Cormier:  Opposed to Common Core

Cormier: Opposed to Common Core

07-17-2014 News

The Curriculum and Instruction Committee of the Manchester School Board will hold its second and final public hearing on the proposed Manchester Academic Standards tonight in the auditorium at West High School.

It starts at six o’clock.  Critics of the standards, largely opponents of the Common Core national standards, have organized a “Common Sense Not Common Core” rally in advance of the event.  Frustrated with the three minute limit imposed on testimony and the refusal of the administration to actually present the standards or answer questions, they hope to gather opponents of the Common Core to make an impression on those school board members present.  The rally will begin at five forty five.  Among the participants will be District Sixteen State Senate Candidate Jane Cormier, who has been a statewide leader in the fight to get the legislature to evaluate the standards and the tests that come with them before they go int effect.  Organizers are urging anyone with concerns or questions over the academic standards or the process that developed them to attend.
Stotsky:  Not a Collaborator

Stotsky: Not a Collaborator

With respect to the Manchester Academic Standards, Dr. Sandra Stotsky considers herself to have been an advisor, not a collaborator in their creation.  In response to inquiries made by Girard at Large, Stotsky said she had two different meetings working with different groups of teachers.  She said she couldn’t call herself  a collaborator because it was not clear what the teachers would do after she left the morning meetings.   She spent one morning with the high school English teachers and one morning with the middle school standards writers.  She said she also spent time with administration official Kristine Pelletier who she said seemed very knowledgeable, and several elementary teachers and worked out a useful table of contents with strands for K-5/6, but has yet to see that Table of Content online.  Until she sees a completed document, all in one piece, with a Table of Contents for  all grades, then her role, she wrote, can be seen not as collaborative but as advisory only.  As to the other names on the list of collaborative experts provided by Assistant Superintendent David Ryan , Stotsky said there weren’t any experts in English Language Arts and the one name she recognized, Dr. Karin Hess, works for a testing company and may know testing standards, but not curriculum standards.  She’s right, by the way.  Hess works for the Center for Assessment in Dover, the same outfit that Dr. Scott Marion, the guy who defended the standards after the public spoke out against them at the school board meeting on June ninth, works for; the same fellow who admitted his company’s paid work for PARCC, one of the two companies administering the Common Core assessment tests nation wide.  Reminder, we made the inquiry of Stotsky because Ryan listed her as a collaborator, which seemed a bit strange given what we knew of the process.

News from our own backyard continues after this.
Wheeler:  Reminded of Obamacare

Wheeler: Reminded of Obamacare

The Executive Council voted to grant the nearly three hundred million dollar contract that will officially enroll the state of New Hampshire into Obamacare by expanding the state’s Medicaid program.  That provoked G O P office seekers in council districts four and five, both of which fall within our listening area, to issue statements.  Former District Five Executive Councilor David Wheeler, Republican of Milford,  issued a statement saying its passage was quote “Eerily reminiscent of how Congress passed Obamacare,”  because the Council passed a two hundred page contract amendment at its Wednesday meeting without reading it.  The item was brought to the Council as a late item just before the meeting on Wednesday.  District Four Republican Executive Council candidate Jim Adams also blasted the council, taking direct aim at incumbent Councilor Christopher Pappas, Democrat from Manchester, who voted in favor of the contract.  He said it was absolutely unconscionable that Pappas could approve a contract without even reading it. Quote ” it is the Council’s job to fully vet every contract that comes across their desk.  A 15 minute presentation and 20 minute discussion on a $300 million contract is not what it takes to properly represent the taxpayers of New Hampshire.”  End quote.  District One Councilor Joe Kenney and District Three Councilor Christopher Sununu, the Council’s two Republicans, opposed the contract.  We’ve posted Wheeler’s and Adams’ full statements with this news read.

Hassan:  Gets BIG BUCKS from national union

Hassan: Gets BIG BUCKS from national union

The New Hampshire Republican State Committee asked Attorney General Joseph Foster to investigate an illegal contribution made by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers PAC to Governor Margaret Wood Hassan’s re-election campaign.  According to documents filed with the Secretary of State’s office, the Washington, DC based PAC broke the law by making a $25,000 donation to Hassan’s candidate committee; a contribution which dramatically exceeds New Hampshire’s contribution limits.  State law limits candidates like Hassan who decline to follow an expenditure cap to $7,000 in combined donations for the pre-declaration of candidacy period, the primary election and the general election.  The G OP release said the I B E W PAC is a special interest committee that is trying to buy influence in Concord and push elected officials like Hassan to support the controversial Northern Pass project.  “It is troubling and alarming to see that a pro-Northern Pass special interest group funded by union bosses is illegally funneling money into Governor Hassan’s re-election campaign.  Attorney General Foster needs to immediately investigate Governor Hassan’s illegal campaign activity and force her to follow the law,” said N H G O P Chairman Jennifer Horn.

That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.