Well did she or didn’t she? That’s the question we have regarding statements allegedly made by New Hampshire Commissioner of Education Virginia Barry. Two days ago, Girard at Large reported that Barry told a gathering of superintendents that she believed local control should be terminated. The source of our information was in the meeting. In wake of our report, we received information from people also in the room disputing she said that. While a Right to Know Request sent to Barry in light of the allegations has been acknowledged by the Department of Education and Board of Education Chairman Tom Raffio, Barry herself has not replied to our email inquiring what she said. The source of the original story stands by their claim which, given the silence of the Commissioner, leaves us with with a conundrum, doesn’t it? It also leaves us with the perfect example of why meetings like the ones Barry holds monthly with the state’s superintendents ought to be done in plain public view.
In a related story, Londonderry Superintendent Nathan Greenberg, in response to questions raised by parents at Tuesday’s meeting (start at 1:06:52) of the Londonderry School Board, said he was unaware of Raffio’s statements announcing that the state would grant no waivers to the Common Core aligned Smarter Balanced Assessment. He said that Barry and the D O E had been supportive of Londonderry’s waiver request, so much so that they were going to include it with their application to extend the state’s waiver from the No Child Left Behind Act. That had parents wondering in their out loud citizen voice why the town had to get a waiver from the federal government to do what it believed was best for the children of Londonderry. The answer? The same “we don’t want to risk our federal funds” statements; statements that caused us to demand, via the Right To Know Law, that Raffio provide any and all written documentation to substantiate them. Remember, we’ve heard this one before from the D O E and they’ve failed to provide any meaningful information to substantiate those threats.
In Bedford, education advocate and watchdog Ann Marie Banfield has filed a Right to Know Request looking for a copy of the actual so called
Developmental Asset Survey given by the Bedford School District to its students. On March twenty first, Girard at Large released a copy of the test provided by Superintendent Tim Mayes in response to a Right to Know Request we filed after receiving copies of a letter sent home by principals to parents about the test. It looks like the fifty eight questions we’d received was about one hundred questions shy of what was actually
given to students according to Banfield’s email. In requesting a copy of the actual test, Banfield says kids were asked if their gender was quote “male, female, gay, lesbian or I don’t know,” whether or not they’d ever sniffed glue to get high, if they feel safe around the adults in their family, whether or not they use anything for protection during sex, and if they’ve ever been left home alone among others. You can rest assured we will be joining her request since our request for the test that was to be given apparently was answered with false information.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Former Bay State Senator Scott Brown let the cat out of the bag in an interview yesterday saying he would indeed be a candidate for the U S Senate here in the Granite State. Look for a formal announcement next week. Former Senator Bob Smith was quick to greet Brown’s announcement, issuing a statement questioning whether or not Brown had entered the wrong primary, asserting he should be running against incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, Health Care Queen. Smith reiterated his challenge to Brown to debate him Lincoln-Douglas style in Town Hall settings in each of the state’s ten counties. We’ve posted Smith’s release along with a video they’ve distributed with statements Brown made while running for reelection in Massachusetts that might not sit well with G O P primary voters.
Meanwhile, former State Senator Jim Rubens continues his issue themed tours around the state in as he campaigns for U S Senate. Having completed his Second Amendment Tour of New Hampshire, Rubens is now on a Charter School Tour of the state. He was in our listening area at the Pace Charter School in Allenstown on Tuesday and will be in Manchester today at the Polaris Charter School. Rubens, the author of the nineteen ninety five law that enabled the formation of charter schools in the state, will visit several others over the next several days.
Finally this morning, it looks like there will be a G O P primary for governor. Former BAE Systems C E O Walt Havenstein has declared his candidacy.
Havenstein has long been a big G O P donor and fundraiser. His public debut as a candidate might be short lived, however. Like one time potential GOP candidate Chuck Rolecek who decided not to run after it was discovered he’d declared a home in South Carolina as his primary residence so he could take advantage of a substantial property tax break, Havenstein’s declared a home he owns in Maryland his primary residence to get a big property tax break. We examined that issue yesterday in our A Question of Voter Fraud segment with Ed Naile. Naile’s conclusion was the facts support Havenstein’s qualifications to run for governor in New Hampshire, however politically questionable that might be, and said he might have more to worry about from officials in Maryland who might not be amused to learn that someone receiving a property tax break on their primary residence in their state is running for governor of New Hampshire, which is obviously outside of their state, than officials in New Hampshire about whether or not he’s qualified to run.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead!