Author: Stephen Hansen

Ten Essential Criteria for Board Policy Development

Ten Essential Criteria for Board Policy Development

As stated in my previous post, policy-making is a board’s primary governance tool. These organisational statements translate a board’s vision, priorities and values into action. Additionally, they are a board’s best evidence that it is focused on its primary mandate of improving student achievement. So, what do good policies look like? The following is a … Continue reading Ten Essential Criteria for Board Policy Development

How Does Your Policy Garden Grow?

How Does Your Policy Garden Grow?

In anticipation of nicer weather, many people will be thinking about getting their flower beds and gardens cleaned up and ready for the season. For school trustees, it is also a good time to think about tending to your policy gardens – from the ground up. The garden metaphor risks making light of the critical role … Continue reading How Does Your Policy Garden Grow?

Why Mr. Yakabuski is Wrong

Why Mr. Yakabuski is Wrong

In his April 24, 2017, Globe and Mail article entitled, The jig is up for Canada's school boards, Konrad Yakabuski calls for the end of publicly elected school boards, describing them as "a sorry spectacle of Canadian democracy". He charges that they "are plagued by petty ideological battles, personality conflicts, incivility and sheer incompetence". Mr. … Continue reading Why Mr. Yakabuski is Wrong

Slides from my Manitoba School Boards Association Keynote and Concurrent Presentations

Slides from my Manitoba School Boards Association Keynote and Concurrent Presentations

On March 16 I was honoured to present the opening Keynote to the 2017 MSBA Annual Conference on the topic of "Linking Effective Governnce to Student Success". I also presented a concurrent session on "Building a Strong Relationship Between the Board and Superintendent through Performance Planning and Review". For those participants who requested a copy of … Continue reading Slides from my Manitoba School Boards Association Keynote and Concurrent Presentations

Building the Governance Partnership – Book Review

Building the Governance Partnership – Book Review

For this blog post, I thought I would try something a little different. While looking at the website BoardSource the book Building the Governance Partnership caught my attention. Given my strong interest in this topic BoardSource generously offered to send me an online copy to review on my blog Boardswork.ca. First, though, I need to … Continue reading Building the Governance Partnership – Book Review

BC Links Exempt Compensation to Performance

BC Links Exempt Compensation to Performance

For several years now in British Columbia compensation for exempt education staff has been frozen by the provincial government. This includes Superintendents, Directors, Principals/Vice-principals and most other non-unionized employees. Started as a provincial belt-tightening measure, over time the freeze created recruitment, retention and salary compression problems as compensation levels for education leaders fell behind. The … Continue reading BC Links Exempt Compensation to Performance

Stronger Together – Support Your Provincial Association

Stronger Together – Support Your Provincial Association

Most of the articles on this blog focus on the importance and improvement of locally elected school boards, but no matter how skilled any single board may be, it cannot be its best in isolation.  Most provinces have school board/trustee associations that provide support and advocacy on behalf of their members. There is also the … Continue reading Stronger Together – Support Your Provincial Association

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for School Boards

Ten New Year’s Resolutions for School Boards

In 2017, we commit to: Operate as a governance team that believes unconditionally that ALL students can be successful. Consistently and visibly drive our beliefs about student achievement through the entire district and community. Enhance our representative role by proactively engaging our community in our vision and goals. Increase transparency by doing as much of … Continue reading Ten New Year’s Resolutions for School Boards

Do School Boards Affect Student Achievement?

Do School Boards Affect Student Achievement?

Public education in Canada has much to be happy about given the recently announced 2015 PISA results. Overall, Canadian students ranked among the world’s very best in reading, science and math. Although the PISA scores tell only part of the story about a country’s education system, clearly Canada is doing something right - or more … Continue reading Do School Boards Affect Student Achievement?

Court Decisions, Smaller Classes and What Research Can Teach Us

Court Decisions, Smaller Classes and What Research Can Teach Us

In November 2016, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) made a landmark ruling in favour of the BC Teachers' Federation (BCTF). The court confirmed that in 2002 the BC provincial government violated the teachers' constitutional rights when it removed class size and composition language from their contracts. The result will be an opening of the … Continue reading Court Decisions, Smaller Classes and What Research Can Teach Us