The truth about Mayor Ted Gatsas and Common Core in Manchester

Mayor Ted Gatsas. Photo by Kimberly Morin

On Sunday, Mayor Ted Gatsas gave a stump speech at the Rockingham County Republican Committee candidate forum. In his speech he once again made claims about his record on Common Core that aren’t true and what he claims he will do in the future.

A little background history – when Common Core came up for a vote a couple of years ago, parents united against the Manchester School Board to fight against putting sub-standard Common Core educational standards into place. Because parents actually showed up and demanded better, the school board said they wouldn’t put Common Core standards into place and would create their own standards that were better. Here’s a direct quote from Gatsas back then:

I’m sure Manchester students will learn by Manchester standards, which will be the highest in the state, because everyone in the state will want to follow them.

And what did the Manchester School Board actually do? They regurgitated Common Core standards across the board only making a few changes in high school English language arts. From Examiner:

Manchester parent Patrice Benard handed the board a printout showing that 88% of the English Language Arts (ELA) standards will be nothing but Common Core. Representative Emily Sandblade explained that 99% of the Math standards are nothing but Common Core and further that the standards are considerably lower compared to other countries. She also explained how Common Core math does nothing to promote STEM nor will it enable students to further careers in math at selective four year colleges.

The Manchester School Board, including Gatsas, voted for these sub-par standards after a year of lying to parents that they would provide far superior standards. Gatsas’ excuse now is that they were threatened with losing federal dollars. Except the federal government cannot withhold federal funding because of Common Core. The federal government cannot mandate any educational standards taught in the classroom. Common Core was extra money above the regular federal funding that the New Hampshire Department of Education chose to take without any input. No locality had to put Common Core in place. Not one.

In Gatsas’ education plan he makes the following claim:

Education is the key to our future. As Governor, I commit to the families and children throughout New Hampshire that I will put their needs ahead of Washington’s mandates.

He wouldn’t even stand up for children against New Hampshire’s Department of Education, does anyone really think he’ll have the fortitude to stand up to the federal government as governor? Education is one of the most important issues affecting the United States today and especially in New Hampshire where education is extremely important for the livelihood of the state. Granite Staters can’t afford to have a governor with a proven record of bending over for federal government mandates rather than fighting for what’s best for New Hampshire children.

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