Tag Archives: british columbia
George Abbott, minister of Education, put out a missive this week that seemed to mostly fly under the radar (thanks to Susan Skinner, North Vancouver Trustee, for pointing it out).
The plan contains many ideas we’ve heard before, but not a lot of detail about any proposed changes. There are 5 key elements to the “plan”:
- Personalized learning for every student.
- Quality teaching and learning.
- More flexibility and choice.
- High standards.
- Learning empowered by technology.
I’m not anti-business, not even anti-rich people, but I am very excited about the movement and the potential for positive dialogue and change in our society. I don’t think the goal of the movement is to brand all corporations as bad, but to illuminate the fact that the citizenry (the other %99) have virtually no say in how corporations operate within our respective countries.
I’m not as interested in whether or not business execs are rich, but I am interested in how they got rich. Was it from cheap public resources? Policies favouring one corporation over another? Pouring waste chemicals into public rivers? Slavery? Deceptive advertising? Those are the things citizens deserve a say in, and politicians, beholden to the groups that fund their war chests, have repeatedly not acted in the public interest in these matters.
The heart of the movement isn’t about taking from the rich, it’s about highlighting the fact that citizens in our “democracy” are not allowed to participate in the decision making process regarding matters of public policy.
Though it kills the status-quo-nicks, the fact that there isn’t a hard list of demands from the participants is sort of the point! This isn’t a special interest group lobbying for their own specific benefit. The reason the movement has gained momentum is that young people will be demanding a say in every area of public interest. As hard as it is to fathom for some of us, young people are simply not going to be satisfied with our centuries old system of having a handful of people deciding for them all matters of public import.
Our system isn’t horrible, it’s just not democratic. More and more people are wondering why that is. There are going to be true democratic reforms–it’s inevitable–just a matter of how it comes about.
Politicians (and media) that continue to dismiss this movement as an unorganized group of misfits do so at their own peril!
The BC Liberals have pledged to implement changes to the professional body that regulates teachers in BC. The college came under fire last year after a review by Don Avison.
As this chapter of the HST struggle winds down, let’s consider the potential impact of the process. For me, as a proponent of true democratic reforms, this has been a monumental struggle. The results of the referendum are less important than the fact that citizens–hard-working folks that pay the bills and whose lives are directly impacted–were given the opportunity to have a say in public policy! Continue reading
Amid the financial crisis in the US president Obama continues to state that he will invest in education in an effort to “reform” the floundering US education system. Education reform has been a big issue in the US, spawning all kinds of ideas–some good, some silly, some “meh”– aimed at improving education.
Whether you like the idea of education reform or hate it, it has propelled education into the spotlight making it a focus nationally, regionally, and locally. I just don’t think you can say that about education in Canada.
Of course, we are different nations, and you could say that the US education system is in a “crisis,” and therefore warrants the attention; but most of the issues being discussed are relevant to Canada, and we do face many of the same challenges (though less extreme-so far.)
There are lessons to be learned in all this. We need to start focusing on education before we are in a crisis. I still haven’t heard any concrete plans from our BC leadership (NDP & Liberal) candidates on their plans to ensure our children get an exceptional education.
Where are the champions in BC?