Old joke: meanwhile, back at the outhouse, things are REALLY piling up!
To start, I don't have any party affiliations to push. I am a mommy of four. I think I do have an interesting perspective however, as my kids range in age from 22 all the way to the youngest who is now 8. I have seen many changes, and gone through the hoops to get funding for them in the school system. (Most of this is just pretty evil). Labelling a young girl as "moderately mentally handicapped" to get SETA funding? Pure evil. She has seen these reports since she has grown up, and they have all been shown to be entirely wrong from later testing. But the damage? It's already done. The word "Sunnyhill", sets her teeth on edge. I just read an article where the unqualified minister of edumacation in BC, has stated that only 10 percent of kids in BC have special needs. And then the fact comes out that most kids can never get evaluated anyway because of wait lists and cuts to the medical system, courtesy of the Clark party? That's just plain hilarious. Put your fingers in your ears, and your head up your......ahem. If we don't SEE them? They aren't there! VIOLA!
Not a fat lot of good this does any of the kids anyway, even if they do get a designation.
In the old old days, per child funding in schools stayed with the child. All kids are allotted a certain amount each, and then more is added if there is a designated need for classroom supports. IE: physical or mental disability. Now its just of a pool of money that gets distributed to the school- to be used as they see fit, and since there was never enough to begin with? You see how that goes.
I TRULY believe that we need to have integrated schools. Some would like the kids with special needs to be locked away by themselves. But no one learns anything then. The so called "normal" kids do not learn tolerance and acceptance of others and the kids with needs do not have examples to follow.
We tend to warehouse those we do not want to see, and that has not worked out well at any time in history.
The facts also speak for themselves on early childhood education. For every $1 spent, we save $5 dollars down the road.
Small classes? Yes, the facts also speak volumes. If we expect certain standards from kids, we also have to meet some standards.
I read a lot of the items that come through my FB feed, the google news feed, twitter, etc. And lemme tell ya, the smell is getting pretty bad during this school strike. So, lets look at some facts and data for a change, shall we?
To start off, here is a history of how the BC Liberals deal with the BCTF. They break the law even. (It's from the Vancouver Sun, not exactly a nest of festering liberalism.)
Starting from the proven premise that the Government is indeed acting in bad faith, breaking the law, and jeopardizing the education of our kids, this should be a no brainer. Correct?
Not so fast!
The court of public opinion is more like a circus. Keep your eye on the clown.
The BC Liberals are using what they call "Digital Influencers" . In a nutshell, freeping. (the original meaning) . Now this is nothing new for governments, it has been used for a few years by the Harper Government as well. It is where they send the flying monkeys (blogging term) out on the WWW to spread misinformation and "opinion" that is to their way of thinking, and skew polls to make it appear that they have the majority voice. At least in this instance, being a flying monkey is party funded.FLY my Pretties!- BC Liberal party
With the Harper Gov, you paid for it. :)
Surprise! And this is only one instance, there are many more.
They are also using their own twitter feeds and the media to promote the greedy teachers mantra. Red meat to the masses. It is gobbled up because it seems very plausible to a lot of people who don't look behind all this propaganda. But it's just anecdotal dreck, and we are soaking in it.
Who gets raises in BC? Are the teachers "greedy"?
No, that title is reserved for the last line on that chart. And taxpayer funded Translink CEO's
What are the salaries for teachers across BC? It depends on how long they teach , and how many years of education they pay for.
I don't see any numbers that are out of line. These people are in charge of moulding young minds and helping them to become productive citizens, and if you want to pay them 12 an hour? You will get what you pay for.
Btw, this is happening in the US system? There are teachers living on food stamps, and charter schools can pay whatever they like. Of course their teachers? In some states, they do not even have to be certified.
The US is failing when compared to a country like..... Canada. Personally, I think we should be trying to outdo Finland, wouldn't you? If you happen to look at that link you will see that the US, also ends up spending far more per child on education, but no one is quite sure where? We are in the middle of the pack.
Unions are NO LONGER NEEDED, is another mantra.
There are lots of opinions on this. Unions came to be because of child labour, Long unsafe hours, low pay. Etc. They helped to build the middle class and the economy of the 20th century. This is pretty Unassailable territory.
In the last 30 years, there has been a slide towards inequality, about at the same rate that Union representation has fallen. Worker protections are disappearing, along with the social safety net. The bar shifts lower and lower, a nation of part timers, living under the poverty line. I know this well myself.
There is an ANGER! That there may be someone who is getting paid a liveable wage, and benefits! And how dare they. I don't get that! Must. Make. Sure. They. Get. NOTHING!
An old joke I heard that crystallizes this phenomenon:
A Farmer has one cow, as does his neighbour. The farmer's cow dies. He is very upset, and is walking through his field feeling very sorry for himself- he is also angry about this turn of events. He sees something shiny peeking out of the dirt and stops to pick it up. He opens the cork and a genie comes from the bottle and materializes right in front of him. The Genie says: " OH THANK YOU for releasing me! I will grant you one wish, to repay you for your kindness! ". The farmer thinks for a second......
I want my neighbours cow to be dead!
This attitude is actually causing us harm down the road, financially and morally.
Pensions are another HOT topic.
We can pay a small percentage now, or the whole shot later when people retire. There is no question that all of the public sector workers will have to tap into 100% taxpayer funded pensions if we keep stripping them.
That has been a popular thing/faux concern in the US political arena, that we are passing on debt to our grandchildren. Seems to be an ok idea in conservative circles. As long as it's workers. And that is apparently more applicable to nurses and all those we expect to take care of us. It is a calling or some such nonsense, so they should sacrifice their own families? Think Of the kids/patients they say.....We do not seem to ask the trades and corporate executives to do their jobs for less? Think of the consumers/stakeholders?
Lastly. Get someone on this file who has a real clue about education. Fassbender? Nope. BTW, he's a real back to the basics guy. No art. No PE. All math and tests all the time. Little robots who cannot think and be remotely creative. Math and art, are connected as all things in the universe are.
We would like our children to be functioning adults. Please. And just another little tidbit: Mr Fassbender was also a Promise Keeper. That's ok, as long as he doesn't think we all need to adhere to those misogynist ideas. After reading his history, I think we have that answer.
Me and my three daughters have our own ideas about stuff. Usually we seem to think we have rights.
Failure will be forthcoming at any rate.
Read more. Look at the sources. Make educated decisions that are not just anecdotal dreck. Step one to resolving this mess.
Will BCers have it in them?
And I had to do this post all by hand! Holy Crap I almost had forgotten how to do limited code!!!