“Common Core rejected by Manchester in favor of developing own academic standards” the Union Leader trumpeted on its front page yesterday, gleefully dancing in the end zone. “Not so fast,” said NHPR. So in today’s edition, the Union Leader is walking that back, saying in its lead editorial,
“The board did not “reject” Common Core. The plan is to use those standards as the “floor” for Manchester and spend the next several months coming up with a unique set that will exceed in academic rigor the standards presented in Common Core. The district is to spend $28,000 on this project. The standards are to be applied in the following academic year.”
Then the paper tries to regain lost ground on the front page, under a non-committal headline: “Common Core moves continue…” But the sub-headline blows it again: “Nashua is considering holding off adopting the standards.” The story delivers on this big news headline with one sentence way down in the story:
“On Tuesday, school officials in Nashua agreed to discuss a proposal from a school board member to put off fully adopting the Common Core standards and the Smarter Balanced test for two years”
That is not true. Nashua could not “hold off adopting the standards” – they are in the classroom already. They could not “put off” Smarter Balanced testing without violating state law and losing federal funding. And the resolution proposes none of that anyway. It requests that the State do those things.
So in its ferver to construct a narrative that doesn’t exist – “district by district, New Hampshire is rejecting the Common Core – the Union leader gets the story wrong in too many ways to count.
Then it even goes on to grumble that Common Core opponents will be “watching closely to ensure that Manchester develops a genuine alternative to Common Core and not the same standards by another name.” (That’s the $28,000 project the editorial tells us about.)
An editorial position opposing the Common Core is one thing, but the Union Leader confuses the issue and does the State a disservice when its reporting is so far off the mark.