have to be asked.  Over and over again, leaders of Manchester Proud have emphatically stated they have no agenda, no political affiliations, no bias and no predetermined outcomes.  They have asserted their efforts will be guided by the input they receive from stakeholders across the city.  Those assurances have come  in response to questions and concerns I have consistently raised both privately and...

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Glassner on School Changes and Betsy DeVos

(Hours 3a,b,c) Rich spoke to Sid Glassner, Senior Fellow with the New England Society for the Study of Education, about the departure of Bedford from the Manchester School District.  They then discussed the teaching and learning of literature and the proposition to alter Portsmouth High School’s hours.   (Hour 3b) Rich and Sid debated about President-Elect Donald Trump’s pick of Betsy DeVos as the Secretary of Education for the second segment of Is Our Children Learning.   (Hour 3c) Sid displayed his skepticism over Donald Trump’s claims about reform in the Educational system.  They then talked about funding for special education, before continuing in their discussion regarding Betsy...

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Glassner, Sampson on Fight Against Common Core in ME

(Hour 3b, c) (Hour 3b) Heidi Sampson is a member of the Maine State Board of Education and a co-founder of No Common Core Maine. Sampson answered questions from Sid Glassner about what’s happening in her state. In stark contrast to the ME BOE Chairman (who believes Common Core is just wonderful), Sampson described the dog & pony shows CC proponents have put on while she and other opponents have mobilized against. Opponents’ efforts have caught the attention of Governor Paul LePage.  Once an advocate, LePage admits to “being duped” and now opposes Common Core. (Hour 3c) Glassner asked...

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On Air News Read for October 7, 2014

Manchester Ward 3 Alderman Patrick Long is looking to convene a committee to investigate deteriorating multi unit dwellings in the city.  During discussion of a report on housing presented by the Granite State Organizing Project back in May, Long asked the Committee on Public Safety, Health and Traffic to support appointing a group that investigate how the city could better respond to problematic properties.  It would include advocates, landlords, property managers, tenants and city officials.  Aldermen heard from Planning and Community Development Director Leon LaFreniere about the difficulties the city has in even locating parties responsible for the bad buildings.  Considerable time was spent discussing the issue of lead paint.  Long raised the two dozen cases of lead poisoning in the city last year as evidence that the city has a problem.  But LaFreniere said it’s not a city problem, it’s a national one and one not easily solved.  He opposed suggestions that the city test dwellings for lead paint noting the enormous liability that would come with certifying a place lead free, only to be wrong, in addition to the three to four hundred thousand dollars it would cost to run such a program.  The committee went along with Long’s suggestion to appoint the committee, which may or may not come up at tonight’s meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.  One item not discussed was who...

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On Air News Read for October 1, 2014

A scary incident in Hooksett yesterday warrants our attention.  The Hooksett Police Department is warning residents to carefully check their mailboxes and immediately contact them in the event that something other than mail is inside.  Prompting the warning is a call they responded to yesterday at fifteen Ridgeview Drive about a suspicious device.  The caller reported finding what was believed to be a plastic bottle type bomb in his mailbox.  According to Lieutenant Michael Labrecque, officers Aku and Mueller were able to confirm the device was a possible explosive and shut down a portion of Ridgeview Drive to all traffic.  The New Hampshire State Police Bomb Unit was called to the scene and Trooper Dade confirmed the device was an acid or so called “soda bottle bomb.”  The bomb unit blew up the explosive.  The incident is under investigation.  In addition to urging residents to call them if they find anything suspicious in their mailboxes, the Hooksett Police Department is asking anyone with information that may assist the investigation to contact Detective Brian Williams at 6 2 4 1 5 6 0 Ext 3 18. Governess Margaret Wood Hassan has finally released budget performance numbers on the first year of the biennial budget.  In releasing the numbers she heralded a nineteen million dollar surplus.  The problem is that the budget required a twenty six million dollar surplus by the end of the first year...

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On Air News Read for August 25, 2014

The Manchester Board of School Committee will meet tonight and there’s a bunch on the agenda.  The controversial Manchester Academic Standards are back on the agenda, this time in final form with a table of contents and arguably uniform format of presentation.  The document, which standards expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky told me in an on camera T V interview should be thirty to forty pages long, was two hundred seventy five pages, including fifteen pages of English reading documents, and was released with the agenda for tonight’s meeting.  I was unable to find it on the district’s Web site outside of the agenda.  Since they’ve already approved the standards, this is probably informational, though it is expected that questions and maybe a challenge or two might come at them.  The board will also received details on a so called STEAM Ahead Junior program, targeted at forth graders with the help of U S FIRST, the organization that sponsors the annual robotics competitions.  Mayor Ted Gatsas gave us a preview of that initiative in an interview on July fifteenth.  We’ve linked to it.  Also on deck are changes to the city’s Dirvers Ed. program.  Expect fees to go up by fifty bucks per student and administrative hours to be cut as the program tries to dig out of a deficit and break even.  If all goes as planned, the program, which...

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Rich Girard’s On Air News Read for August 21, 2014

A public hearing on Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas’ proposed change to the city’s tax cap came and went on Tuesday night and just about nobody noticed.  Only one speaker was present for the event, perennial public commenter Glen Ouellette.  The public hearing was a necessary step in the process of putting the change on the ballot this November.  While the change essentially leaves the caps on tax revenue and spending in place, it would make revenues generated by an increase in the value of the city’s tax base available without having to override the  cap.  We’ve linked to the interview we did with Gatsas on the topic so you can get his complete explanation. Manchester parents opposed to Common Core and the Board of School Committee’s vote to adopt the school district’s revision of it as the city’s standards have launched a petition drive urging the school board to adopt the standards Dr. Sandra Stotsky worked to develop in Massachusetts.   The petition chides the school board and district for completely ignoring the complaints of parents in the development of the Manchester Academic Standards, which they say are little more than Common Core given that eighty eight percent of the standards cite Common Core as their source.  The petition takes particular aim at the high school math standards, which they say are one hundred percent Common Core.  They have a problem with that given the plethora of math...

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Stotsky: How to turn a sow’s ear into a silk purse

Original article published here at the Pioneer Institute, reprinted with permission. 24 Jun 2014 by Sandra Stotsky Gates, Duncan, Fordham et al misunderstood from the beginning who the strongest critics of Common Core would be.  Just because they successfully sold Common Core as a workforce development panacea to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce didn’t mean that mothers across the country were going to give up fighting for their children’s education when they saw what was being taught to their children in the name of Common Core.  Every year of education their kids lose, the angrier they get.  And the...

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Stotsky: Manchester Academic Standards incomplete, unprofessional

Nationally renowned education standards expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky shared her interactions with the Manchester School District as it developed its proposed academic standards and laid bare the reality of what was done, how it was done and what it produced in this tell all interview that should be of interest to any parent or educator concerned about the future of education in...

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Discussing Hemingway, “Patronizing” Petrelli, “Devastating” Stotsky

(Hour 1a) Much of the information we share on our adorable little radio show is stuff we come across on social media. Rich illustrated the point with a couple of stories, the first involving GOP Gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein (his company got paid to advocate for Obamacare which Havenstein now claims to oppose) and the second involving Michael Petrelli of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute (his company gets paid to advocate for Common Core). We also discussed the devastating argument against the Manchester Academic Standards made by Dr. Sandra Stotsky last night on GAL-TV. We discussed the Walt Havenstein stories...

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