At the meeting of the State Board of Education yesterday, Chairman Tom Raffio said he didn’t attend the Common Core Forum hosted by Cornerstone Policy Research at the Institute of Politics because he considered it quote “pejorative.”  Apparently, Chairman Raffio’s not interested in receiving information that doesn’t agree with his position or that of the Board of Ed.  Anyway, Raffio said the board would continue its discussion on Common Core at its upcoming retreat meeting on October thirty first, which will be open to the public.  He also said he’s getting a whole lot of email against Common Core.  If you’d like to email Chairman Raffio your thoughts on the topic, or any of the other members of the state Board of Education, click the link we’ve included with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Also discussed at the meeting was the Teacher of the Year Award.  Apparently, it falls under a federal grant program called Teacher Ambassadors.  The award winner will be given a stipend and trot around the state promoting Common Core, probably just like the science teacher from Windham High who sang its praises before the Manchester Board of School Committee in May.  So, we now know that the proponents are paid to be proponents.  Nice.

Meanwhile, Girard at Large continues to receive information sent to parents from Manchester schools.  This time, disturbingly, we’ve received notices that were sent home with the children’s weekly classroom update packet  from Northwest Elementary.  It starts:  As many of you know, we have adopted the Common Core standards.”  That begs the question as to who “we” is given that the school board has not actually adopted either the standards or the curricular guides that Superintendent Debra Livingston directed be used by teachers despite their being tabled by the school board’s Curriculum and Instruction Committee on August 27th.  After receiving notices parents received while attending Weston Elementary‘s Open House, we filed a Right to Know request with Dr. Livingston asking whether or not that unsigned communication allegedly authored by the principal and distributed by the teachers was approved by her or her office and whether or not it complied with district policies.  We also requested copies of any and all communications sent to parents by the schools on Common Core.  Despite the requirements of the law, we have yet to receive a reply.  We’ll make sure to stay on it, though.

News from our own backyard continues right after this.

A resident of the Burns Elderly Highrise located at the corner of Granite and Main streets in Ward Ten on the West Side has taken Ward Ten candidate for alderman Bill Barry to task for disparaging comments he made about incumbent Ward Ten Alderman Phil Greazzo.  High Rise resident Anne Harnish said Barry actually criticized Greazzo for asking the Board of Mayor and Aldermen to hire more police officers.  According to Harnish, Barry said the board opposed hiring more cops because Greazzo was the one asking for it.  In a release we received on the matter, Greazzo remembered his proposal was shot down due the board’s unwillingness to find savings in other areas to make funds for more police officers available.  He repudiated Barry for trying to scare people on the crime issue and blame him for the board’s inaction.  City Republican Chairman Will Infantine questioned why Barry, whose campaigning on his law enforcement credentials, would criticize Greazzo for trying to hire more police.  He said Barry’s criticism of Greazzo was “bizarre” and called on him to explain himself to the voters.  We’ve posted the press release from the City Republican Committee, which includes Harnish’s explanation of why she came forward, with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

The Manchester Animal Shelter‘s holding an interesting fundraising raffle we think you’d might want to know about.  For just seventy five bucks, you could win a ten thousand dollar cash prize or a brand new two thousand thirteen Fiat five hundred POP valued at seventeen thousand dollars.  There are only five hundred tickets available for the raffle and with prizes like that, they’re bound to go fast!  The drawing for the winner will be held at the shelter’s annual Wine and Chocolate fundraiser at the end of October.  The press release with complete details is available with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com!

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