On Tuesday, Sandra Mathison, Professor of Education at UBC and ICES member, addressed 700 teachers at their union’s annual general meeting. The teachers met to plan a course of action to resist and attempt to repeal Bill 22, a bill that takes draconian measures to limit the BCTF’s ability to bargain fairly and freely for its members.
Mathison’s keynote focused on the current neo-liberal narrative of accountability in British Columbia, a narrative that has been building since the Liberal party was elected in 2001 and one that continues to gain momentum as evidenced by the passage of Bill 22. This is a powerful narrative that seeks to blames teachers and the BCTF for many of the problems in BC’s schools. Mathison argued that teachers, parents and students need to work together to change this narrative, to create a narrative of authentic accountability that recognizes teachers professionalism, engages local communities in educational decision making, and demands that government be accountable for funding education adequately and fairly so that teaching and learning can occur.
The full text of the talk can be found on the BCTF website.