Monthly Archive for May, 2007

Abolish School Boards, Pass Savings on to Schools

Mario Dumont, ADQ Opposition Leader in Quebec, had pledged to abolish school boards and reinvest the savings in students and schools, or so he said in the last provincial election (Mar ’07) in Quebec. Now, Chris Eustace,a grandfather of 4 school-aged children writes an open letter to Mario to do his best to promote this idea:

The English school boards in Montreal are costly, autocratic, educational bureaucracies, accountable to no one…It’s time to give schools back to the community – parents, teachers, school principals, caretakers and support personnel. They are the people who know what is in the best interest of the students. (Opponents) must realize that times have changed. School boards are being revamped all over the world because they are proving to be unnecessary, expensive intermediaries. Look at New Zealand and the Netherlands, with their "money follows the child" approach. Chicago, New York, Detroit and New Brunswick are some other examples. Take a look at what’s happening in Alberta. As you are now opposition leader, I am looking forward to you … abolishing school boards and adopting a more family-oriented approach in the managing of our public schools.

Please see the complete article of May 03/07 here.

 

God made the Idiot for practice, and then He made the School Board.
Mark Twain

Parent Advisory Councils in BC

Parent Advisory Councils in every school was the goal of a new School Act in BC in 1989. This came about after a two-year public process examining the education system (Royal Commission or Sullivan Commission). Home schooling was also brought to the fore (though never illegal) by more expansive regulations A new Independent School Act further validated the growth of private and independent schools. My involvement in an earlier round of public discussion, “Let’s Talk About Schools” in 1984-5 foreshadowed future developments. My presentations highlighted the following: – School Boards are an outdated form of education delivery (Public Interest, Fall 1984) – School-based management as modeled in private schools should prevail – Return parents to a central role in education decision-making. Have mandated parent advisory councils in each and every school. – Enhance options so that parents can choose from a much wider range of choices in the public school system, in the independent system and other styles that are now emerging, for example, home education. Parents are the missing link in education because the current top-down management is run by pedagogues and ideologues.