12-03-2013 News

The Massachusetts Board of Education has voted to halt implementation of the Common Core State Standards.  Seems they want to actually study and compare the PARCC assessment test they chose to adopt to align with the Common Core to their existing exam, the MCAS, which has won acclaim since being instituted in nineteen ninety three.  And, in the category of “you just can’t make this stuff up,” the Mass Commissioner of Education, Mitchell Chester, is actually chairman of the PARCC testing consortium’s governing body.  He says that meeting the deadline of having the test ready to go for the oh fourteen oh fifteen school year would be quote “too precipitous a transition.”  End quote.  If you weren’t already wondering why New Hampshire was damning the torpedoes to adopt the Common Core aligned assessment, this ought to be cause for concern.  We’ve linked to the full story for your review.

Meanwhile, Cornerstone Action has announced a Webinar with doctors Sandra Stotsky and James Milgram, the content specialists who refused to validate the Common Core standards in English and math this Thursday, December fifth from seven to eight thirty.  It’s purpose is to give school board members, school administrators, teachers, parents, students and anyone otherwise interested in the topic the opportunity to question Stotsky and Milgram about the standards, their opposition and what they believe the solutions to our floundering public schools are.  Note:  Given that they’ve both authored successful education reforms across the country, it might be wise to consider what they have to say.  We’ve linked to the details of the webinar from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

Planners from the Southern New Hampshire Regional Planning Commission got an earful from residents, business owners and a pesky reporter during their presentation on the Second Street Corridor Access Management and Mixed Use Zoning Overlay project last night.    As the saying goes, the presenters generated more heat than light as participants tried to get their heads around providing input on items that were poorly defined and unexplained until questioned and seemingly based on inconsistent goals.  The allotted two hours was insufficient for the questions and comments generated.  A follow up meeting was tentatively scheduled for February third at which the consultants say they will be better prepared with maps, definitions and options for residents to consider.  We’ll have something to say about this during this morning’s show.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

The town of Merrimack’s Holiday Parade and Tree Lighting Ceremony has been rescheduled for this Sunday, December eighth.  Bad weather over the weekend necessitated the change.  The good news is that Santa and Mrs. Clause were able to reschedule their time to be there for the little ones and the Girl Scouts will still be handing out cookies free of charge.  The delay also provides an opportunity for businesses, citizens, organizations, even pets to get involved.  This year’s theme is Holidays Around the World and the registration form is linked to this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

Doesn’t seem that G O P Senate Candidate Karen Testerman is fazed by former Senator Bob Smith‘s announcement that he will run for the seat he held for two terms.  In a statement released yesterday, Testerman wrote, and I quote:  It says a lot about Shaheen’s chances of winning that we have one or two people moving to the state of New Hampshire, hoping to challenger her in November.”  That, of course, is a reference to Smith’s moving back to the state from Florida and former Bay State Senator Scott Brown thinking about moving into his NH summer home on the seacoast.  Ouch.

The Hookset School Board meets tonight and is expected to take action on Memorandums of Understanding with the Bow and Londonderry school districts.  The Manchester Board of Mayor and Aldermen is also meeting tonight.  On the agenda is an item from Mayor Ted Gatsas notifying the board that due to the refusal of Alderman at-Large Joe Kelly Levasseur to meet with him in conjunction with the investigation into his alleged charter violations, he’s referred the matter to the City Solicitor.

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