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?
Category: School Trustees
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
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
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 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
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?
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?
In my last post, I discussed government expectations that school trustees should possess specific skills and knowledge to be successful in their governance roles. This raises some interesting questions related to roles, equity and the essence of democracy itself. Democracy When I was the Executive Director of the BC School Trustees Association we argued against … Continue reading Are School Trustees Learners Too?