Thursday, 22 February 2018

A third party review, released today by the NSTU, calls into question the research methods, analysis and results of the Glaze report. The authors of the review conclude: “The high-stakes associated with these recommendations amount to a massive reform of the educational system. Before proceeding, the methods and data should be made public so that an independent stakeholder can reanalyze the data to ensure the findings are valid and reliable.”

Heritage Day in NS is also a “retail closing day” which means that almost all stores excluding drug stores, restaurants, cafes, bars, and gas stations must remain closed. If there is a union where you work, you will be paid for this holiday. However if there is no union, it’s a little more tricky. Don’t just assume your boss knows. In this article Judy Haiven explains exactly what you are entitled to.

“I am angry! I am outraged! But mostly, I feel cheated for myself and for my students; because we are being robbed of a sound educational system. A system that recognizes that all students function at different levels and at different speeds and they are not just a cookie cutout from the same cookie cutter. A system that embraces uniqueness. A system that is not perfect and needs changes but is far from deteriorating into the abysmal cesspool of incompetent teachers and substandard test scores that the Liberal government and Dr. Avis Glaze’s report would have the public believe.”

On February 20, Nova Scotia teachers will vote whether or not to engage in a strike to protest changes in the system of public education meant to remove elected school boards, further enfeeble the union and impose government control. Larry Haiven takes a closer look at that notion of an illegal strike. “Sometimes you just have to show that, as Mr. Bumble says in Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist, “The law is a ass – a idiot.” It is not at all uncommon in Canadian labour history for workers to give that message to employers and the government,” he writes.

Liette Doucet, president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, on the unnecessary and disruptive recommendations contained in the Glaze report and adopted by the Nova Scotia government. “If we are going to fix the problems in our education system we need to work together. The government’s strategy of dividing teachers and parents, and distracting from the real issues facing students does not work.”

Asking teachers and others who work in the school system directly what it is that works in today’s schools and what needs fixing, now there is a novel idea. Members of Educators for Social Justice (ESJ) are doing exactly that. We talk with Pamela Rogers, a member of ESJ, about the questions, the responses so far, and why it is so important to add an undiluted teachers’ voice to the current discussions.

News release issued by the Council of Atlantic Provinces and Territory Teachers’ Organizations. “Of equal interest to the education leaders meeting in St. John’s, NL were the major issues that the Nova Scotia government decided not to address. Notably absent from immediate action are many items that might have led to meaningful changes and improvements in the education system.”

“What our provincial education system needs is leadership that is willing to make the needs of students, teachers and principals a priority. By adopting the Glaze report, Education Minister Zach Churchill has demonstrated the exact opposite,” writes NSTU president Liette Doucet.

Last evening’s founding meeting of Equity Watch was successful beyond her wildest expectations, Halifax writer and activist Judy Haiven tells the Nova Scotia Advocate. Equity Watch is a new organization that aims to call out public and private employers who refuse to stamp out bullying, misogyny and systemic discrimination in their workplaces. “I was very surprised, I expected maybe a handful of people, and what we got were 35 angry people ready for action.”