To: To the BC Ministry of Education
Every student in BC has heard of the new graduation program introduced by the BC provincial government for students graduating in 2007 or later. Within the new graduation program is the graduation portfolio, officially defined as “a collection of carefully selected items that reflect on one’s experience both in and out of school”.
One of these items is forcing students to take Socials 11, despite the fact that some students are in special programs which simply can not fit the extra course in their schedule. Students are then required to take the courses online or during summer school.
The graduation portfolio might fit its definition if anybody knew exactly what is going on. The administration and teachers are not even finished planning the methods of evaluation and presenting the portfolio. Often, students have tried to ask their teachers for help, only to receive an “I’m not sure” for an answer. Is it fair that some teachers themselves don’t understand the portfolio clearly?
Make a difference and sign the petition below. After we have obtained 1000 (or more) signatures, we will present this petition to the BC Minister of Education Shirley Bond.
Sign the petition here.New grad rules stump students: Some requirements conflict with course work
Elaine O’Connor, The Province
Published: Friday, January 27, 2006
More than 7,000 B.C. students are protesting new provincial requirements for graduation — which they say conflict with existing programs and are confusing.
Vancouver Grade 10 student Phoebe Yu began an online petition two weeks ago that thousands of students from Dawson Creek to Delta have signed.
Their main concerns are portfolio requirements that they say are poorly defined and, in some cases, conflict with their specialized programs.
“We must take Socials 11 in summer school or online during our Grade 11 or 12 year, [because] the course conflicts with the [international baccalaureate] syllabus,” says Yu, a pre-IB student at Sir Winston Churchill.
“IB itself is already a very challenging program. We really don’t need another course on top of everything.
“Even our teachers encouraged us to write to [Minister of Education] Shirley Bond about the conflict,” Yu says.
IB students already complete a similar Creativity, Action, Service program and should be exempt from the portfolio, she says.
The Ministry of Education introduced the B.C. Graduation Program for students starting Grade 10 in 2004. It requires students to complete five provincial exams, to complete 80 credits in specific courses and to complete a three-year, four-credit self-directed graduation portfolio to display skills beyond the curriculum in the areas of computers, career planning, physical activity and volunteering.
Yu plans to send the petition (www.petitiononline.com/bcgradpf/ petition.html) to Bond.
Ministry spokeswoman Corinna Filion admits that there have been some conflicts with the IB program.
The International Baccalaureate Organization branch in B.C. has contacted the ministry with concerns.
A review is under way and if changes are needed, they will be implemented in the 2006/07 school year, Filion says.
© The Vancouver Province 2006