The district spent tens of thousands of dollars and students lost over two thousand classroom hours of instruction, while teachers worked behind closed doors on the Manchester Academic Standards.  Unfortunately, there was no transparency during this process. 

Olszta:  MHT standards are the Common Core floor, not superior

Olszta: MHT standards are the Common Core floor, not superior

Parents and citizens were not allowed to observe this process.  Consequently, Manchester now has what Dr. Livingston promised: “Common Core as the floor,” not best academic standards for our district.

The Manchester School District had access to multiple curriculum content experts, who were willing to provide free consultations to help the district develop the best academic standards.  District leadership, unfortunately, ignored their advice.

Dr. Sandra Stotsky, who specializes in English Language Arts, and Stanford University mathematician Dr. James Milgram are nationally recognized content standards experts; both served on the Common Core validation committee.  Dr. Stotsky drove to Manchester to consult with teachers during the development process. However, neither she nor Milgram could sign off on the final product, the Manchester Academic Standards.

The blame falls squarely upon David Ryan, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum, who managed the process.  He should resign for his failure to complete the task of developing the best academic standards for Manchester students.

Everyone wanted the best standards for our students, but unfortunately, Mr. Ryan, Superintendent Livingston, and Mayor Gatsas failed to deliver on this promise.  NH Board of Education Chairman, Tom Raffio recently confirmed that the Manchester Academic Standards are really just Common Core State Standards while speaking publicly at the Hollis-Brookline High School.

Parents should object to any and all books or materials used by the district that is Common Core aligned.  This includes any materials developed by Pearson Publishing or their subsidiaries.

Common Core brings with it unprecedented data-mining of private student and teacher information. Personal information can now be shared with third parties for profit or commercial research without parental permission.  High-stakes standardized testing will continue under Common Core, as well as new teacher evaluation systems, all of which will produce little if any progress in achieving education equity for our students.

Teachers will be treated as replaceable parts and their jobs will be at risk under the new obsession with high-stakes testing. If the Mayor claims once again that Manchester will never administer these high-stakes tests, we should all know by now that our Mayor “doth protest too much” but delivers too little.

Deborah Olszta

Candidate for State Representative
Manchester floterial district #44
Manchester Wards 8 & 9 and Litchfield