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The Truth About School Councils

November 01, 2011 by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) at 07:08 AM

      "The purpose of school councils is, through the active participation of parents, to improve pupil achievement and to enhance the accountability of the education system to parents"  -  Ontario Regulation 612 (2.1)

When the school council was first inaugurated at my children's school many years ago, there were well over a hundred parents in attendance. All were hopeful that they could finally have some meaningful input into their own children's education. There were questions and advice about math programs; how French Immersion was affecting classroom space and scheduling; and how prepared our students really were for high school. Meetings were well attended and, over the next few years, parents like me tried, often in vain, to get effective reading and math programs in our school to make sure students were achieving to their potential. The pressure to continue a fundraising focus was always there and so eventually I became less involved as my children went through the school.

A few years after that, when my youngest was in Grade 8, I reluctantly decided to attend the first meeting of the new school year. I was shocked that I was only one of two parents in attendance besides the council members and principal. The discussion was all about fundraising. I never went back. No wonder parents were turned off and tuned out. It was disheartening, but not surprising.

The latest report on school councils is hardly earth-shattering news. The People for Education School Council Report 2011 recommends that the government change the councils' current mandate of monitoring student achievement to that of communication and outreach. To no one's surprise, councils are not doing a very good job at the former and are being encouraged to do the latter.  It would be the final esmasculation of an ultimately powerless institution. 

When school councils were proposed back in the 1990s, P4Ed was mostly against them.  I recall a certain 1997 debate with Annie Kidder on TVOntario that I participated in. I was for them, Ms. Kidder was more tentative.  Why were school councils so scary? The reason: because they would be populated by parents who could highjack the agenda and have too much influence at schools.  As if.  In hindsight, the educrats of the day were not going to let anybody have any real power over schools. Unless you were going to maintain the status quo of cookie-baking and fundraising, the message was: parents, don't rock the boat by actually demanding some accountability for achievement. Lo and behold, what does this latest report complain about? Too many school councils are spending too much time fundraising and not enough parents are involved with them. School councils were highjacked all right. My own experience bears that out. 

The Ontario government has spent about $14 million to date for Parents Reaching Out Grants to get parents involved in school councils. People for Education themselves have received $47,000 in regional grants over the last two years from the Ministry to fund their annual conference (TVOntario, a branch of the Ministry of Education, televises the event online). Individual schools can get up to $1,000 to find ways to get parents involved at the school level. Here‘s an example from the PRO list of a school council parent involvement project:

        "Educating & Engaging Parents -The Environment & New Technology--A series of information nights about how to care for the environment and embrace new technology in order to help our children better adapt in an ever-changing world."

Or, how about these school-based PRO events:

        "Parents will be invited to a presentation by authors about literacy at home."
        "Presentations by authors for parents, to emphasize the importance of literacy and creativity at home to support student achievement. "
        "Multicultural math and literacy nights to help parents understand the curriculum and provide strategies to reinforce numeracy and literacy skills at home."

While these may be laudable information nights, readers may ask, "Why do we bother sending them to school?"

While at first we were cautiously optimistic, SQE predicted this state of events a while back. Here's our take on school councils here and here.  

We know that meaningful parental involvement in their children's schools is an indicator of school success, but we also know that the best way to have real accountabilty is to give parents the ability to transfer their children to a different school.

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Comments

I have found that that real struggle for our school council is not fundraising (until the last couple of years, this was handled by a separate parents’ group), but the fact that our school board has put it in their policy that councils are only advisory.

What this means is that you can give all the advise you want, make all the suggestions you want, but the school board does not have to listen or even care.  While lip service is given and advice is “sought,” very little is accepted or put into practice.  Although OR 612 requires boards to respond to councils as to what they will do with that advice, return communication is often rare.

What this leaves parents with is a feeling of “what’s the point?”  In years when all is “status quo,” there is little interest in joining school council.  When big changes occur, such as the recent closure of our town’s only public elementary school and its amalgamation into the high school as a JK-12, suddenly the parents arrive in crowds.  However, hope soon turns to disillusion and cynicism as they realize they have no power or real say.

What I have learned is to lower my expectations so far that anything positive is a welcome surprise.  I have also learned the power of recording issues, especially those regarding safety.  A reading of suits filed against school boards on the Ontario School Board Insurance Exchange’s (OSBIE) website has taught me that.  If the school council has gone on record saying there is a potential issue and something does happen, the school board usually has less than a leg to stand on.  Sadly, as a co-chair of our council this year, this is the position I’ve felt I’ve had to take:  Do our due diligence so we have clear consciences when our worst fears come true.

Our board’s publication for parents with children in special education is called “Parents as Partners.”  Unfortunately, my experience with administration (not the teachers!) is that parents are the last people they want to hear from.

Posted by Cheryl on 11/01 at 09:58 AM

“The People for Education School Council Report 2011 recommends that the government change the councils? current mandate of monitoring student achievement to that of communication and outreach. To no one?s surprise, councils are not doing a very good job at the former, and that they are encouraged to do the latter.  It would be the final esmasculation of an ultimately powerless institution. “

What is worse, is asking parents to buy into the hocus-pocus of the education goals of the school and the upper levels of the education system.

“While Kidder praised councils for their ?wonderful work? and how they help build a sense of community within a school, she said attendance at meetings shouldn?t be a focus.

?It?s not really what makes a difference for students,? she said. ?What parents do at home is the thing that has the biggest impact on students. So there needs to be ways to support that role.?
http://www.parentcentral.ca/parent/education/schoolsandresources/article/1078467—report-calls-for-update-of-parent-councils

According the P4E report, parents should be doing this. “1. Having high expectations 2. Talking about school 3. Shaping attitudes and work habits 4. Reading together

P4E ultimate goal, is to have parents follow in lockstep with the goals of the school and the rest of the education system. Note on page 14, and what parents should be doing at home, are lines about not teaching at home, but to guide the child, and be a cheer leader for the child. Another copy of what is handed out as literature and being practice in the schools. Lines such as, “had a greater impact on academic achievement than monitoring homework”, or “Rather than trying to directly ?teach? their children, parents should focus on helping them handle distractions and crises of confidence, praise them for effort and persistence and demonstrate a positive attitude about school as a whole.” or this beauty, “This doesn?t mean that parents should be trying to teach their children to read. When it comes to literacy, parents? most important role is building the comprehension and oral language skills that come through reading with their children and conversations about what they?ve read.”

More or less telling parents hands off teaching at home, and come to Mommy state for any problems, especially the school council. As for the school-based PRO events, the reason why parents are not attending in standing room only, it is not what parents need, nor the type of information that is common place. And at the very least, insulting parents that they do not have the right stuff as well as being a time waster. Multicultural math and literacy night, that they should thank their lucky stars, parents did not show up in droves, to question the educators, on how well they know basic arithmetic and reading fluency. It would be on my top of the agenda, if I did go to one of these events, and the event would turned into parents asking a lot of questions on the fuzzy math being taught today. After all, math and the number system is the same across the world, where a person in one corner of the world, counts exactly the same way as another person in another corner of the world.

Meaningful parental involvement is to provide the stuff that engages parents to advocate for their child as well as in the wider community of school, and not the hocus-pocus material and information that is in sync with the goals and the sloppy pedagogy of the public education system. Parents need empowerment, and not school councils that follows the mandate of the latest fads of the public education system.

The P4E report is another call to put an end to whatever power parents do have, and to ensure that accountability will only be what the public education system dictates. After all, they hang up their hat, after students reach a 50 %, even if they have to dumb it down, at a great expense to the taxpayer and the students. What little power that is left to parents, will be gone, once the brain washing begins on parents through communication and outreach.

Posted by Nancy on 11/01 at 10:02 AM

Cheryl, I thought to look up Parents as Partners. Apparently, it is in some form coast to coast in the education system. From the Ottawa Catholic Board: “Parents as Partners in Education is a series of fifteen workshops aimed to help all parents.  The workshops are especially important for parents with literacy and language barriers.  The workshops help parents to support their children throughout their schooling from kindergarten to grade 8.  The workshops are related pamphlets are all written in plain language, on topics chose by parents and teachers. “

http://www.occdsb.on.ca/content.php?doc=6954

One example on the School System - “Current teaching methods
Teachers concentrate on discussing and
solving problems rather than memorizing
facts. Children learn more this way.
It helps them to:
1. co-operate with other students
2. share responsibility
3. listen and learn from others
4.  improve speaking skills
5. develop research skills
6.  test opinions
7. ask questions
8.  improve language skills
9.  solve problems
10. improve math skills
11 improve reading skills”
http://www.occdsb.on.ca/media.php?mid=55287

Now this is addressed to the parents, and even if my child was back in the primary grades, I would have taken issue on the teachers section. No doubt when parents are reading this, the first question that will pop up, why is math and reading at the bottom of the list. My take on it, is that numbers 1, 2, 3, my child always received a NI on the report card, because she was always told by her classmates in some form or another she was too dumb to help. But it was always implied at the parent-teacher interview that the focus should be on the numbers 1,2, and 3, instead of my focus, which was her reading, writing and numeracy problems. Now numbers, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, and 11 for all purposes, it was up to me to re-teach and tutored my dyslexic child. As for number 6, test opinions?  Whatever that means, but I take it solid knowledge and background knowledge is no longer the priority, but the esteem opinions of the students. Much easier to grade, since opinion is not beholden to knowledge and background knowledge to opine.

Parent as Partners, does not empower parents, but is used as a tool to direct parents in playing the role of the ‘reduced’ parent, who is marching to the goals and agendas of the public education system, and to the best interests of the public education system. The parents who move away from the best interests of the public education system, run into the brick wall, one of many obstacles when moving to the best interests of the child. It took me 9 long years to have the school board addressed the needs of my dyslexic child, and by that time, I came to the realization that communication to parents as well as the education of children are being dumbed down. Parents for Partners, is another form of dumbing it down, to keep parents in their place, until it is too late when their children are in the high school years.

Posted by Nancy on 11/01 at 10:58 AM

Your post on what has become of Ontario School Councils is right on the mark.  And, if I might add, People for Education has contributed to the “emasculation” by promoting that tiresome “parents as partners” philosophy and blowing public monies on such initiatives. 

Here in Nova Scotia, School Advisory Councils were introduced as part of the “Savage Education Revolution” and were essentially orphaned when he was toppled from power. Today, Nova Scotia schools still have SACs but they are in serious decline and vary greatly from school to school. Few are actually operating in an autonomous fashion, since the principals have the SAC Chairs firmly under control and inquiries invariably get referred right back to the Principal. Sound familiar? 

I was amazed to discover that the NSTU actually has a March 2010 position paper on Parent Involvement:
http://www.nstu.ca/images/pklot/ParentInvolvment-PositionPaper.pdf  It makes for fascinating reading, especially the section explaining the “barriers to effectiveness.” 

You may smile when reading one passage, explaining one of those barriers—“previous negative experiences with the school.”

The NSTU paper clearly embodies what might be called the “teacher knows best” approach.

Posted by Educhatter on 11/01 at 12:41 PM

I have to add my 2cents here because there was a concentrated effort in 2000-2001 to move school councils to effectiveness but that was thwarted by the faction of the gov’t in power, and the MOE bureaucrats.

There was also written in to the Reg.612/613 safeguards for those school councils that wished to move beyond advisory and evolve in to something more to do so. It’s not surprise that for most councils school administrations and boards put up roadblocks to prevent parents from moving councils.

I have to also say that many parents on school councils failed to learn how to use their statutory powers given them by the legislation. They also failed to recognized that the principal had his/her own regulations to follow with respect to school council facilitation, accountability and outreach to the community.

Contrary to Annie Kidder’s group, parents and councils have done a horrible job of outreach for the wrong reasons. Kidder and P4E in their strategy, use school councils to grow the support of their organization rather than look to educational improvements. I too remember in fact when Ms. Kidder feared that school councils might replace school boards.

How ironic is it that the new school accommodation process thrusts school councils into a role that they were not prepared to assume? The process assumes that school councils are in compliance and already communicating/outreaching effectively. I know that not to be the case in the reviews I’ve followed over the years.

Perhaps as, in Ontario we continue to dumb down our school boards they’ll be on par with school councils now.

Posted by Chuck on 11/01 at 01:10 PM

When the Ontario Parent Council died, I recall the cry from the usual suspects (P4E and Ms. Wynne among them) that the parents on it were shills of the gov’t. 

I agree with Educhatter that Kidder and P4E have helped emasculate school councils and the role of parents and doing more to help the gov’t it gets funding from than actually work to improve achievement for students in the public system. P4E has never been or ever will be effective advocates for parents. Parroting and propping up “the blob” isn’t parent advocacy that I can tell.

Posted by Chuck on 11/01 at 01:20 PM

Chuck, it appears that there is an deliberate erasing of information pertaining to the work of the Ontario Parent Council. What remains, is on government papers, and still did tell me what date the Ontario Parent Council went the way of the do-do bird. But it should not be a surprise to anyone, since it was heavily paneled by the teachers and others within the public education system. Parents were out numbered even in the early years.

But I did come across this piece of literature, from the Council of Educator Directors, called Parental Engagement is Important to Student Success. In their eyes, parental engagement is all about parents following in lockstep the goals and agendas of the public education system. Somehow, if a parent follows their steps, achievement will go up accordingly. I doubt it, when it is essentially lessons on cheerleading and not actual progress of your children and their education.
http://www.ontariodirectors.ca/Parent_Engagement/PA Downloads/CODE Parent Engagement Guidebook.pdf

Posted by Nancy on 11/01 at 02:18 PM

Sadly, my experience on school council mirrors that of previous posters.
Reminds me of another experience with “the blob”.
A school slated to close had a group of parents working hard to find a way to make it cost effective for the school to stay open.
They booked time with the the schoolboard to make a proposal. I was asked to make the presentation.
I agreed, although I knew full well that by the time the parents were told of the decision to close the school, it was already too late - the decision had been made.
After the presentation was made, a trustee, (a lawyer) responded on behalf of the board.
He read from a prepared, typed statement.
There was a large group of parents in the room watching.
They were visably shocked that the board’s response had been prepared ahead of time.
I was a little surprised myself, not at the fact that the trustees didn’t care about the parents viewpoint, but at the fact that they didn’t even put up a pretense of caring.
The message was received. Parents don’t count, their opinions don’t even warrant an honest hearing!

Posted by Nancy W on 11/01 at 05:18 PM

NSTU paper on parent involvement

Can someone please give me a better link to this paper, or tell me what I’m doing wrong?

Twice today it’s frozen my computer, and once I got a notice

“The file is damaged and could not be repaired.”

My computer was also “hung up” and would not close saying I had a pdf on my browser.

Is this just error on my part, or is NSTU trying to delete this file?

Posted by Tunya Audain on 11/01 at 06:14 PM

Nancy W, I have observed in all the cases that I have read, parents have won, are parents who are no longer following the protocols and are no longer working for the best interests of the public education system. It is the years of reading up on the laws, and strategies that work are just as effective regarding school closures to dealing with the pathetic IEP meetings.  This is an old trick of prepare statements ahead of time, is used often by the school authorities at IEP meetings. And I am sure, this will be raised as well in the Supreme Court of Canada hearing of the Moore dyslexia case. The Moore parent never did give up, and it probably started in the IEP meetings, where parents are greeted with smiles, and will listen to the parents, and than out come the IEP already typed, signed and just waiting for the last signature, the parent.

As I have observed, and in particular school closings, it it time not to allow yourself to have the wool pull over your eyes, by doing busy work such as looking for cost savings. Would a place of business be willing to have their books open for the local town council to view over, to come up with the cost savings? No, but it is used often as a way to keep the people busy with something, but the real intentions is to closed down the business. School boards do it all the time,  keeping parent councils away from the things that matter, and enforcing strict protocols at all time.

What should have been done, and before the presentation, was to asked a question of the if kind. If the lawyer that is acting on the behalf of the school board is present, one would asked - Since the lawyer is present, has a prepared statement been made, that leads us to conclude a decision has been made in advance of our presentation?  Catch them in a lie, and especially handy at the infamous IEP meetings. as well as dealing with the school board at different types of situations. It could be the lone parent, to a group of parents to the official groups such as the parent council. Have everything recorded, and these days it is so easy to do so with all the devices.

Canadian parents have to get a lot better dealing with schools and boards, to meet up with the versions of parent councils in the United States. Although parent councils are really the old fashioned PTA, with parents running the show. Stay true to the path of best interests of children or students, a parent council will win more times than not. I stopped being nice a long time ago, but first I had to get rid of the old message inside my head, the school knew what was best for my child at the end. Than I had practice and practice, and each time I got better. I wasn’t winning, but I was shaking up the board staff, to have them running around to ensure my child receives nothing in the way of accommodations, and what I believe were orders to the teachers to discouraged my child from seeking help in tutoring from her parents. I finally got them, and I started to win the battles, and the board staff were being berated by the minister and other government agencies. It would never have happen, if I never started to work for the best interests of my child, and the hell with the school, the school board and the pathetic excuses that they had for the reasons not to give my child remediation in the 3 Rs.

The last attempted school closure in my rural area, did not happen because the parents were no longer following the best interests of the school board. In fact they won hands down, and the school went under repair and renovations last year. The reason for the closure, the school was falling apart, and for now the school board can no longer used this excuse for at least the next 10 years or so. The parents held protests and took it to the public, as well as inviting the media for priceless moments of educrats being left wordless and bereft of edubabble. They look like the bad guys of a really bad B Western movie and there was not a straight shooter among them.

Posted by Nancy on 11/01 at 06:31 PM

Nancy,
Just to be clear, this school closure was not my particular issue. I was just doing a favour by making the presentation.
This group of parents were so earnest I hated to be a wet blanket.
I wish I had called the trustee on the carpet for preparing his response to a proposal he hadn’t yet heard.
I would do it differently today. 
I am well aware that parents aren’t partners with their children’s schools.
Parent councils are a joke. They are merely the fund raising arm of the school.
And as I blogged before, schools are voracious consumers of money. We are still seeing requests almost weekly for funds for one thing or another.

Posted by nancy w on 11/01 at 07:19 PM

Nancy - there were no teachers on the Ontario Parent Council. All parents there represented regions of the province as well as the four school board assns.

McGuinty nixed it within months of his election, which wasn’t hard to do because the OPC was kept pretty much ineffective. When one of the chairs and a particularly savvy OPC came close to getting their mandate changed, including having many MPPs on board - because in order to make the change from “advisory” to an operational committee it had get parliamentary approval.

What brought down the OPC was “the bureaucratic blob” coupled with teacher union backing.

Partners in education? It was a lie then, and is a lie now no matter who’s pushing that mantra.  The system doesn’t really want our partnership. They want cheerleaders and P4E fits that bill nicely.

Posted by Chuck on 11/01 at 07:24 PM

Policy Analysis of Parent Involvement in Education

As many of us old-timers are loath to admit, we ARE ?spectacularly unsuccessful? in experiencing or promoting genuine parent involvement in schools.  Only in home education are parents able to say their involvement is generally very satisfying.

We talk about the BLOB, the Big Learning Organized Bureaucracy, as undermining parent efforts.  But, we must also recognize that parents often are part of the problem.  For example, when a group is seen as ?the? voice of parents but is really a highly organized cheerleader group for the establishment. Another example is where well-meaning parents fall into the fund-raising trap and feel this is a significant contribution to school quality.

We know the story, we know the history, we know the disappointments. The surprising thing is that some of us still persist in trying to help, even if it?s to help our grandchildren and new parents. 

In studying the history of parent involvement I am convinced that with each new and improved reform for parents, the system with its superior power and resources has always been able to counter this and in fact, increase the submission of parents to their will and selfish vested interests.

Look at the choice issue.  When this became a real threat, the establishment easily segued into opening school boundaries and started a few choices such as academies. 

Erasing the memory of good models of parent involvement, or blunting the advocacy instincts of parents are systematic and successful outcomes of persistent and unrelenting resistance to parents being instrumental in their children?s education. Feed them, read to them, but hands-off the schools!

I have a report from ?A community convention of parents ?79?put on by the Toronto Board of Education.  Some of the feedback included these comments: ? more sincerity from board officials, less PR? and ?less lobbying from TTF and OSSTF?. 

In sorting my archives I came across an article which I long forgot:  ?Parents as the Natural Enemy of the School System? by Dwight Roper printed in PDK, Dec ?77.  He shows how parents were usurped from their roles through such means as compulsion, centralization and consolidation of small schools and small districts into ever larger units thereby increasing the distance between parents and governors. In 1977 the teacher unions were still not the militant power-hungry groups they are now, so they must be added to the mix described by Roper.

What then happened is what I call the ?Roper-effect?.  The system generally responded defensively and effectively in PR and other means to counter his critique.  His work is only cited occasionally when yet another feeble effort is made to reform teacher education to provide training in effective parent communication.

I think it?s time we reformers became a bit more savvy in our efforts before these ancient memories die off.  I propose we enter into serious policy analysis frames-of-mind and prepare papers and strategies to go from push to shove.

Nobel Economics Winner (2009), Elinor Ostrom, says this about policy analysis:  ?A citizenry devoid of skills in policy analysis is a set of subjects who can easily become the objects of an authoritarian regime.?

I think some of us could try to develop — on line — a Policy Analysis of Parent Involvement in Education (PAPIE) project.  We could list the literature, other online links to similar efforts, and commit ourselves to developing policy papers.  I think a policy statement can easily be developed with about 750 words which could then be reviewed by others.

Let?s try against all the odds!

Posted by Tunya Audain on 11/02 at 12:36 AM

Sorry I neglected to finish a thought in a sentence in my previous post. 

When one of the chairs and a particularly savvy OPC came close to getting their mandate changed, including having many MPPs on board - because in order to make the change from ?advisory? to an operational committee it had get parliamentary approval, that very effective chairperson was replaced with one who didn’t ruffle feathers or want to empower the OPC to be more relevant and operational in nature rather than nice window dressing for Education Ministers. 

I have to also say that there was political gamesmanship being played on the OPC and parents.

Where school councils are concerned the degree to their effectiveness and/or success in a school community depended on how really educated and knowledgeable parents were to what they were doing - too many are STILL not very smart on learning how to use those statutory power to move the admin. to act. Principals and school board manipulate school councils into mush.

School boards and school councils are the same type of useless when it comes to advocating for improvement and achievement for students.

Accountability to parents? Nope.

Posted by Chuck on 11/02 at 05:32 AM

a friend of mine wrote the following in 2002 and it’s as true now in Ontario as it was then.

“Parents don’t lack for an organized voice.  What they lack is a government that will ACT to support parents who come up against the very large and very rich school system and its maze of bureaucrats.

Parent grassroot organizations abound. They take turns, depending on the political flavour of the day, sitting at stakeholders’ tables, nodding their agreement.

Parents had the OPC and have mandated school councils. Both statutory bodies. The first (OPC) is neutered by the Appointments Secretariat or the policy mavens of the Ministry’s bureaucracy.

School Councils are gerrymandered into ineffectiveness by principles, supervisory officers and trustees.

Their struggle for justice for their children too often lead parents into hostilities with their children’s educators.”

Posted by Chuck on 11/02 at 05:42 AM

I agree with you Chuck. What is lacking political will to give parents the power and support. And there is lots of literature concerning the lack of support from the politicians when it comes to education. It should be require reading for the parent councils, If only to wake up to the fact of the many hidden agendas within the education system, that do not and never have had their children’s best interests at heart.

Posted by Nancy on 11/02 at 08:00 AM

yes, politicians with the stones is necessary but too many parents either get lazy or give in to what’s told to them by “the blob”(which also includes parents by the way).

Incidentally, the word “advisory” was moved out of the description for school councils in Reg.612 to allow those parents on councils that wished to, to evolve into something more. That didn’t happen largely because “the blob” was very good at keeping up the myth of “advisory” only.

That said that even that “advisory” role can be worked to the advantage of parents…IF they know how to flex their statutory muscles that is.

There has never yet been a book written for parents that actually tells the truth about what they face when they experience the public system…the good, the bad and the ugly of it all.

Posted by Chuck on 11/02 at 10:10 AM

Thousands of Books For Parents, Few (None) Useful

Yes, to quote Chuck:

“There has never yet been a book written for parents that actually tells the truth about what they face when they experience the public system?the good, the bad and the ugly of it all.”

I have just ordered this book:  Parents and schools- the 150-year struggle for control in American education by William W. Cutler.  This will probably be an overview.

I was able to get the 4 page article from PDK Dec’77 entitled: Parents as the Natural Enemy of the School System by Dwight Roper from my library research services.  I suggest people get this about some of the “ugly”.

Maybe we should start a Literature section on Parent Involvement headlined “The Ugly”.

Posted by Tunya Audain on 11/02 at 10:54 AM

There’s also Malkin Dare’s book, “How to Get the Right Education for Your Child” 

I’m happy to send anyone a copy or you can click on this link on our Publications page and read the whole thing on line.

http://www.societyforqualityeducation.org/index.php/publications/category/C5/

Posted by Doretta on 11/02 at 10:57 AM

Malkin’s book is fine as is relates to the finer points of learning and how to move to alternatives if you can, but if you can’t and are a parent faced with issues that crop up like manipulation of school council, administrative stall tactics, oddities as they relate to “the blob”, flavours-of-the-day schemes, latest ed-fads etc. it doesn’t go far enough for those stuck in the public system.

Something along the lines of a whistleblower edition.

Posted by Chuck on 11/02 at 01:25 PM

See the next day’s post.  That’s what I hope people will do—tell us the real deal.

Posted by Doretta on 11/02 at 01:39 PM

Yes Doretta I got that but don’t hold your breath. The real deal is pretty much the same as it was 10-15 years ago - only this time parents have been bought off with $$ posing as grants for “engagement” or whatever yet school councils are still opting for for this guy to their schools to inspire students and parents…our board did it too. Spend their allocation for parent engagement on a Trudeau love-fest.

http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/canada/breakingnews/justin-trudeau-upset-over-questioning-of-adherence-to-catholic-faith-133094493.html?device=mobile&c=y

Posted by Chuck on 11/02 at 02:15 PM

I certainly agree with you Chuck on the state of school councils.

Also, this one should get you going too:

http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/Politics/2011/11/02/18916316.html

“Suzuki franchise expanding at taxpayers’ expense”
Now he is being beamed into classrooms.

Posted by Doretta on 11/03 at 07:38 AM

capitalizing on a captive audience….students who likely have no choice as to whether to sit and listen or leave.

Posted by Chuck on 11/03 at 09:36 AM

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