Use DataBC to search data and make informed decisions, inspire change or develop ideas that will improve government policies. DataBC isn’t just data – it’s access to data that drives our province forward. The data is here for you – to answer questions, to improve decision making or to help build government services that matter most to you.

Find data from across the province in DataBC’s data catalogue. Access various types of datasets and tools designed to help you conduct your own research, analyze statistics, develop apps or satisfy your curiosity. You might like to know:

What is the government spending money on?
Have sustainable changes impacted carbon emissions? Find out what’s working and what needs improvement.
Which schools have the highest student scores on tests? Does that impact which schools I consider for my children?
What do municipal tax rates look like across the province?
There are minimal system and licensing requirements so you can easily access what you’re looking for. In fact, we’ve even developed apps to help organize and translate some of the data for you. Check out what DataBC has to offer and get started on your project. As you do, keep in mind that others are interested in hearing about your experience – contact us, blog about your findings, or join an online community.

This type of information sharing is governed by legislation and policy that makes provision for the release of public information.

-from the DataBC website

Data Catalogue on Education here

Citizens @ the Centre: B.C. Government 2.0 Publication here

Vancouver Sun January 11, 2012

Provincewide tests of reading, writing and math will proceed as planned in B.C. elementary schools next week, with principals and vice-principals reluctantly taking on the work that’s usually performed by teachers.

The B.C. Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association asked government to cancel this year’s Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA), which is administered annually in Grades 4 and 7, so as not to increase the workload for administrators who are already exhausted from the effects of the teachers’ job action, president Jameel Aziz said. But the ministry insisted the tests must go ahead.

As part of their job action, which began in September, teachers are refusing to write report cards, attend staff meetings, supervise students outside of instructional hours, complete paperwork, communicate with administrators or administer provincial tests.

That means principals, vice-principals and other excluded staff will also be responsible for delivering and marking provincial exams in Grades 10, 11 and 12, despite the fact they may not have the necessary expertise in the subject being tested, Aziz said.

Read full article here.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun 

jsteffenhagen@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

5:00 PM 01/10/2012

DELTA – A feast was held today to celebrate the signing of a second Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA) for Delta, with partners committing to support Aboriginal student success and bring a greater awareness of Aboriginal culture and history to all students.

Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements are a commitment by school districts, local Aboriginal communities and the Ministry of Education to work together to support Aboriginal students. Delta’s first agreement was signed in 2005, and the initiative has proven to be successful. Over the past ten years, six-year completion rates have risen for Aboriginal students in the district from 37 to 60 per cent.

With the new AEEA, the commitment to Aboriginal students is being enhanced. During the past year, community members, students, parents and educators came together to develop this second AEEA for Delta. The new AEEA is based on information learned from the first agreement and answers to the question, “What would success look like for our students?”

Read full article here.

Province of British Columbia Newsroom: BC’s Online News Source

Writing Power: Teaching Writing Strategies that Engage Thinking

“Writing Power shows teachers how to encourage students to consider the reader’s thinking as they write. The book is organized around five thinking strategies — Connect, Question, Visualize, Infer, and Transform. Lessons based on these strategies illustrate how students can engage and invite their readers’ thinking through their writing. Based on the fundamentals of the Writing Process and Six Traits models, this book offers a wide range of effective writing techniques with suggested “anchor books” for each lesson. Complete with scripted, sequential lessons, recommended anchor books, blackline masters and assessment rubrics.”

- Livres Canada Books

Publisher: Pembroke Publishers
Author: Adrienne Gear
Year: 2011
Language: English
Category: Education & Teaching
ISBN: 978-1-55138-263-0

Book information and review here.

UBC Catalogue information here.

BCTF  Teacher Newsmagazine:  Volume 24, Number 3, November/December 2011  

Like lambs to the slaughter: The erosion of the cultured citizen 

By Sean M. Douglas  

“I have never let school interfere with my education” wrote Mark Twain as he considered his own understanding of the world; but how long before someone holds a mirror up to public education and realizes that the reflection of the students staring back is not the one they thought they would see? It is a shame to see Mr. Clemens’ (Twains’ dual persona) fears become a reality as education becomes lost within the school.

Perhaps what first needs to be asked is, what should an education look like, versus what kind of learning is currently shaping the next generation?

One can hardly deny that education has changed since, say, the days of Socrates, and it is clear that the age of texting and self-corrective technology has led to a decline in communication skills, and while the decline of such proficiency is unfortunate, it will not be “the way to a dusty death.” What is unfortunate, however, is education’s digression from culture in the classroom, for it is through the process of being cultured that all skills follow; “ay, there’s the rub!”

There is, however, a great irony in such a digression of culture, for what often brings culture to a standstill is what occurs in the school itself, the same institution that one would assume seeks to shape the hearts and minds of the future. Then again, it is the ministry whose three objectives “focus on establishing high levels of student achievement; reducing the gaps in student achievement; and ensuring high levels of public confidence in public education.” When the emphasis of education is based around statistics and external perception, it is no wonder that students are not developing a sense of personal identity, citizenship, and culture.

Perhaps schools no longer know how to effectively implement the values of culture, for now that we have become so immersed in politics, we are so overwrought with tensions that our sensitivity and our fear of being unpolitically correct has eroded culture itself. One’s ability to teach classic literature, art, music, history, philosophy, and theory, is successfully being eroded, and it is these disciplines that are necessary for students to become cultured citizens.

Read full article here.

British Columbia Teachers’ Federation Teacher Newsmagazine,  Nov-Dec 2011

According to a recent article published in Science, taking a test is not just a passive mechanism for assessing how much people know. It actually helps people learn, and it works better than a number of other studying techniques.

Read the full article here.

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