Sunday, March 9, 2014

TDSB school trustees, another Hudak moment, and more....

Ontario EDU News...School Trustees

If Bill 122 does pass, School Trustees in Ontario are about to become more important than they already are, and play more of a key role in the lives of teachers, parents, and students than they already do...We will be blogging about trustees and Bill 122 later this week, but meanwhile, the following is the state of school trustees in the TDSB - it’s a frightening premise to hang’s one hat on.

Why can't those TDSB trustees play well with others?
Toronto Star
Democracy may be messy, but at the Toronto District School Board it’s a disaster zone... Armed police at meetings, locked doors to keep trustees from bothering staff, reports of sexual harassment, temper tantrums and conflict of interest — and that’s just in the past week.

Since the mega-board was created 16 years ago through the forced marriage of six fiercely independent school systems, its 22 trustees can’t seem to stay out of trouble. More than one team of auditors has scolded them for interfering in everyday operations and creating a “culture of fear” from top to bottom. Don’t even get started on their financial fiascos — just last year Queen’s Park froze all funds for construction until they got capital spending in order. If you set a reality show based on Canada’s largest school board, you’d call it Trustees Gone Wild.

How TDSB’s bullying culture prompted a call for police to step in
Globe and Mail
A culture of bullying is so prevalent within Canada’s largest school board that the chair has received half a dozen complaints in the past six months about threatening behaviour by trustees. The latest incident has prompted him to make the unusual request of having a police officer present at this week’s meeting to keep staff and trustees safe.

Toronto Trustee Elizabeth Moyer harassed two senior staff, report finds
Toronto Star
Trustee Elizabeth Moyer harassed two senior staffers at the Toronto District School Board by hugging and touching one and making a sexually suggestive comment to another, say the results of a confidential investigation, the Star has learned. The complaint against the Scarborough Southwest trustee was launched by executive superintendent Jim Spyropoulos last year.

Ontario Conservatives' Answer to the "Perceived" [read manufactured] Math Crisis in Ontario Schools...Performance Pay

It's astonishing that the Ontario Conservatives are so predictably base in their political strategy...obviously, in Hudak's world the PISA scores have declined because Ontario teachers are "big union" lazy, and if they got off their union asses we would have off-the-chart math scores.

Give math teachers incentive pay, Ontario Conservatives say
Toronto Star
Saying the minority Liberal government isn’t doing enough to improve the teaching of math, the Progressive Conservatives are calling for steps like incentive pay for teachers whose students boost their marks [PC news release]. “Our students are not performing at the level they should be,” Conservative MPP and education critic Rob Leone (Cambridge) said Wednesday, pointing to a general decline in math test scores and the demand for tutors from parents who can afford them.


EQAO scores have value: Education Minister Liz Sandals
Toronto Sun
Standardized testing has become a critical tool to target support for individual students or student bodies that are struggling, says Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals...While she doesn’t endorse Education Quality and Accountability Office testing to rank schools as done in the Fraser Institute Secondary School Report Card, Sandals disagrees with those in the education community who would reduce or scrap it entirely.

Some Labour Relations

B.C. teachers vote overwhelmingly 'yes' in strike vote
Public school teachers in B.C. have voted overwhelmingly yes to taking potential job action following a three-day strike vote that ended Thursday. More than 29,000 teachers headed to the polls between March 4 and 6 to take the strike vote, and 89 per cent voted in favour of job action.

More Canadian teachers going overseas to find work
An international teacher recruitment agency says more B.C. educators are travelling overseas to find work. David Frey, the co-CEO of Teach Away Inc., says his company has seen a 68 per cent increase in applications from Canadian teachers looking to work at schools overseas. He says current labour unrest in education is wearing some teachers down and making international jobs more appealing.

Tweens and After School Arts Programs

How to get kids from low-income families into the arts
Washington Post
An Odd Market Study...
High-quality arts programs are known to provide myriad benefits to students who participate in them — but getting kids to sign up isn’t easy. What attracts young students — especially those from low-income families — to specific arts programs? Peter Rogovin and Denise Montgomery of Next Level Strategic Marketing Group are authors of a new Wallace Foundation-commissioned report on afterschool arts programs and tweens, and here are their findings.