As reported by Rich Girard on “Girard At Large” yesterday, the state battle over Common Core continues in Manchester. Since the Curriculum and Instruction Committee (C&I) decided to approve what they claim to be “better standards” over Common Core and push forward to a vote by the Manchester School Board, there has been controversy about whether they are truly the “highest standards” as Mayor Gatsas promised.
Once people started looking at the standards, they discovered that the “highest standards” were nothing but Common Core standards with a few tweaks. Since Common Core standards are actually lower standards than Manchester’s original standards, this is causing some issues with people who truly care about the education of Manchester’s children. Meanwhile parents are on vacation and have no idea what is really going on at City Hall.
That’s when the storm started brewing. A group in Manchester started dropping off literature about Mayor Gatsas’ “Broken Promises” and why they should “Demand Better” by appearing at the Manchester School Board meeting on August 11. The literature drops are in various neighborhoods throughout the city and appeared to have started last weekend. A bulletin board on South Willow Street (a very busy intersection in the city) is alerting parents that they can say “No to Common Core” by attending the meeting.
Many feel it’s egregious to be holding these meetings during the summer when parents are typically out-of-the-loop with what’s happening at school. Mayor Gatsas, the C&I and the School Board are all responsible for the inept handling (or was it intentional) of re-writing Manchester standards. Nationally renowned educational standards expert Dr. Sandra Stotsky was on Girard At Large over the weekend and called the Manchester Academic Standards “incomplete and unprofessional”.
According to Stotsky, who refused to sign off on original Common Core standards, the Manchester School Board should not be voting on the standards as provided by the C&I because they are not complete and there is not a clear understanding of what the full standards actually consist of. There is not a document with all the pieces in one place.
If you look at the "new" standards yourself, you’ll see the majority are simply Common Core standards. The Mayor promised the “highest standards” yet the C&I failed to deliver on the promise. One of the excuses of the C&I is that parents weren’t showing up at meetings (held in the summer when parents are out-of-the-loop). That may change come August 11th because there’s a storm brewing in Manchester and once again Common Core is the epicenter.