The Manchester School Board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee took up the issue of Common Core last night, albeit not in the anticipated form.  Roughly thirty members of the public were on hand for the discussion, though only a handful spoke during the public comment session.  Among the speakers was Ward 11 State Representative Emily Sandblade who presented questions on behalf of her constituents, questions she asked be answered in writing and posted to the district’s Web site for all to see.  There were 32 of them and they were penetrating.  We obtained a copy of the list, which is posted with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Also speaking was Patrice Benard of Manchester.  She looked up the books listed in the sample guideline required to meet the English standards and raised some really interesting questions, such as how many second graders are going to be interested in books about tools and why are they recommending a book written in Spanish for the district’s entire second grade rather than just the kids learning English as a Second Language?  Ward 9 Committeeman Arthur Beaudry and Ward 4 Committeeman Roy Shoults rallied to the cause of those in attendance stating they were troubled by the inability to get what they believed were basic questions answered, something that Superintendent Debra Livingston acknowledged was a source of frustration.  Nonetheless, she said the district would proceed with implementation of the new curriculum guidelines developed over the summer.  Committee Chair Sarah Ambrogi, who hails from Ward 1, said she wouldn’t vote to accept the proposed guidelines because their packets only included samples of the curriculum, not the curriculum itself.  In the end, the committee voted to table the guidelines.  In a follow up interview with Girard at Large, Livingston said she was unclear what that meant for her plans to begin implementation of the new regime in September.  Ambrogi, who spoke of a pilot program to test the standards, also seemed uncertain as to the affect of the committee’s action.  If the school board’s in control of the district, it won’t be implemented.  Stay tuned.  Most alarming point of the evening came when Livingston told Beaudry that she couldn’t answer questions about what the state’s rule making process was with respect to the implementation of Common Core.  We’ve linked to our live forum coverage of the meeting so you can get the details as they unfolded in real time.  The committee seemed to agree, by the way, that the questions should be answered and posted to the district’s Web site.

News from our own backyard continues right after this.

Residents in Pinardville learned that the Tennessee based consultant responsible for developing Plan Pinardville has sent an email declaring opponents a minority in town and advising how to control them.  We’ve sent a Right to Know Request to obtain the email.  At last night’s ad hoc committee meeting, it was disclosed that Goffstown’s Board of Selectmen has requested that Tony Marts and Mike Lawler, the members who resigned over questions of conflicting interests, return to the ad ho committee and that the board was awaiting information from HUD officials to determine whether or not they would nix the whole plan.  Meanwhile, St. Anselm College’s representative on the committee resigned.  The committee did make some changes to the plan before voting five to two to send it to the Planning Board.  We’ve linked to our Live Forum coverage of the meeting where you’ll find the details of the changes and some other VERY interesting tidbits.  Our thanks to our Super Secret Correspondent Donna!

Joe Kelly Levasseur‘s at it again.  In a story broken yesterday by Girard at Large, we released a letter sent by Manchester Police Chief David J. Mara to New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster requesting he investigate charges made by Levasseur in yet another email haranguing the department.  Levasseur now claims, 8 months later, he was assaulted by Manchester Police Patrolman’s Association President  Steve Maloney during an argument the two had outside City Hall in January after members of the union took to the microphones at City Hall to demand Levasseur’s resignation for derogatory comments they say he made about police officers on his public access television show.  Levasseur claims Mara did nothing at the time of the assault and has covered it up as part of an effort to intimidate him.  Joke Elly LevASSeur even claims that comments made by Maloney on the Girard at Large Web site constituted interference with the investigation into the assault charges levled against Officer William Soucy.  If for no other reason you should read the email to see how Levasseur bitterly complains about the reckless, outrageous and intimidating comments and verbal bullying he’s endured from Maloney.  Can’t wait for the AG to act on this one.  Can we say megalomaniac?  Oh, by the way aldermen Jim Roy and Pat Long, both eye witnesses to the encounter, say Maloney didn’t touch Levasseur.

Finally this morning, expect an item on the next Hooksett School Board meeting agenda asking the board to submit the Manchester Tuition Settlement to the state Board of Education with a request it be approved as a tuition contract.  We’ve atttached the letter to this news cast and will have more on it later.  Frankly, it makes no sense, but give me time, I’ll figure it out.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.