At the end of October, flanked by a group of student high school representatives, Education Minister George Abbott announced the launch of B.C.’s Education Plan, a new blueprint to overhaul the province’s K-12 school system.

The new plan, the minister said, will transform the education system to be more flexible, emphasize personalized learning and increase the use of technology.

“The world has changed and we need to shift the way we look at teaching and learning. This plan offers a way forward.”

Though short on details, the plan would also include a new Teachers Act and the establishment of “regular teacher performance evaluation sessions.”

Accompanying the launch was an interactive website created by the ministry to provide more details and solicit public opinion.

Parsing the hundreds of comments received in the past month reveals a mixed response ranging from high praise to skepticism.

One group that leaves no doubt about its opinion on the plan is the B.C. Teachers’ Federation. In its new issue of Teacher magazine, the lead article, “Experiments with kids’ learning,” BCTF researcher Larry Kuehn derides the plan as a power grab by the ministry to undermine teachers through centralized data collection and technology use.

By Michael Mazer, The Vancouver Sun, December 13, 2011

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

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