On Wednesday, November 1, I was one of among 50-75 parents, teachers and students who were able to meet Ministry of Education staff as part of the current review of the graduation portfolio. The key points that were raised by parents at the meeting are as follows (with thanks to Van DPAC coordinator for the notes):
- Lack of extra resources and funding for its implementation
- Query re value of portfolio in its current form – too much like a series of checklists
- There were so many mistakes in implementation – can they be rectified or is it a lost cause?
- There was not enough representation – e.g. wider numbers of teachers and parents – in this review process. (and what is the difference between a consultation with wider participation and a review, which seems to bring in fewer people?)
- Students aren’t being listened to
- Fatal flaw: issues of equity between districts, between students in a district in ability, family support to do all portfolio strands
- Need for training and in service for teachers (as was pointed out before implementation by BCCPAC, trustee, superintendent and teacher organizations)
- Need for clarity of purpose: why are we making the kids do this?
- Lack of consistency from one district to next re verification requirements, physical activity requirements, etc.
- Mandatory nature of portfolio reduces the choice – and room in timetable to take – arts and technology courses
- Some people expressed a desire to somehow keep the community service, physical activity and reflection bits in students’ graduation programs.
For those interested in listening to most of the evening’s proceedings click here for an audio recording of the nights commentary.
You can contact the government directly with your comments by using this email address: EDUC.Portfolio@gov.bc.ca
Ministry of Education portfolio review page.
Surprise announcement putting portfolio on hold.
Student petition against graduation portfolios.
Deputy Minister’s cheery comments on the graduation portfolio.
BCTF graduation portfolio review page (October 16, 2006).