Opinions expressed on this blog are my own and do not represent any other organization or affiliation I may have.

Thursday 26 April 2012

Elimination of Standard School Calendar means what for education?

Sometimes I wonder what life would be like if educators ruled education. Or, even if the education Minister listened to educators, or visited classrooms for more than just a photo-opportunity.

The things that have been coming from this Liberal government surrounding the future of public education frightens me at times.

CBC reports:
The B.C. government has introduced amendments to the School Act that will eliminate the standard school calendar, the government has announced.
The move allows school boards to more freely schedule classes, opening the way for the possibility of year-round schooling.
The Ministry of Education will continue to set a minimum number of instructional hours, starting in the 2013-2014 school year, a release Thursday said.
The amendments also extend the ability to take a mix of online and traditional school courses to students in kindergarten through Grade 9. Currently, only students in grades 10 to 12 have this option, the announcement said.
“These amendments to the School Act will provide school districts with additional tools to support personalized learning,” said Education Minister George Abbott.
While I don't oppose year-round schooling, in fact I was just talking about this with someone the other day, and how the long summer breaks often leads to September refreshers and that year round schooling could address that issue, this amendment to the School Act does worry me.

Year - round schooling does not worry me, but the fact that local districts can now decide their own schedule means there could be massive changes from one district to the other and the ability to use online education from K-9 now could drastically change education, and not for the better!
What would online grade 3 class look like?

How would this impact class size and composition?

The fact is, it would be cheaper to have 50-100+ students in an online, distant ed course than to have then on site with a teacher and a room that forces safety rules of aprox 30 kids and oh ya, electricity and school supplies... distant ed course could save distrcits money and then why bother even having kids in face-to-face education anymore?

Is this the direction we are heading?


I can't imagine the social skills of students who do online courses exclusively, imagine starting in Kindergarten? What might this would look like?

I feel like some of my own friends lack social skills from over exposure to twitter, facebook, online chats, and so on.... how could this new plan change things?

So this news worries me.

Also, this bill suggests charging for the IB Program and allows ProD to be specified for a specific topic (or determined for teachers) among other things that basically sound like bad news for teachers and public education.

I do not oppose the possibility of change, but I question what this plan's intention is and where it may lead....

Read the bill here: http://www.leg.bc.ca/39th4th/1st_read/gov36-1.htm

Read Press Release here: http://www2.news.gov.bc.ca/news_releases_2009-2013/2012EDUC0044-000548.htm


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