NOTE:  There is a meeting scheduled on June 9th from 7pm to 9pm at City Hall in Manchester.  Superintendent Livingston will present the final draft of the Manchester Academic standards to the Mayor and School Board.  Parents, residents and all interested parties are encouraged to attend.

This letter was sent to the Manchester Board of Education and Administration regarding an upcoming presentation on the Manchester Academic Standards.

With permission to post from the author….

Sent: Tue, Jun 3, 2014 6:40 am
Subject: Manchester Academic Standards


My name is Natalie Brankin and I am a lifelong resident of Manchester. I am also a mathematics educator with 8 years of classroom experience and have taught students from a variety of backgrounds in both NH and Massachusetts. I am writing today as a tax payer who resides in Manchester with my husband and two children who will soon be school aged. We have some concerns regarding the recent draft of the Manchester Academic Standards posted to the Manchester School District website. We appreciate your time in addressing our concerns.

1.) Were any research Mathematicians (either locally or nationally) involved in the creation of the MAS standards for Mathematics? If so, who was involved in this process? If not, what was the reasoning for excluding these professionals?

2.) Were any licensed Child Psychologist involved in the creation of the early Elementary school standards? One of the many concerns of the Common Core State Standards was the concern for developmentally inappropriate standards in grades K – 3. What has been done to remedy these concerns with the creation of the Manchester Academic Standards?

3.) The word “explain” is not a mathematically relevant term. Can you justify the use of this expression in a set of standards that is designed to help all students achieve success in higher-level math classes?

4.) Speaking specifically to MAS 5.NBT.B.5 – “Fluently multiply any whole numbers using a standard algorithm.” This was changed from the original wording in the Common Core State Standards of “Fluently multiply any whole numbers using THE standard algorithm.” (Emphasis mine) Please explain the rationale behind this change.

5.) Will parents have a chance to view the presentation that the board will be seeing at the BOSC meeting on June 9th in advance of the school board meeting so that parents have an opportunity to ask questions of the administration and of the writers of the standards so as to make informed comments at the public forum?

6.) The standards for grades 9 – 12 are difficult to read in the current format. Will there be any revisions on the high school standards so that residents can clearly see what will be covered in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, and beyond?

Thank you for your time,

Natalie & Anthony Brankin