NPA Announce partial list of candidates


Non-Partisan Association – NPA elected officials serve Vancouver’s neighbourhoods on City Council, School Board and Park Board

Vancouver NPA Announces First 2008 Candidates for Nomination

The Vancouver NPA is proud to announce its first set of candidates for nomination for City Council, School Board and Park Board. A total of 18 candidates have put their names forward for 14 open positions for Mayor, City Councillor, School Board Trustee and Park Board Commissioner.

The NPA membership will be asked to choose a Mayoral candidate, five City Council candidates, four School Board candidates, and four Park Board candidates. There will be a second nomination contest in September for the remaining openings on the NPA team.

“I’m extremely impressed with the calibre of candidates that have come forward as nominees,” comments NPA President Matthew Taylor.

Ken Denike, Carol Gibson, and Clarence Hansen seek reelection. Sophia Woo is the only ‘new’ name on the list.

Will U Hill Schools Be Rebuilt?

On the eve of a combined U Hill Secondary/Elementary PAC meeting many parents living west of Blanca in Vancouver are wondering -will our schools be rebuilt to meet the learning needs of our children?

The EFR process has been public since early January 2008. As parents we have been waiting for over four years to get an answer we can “take to the bank.” The process has been filled with delays. From administrative to political interruptions, the real need for schools in this area has been sidelined time and time again.

June 4th at 7 pm the senior management of the Vancouver Board of Education will present their ‘final’ draft to the school trustees. People are hopeful that there is a plan in the works that will lay out a course to rebuild the schools out on the edge of Point Grey. But no one is holding their breath.

The is a worrisome feeling that the status quo will win out and nothing will happen. The same expressions of sympathy will be shared, but real action will not follow. The status quo is, however costly and it has to change.The status quo situation is being paid for through all of our collective labour and volunteer time as parents who work as staff or faculty and live on campus. We have allowed our children to pay the costs of keeping enclave facilities alive. Over 200 of our children are put on buses each morning to go out to Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth Elementary Schools, and others go farther afield to Southlands, Carnarvon and Henry Hudson so that annex facilities can survive. Our older children go to a high school that is decrepit and overcrowded. They eat their lunches on the floor, they do their labs in shifts, frequently miss gym, and they take classes in spaces that should be torn down and even so, they do amazingly well in their academic studies. These academic results have allowed politicians and administrators to avoid the real problems.

We all hope that on June 4th and on June 19th, when the trustees vote, our children will finally hear that their needs are being addressed.

Former BCCPAC President in Court

Ex-government appointee charged with fraud

Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun
Published: Friday, May 23, 2008

A former prominent leader in the B.C. education community has been charged with one criminal count of fraud in connection with her work as a certified management consultant.

Reggi Balabanov, who was president of the B.C. Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils from 2000 until 2003 and was later appointed by the Liberal government to the regulatory body responsible for policing teacher conduct, was charged last summer but the charge was never made public.

Supporting Aboriginal Students

Lessons in Learning: Ways to address the impact of mobility among Aboriginal students

The high-school completion rate for Aboriginal students continues to fall well short of the Canadian average. Recent research has highlighted student mobility as a major barrier to successful high-school completion. Low completion rates among Aboriginal students in families who move more frequently point to the need for greater school support for these students.

Prince Rupert Takes Action to Deal with Declining Enrolment

SD52 Home: Board of Education

Two elementary schools will be closed this year. A third school is slated for closure and relocation next year. The district is also considering turning the two high schools into one administrative unit with two campuses.

Prince Rupert School District has experienced a 16% drop in enrollment over the past few years.

Read the review document here.

School Closures

School closures and the ‘cult of efficiency’

By Murray Dobbin

The closure of public schools in BC has reached crisis level and is unprecedented in the history of BC. Enrolment has dropped in the past, and some schools are always closed in such situations, but the extent of the closures this time around is unique and the callous attitude of the provincial government has no precedent. The current raft of closures—150 since 2001 and 45 more scheduled for this year—is rationalized by declines in enrolment. But there is a much stronger driving force behind these permanent losses of schools and school property and that is the ideology of the current provincial government. The application of neo-liberal ideology (or radical free-market ideology) is at the root of this tragic loss of schools and the devastation it causes students, parents, neighbourhoods, and communities.

Fraser Institute and U Hill

the hill still the leader

Vancouver Sun blogs

With a building that’s too small and not wired for today’s high-tech gadgets, University Hill is ranked the best public high school in B.C. by the Fraser Institute

Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun
Published: Saturday, May 10, 2008

A small, run-down school bursting with students on Vancouver’s west side continues to be the public education leader in the annual Fraser Institute’s Report Card on B.C. Secondary Schools, released today.

University Hill has been ranked as the number-one public high school in B.C. for several years, bested only by independent schools that charge hefty tuition fees and generally admit only the best of the brightest.

It manages this feat despite serious overcrowding due to new housing developments on the nearby University of B.C. campus. The school’s capacity is 325 students, but it accommodates — through the use of nine portables — more than 500 teenagers and turns away several dozen more from its catchment area every year.