I attended a town hall on the state of public education in Nova Scotia. What emerged was a system still very much in crisis, but with teachers and parents demonstrating a real desire to listen and learn from one another.
esults of an online qualitative survey suggest that many Nova Scotia teachers continue to care deeply about their students while battling stress, disillusionment, exhaustion and even burnout.
Alex Kronstein on supports for children with autism in the education system: “When it comes to inclusive education, it is a well-known fact that EPAs and other school support staff do not have anything close to adequate training to provide support for autistic kids. There are training modules developed by actually autistic people that could give EPAs and support workers a whole new perspective.”
Educator Molly Hurd tackles the current threats to art education in Nova Scotia. “By reducing arts education, we are once again widening the gap between those who already have and those who have not. Rich parents will always be able to provide private lessons and classes for their children. Schools in wealthy neighbourhoods will always be able to fund-raise for extra artistic opportunities. Public education, to be truly equitable, needs to provide good arts education for all.”
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.”
“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.”