Supporters of the Common Core State Standards repeat over and over again that educators will not be teaching to the test with the realignment of the curriculum to Common Core.  Opponents have questioned how that’s possible given the emphasis of the testing and the tying of teacher evaluations to student performance on the the tests.  With that as background, tet it be known that Girard at Large has obtained a Manchester middle school mathematics problem that clearly identifies alignment with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, which is the Common Core test New Hampshire has chosen to impose on school districts.  We have obtained the teacher guide materials which clearly identify the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, logo and all in the upper right hand corner of the page.  We’ve posted a scan of the document with this news read at Girard at Large dot com.  It just might be the smoking gun opponents have been looking for as proof that the curricular realignment in Manchester and elsewhere is about teaching to the test, not about enabling teachers to have greater freedom over what they do in the classroom.  This is also a painful reminder in Manchester that these materials have been introduced into the schools despite being tabled by the Curriculum and Instruction Committee and not adopted by the School Board.  We’ll be discussing this and some of our findings in the Curricular Guides published on the Manchester School District’s Web site this morning.  Just wait until you hear what they’re planning to teach Second Graders.

The good times keep rolling at the Hooksett School Board.  Yesterday, we brought you the story of how the board shot down a motion by Vice Chairman David Pearl to assign Hooksett’s incoming freshman class to Manchester next fall and use their exception policy to reassign those who wish to go elsewhere.  Since then, Girard at Large has obtained a letter sent by the board’s attorney asserting that the Manchester School District’s attorney James O’Shaughnessy agrees with the majority’s interpretation, that it’s okay for them to negotiate with other districts to secure agreements for their high school students.  Mayor Ted Gatsas has raised the question of how the Hooksett School Board could possibly honor its commitment to negotiate with the city in good faith to extend the settlement past the 2018 expiration date given its efforts to establish another school of record that would be their primary high school.  Pearl’s past attempts to request feedback from the mayor and Manchester Board of School Committee about their understanding of the agreement were defeated in favor of having its lawyers talk to Manchester’s.  We’ve posted their release and the settlement agreement for your review with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

News from our own backyard continues right after this.

Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire is holding a rally outside of Senator Jeanne Shaheen‘s Manchester office today to protest, as they put it, her vote putting her special exemption from ObamaCare ahead of Granite Staters.  They say her vote to table the amendment delaying the individual mandate for Obamacare for one year and eliminating the ObamaCare exemption granted to senators, congressmen and their staffs is responsible for the government shutdown.  The group is encouraging voters to hold Shaheen accountable for her do as I say, not as I do politics by gathering outside her fifteen eighty nine Elm Street office beginning at four this afternoon.  Meanwhile, Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn is calling on the state’s two congressmen to surrender their salaries during the government shutdown.  Senators Shaheen and Comprehensive Kelly Ayotte have announced they will donate their paychecks to charity.  Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster apparently think themselves essential personnel and will continue to collect.

The Merrimack Police Department has announced Halloween will be held in town on the evening of Thursday, October 31st from six to eight.  They’ve also announced they will participate in events organized by the Merrimack Parks and Recreation Department on Friday October 25th from five to eight P M in Wasserman Park.  We’ve posted their release, which includes some helpful Halloween safety tips with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

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