News release: The NSTU is concerned that government has unilaterally dropped the Commission on Inclusive Education’s recommendation to create an Institute of Inclusive Education designed to “provide oversight.”he mandate of the Institute would have given oversight powers to parents of students with special needs, teachers, school administrators, the government, university education programs, and members of the Mi’kmaq and African Nova Scotian Communities. Instead, those powers will now be given to a lone person appointed by the province.”
Educator and author Molly Hurd’s third and final article in a series on standardized testing takes another look at a failed British experiment. But Nova Scotia is not Britain, she writes, and for us there is hope yet!
Educator Molly Hurd in the second of a multi-part series on Bill 72 and the blessings and pitfalls of standardized testing. Pointing at Britain’s recent experience she argue that one of the consequences of an increased reliance on standardized tests may well be more privatization of education. ” The passage of Bill 72 has set us on the road to adopting a neoliberal agenda for education which has been in think tank AIMS’ sights for years, and has been implemented in countries all around the world.”
I attended a talk by education pundit Paul Bennett, sponsored by AIMS, to better understand what the one percent are up to when it comes to education. I wasn’t alone, a bunch of teachers were there as well, and the Q and A was a bit tense.
“The Nova Scotia School Boards Association and school board members across the province are devastated by the adoption of Bill 72,” said Dave Wright, Vice President of the Nova Scotia School Boards Association. “The loss of elected, local and diverse voice in public education is a tragedy.”
Educator Molly Hurd in the first of a two-part series on Bill 72 and the blessings and pitfalls of standardized testing. “I look at all standardized test results with healthy skepticism – they can be a useful diagnostic when well designed, but even low stakes tests on randomized samples are blunt instruments for measuring a school’s or program’s worth.”
A news release by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union on the occasion of Bill 72 becoming law.
Cynthia Bruce, who teaches at Acadia’s School of Education, speaks at Law Amendments about the exclusionary impact of Bill 72 on students with disabilities. “disabled students are being bombarded by the damaging message that they are the problem with the education system in this province. Their needs are too great, their requirements are too complex, and their access to education costs too much. In short, they are a burden on a strapped education system, and they do not belong. Imagine how this feels, and think about how you are contributing to the perpetuation of this oppressive communication.”
CUPE Nova Scotia President Nan McFadgen before Law Amendments this morning: “A large part of the inclusion program is working with students with special needs. This work is performed by dedicated CUPE members who are educational program assistants and teacher assistants. There has been no place for their voice in the Commission on Inclusion.”
Richard Starr looks at Bill 72 and the arguments in favour of eliminating the regional school boards and finds they don’t hold much water. “To turn around now and inflict collateral damage on minority representation by getting rid of school boards (except CSAP) is reprehensible. At best, it says that minority representation on school boards was just tokenism, a politically correct initiative to be abandoned on a whim.”