12-12-2013 News

The legislature should aggressively oppose any direct or indirect effort by the federal government to further intrude into…K-12 education.  Academic standards shall be adopted locally, without federal interference, and statewide assessments shall be adopted at the state level, upon the approval of the legislature.”  That’s just one of the recommendations released yesterday by the Wisconsin Assembly’s Select Committee on Common Core Standards.  The committee also recommended that the Wisconsin legislature bar the storage of student biometric data and enact legislation protecting the identification of student data.  Wisconsin is just the latest battle in the War over Common Core that has raged nationwide as half the states that initially adopted the national standards have expressed serious second thoughts.  In case you’re wondering, we’ve taken a special interest in the Wisconsin fight as an interview we did with pro-Core conservative Mike Petrilli of the Fordham Institute after Manchester decided not to adopt the standards and develop its own, took center stage in the Wisconsin battle.  Anti-Core forces used Manchester’s decision and Petrilli’s praise of it and admission that there could be better standards as key pieces in their case to push back the state’s adoption of the Core.  We’ve linked to an article on the topic and uploaded the complete report with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Hey, wouldn’t it be really cool if the largest, most representative legislature in the whole country held hearings on what its state board of ed was committing their constituents’ children and school districts to?  Don’t we care about local control in this state or something like that?

Manchester Superintendent Debra Livingston will be bringing an additional draft list of goals to tonight’s meeting of the Board of School Committee’s Strategic Planning Committee.  Livingston took criticism for an invitation she issued to members of the committee to meet with her last Friday to work on additional goals the district might want to consider as the planning process plods along.  Concerns that it could become an illegal non-public meeting of the committee were brought to our attention by concerned citizens, prompting us to email Livingston on the matter.  She said she was mindful of what was and wasn’t proper under the state’s right to know law and, in response to our follow up inquiry, stated that the committee members present at the meeting included it’s chair Kathy Staub, Ward 8 School Board member Erika Connors, Parkside Principal Forrest Randell and Dr. Karen Stone.  Since I can’t actually find an agenda or a listing of the committee’s members on the district’s Web site, I’ll have to leave it to those more in the know to determine whether or not an illegal meeting took place.

News from our own backyard continues after this

State G O P Chair Jennifer Horn blasted Senator Jeanne Shaheen Healthcare Machine yesterday for comments she made to The Hill newspaper.  Shaheen has joined with three other Democratic senators  to draft a quote “multifaceted plan to rework parts of Obamacare.”  End quote.  Right, because now that she’s read it, she knows what we the people got under the law, unlike the Congress.  Shaheen was quoted in the article as saying she’s not satisfied yet and is still talking to the people of New Hampshire to see what challenges we’re facing.  Horn charged the challenges we’re facing are a direct result of her refusal to listen to the serious concerns raised by her constituents as she helped her party’s leadership ram this terrible law down our throats, a law for which she was the deciding vote, reminded Horn, who called Shaheen’s joining the rework group nothing more than desperate stunt designed to prop up her reelection campaign.  We’ve uploaded the entire statement for your enjoyment.

Hooksett Elf and School Board Member John Lyscars has announced he’s established a confidential Hooksett Education Matters Hotline for parents, educators and kids.  He says it can be used for anything from complaints, to suggestions to whistle blowing so long as it’s designed to improve education.  The line can be called anytime he says, by dialing 3 4 0 0 6 8 8 that’s 3 4 0 0 6 8 8, area code 6 0 3 of course.

The Manchester Police Department has published a list of helpful driving tips now that Mother Nature and Jack Frost have conspired to bring Winter and its wonderful weather upon us.  Among the helpful reminders and hints:  Slow down, slow down and slow down, leave extra room between you and the car in front, avoid quick stops at intersections and think twice before passing.  There’s a whole lot of suggestions and some pretty good explanations about why they’re made on the list which is posted with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.

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