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
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?
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
In Part 2 of this series I outlined the benefits of conducting performance reviews for school superintendents, provided they are done well. Today’s post will discuss six essential principles that need to be embedded in the process if those benefits are to be realised. The Shared Responsibility for Student Achievement The most important partnership a … Continue reading Part 3: Six Essential Principles in Superintendent Performance Review
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?
Although self-evident it is worth repeating – the reason we have publicly elected school boards is to provide the public with a voice in one of society’s most important “public goods” - education. By exercising this right we select individuals from our local communities to represent our interests in public education. To be clear, this is … Continue reading Democracy Rules – Part Two of Can’t We All Just Get Along? – Truths and recommendations re intra-board relations
As publicly elected representatives, the primary responsibility of boards of education/school boards is to improve student achievement in their communities. They reflect the education priorities and unique requirements of these communities by establishing policies, bylaws, district-wide plans and annual budgets. Throughout its term a board will be faced with many issues requiring informed decisions. … Continue reading Informed Board Decision Making
With the imminent arrival of Syrian refugee families our elementary and secondary schools will have a key role to play. Government and other local agencies will immediately provide shelter, food and clothing. However, the long-term success of these future citizens will be dependent on them eventually finding employment and becoming part of the community fabric. … Continue reading How Schools Can Help Refugee Families