Chris Kelly in the News

Chris Kelly, superintendent of Vancouver schools since August 2003, had his contract renewed for another three years in August.

He spoke to the Vancouver Courier and gave his thoughts on the new school year, the school board’s relationship with the provincial government and misconceptions about public schools.Download fulltext of article here.

In response to a Courier question on his undergraduate major at university Mr. Kelly replied:

What I learned through that major in political science, as well as anthropology and sociology, was how human communities and human political, social and cultural systems work. And that’s been a huge advantage to me. You don’t want to ever become dispassionate, but at the same time you have to remain objective about how and why people will think and do what they do–whether they’re doing it politically, or as parents, socially or whatever else. In a role like mine, it’s a huge advantage.

An anthropologist or sociologist might actually suggest that all human activity is political, in the small ‘p’ sense. Being a ‘parent’ is a political positioning -it’s a social location involved with particular sets of interests, goals, and objectives. But, in today’s world of education most administrators would seem to share Mr. Kelly’s idea that there is ‘political’ behaviour and then there is simply being a parent. To be ‘political,’ according to education administrators, is to lack a genuineness, to be an inauthentic participant in the education debates.

Welcome Back

Welcome Back to the new school year. The Deputy Minister’s newsletters contain general comments that warn of impending operational changes in the ways in which school districts are managed. The BCTF has been on the airways with concerns over how much parents have to shell out to pay for schooling. And, districts across the province are once again facing significantly lower enrollments as the trend toward fewer school age students continues.

It will be, I am sure, an interesting year ahead.