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
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
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
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
This year’s Presidential Election in the United States has produced much angst about the current lack of civility in politics. It is almost impossible to avoid the increasing barrage of revelations, mudslinging and attack ads from both sides. As Canadians, we may observe this political slugfest with bemusement or horror, but we should not be … Continue reading Political Civility – Can We Reason Together?
The recent dismissal of Vancouver’s board of education (VSB) by BC’s Minister of Education has created a significant amount of anger, angst and ink. Although the firing of a board is a fairly rare occurrence, it does raise important questions about democracy, the political aspects of trusteeship, and the relationship between boards and professional staff. … Continue reading When a Board Gets Fired – What can be learned?
Sometimes it's the things that are closest to us that we take for granted and notice the least. When it comes to governance and politics it’s often the big “newsy” stories that catch our attention, such as the approaching American election, the Brexit decision, or the Royal Visit, – big stories, big headlines, famous people. … Continue reading Does Local Governance Matter?
Much has been written by provincial school trustee/board associations on what constitutes good governance. However, since Boards of Education (as they are called in British Columbia) serve at the pleasure of the provincial government, it would be informative to learn the government’s views on the matter. While the School Act is the legal authority … Continue reading The Government’s View on Good Governance
An earlier post on this blog encouraged Boards of Education to strengthen their connections with other local and provincial groups. In this interview previous BC Minister of Education George Abbott, provides practical advice on how to build connections with Members of the Legislative Assembly (MLAs) based on his 34 years in municipal and provincial politics. … Continue reading Tips on Connecting with MLAs
Sometimes the daily news can bring interesting juxtapositions of stories. First I noticed the recent announcement from the BC Ministry of Education that “curriculum changes over the next 10 years mean that 600K+ K-12 students will focus on math, science + creativity” (http://ow.ly/XnmMD). Earlier in the day I read a story from California about a group … Continue reading Curriculum Choice and Charter School Competition