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The worst experience I recall from high school would be the grade 12 academic advising. I remember being very excited because I had managed to earn an 85 per cent average after three difficult years. As I sat down with my guidance counsellor, he told me that trade school would be suitable for my perceived skills.
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You'll understand like never before.
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Our society and our universities need a renewed ethic for how we are to navigate deep social divisions with one another, including how we advocate for the protection of rights, respond to the violation of rights and how we contest the terrains of rights and our responsibilities to one another in a pluralistic society.
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Later on this week or month, you will perhaps receive and then open an envelope containing your child's tri-annual report card, an account informing you of their academic progress in school so far this year. But you might find that not everything your child has learned will be part of that running commentary.
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It's disingenuous for the B.C. Liberal government to couch its new curriculum within a framework of flexibility while simultaneously removing billions from the education budget thereby causing ever more restrictions on what is possible in classrooms. It's especially galling that the minister does not acknowledge that teachers have been transforming education for decades, continuously responding to "the demands of a changing world" without much support for this Herculean task from the ministry.
In the past I've explained the psychological, sociological, cultural, political and evolutionary basis for human behaviour but, given recent events, I no longer believe that that's enough. My students, in the face of revent world events, want to know one thing in particular: they want to know why it's so hard for people to get along with other people.
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Less than a year before the provincial elections, education has been identified as a key election issue -- and just like that, Christy Clark begins a slew of million-dollar announcements, many aimed at ridings she knows the Liberals will struggle to get elected in.
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The B.C. Liberals have been cutting funding and supports for public schools. This year alone the government asked school board to find $25 million in "administrative cuts," last year it was $29 million. So this one-time funding announcement is not what I consider to be an addition to funding, but rather a reduction in this year's cuts.
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John Horgan didn't hold back while questioning Premier Christy Clark on a rather puzzling $150k donation, that ended up indirectly benefitting her brother. A donation that appears to have no paper trail, policy, or even a record that the request for the donation was ever made.
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Here in B.C. our students (if they even qualify) will get $1,200. This might get you one year of textbooks, hardly a progressive move by any means. But our government is using this grant to try and gain support, and they are spending public tax money to push these ads on TV, radio, Internet, newspapers and other media.
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The BC Liberal government cites declining enrollment for both schools closures and constant cuts to overall funding. They blame school boards for mismanaging their money, constantly insisting they just need to cut the low hanging fruit. They blame teachers for asking for too much with their salaries and class size demands, despite the fact that we have some of the lowest paid teachers and highest class sizes in Canada.
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Dear Mike Bernier: If you truly believe there are no funding issues in our public schools, then I assume you think it is the job of parents and PACs to raise upwards of $30,000 a year to supply basic necessities for their children's school. Do you think that giving students in B.C. $1,000 less than the national average will offer them the best opportunities in their education?
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The people of B.C. are waking up, big time. I'm sure this scares the hell out of Clark, who might finally be coming to the realization that every scandal, misstep or moronic statement can't be fixed with a smiling photo op in a hard hat.
The Canadian propensity for self-aggrandizement is in form these days. It started with the massive coverage of the arrival of Syrian refugees at Pearson International Airport in December. While many were drowning in self-congratulations, all I could think about was a scene from Woody Allen's 1973 film, Sleeper.