Loud Typing

Loud TypingContent will include my letters to the editor, briefs, reports, etc.

Loud typing refers to the Tiananmen Square incident (massacre?) which would have gone largely unnoticed if people did not get on their computers, etc. to let the world know. Dec. 05/06

ABOLISH SCHOOL BOARDS [below is my letter to the editor published in the North Shore News, June 05/2000] Get rid of elected trustees

Dear Editor:

The many issues in our public schools that continue to trouble us: poor communication, unresponsiveness, discouragement of parent volunteers, trustees' expensive retreats, etc. are not new. When I was an active parent volunteer there was an occasion when we were even called "scabs" (North Shore News, front page story, Jan 5, 1983). Another time when parents stated they liked sports days for their kids, a principal told us that staff did not like them as it was an opportunity to compare notes.

So resentment of parent volunteers is not just about jobs! We can go back to 1976 when an international report of Canadian public education systems found school boards dealing with "fringe" matters rather than the substance of education and learning. "Parents complain that the school boards are remote and take no notice of them." (OECD Report of Educational Policy in Canada, 1976). Parents and the public have a long history of suffering under our present archaic system of educational governance. It is an industrial model and completely out of date with modern times. It produces layers and layers of obstacles and busy work for the industry, while parents and teachers are artificially kept from having meaningful relationships.

It is the structure that needs to be changed. We need to abolish politically elected school trustees who so-called "govern" over a whole district and have parents as unpaid governors of their own individual schools, similar to the structure in private schools. Elected trustees are "babes-in-the-woods" when it comes to dealing with employee groups and unions. They are easily overwhelmed and taken advantage of. How can they keep ahead of the professional advice, persistence, and knowledge build-up of the union groups? The benefits of such a change would be immense: accountability, responsiveness, cost saving, efficiency, etc.

Tunya Audain

West Vancouver