Monthly Archives: April 2010

Good news for education in Quebec?

The Premiere seems to have an interest in at least looking at integration “at any cost” in education?

And to quote:

“I want to include Quebec among the most-educated nations in the world. Fifty years after the start of the Quiet Revolution, we have to go further on education issues.”

Truly,
Steve

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Shared PD session with LBPSB

Did you know that a Saturday morning at 7:30am would see 40+ commissioners and administrators attending a shared Professional Development session at the board office in Dorval of the Lester B. Pearson school board?

That’s what we had yesterday morning.  A smart move from both boards, because we could share the costs of the speaker (Michel Nadeau) and in fact, learn even more from each other too.

The PD session was on Governance.  What it is.  How Law 88 changes things.  (It’s not a bill anymore; it *is* the law.)  And what makes a board of directors function at its best.

I took a fair bit out of this 4 hour session.  It confirmed a lot of my interpretations on Law 88.  And it made me question some others.  All-in-all, a good thing.

Michel Nadeau is the Director General of the Institute for Governance.  A key point in his presentation was “the four C’s” required in an effective board member:

– Character, Competence, Curiosity and Contribution.

And thankfully, he went on to define “contribution” a little more.  🙂

The role of the Chair defined, in that the Chair is the official spokesperson of the board and that no one could speak on behalf of the board but him, but that obviously does not mean that commissioners are not to speak on their own behalf, and on their constituents behalf.  And the role of the chair being that of facilitator, looking to draw ideas and debate from the council, and even encouraging those who may not contribute as much to voice their opinions.

A good session.

Truly,

Steve

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Raising kids to be entrepreneurs

I happened on this video today.   The speaker is someone with most of the traits of ADD.  He is bi-polar.  He was told he would fail in school.  He failed in school.  But he was also groomed by his parents to be an entrepreneur.  He is a success today – and he questions why we try to stifle the traits of an entrepreneur in school, instead of fostering their development.

For anyone with a child they suspect has ADD and/or who doesn’t quite “fit the mold”, this is a worthwhile 20 minutes.

Entrepreneurs don’t “fit the mold”.  We make the mold.  We make the mold better.  We change the mold.  Then we sell the mold and make lots of money doing so, all the while hiring people to help us do it.

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A good educational video on online security for kids

Here’s a worth while video that many schools are using to help educate their students on what they should and should not post online. It’s just a few minutes long.

Truly,

Steve

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The best case I have ever heard against “merit pay”…

… and it isn’t even an education specific talk.

The video is a TED one – so much amazing stuff found here.  This one is 19 minutes long – and it’s well worth it if you want a scientific take on motivation and how incentives play into it.

Another super interesting idea is “20% time” – I wonder how this could possibly work within K-12?  Something to think about…

Truly,

Steve

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Henry Aubin on school board elections

I couldn’t have said it better!

I hope you have had the chance to read Henry Aubin in today’s paper – the article can be found by clicking here.

Aubin quips:

Yes, twinning the elections would certainly produce more school-board votes, but whether these would be more intelligent votes is another matter.

Democracy thrives with an electorate that’s informed (or at least somewhat informed). Better for citizens not to vote at all than to vote blindly, stupidly.

And finally, nothing would thrill me more than to be involved in this type of debate:

If the minister were to treat the disease, she’d publicize the relevance of school boards – and not just to immigrants but to everyone, even to people without children. She’d press the boards to deliver to every home a pre-election newsletter in which candidates would be invited to spell out their competing visions. She’d get the boards to hold candidates’ debates; many boards overlook this elementary step, which is often a way to get media coverage.

These are the answers to voter apathy in school board elections.

Truly,

Steve

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Should school board elections be postponed?

There’s an article in the Gazette today about school board elections.  It’s interesting, because this has been a hot topic among school board commissioners that I know for many months now.

The feeling “on the inside” is that it’s pretty much a sure bet that they will be postponed, and somehow twinned with municipalities.

Should they be?  I don’t think so.  I worry about twinning.  Using my ward, and it’s not the biggest ward by a long shot, it will make the election a lot more expensive.  Many *many* more voting stations, and each one comes with a cost.

Personally, I would like to see an election come a lot sooner, in the interests of change and progress.  I know a number of people who are anxious for the coming elections.

As regards voter turnout, I am just not too sure that this is going to a make great difference.  As far as I am concerned, the entire system of governance needs an overhaul.  Does that mean that we need to get rid of school boards altogether?  No – that would be even worse.  We need a real and public debate about the role of school boards; what it is today and what it could be tomorrow.

Truly,

Steve

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