12-13-2013 News

In what is thought to be a first outside the state of New Hampshire, a public school district has voted to develop its own standards instead of adopting the Common Core national standards.  Again from the state of Wisconsin, where the battle grows bigger by the day, the school board in Germantown voted unanimously to chart its own course, saying it will use Common Core merely as a reference point for its own work.  Germantown Superintendent Jeff Holmes said that Common Core offered more of the same in education and that it assumed that every kid is going to learn at the same pace.  The district’s coordinator of Curriculum and Instruction, Brenda O’Brien, said the focus to this point has been on what kids should learn, not the process of learning and stated that district would put more emphasis on the process of learning in its curriculum while developing more rigorous standards.  Board Vice President Sarah Larson said quote we don’t want to be a mediocre school district.  We want to be a premiere school district…”  Several other Wisconsin school board are considering taking the same action.  So much of this sounds familiar, doesn’t it?  Gotta wonder if Alton and Manchester fired the first shots in a revolution.  Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Senate issued a rather interesting report on the Common Core Standards just a day or two after the Wisconsin Assembly’s report.  My, wasn’t that an interesting read.  I wonder if we could get the largest legislature in the country that allegedly cares about local control to look at this thing, but I digress.  We’ve linked to a story on Germantown and uploaded the Senate Report for your convenience.

Right to Know N H a new non-partisan, non profit organization is holding an informational session on the state’s open government laws and the public is invited to attend.  Not only will they discuss the current law and how it works, they will share information on pending legislation that could both strengthen or weaken the people’s right to know what their government officials are doing in this state.  Organizers hope to enlist citizens and organizations interested in open government to focus advocacy efforts on R S A Ninety One A, the state’s Right to Know Law, that will make it easier for citizens to obtain information from government agencies and officials and make it harder for government to hide things the people should know.  Recent legislation signed into law has made it more difficult for citizens to monitor local government expenditures.  The meeting is tomorrow morning in Concord at the headquarters of the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers located on the second floor of the building at eight Main Street.  It starts at nine thirty.  We’ve linked to their Web post with all the details.

News from our own backyard continues after this.

Girard at Large has learned that there will be something of a major personnel swap between West and Memorial high schools when school reconvenes after the Christmas break.  West Assistant Principal Keith Puglisi, who was interim principal during the suspension and after the fire…ooops forced resignation of Mary Ellen McGorry, is on his way to Memorial in a trade for Memorial Assistant Principal Mary Ann Wood.  District personnel were advised of the change in an email sent by Superintendent Debra Livingston last night addressed Dear Manchester Family, so it looks like it went to parents too.  So, we’re glad to help get the word out there.  Our thanks to the listeners who clued us in.

Citizens for a Strong N H is calling on Second District Congresswoman Annie Kuster to co-sponsor House Resolution Thirty Six, the bill she said she thought was a senate thing in what is now a gone viral video of her bungling a question on the Benghazi attack that took the lives of four brave Americans, including Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and  Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods who died defending our consulate, despite being ordered to stand down.  The group’s demand comes in light of a statement Kuster recently released saying quote “Like all Americans, I was horrified by the tragic attack on our Embassy in Benghazi that killed four patriotic Americans.  Our focus must remain on finding those responsible, bringing them to justice, and taking every necessary step to prevent an attack like this from ever happening again.”  If that’s so, said C S N H Spokesman Derek Dufresne, then she should back up her statement by cosponsoring tangible legislation to do what she said needed to be done.  We’ve linked to their complete statement from this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.  Hm, I wonder if Kuster, whose office said, darn it, she just wasn’t as clear on the matter as she would have liked, wears Stilettos.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ starts right now!