Tag Archives: GirardatLarge

When did you give up local control to the NH Commissioner of Ed? Virginia Barry

NH residents need to start asking themselves, when did they give up local control to the Commissioner of Education, Virginia Barry?
Has our State Commissioner of Education overstepped her boundaries AGAIN?
Who pays the Superintendents?
Who hires and fires the Superintendents?
It’s not the Commissioner, and she has NO right to put our administrators in a position where they cannot share information with the people who pay their salary.
The NH Dept. of Education is again, overstepping their authority and grabbing control away from local communities.

From the Girard at Large web site:

MSD: Withholding Smarter Balanced Assessment scores

The Manchester School District, in response to a right to know request we filed last Thursday, has acknowledged it has received the city’s Smarter Balanced Assessment scores from the state Department of Education and has had them for several weeks. However, in an email sent to us yesterday, Superintendent Debra Livingston denied our request for the scores to be released, saying they would be released in conjunction with the state D o E. (Interestingly, she copied the entire school board on her response, despite our not copying them on our inquiry.)

Results withheld
Just four hours later, the district issued a statement saying the scores will be available to parents and the public on November twelfth. The statement also announced that S A U staff will quote

“soon be reviewing the data and preparing instructional materials for principals and teachers to use in order to interpret and make the best use of the data.”

It also said the data will be sent to the schools later this week and given to teachers on Monday, September twenty eighth. Livingston said the data would be used to quote “establish a baseline of achievement.”

Glassner: Got the info
We made the inquiry after State Board of Education Chair Tom Raffio told Sid Glassner, during his show Inside Education on this radio station, that the state had the assessment scoring and had sent it to school districts weeks ago. Glassner discussed it at length last Thursday during the Girard at Large “Is Our Children Learning?” segment. According to the state department of education, the scores were supposed to be released in July so districts could use the data to inform instruction in the coming school year.

IMPORTANT WARNING About Executive Councilor Chris Pappas

AS originally posted on Girard at Large

Executive Councilor Chris Pappas: BAD For Public Education in New Hampshire

Categories: Oh My BLOG!

After all of the slick fliers and campaign ads we’ve been bombarded with lately, I found one particularly interesting and thought, maybe readers might not catch the attempt to mislead voters on November 4th.

I’m talking about the latest flier from Executive Councilor Chris Pappas. Pappas is serving in the towns of: towns of Allenstown, Auburn, Barrington, Bedford, Bow, Candia, Chichester, Deerfield, Epsom, Goffstown, Hooksett, Lee, Londonderry, Loudon, Northwood, Nottingham, Pembroke, and Pittsfield, and the city of Manchester. This position is important because the Executive Councilors oversee the Governor.

In the Pappas ad it says: “I want to keep politics out of the Council chamber, especially when it comes to critical decisions like expanding access to health care coverage.” – Chris Pappas

That’s a great line to add to a campaign flier, it’s just too bad he doesn’t follow his own advice.

Read more here

Why Is Lee Nyquist Ignoring Voters In His District?

More on Lee Nyquist for State Senate ignoring constituents by dodging questions on Common Core. IF you live in Bedford, New Boston, Mont Vernon, Lyndeborough, Greenfield, Temple Sharon, Peterborough, Hancock, Dublin, Jaffrey, Troy, Fitzwilliam, and Richmond., BE WARNED.

Senator Andy Sanborn opposes COMMON CORE. Parents would be wise to stick with Sanborn on November 4th.

Click here to read more:
As originally posted on Girard at Large

Common Core is Wrong for NH and so is Governor Hassan

Originally posted at Girard at Large

By Ann Marie Banfield

Governor Hassan is running a political commercial praising herself on the issue of education. Sadly she’s misleading the public.

Governor Hassan has walked lockstep behind the Obama Administration as they wage war on teachers and students. By adopting the Common Core Standards (CCSS), NH has given up local control in educaion in favor of dumbed down academic standards. If our students are to compete nationally or internationally, Common Core is NOT the plan for that.

Not only does the Obama Administration seek to make the problem of over testing worse, teachers have now become the scapegoat in this bureaucratic reform.

The U.S. Department of Education has denied States a waiver from No Child Left Behind if they do not target teachers by tying their evaluations to the standarized test scores. Governor Hassan’s approach to education seems to be, throw the teachers under the bus and comply with their outrageous demands.

Dr. James Milgram who sat on the Common Core Validation Committee and refused to sign off on the CCSS said, “Common Core puts them at least two years behind their peers in high-performing countries, and leaves them ill-prepared for authentic college course work.”

Jason Zimba: the chief drafter of the math standards said:
• Common Core college readiness is a minimal definition of college readiness
• Common Core is not for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
• Common Core is not for selective colleges
• Common Core does not prepare students to take College calculus (source: http://www.restorecaeducation.com/)

If parents want something better than this for their children, I’d suggest supporting candidates like Walt Havenstein who has publicly stated his opposition to Common Core.

It takes leadership to say NO to the U.S. Department of Education’s over-reach that harms our teachers, students and legacy of local control It’s obvious Governor Hassan does not have that important quality we need in this state.

Olszta: Manchester Got The Floor, Not Superior Standards

As originally published at:  


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.  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 and 9 and Litchfield