The Vancouver Sun

January 9, 2012. 3:41 pm • Section: Report CardSTAFF

The B.C. College of Teachers is now history, and a new teacher regulation branch of government opened its doors Monday. Find its website here.

The branch has issued a call for nominations of teachers from five regions to serve as members of a new 15-member B.C. Teachers’ Council. In addition to five elected members, the council will have three members appointed by the BCTF and seven selected by partner groups (trustees, superintendents, principals, parents, education deans, independent schools and first nations).

The deadline for teacher nominations is Feb. 1, 2012. Get details here.

The council will set standards for teachers. Nine of its members will also handle discipline issues, under the direction of a commissioner appointed by cabinet. That has yet to happen.

Staff from the former college have transferred to the ministry and will continue to process complaints and certify teachers, says a story in the Victoria Times Colonist.

**UPDATE: For the first time, independent-school teachers will be treated the same as public-school teachers. This is good news. Previously, discipline of teachers who were certified by the B.C. independent schools branch was not included in the B.C. College of Teacher (BCCT) public registry because those teachers were not BCCT members. This was not helpful. Nor were the uninformative reports by the independent schools branch, which you can find here.**

Read complete article here

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Universal access to all knowledge will be one of humanity’s greatest achievements. We are already well on the way! from Stewart Brand’s: Brewster Kahle’s 30 November Long Now Talk  For fun and inspiration, check out the Internet Archive for the more than 3 million books (adding 1,000 titles per day), 100,000 concerts and 1 million recordings (3 new bands uploading / day), 600,000 movies, and of course the web itself. Thanks, Internet Archive and Brewster Kahle – and wow! 

2011 has been another outstanding year for the growth of open access to scholarly resources. Highlights this quarter include the remarkable growth of the Directory of Open Access Journals, with an increase of more than 600 titles this quarter alone so far, for a growth rate of 9 titles per day. On November 26, RePEC reached a major milestone. There are now One million works available online through RePEC (Nov. 26, 2011)According to the Sherpa services blog, 
60% of journals allow immediate self-archiving of post peer-reviewed articles
and the Open Access Directory just sailed past our 2 millionth view of the OAD. 

From my perspective, open access has entered a new phase, one in which we are beginning to see the challenges of success.  How can we track all these resources and make it easy for people to find and use them? The emerging open access marketplace for commercial scholarly publishers appears to have attracted what Beall calls predatory open access publishers as I have commented on here.  As we begin to address these challenges, it is also timely to begin other overdue discussions, such as Dissension in the Open Access Ranks on CC Licenses.

Read full article here


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

B.C. schools should group students by ability rather than age, promote personalized learning but not at the expense of basic skills, eliminate standardized tests and provide more frequent reports to parents about student progress.

Those are among the ideas submitted to the Education Ministry after it made a public appeal for suggestions about how to remodel schools for the 21st century. The ministry is continuing to seek comment in what it has described as its “first grand experiment in citizen engagement.”

The “experiment” began in late October when Education Minister George Abbott announced a government plan for education renewal that would include an emphasis on personalized learning, critical thinking and quality teaching. But before developing policy, he said he wanted to hear recommendations from educators, parents, students and others.

To encourage discussions, the ministry posted several questions on a newly created website and invited members of the public to make submissions on what they think needs to change for students and how schools, teachers and parents can help make that change happen.

Read more:

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun 

December 29, 2011

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

The B.C. government wants to hear your views about what needs to change in public schools to better prepare students for the 21st century.

It has created a website at and has been posting questions. You can join the conversation here. A few days ago, the moderators posted a summary of what they had heard thus far. The recommendations included calls for schools to group students by ability rather than age and an end to standardized tests. Read that summary here and my story here.

My story prompted a Twitter discussion about the value of public consultation in education. While many of the questions posed by the ministry are easily answered, some are not. For example, how much weight should government give to recommendations for ability groupings in schools when there is undoubtedly research showing whether such a change is beneficial for students? Some tweets also raised questions about the number of people participating in the public consultation, given that the ministry has received only 1,000 comments in a province with 4 million people.

Now is your chance to get involved. Here is how the ministry website describes its “first grand experiment in citizen engagement” on the website:

We recognize that part of moving toward 21st century learning is being more flexible with how, when and where learning takes place. This means having greater flexibility in when and how a school operates; ensuring students have learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom environment and beyond textbooks, pens and paper; ensuring teachers and boards of education have more flexibility in how to deliver classes; providing students with more choice in what, how and where they learn; acknowledging that learning takes place in a variety of places; and so much more. That’s what we want to explore here.  

by Janet Steffenhagen, The Vancouver Sun

December 31, 2011. 2:13 pm

Dec. 9, 2011

VICTORIA – Overall school district operating grants and average per-pupil funding have increased again this year as B.C. continues to provide record funding levels for K-12 education.

Operating Funding

· Total operating funding to school districts in 2011-12 is $4.721 billion, a $58-million increase over 2010-11.
· Average per-pupil funding as of the fall enrolment count is estimated at $8,491, a $98 increase over 2010-11.
· $61.7 million is now being released to districts, including $57.4 million that had been held for anticipated enrolment increases.
· $63 million ($1,160 per student) is being provided in supplemental funding for Aboriginal education in 2011-12.
· $385.2 million is being provided in supplemental funding for students with special needs in 2011-12.
· Since 2000-01, the Province has increased funding to B.C. public schools by nearly $1.4 billion: $977 million in operating funds and $407 million in one-time grants.


· Public school enrolment for 2011-12 is 556,045 FTE students, 973 more than last September.
· This includes 6,117 FTE students enrolled in courses during summer 2011 and a combined 10,709 FTE students projected by school districts for February and May 2012.
· The overall enrolment increase is a result of the final year of full-day kindergarten expansion. However, enrolment in grades 1-12 has declined by 7,046 FTE students.
· Actual September enrolment is 1,237 FTE students fewer than districts had projected in the spring.
· Since 2000-01, September enrolment has declined by nearly 59,000 students.

NewsRoom: BC’s Online News Source; Province of British Columbia,  Dec. 9, 2011

Connect with the Province of B.C. at:

Learn More:

See the new enrolment and funding information for your district in 2011-12 at:

See all provincewide enrolment and funding information for 2011-12 at:

Media contact:

Government Communications and Public Engagement
Ministry of Education
250 356-5963

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