Mayor Joyce Craig has done nothing to improve the quality of education in Manchester. As Chairman of the Board, she should have come in with a plan to improve the public schools in Manchester. Instead, she appears to be punting that authority to community organizers like Manchester Proud and the Nellie Mae Foundation. Both of these paid community organizers have supported failed federal policies in public education.
For instance, Nellie Mae is funded by the biggest supporter of Common Core in the United States, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
Manchester Proud paid a membership fee on behalf of the Manchester school district to the Council of Great City Schools (CGCS). CGCS is a political organization and listed as a partner on the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to “promote and coordinate successful implementation of the new common core standards in major urban public school systems nationwide.”
There are areas in the district that are in need of improvement, but paid community organizers have an agenda to push. That agenda conflicts with what parents in Manchester have repeatedly rejected, Common Core.
An informal survey from Manchester parents on facebook indicated that they did not want Common Core used in the classroom. Numerous parents demanded the Common Core Standards be removed from the district several years ago.
The Obama administration funded research on Common Core and found lower student achievement since Common Core was implemented. Students would have done better if Common Core had never existed.
Common Core math has been heavily criticized by our top mathematicians for having too much of a focus on communication skills versus math computation skills. This emphasis in the Common Core math could take a brilliant math student who struggles with the English language and penalize them. That’s not a path to success but a direct assault on the many immigrant students who attend the Manchester public schools.
The Curriculum & Instruction Committee is looking at Common Core-aligned math textbooks for the classroom without giving any consideration to quality math programs like Singapore Math. Where is Mayor Joyce Craig? Where is Manchester Proud and the Nellie Mae community organizers? Ignoring all of this and pushing more of the federal education reform policies on the school district.
These organizations appear to be preying upon the most vulnerable in the district instead of uplifting them in a way that helps them to succeed. This is why Common Core has been criticized as a set up for failure.
Mayor Joyce Craig doesn’t question their recommendations or ask for any proof that their recommendations are founded upon independent and peer-reviewed scientific studies. Her failure to lead the district to excellence should be one of the main issues in the upcoming election for Mayor. Her lack of support for the students in Manchester should disqualify her from holding this important office again.