The provincial government has given approval in principle to rebuild the university hill network of schools. They have allocated up to 84 million dollars for the job. VSB passed a motion in the finances standing committee that is going to the full board Feb. 16. Read all about it here.
This just in from BCCPAC -that was quick.
Ron Broda reassumed his full responsibilities as President and CEO of BCCPAC on Tuesday, February 10, after a brief leave of absence. An e-mail was prepared to send to members, but due to technical difficulties with our e-mail system this could not be sent until today. Any comments or concerns should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org .
This news article highlights some of the incongruities of using the scores from standardized tests to rank schools.
Maywood community school in Burnaby was described a month ago by a group of visiting international educators as a model for urban schools challenged by ethnic diversity and poverty.
This week, Maywood — an elementary school in the shadow of the Metrotown towers — was handed a more dubious distinction: a next-to-last position in the Fraser Institute’s annual ranking of B.C.’s schools. (Download full article)
Vancouver, B.C. – (January 30, 2009) – The Vancouver Board of Education is opposed to the misuse of the data collected from the Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) tests to rank schools in British Columbia.
The testing of reading, writing and numeracy through the FSA produces data that represent a snapshot of student achievement in relation to particular areas of the provincial curriculum.
The basis for the ranking is limited to two curriculum areas—Language Arts and Mathematics—in two grade levels. Any valid ranking that proposes to assess schools against one another would have to take into account a much broader range of curriculum areas, as well as many other factors that contribute to the meaningful aspects of schools.
Vancouver School Board staff reported on progress to date regarding rebuilding university hill area schools at Tuesday’s committee II meeting (Planning and Facilities). In response to a question about the agreement staff said that there is still no signed project agreement in hand. A question about whether or not the business plan had been submitted to the ministry was apparently deferred or ignored.
BC’s parent voice, the Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils has a history fraught with conflict but typically that conflict is directed outside and against the teachers’ union. However, as of late conflict is bursting at the seams within the organization.
In response to what is rather hard to understand from a position outside of the inner circle, current President and ‘CEO’ Ron Broda has apparently said that:
“If the membership chooses to elect a 1st Vice-President other than my stated preferred choice, the membership will be electing a New President as I will resign effective immediately at that time (emphasis added).
In a long and, at times, hard to follow email Broda outlines a litany of ‘stupid mes’ and ‘stupid acts’ in which he names other BCCPAC and parent volunteers (including himself) and what he alleges are their various and sundry stupid acts. For the majority of us on the outside of this circle it doesn’t make a lot of sense.
If this were simply a small insignificant organization it wouldn’t merit much attention. However, the BCCPAC is a recipient of the larges of the provincial government to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the BCCPAC sits at critical provincial stakeholder tables, and ultimately this organization is supposed to represent a diversity of perspectives from across our province. All of this makes the internal squabbling of the BCCPAC a very important public issue. Is this the organization to be put in charge of hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars?
Perhaps a new broom might be the right choice come the Annual General meeting in May.
What follows is the text attributed to Ron Broda
Subject: Stupid me
Date: Sat, 31 Jan 2009 06:05:05 -0800
Since the events following my e-mistake in the early hours of this past Thursday morning I have been reflecting a lot on the actions and beliefs of “stupid me”. Before I expand on those thoughts I want to provide the requested clarification on my inappropriate, accidentallyposted but truthful and accurate comments.
1. Never mind the actions that led to Ms. Longstaff having her committee duties removed, stupid act Ms. Longstaff for posting that fact on the BCPDAC Yahoo group. I guess the lesson was not learned from her first experience that generated a complaint in June 2008.
2. Stupid act Ms. Arthurs for probing this matter on a list serve, BCDPAC Yahoo, instead of making a discreet, direct and personal inquiry of the individual(s) involved to learn the facts.
3. Stupid act Ms. Arthurs for posting a reply to an inappropriate conversation on the Yahoo (maybe YAHOO is an appropriate name for this group?) group on BCCPAC’s pacdpac list serve as well.
4. Stupid act Ms. Arthurs for not recognizing your error when you received Kim’s post inquiring what your first post on BCCPAC’s list was all about.
5. Stupid act Ms. Arthurs in posting an inappropriate disclosure of unconfirmed rumours about the status of BCCPAC Board members.
Now to “stupid me”:
1. Stupid me for thinking that as soon as I recognized that I had made a mistake, admitted it freely on my own volition and apologized for it sincerely that anybody would care or accept my apology.
2. Stupid me for being awake at 2:35 in the morning and working on BCCPAC business.
3. Stupid me for spending 40 – 60 hours every week working as an unpaid volunteer for an organization whose members criticize its leaders’ efforts freely, frequently and with little knowledge of facts and circumstances.
4. Stupid me for seeking election to the President’s position after having been on BCCPAC’s Board for three years and witnessing first hand the long thankless hours worked by my predecessor.
5. Stupid me for expecting civil and courteous behaviour from BCCPAC members after having witnessed first hand the rude and disrespectful comments of a member (Julianne Doctor) made about the daughter of our Past President who was volunteering her time to assist at a BCCPAC AGM.
6. Stupid me for expecting BCCPAC members to show some understanding for differences of opinion and the inevitability of human mistakes after having experienced hostile and disrespectful behaviour while chairing two previous AGMs. Some people just simply can’t take a joke or display any humour at all!!
7. Stupid me for bringing my wife to the Member consultation session in Parksville on January 24th where she had the experience of having a BCCPAC member (John Bird) immediately cease what had been a friendly conversation and leave her table never to return again as soon as he learned her last name.
8. Stupid me for bringing my wife to that same event so that while she was in the women’s washroom she could hear another BCCPAC member (Barb Lund) make false and derogatory comments about me and my previous work in Saanich. Maybe Barb would like to inform us all about the truly trusting and effective working relationship that she has cultivated with Saanich’s School Superintendent and report on a rather interesting meeting between her DPAC’s Executive and Saanich District staff that took place this past fall. I understand from various sources that it was really “positive and respectful”, NOT!!!
9. Stupid me for expecting that a parent that I had worked with and had previously thought that I had a reasonable working relationship with (Cathy Barber) would feel comfortable enough and be courteous enough to pick up the phone and call me directly and express a concern before posting her “dismay” at my freely admitted mistake on the pacdpac list serve. But then I guess it’s far easier to criticize from behind a keyboard than to personally ask for an explanation.
10. Stupid me for thinking that providing confirmation of the information disclosed by Ms. Longstaff and the rationale for it that members who felt free to take cheap derogatory pot-shots at me would have the decency to offer an apology or even post something to the effect that the information should cause members to think about what is really happening on BCCPAC’s Board. My how silent it is now in the presence of a few facts!! Save any apologies for me now. I don’t need one. The people who really deserve a heartfelt apology from the cheap shot artists and critics are:
My youngest daughter Shayla, who HATES BCCPAC because it takes me away from home so often and for so long and makes her dad grumpy and irritable at times,
My wife Linda, who last week saw first hand the extremely negative and hostile world in which I spend 40-60 hours a week for free,
The members of BCCPAC who are supportive of the work that IS being done despite all of the unnecessary distraction caused by a vocal and negative few,
The professional staff of BCCPAC, and in particular Carla Giles, whose work is needlessly complicated and slowed by the antics of a few, and
The children of BC who we are supposed to be working on behalf of instead of dealing with needless and stupid BIG KID issues.
Resign some of you have said. You have no idea how many times that I have thought of doing just that. But stupid me for thinking that I can make a difference to this organization. Stupid me for thinking that the BCCPAC membership would give me the time to implement the recommendations from the governance audit to fix many of this organization’s ills If I decide to make the only really smart decision for me personally and my family, who is ready and willing to step up and fill this role?
Well BCCPAC members it should be obvious to you all that you have a split and dysfunctional Board. Some of us want to fix the problems and move forward. Some want to drill holes below the waterline and sink the ship. There is an AGM with a general election coming. Nominations are open. This election is all about the future of BCCPAC. It will be about my vision for BCCPAC’s future and about my leadership. Some of you have suggested a vote of non-confidence in me. That will not be necessary. You, dear members, will soon be receiving a booklet containing information on nominees for the Board positions that are up for election. The key position to be elected this year is the 1st Vice-President position. That is an important succession position and quite likely BCCPAC’s next President. Perhaps more likely than you might think. I will be expressing very clearly to the membership who are the preferred candidates that I would like you BCCPAC members to elect to your Board, that I believe will form an effective team to lead BCCPAC into the future. If the membership chooses to elect a 1st Vice-President other than my stated preferred choice, the membership will be electing a New President as I will resign effective immediately at that time.
BCCPAC members choose carefully!!! You will get the leadership that you ask for. Make your own independent decisions this time rather than relying on others who you may mistakenly think are trustworthy in carrying your proxy. In case you haven’t noticed, there has been blatant manipulation and abuse of the proxy system in the past two general elections. A post on the BCDPAC Yahoo group shortly after last year’s AGM revealed that. “where were Vancouver DPACs proxies?” Right John? You just never know where stuff posted on a “private” list serve will go.
So to all of you brave outraged email critics:
Ana Peasgood, Barb Lund, John Bird, Dana Arthurs, Juliane Doctor, Cathy Barber, Rio Bates, Jeannie Cameron, Katherine Wagner and any others who can do this job better and error free
I expect to see your nomination papers.
I apologize if the frank and truthful expression of my frustration and anger expressed above offends any of you. I needed to say this. So if you’re offended get over it and move on!
Ron Broda, President & CEO
Oh! In case you haven’t noticed the following quote on my emails before it is here for a reason. Some of you should read and take it to heart!!!
“Always tell the truth, not only because it is the decent thing to do, but because it gives you such an advantage over the man who is trying to remember his lies!”
— Sam Brookes
BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils
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(P) 604-687-4433 ext. 105 * Toll Free 1-866-529-4397 * (F) 604-687-4488
Email: email@example.com * Website: www.bccpac.bc.ca
Good news appears to be on the horizon for parents seeking out-of-school care for their children.
COPE trustee Allan Wong, chair of the school board’s planning and facilities committee, believes the new board at its next meeting Jan. 19 will change policy preventing empty classrooms from being used for out-of-school care.
Arvind Gupta, a leading mathematical researcher, points to his three daughters as examples of what is wrong with math education in British Columbia.
Although his girls do well in the subject, they have no interest in pursuing it as a career.
And that, unfortunately, is typical, says Gupta, chief executive officer and scientific director at a Simon Fraser University centre of excellence known as MITACS — Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems.
“Surprising as it is to me, kids are turning away in even larger numbers than before from mathematical sciences,” Gupta said in an interview. “It’s a huge worry for us because the world is demanding more and more quantitative skills in individuals.”
“PAC members voted this evening to endorse the VSB’s proposal for new schools in the University area of the school district. Though parents at the meeting expressed concern with potential problems caused by construction during the transition period all in attendance were in support of the VSB proceeding rapidly with the plan to rebuild our neighbourhood schools.”
VSB is preparing a second round (actually this would be about a fourth round over the last 8 years or so) of Education Facilities Review proposals that include a rebuilt grade 9-12 high school at the former National Research Council fuel cell building on 16th avenue(View image), a completely new two in one school for 6-8 (phase one) and k-5 (phase two) at the Acadia Road site, and a reconfiguration of the old elementary into a K-5 school. It’s refreshing change and an inter4esting approach that has a lot of potential.
The new network of schools will have a science/technology focus emphasis within a comprehensive school program. UBC has signed on and there are formal agreements that will link the Faculty of Education. It has the possibility of being a really exciting place and, as a UBC faculty member who son is graduating from U Hill this year, I look forward to being able to develop and maintain relations with U Hill through my research and documentary film unit. With a science/tec focus the role of Indigenous Science and the place of digital technologies in education are two areas that I would love to see developed here.
The earliest opening date for the rebuilt high school is March 2011. This is of note as each time a new proposal turns up the first day of operations for the new school gets pushed back even further. Last spring parents were told the new school would appear in the fall 2010. One has to be an optimist in this area and, as in the past, each new proposal is greeted with the enthusiasm due the promise that a new school will be coming.
The two school Parent Advisory Councils will be holding parent meetings on January 8th at their respective schools. A community meeting is being planned for the week of January 12 at the Old Barn Community Centre (details TBA).
The final proposal is slated to be submitted for approval to the provincial government January 30, 2009.
A summary of the proposal can be foundhere.
Full details are published on the VSB website: Proposed educational framework for UBC family of schools released – News and Media Releases