Assistant Manchester Superintendent of Schools David Ryan might have some explaining to do. At Monday’s meeting of the Board of School Committee, Ryan said that nationally renowned English Language Arts specialist and Common Core critic Dr. Sandra Stotsky, wasn’t more involved in the assembly of the district’s proposed standards because she made a couple of demands on the district they were unwilling to meet before working further with the teachers. We emailed Stotsky to ask just what demands she made and she replied as follows, quote: “Ryan needs to be asked what ‘demands’ I made on the district. I have copies of all our emails. I’ve told you already what I asked to see. 1) A complete document, not bits and pieces of E L A standards at different grade levels, with a clear Table of Contents for the whole document so that the progressions are clear from grade to grade. 2) A document that indicates which standards are above the “Common Core floor” that the Mayor and the Board asked for, to begin with.” End quote.
Funny, but that seems to be what some folks in the public who are being asked to comment on the standards are asking for, too. Anyway, we also think it bears noting that while there was at least some communication between the district and Stotsky, there was absolutely no communication between the district and Dr. James Milgram, the math expert integral to the development of California’s superior math standards who, like Stotsky, was hired by Common Core to review and validate its standards, but refused to do so and offered his assistance to the district free of charge. In response to our inquiry, Ryan did forward the list of the “learning standards experts, curriculum specialists and higher education professors” who “worked over the previous school year to assemble the standards.” We’re not sure how Stotsky will feel about being on that list, but we’ve asked and but we’re looking into who the rest of them are and will be sure to let you know.
The Manchester Police Department held a community forum last night. In contrast with last year’s, when emotions were running high and tempers were flaring during an intense period of burglaries in the Queen City, last night’s event was calm and less than half the size. Though the number of burglaries has dipped by only ten this year over last, the department has made a big effort to reach the goal of cutting the number of burglaries in July by half. Police Chief David J. Mara said while the department is making progress on that goal, the public’s help is needed. The number one thing you can do, said Officer Paul Rondeau, who does home security assessments upon request, is lock your cars and home. Rondeau said people just aren’t locking their cars, especially. Half the reported car break ins were of unlocked cars and the majority of the other half don’t remember whether they locked it or not. Rondeau said burglars won’t risk breaking through the windows of your car or home. They don’t want the noise and the attention that comes with it, so lock everything up, already! Police also urged people to report things that looked suspicious, saying people know their neighborhoods and what does and doesn’t belong…yeah, like the red car across the street from my house yesterday morning at a quarter to eight…anyway, along those lines, Mara told folks their vigilance was needed saying that while Manchester was a safe city relative to others its size, the community needed to stick together to prevent a criminal element from moving in and taking hold.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Second District Congressional Candidate Gary Lambert, Republican from Nashua announced his “Wake Up Washington” pledge right outside the front door of Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster’s Nashua office. Lambert’s five point pledge, which he called on Kuster to take, includes serving no more than three terms in the House of Representatives, not accepting the congressional pension, not paying Congress if the budget isn’t passed, not providing pay raises to Congress, and no more taxpayer funded political mass mailings from Congressional offices. “Everywhere I go in the 2nd District and no matter who I talk to, I find that we can almost always agree on this – Washington D.C. doesn’t seem to realize they work for us,” said Lambert. “Folks feel like Washington politicians need to be woken up to the fact that they do work for us – the people.” Lambert will be our in studio guest this morning to flesh out the details of his pledge, which we’ve published and linked to from this newscast, on Girard at Large dot com.
Yesterday, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Health Care Queen held an event at the Concord City Auditorium. It was, according to her press release, to “discuss the difference she makes for veterans” and “call for passage of the Veterans’ Access to Care through Choice, Accountability, and Transparency Act.” However, when Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire’s Executive Director, Matthew Murphy, a US Army veteran, tried to attend, he was met with fierce resistance from Senator Shaheen’s staff. Despite being a veteran, he was told he was not welcome to hear her thoughts on the issue unless he was there to ‘endorse’ the senator. We have the video of the interaction uploaded with this news read at Girard at Large dot com. Murphy, issued a statement in which he said he is disgusted at how he was treated and that he didn’t deserve to be kicked out. Quote “Senator Jeanne Shaheen has not hosted a single public town hall meeting in years. As evidence by her actions today, she continues to only want to listen to those who are beneficial to her own career. Granite Staters, in particular our veterans, deserve much better than that.”