Shirley Bond, BC’s Minister of Education, spoke to an attentive and, for the most part, appreciative audience at the BCCPAC’s annual general meeting Friday, May 5, 2006).
The carefully phrased talk addressed the concerns and criticism that have emerged around Bill 33. Noting that while some are pushing to have even more restrictions the Minister herself is trying to find “a balanced approach.”
“I know that some of you here are critical [of Bill 33]” said Bond. But, be advised that one partner group and their friends (who jump on the bandwagon uncritically) want “even more restrictive limits placed on class size and class composition.”
Touching on the importance of parents in the governance of public education Minister Bond also alluded to a climate of “fear and intimidation” that allegedly keeps many parents, teachers, and other community members silent. At one point the minister turned to Kim Howland, president of the BCCPAC and commented upon the courage that Kim and other parent reps have shown in the face of antagonism.
Responding to a question from the floor asking the minister’s advice on getting rid of ‘incompetent’ teachers the minister replied:
“Don’t be intimidated we are listening. . . . Be true and courageous.”
Hear the complete presentation, including questions and answers (MP3 format). The presentation plus Q&A is about 55 minutes in length.