About 10 years ago, I joined with Manchester parents to demand better academic standards for the students who attend the public schools in Manchester. After the disastrous Common Core Standards were adopted by the State, Manchester parents realized they wanted something better for their kids.
The Manchester school district spent $16,000.00 to rebrand the Common Core Standards, which they now call the Manchester Academic Standards. No one was fooled. The money was wasted, and they ended up with 80% Common Core. I watched as some of the parents removed their children from the school district right after that. It was the biggest stab in the back to parents, and they knew it.
Since then, I’ve been one of many voices among parents fighting for quality academic education in Manchester. Unfortunately, Manchester is run by the status quo who would rather focus on federal fads, Critical Race Theory, and allow Manchester Proud (Community Organizers) to run the school district into the ground.
The recent standardized test scores were released, and we can see that Manchester students again struggle with proficiency in math and reading.
Commissioner Edelblut called this a “pandemic-related learning loss.” I have no doubt that the shut-downs, and the failure by some public school administrators to reopen in a timely matter, contributed to this dismal news. However, let’s not forget that many private schools were open and serving their students during the time Manchester was shut down.
It’s time to stop making excuses for poor leadership at the top. If UPS and FedEx can maintain business throughout the pandemic, why couldn’t Superintendents making 6-figure salaries figure it out? Why could private schools reopen while public-school parents had to start petitions, and fight their school board to reopen? Why did Governor Chris Sununu force some of these schools to reopen at the end of the school year? Why are the leaders in these schools continually failing the students?
STOP MAKING EXCUSES FOR THEM.
Manchester was caught pushing the radical Critical Race Theory in the district. They’ve partnered with Manchester Proud who has NO track record of improving academic achievement. Manchester continues to use the dumbed-down Common Core rebranded standards that sets children up for failure. There is chaos in the school, and now parents are reporting that girls are afraid to use the bathroom because of the fighting.
That is why I’m not at all surprised to read this desperate cry for help by one of Manchester’s teachers.
As you can see, the district is in a mess.
What is going to happen to the teacher who spoke up? It looks like there will be retaliation against the teacher!!!
Have you heard from Mayor Joyce Craig about any plans to improve the quality of instruction in Manchester? NO.
What has Manchester Proud provided to the schools? They hired a Chief Equity Officer, and developed a strategic plan centered on equity.
Can anything get more ridiculous than this? How do these people sleep at night knowing that they are contributing to this self-destruction?
Public schools need a couple of things:
1) Focus on academic excellence;
2) A well-disciplined environment where children can learn.
This isn’t rocket science. Go back to the basics.
That means focusing your teacher professional development on academics, and not shaming them for being white. Get rid of the software that is all about assessing, and offers little time for instruction. Stop requiring teachers to become the mask police. Your district will never succeed at assessing or treating mental health, so stop it. Go back to the basics. Put the teacher back in front of the class, remove disruptive children so the others can learn, and focus on academics instead of political indoctrination and bias.
Are there additional needs that children face in Manchester? Absolutely. Social services are needed, but you can’t turn the district into a social services facility or your school will suffer.
You cannot ask teachers to assess and treat their students’ mental health. That’s not their specialty, and they do not have the education or credentials to perform those tasks. Stop it.
STOP implementing federal fads, and hire a leader who will cut through all of this and help your kids to learn.
Manchester just announced they will be using the Kagan Classroom Strategy. Kagan was described as “a system designed to boost student engagement, increase self esteem and close achievement gaps.” That’s funny because I’m old enough to remember the failures from the self-esteem fad in the ’80s. It looks like this fad is back in Manchester. Kagan is another vendor selling another product to the district with no independent track record of improving academic outcomes.
The grants coming into the school also provide money, but they require the district to adopt practices that do not always have a track record of improving academic achievement. I know, I read the grant applications, and looked at the flawed practices they demand from your district.
Your board members are failing your children, the Mayor is failing your children, and your school administrators are failing your children. This requires a drastic change in leadership.
You start with the voting booth. You start by showing up to school board meetings like the rest of the country is doing. You start demanding better from the people you pay, and who are supposed to be serving your children.
If you don’t fight for your kids, who will?