The earth moved under the question of Common Core being implemented in the Manchester School District last night as Mayor Ted Gatsas shared, with great displeasure, a conversation he had with Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry with the Board of School Committee. Prompted by our report that DOE officials has assured the Alton School Board that no federal funds were tied to the adoption of Common Core, Gatsas called Barry directly to get answers. He didn’t like what he got. Barry told him that the city did not have to adopt the so called College and Career Readiness Standards, as he likes to call them, but that they did have to take the Common Core mandated test and that failure to perform satisfactorily on the test could jeopardize the funds. Add to that the threat that it could jeopardize the fifty six million dollar adequacy grant from the state and Gatsas was seeing red. During his report on the conversation, Gatsas said quote “I don’t think they’re presenting the situation in the best interest of students.” End quote. Gatsas referred to conversations he had with Barry and former Superintendent Tom Brennan where different statements were made, statements that were also apparently made in conversations Barry had with Gatsas and Superintendent Debra Livingston regarding the implementation of these standards, curriculum alignment and funds. He said it’s possible he could have misunderstood, but not all three of them. Gatsas suggested the board schedule a Saturday meeting with D oh E officials so it could go for six or seven hours and put them on record with the city. He also suggested that laws might need to be changed if these funding threats are a result of the state passing Senate Bill 4 8. If it was, he suggested the legislature was not dealt with honestly and might want to reconsider what it passed. After the meeting, in response to our question, Gatsas said Barry did not provide him with any written documentation showing the city would lose funding. There was a lot of other surprises during that discussion, which we’ll cover during the show. Folks never has a meeting had more true and mind warping Oh My HEAD! moments, I just can’t stand it. Be sure to catch our live forum blog on the topic.
Would this be a good time to remind everbody that a line up of national speakers, including standards and curriculum expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who engineered Massachusetts’ phenomenal rise in test scores, will be in town on the 17th at the St. A’s Institute of Politics?
News from our own backyard continues right after this.
Rep. John Burt hosts Planned Pinardhood UnCensored for those who want to get what he calls the other side of the information regarding the proposed community master plan. It starts tonight at 7 and yours truly will be the closing speaker and I’m honored by the invitation. The meeting comes at a critical time as the Goffstown Planning Board will take the plan under consideration Thursday night. In addition, according to minutes of the August 29 Community Improvement Program committee minutes, Town Planner Brian Rose will ask the Planning Board for one hundred forty thousand dollars to update Goffstown’s entire master plan. Critics of Planned Pinardhood say if the proposed Pinardville Master Plan is adopted and Goffstown undertakes a master plan revision, the genie will be out of the bottle and all of Goffstown will be subject to the intrusive government actions they’re overwhelmingly opposed to. Meanwhile, Planned Pinardhood At Hoc Committee Member Cheryl Anderson sent Girard at Large an email after yesterday’s interview clarifying that the motion made by Planning Board Chairman John Hikel at the ad hoc committee a month ago ONLY restricted the use of eminent domaine for the benefit of private property owners, which is already prohibited by law, and not the use of eminent domaine for public purposes, which, she said, is much of what the town would have to do to implement the master plan.
In a dog bites man press release, the mayoral campaign of Alderman Patrick Arnold announced the endorsement of State Senator Lou D’Allesandro. It’s certainly no surprise that Liberal Lou’s backed Pat. Meanwhile, the fake debate Mayor Gatsas was never invited to may go down in flames. Mayoral candidate Glenn RJ Ouellette told Girard at Large that the Arnold Campaign was likely going to back out of their head to head debate even though Ouellette had secured an independent moderator instead of School Board Member Sarah Ambrogi, an Arnold supporter. Ouellette also complained that Arnold wouldn’t agree to five prearranged questions he said were originally agreed to. Oh, and the public T V show hosted by Joe Levasseur and Will Infantine decided to withdraw from the two hour affair given the mayor’s absence. Meanwhile, the Gatsas campaign reported raising nearly fifty thousand dollars since their last report. Gatsas has now raised some two hundred thousand dollars for his campaign. Arnold has yet to file any mayoral campaign finance reports. He has until the day before the primary to file.
That’s News from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is just 30 seconds away.