And the rhetoric begins

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And the rhetoric begins

Postby andysinnh » Sun Apr 01, 2007 6:16 am

Today in the Telegraph, there's a letter from Dave McCray about supporting Jenn and Dan for SB. Now the letter is typical from what a supporter of their agenda would state, but the final sentence is something that tells me that they just don't get it. The paragraph states, quoted from the letter:

On April 10, vote for Jen and Dan and tell the fear mongers that empty wallets don’t equal valedictorians in every home. Vote for accountability by casting votes for Jen and Dan for the Merrimack School Board.


If Dave and others think the issue on the table is that parents want valedictorians in every home, then they CERTAINLY don't get where the need really is. And he also seems to "forget" that the 2 incumbents supported the budget as submitted. And an earlier quote just drives it home:


To suggest that anyone who wants to spend $58 million instead of $59 million is anti-education is ridiculous, yet that is the message that was spoken at the deliberative session.


Since Dave wasn't there, maybe he didn't notice that this wasn't the message that people at the DS left with. The mood was certainly not that...

andy
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Postby andysinnh » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:01 am

And one final quote that caught my eye was

Jen and Dan believe that money is only part of the equation, which also includes competent teachers, interested students and parents who check their children’s homework before turning on the TV.

Now, to me this was a bit degrading to parents, with the implication that we're not involved. Now, don't get me wrong - there will always be parents and students that aren't engaged in the process. But perhaps the single greatest tool added to the school district in the past couple of years was the PowerSchool parent portal, allowing direct access by parents to their childs' teachers gradebooks, allowing daily updates on homework, tests and other aspects of their grades. That, combined with the published email addresses (and school phone extension) of every teacher, provides unprecidented access to information for parents and students that want to be involved. And I'd bet that if you ask teachers, a lot more interaction exists today than before - and those parents who care can now be kept abreast of things that their students' may not have shared before. I know that personally I wish this would have been available for our oldest son back about 3 years ago.

Sure, some parents won't get involved - but the Merrimack school district is one of the state leaders in full disclosure and access between parents and teachers, and that information shouldn't be lost in all of this.....

andy
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Postby Michael Thompson » Sun Apr 01, 2007 7:45 am

Do you have the link to the LTE?

Thanks
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Postby Brian McCarthy » Sun Apr 01, 2007 8:34 am

Michael Thompson wrote:Do you have the link to the LTE?

Thanks


requires registration:

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc ... /204010367
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Postby Wayne » Sun Apr 01, 2007 9:06 am

Let me get this straight...

If I recall correctly, Emily Coburn was elected not very long ago as a champion of fiscal conservatism, someone who would hold the line on unreasonable spending while maintaining quality education and opportunities in our schools, someone who as a former teacher was tuned into the students' needs.

This year we are about to emerge from DINI status, and the budget they came up with is once again below the default budget. As far as I know, the budget was hailed by everybody from Ken Coleman to Rick Barnes to Jeannine. Then, changes made at the DS (proposed by an admitted very-fiscal-conservative) added some money back - how is that laid at the feet of the SB?

Councilman McCray's LTE urges people to vote for Dwyer and Twardosky to bring accountability back to the Board. What he's really proposing is to bring politics and divisiveness back. Haven't we had enough of that?
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Postby uscitizen03054 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 10:24 am

What he's really proposing is to bring politics and divisiveness back. Haven't we had enough of that?


Wayne please let me understand the basis for this statement. My feeling is that Dwyer and Twardosky are seeking accountability of the system and not politics as you claim. This direction if true will be good for the children as it will improve the quality of education so I urge folks who have a stake in the Merrimack schools to vote for Dwyer and Twardosky.

My basis is for my position is I see no mention of acceptability on either of the incumbents’ web sites. Accountability seems to be a key issue of the challengers.

http://www.robertson-smith.com

or

http://www.votecoburn.com.
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Postby Jeannine Stergios » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:10 am

Why haven't you "and so it begins people" posted this?

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc ... 2/70331008

You're only posting one side.

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc ... /204010367

Now we have two sides available.
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Postby Wayne » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:56 am

Jeannine, did you or did you not speak/post in support of the budget produced by the current SB?
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Postby andysinnh » Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:57 am

Jeannine Stergios wrote:Why haven't you "and so it begins people" posted this?

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc ... 2/70331008

You're only posting one side.

http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbc ... /204010367

Now we have two sides available.

OK - fair enough. Maybe this string is a place for both sides, and you're free to post those as well. This week there may even be an LTE from me in there.

But my point here was the tone of Mr McCray's letter, and especially (for me) the second point about the "accountability", and the involvement of parents. I'd certainly like to understand what magical method is being proposed to "get parents to review homework before watching TV" (sic). Is there going to be a new requirement for graduation that parents become "involved"? Maybe a pass/fail grade if they attend a parent-teachers conference? And "interested students" - what does that mean? Some incentive program? Nice words - nice "rhetoric" - but the "real world" says there are always going to be students and parents who do not have the desire to get involved, no matter what. So this thing sort of has me shurgging my shoulders and asking "huh?".

And, in the candidate profile today on in Telegraph, Jen and Dan talk about courses "aimed at those not wanting to attend colllege". Last time I checked, there was a pretty good program for those types of things there as well - so what's the "idea" in this space?

Is there rhetoric on both sides? Yep. I'm just not understanding the benefits for change here and what the new blood might really "do".

andy
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Postby Norman Phillips » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:42 pm

Jeannine Stergios wrote:-----------http://www.nashuatelegraph.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070401/OPINION02/204010367

Now we have two sides available.


Poor David, here he is fulminating against the attendees at the Deliberative Session, instead of against candidates. :roll: :roll: :roll:
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Re: And the rhetoric begins

Postby Confucius » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:44 pm

andysinnh wrote:Today in the Telegraph, there's a letter from Dave McCray about supporting Jenn and Dan for SB.


I believe that somewhere, Dave's heart is in the right place. I like a lot of what he has done, and how he learned to manage his temper. That said, being the lead councilor and having a couple rubber stamp sycophants supporting him on the board appears to have gone to his head a little. Everything is becoming a little more about Dave and less about what is right for the town.

I hope for his sake that he gets taken down a peg or two before he goes all Captain Queeg on us. Look for the metal stress balls and strawberries. I still think he can do good work for the town. I just see a downward arc with the righty pandering and town employee browbeating.
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Re: And the rhetoric begins

Postby uscitizen03054 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 12:59 pm

Confucius wrote:
andysinnh wrote:Today in the Telegraph, there's a letter from Dave McCray about supporting Jenn and Dan for SB.


I believe that somewhere, Dave's heart is in the right place. I like a lot of what he has done, and how he learned to manage his temper. That said, being the lead councilor and having a couple rubber stamp sycophants supporting him on the board appears to have gone to his head a little. Everything is becoming a little more about Dave and less about what is right for the town.

I hope for his sake that he gets taken down a peg or two before he goes all Captain Queeg on us. Look for the metal stress balls and strawberries. I still think he can do good work for the town. I just see a downward arc with the righty pandering and town employee browbeating.


Attention good people of Merrimack, we are drifting away in our debate from the ultimate questions at hand. Are you satisfied with these test scores and should someone within the school system be accountable for them. This should not be about personalities but about accountability. we need someone within the SB to own up to these!

Here some interesting results from NECAP 2006-2007 in terms of Merrimack's scores in relation to other area schools.

Reading Aggregate

Amherst Bedford Bow ConVal Hollis/Brookline Merrimack Milford Mont Vernon Nashua Oyster River

% Proficient and above

83% 89% 82% 73% 84% 79% 75% 79% 69% 84%

Math Aggregate

Amherst Bedford Bow ConVal Hollis / Brookline Merrimack Milford Mont Vernon Nashua Oyster River

% Proficient and above

80% 86% 79% 63% 86% 71% 70% 66% 67% 79%

Writing Aggregate

Amherst Bedford Bow ConVal Hollis / Brookline Merrimack Milford Mont Vernon Nashua Oyster River

% Proficient and above

57% 65% 68% 48% 67% 42% 56% 30% 49% 53%
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Re: And the rhetoric begins

Postby Confucius » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:08 pm

uscitizen03054 wrote:Attention good people of Merrimack, we are drifting away in our debate from the ultimate questions at hand. Are you satisfied with these test scores and should someone within the school system be accountable for them. This should not be about personalities but about accountability. we need someone within the SB to own up to these!


And you think that JennTwad/DDwyer, who both want more trades taught and less of that icky college stuff, are going to do squat for better educating our children? We could just turn Merrimack into a Regional Voc Tech school and assume everyone will be a plumber, electrician, etc. Yeah. That'll help the test scores and the national need for math, engineering and science graduates. I guess we can alway keep importing from India since that is going so well.
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Postby uscitizen03054 » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:18 pm

And you think that JennTwad/DDwyer, who both want more trades taught and less of that icky college stuff, are going to do squat for better educating our children?


Confucius we do not know if Jenn and Dan can turn the tide in terms of academic performance but do know exactly the test scores we have achieved during the tenure of the incumbents. This data is a out there for everyone to see and I for one would rather we look at new blood to attempt to turn the tide. Will it happen, I hope so but we cannot keep the same trajectory of academic performance here in Merrimack.
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Postby Gina Rosati » Sun Apr 01, 2007 1:42 pm

USC, please don't make me type that letter all over again. If everyone would kindly go to the thread entitled, "More to a School Board member than "fiscal conservatism", I've already addressed the same test scores USC's showed us there with a letter from the state of New Hampshire and a comment from Assistant Superintendent Deborah Woelflein. Yes, the scores are lower than some towns. But yes, they are improving, and yes, Emily and Rose have worked with the school district to develop a plan geared to permanent, sustainable improvement. I gave you Deborah Woelflein's phone number ... 424-6200. Please call her with your concerns and then bring them to Candidate's Night. We'd all love to meet you, USC, and celebrate your 7,000th post anniversary with you!!!
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