Manchester School Superintendent Dr. Debra Livingston made her debut before the Board of School Committee last night. She discussed the waiver New Hampshire received from the federal Department of Education that supposedly provides the state greater flexibility in dealing with struggling schools. We reported several weeks ago that the feds were holding the waiver hostage to the passage of Senate Bill 48, which created so called priority and focus schools. Well, in order to get the waiver, seven Manchester schools had to be labeled “priority schools.” They are Beech Street, Henry Wilson, McDonough, Parker Varney, Gossler Park, Parkside and Southside. What’s that mean? Well according to Livingston, it’s a good thing because it will make more money and people available to help those schools. We’ll get into the details of that and what she didn’t say about what else comes with being labeled a priority school under the new law in this morning’s show. In response to questions from Mayor Ted Gatsas, it was discovered that this waiver isn’t the one he’s been clamoring for that would allow the city to not test non-English speaking children until they understood the language. Livingston said she’d see what this waiver would allow. During her presentation, she also made mention of a meeting she attended with sixty six teachers at the School of Technology and while she didn’t say the words Common Core, it sounded an awful lot like that group was working with the consultants the district spent eighty four thousand dollars on to assess whether or not the district was compliant with Common Core to actually align the curriculum to its requirements. We’ll investigate. Finally, she noted the Curriculum Audit done by the district and said that it was a good idea to incorporate it into the seemingly endless process of developing a strategic plan and said she would use it to direct her actions as superintendent stating all she would do would reflect that audit.
News from our own backyard continues right after this.
The filing period for elective offices in Manchester’s coming election cycle opened yesterday. There wasn’t exactly a stampede to City Hall, but several incumbents were among those who filed. Leading the way, was Mayor Ted Gatsas, whose statement we’ve posted with this news cast and in the Campaign 2 0 1 3 section of our news page. In a move that surprised many, at-Large school board member David Wihby filed for reelection. He was rumored to be running for Alderman at-Large, a seat that saw incumbent Joe Kelly Levasseur, Ward 6 State Rep. and Charter Commissioner Will Infantine and S. Daniel Mattingly file. Incumbent aldermen and or school board members filed their candidacies in wards one, three, five, seven, eight, nine and eleven. We’ve posted a complete listing of all who filed in the Campaign 2 0 1 3 section of our news page and will update it daily.
David Gelinas, School Board Member from Ward 7 and Board Vice-Chair told you humble host that he will not seek reelection after serving for the past decade. Gelinas, who is in his second term as Vice Chair, said it was time for him to take a break from the board. A gentleman always and skilled political operator, he will be missed as he was often a calming influence among agitators.
Fun times continue at the Hooksett School Board. At its last meeting, from which we’ve posted video clips that might ruin anyone’s sanity to Oh My BLOG! at Girard at Large dot com (yes, we’ve linked to them from this news cast), Superintendent Charles Littlefield said he needed two weeks to pull together information and a plan for the board after it decided to pursue a single district alternative to Manchester in the ongoing tuition contract controversy. That means there should’ve been a meeting on July 2nd. There wasn’t and board member John Lyscars made mention of it in a recent facebook post noting that proponents of the single district strategy said there was no time to work out details for the multi district approach he supported and wondered, since the next meeting wasn’t scheduled for a full month after the last one, despite being told it would take only two weeks, whether or not the delay was stall. Oh My Head!
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away!