The governor of New York recently proposed that 50% of teachers evaluations be based on the results of standardized tests. I’m not going to go into great detail about how much of fundamental misunderstanding of the purpose of standardized tests that is. The short version is that standardized tests give the most useful information when disaggregated, so for example looking at a district by district sample, or by selecting randomized classrooms from the entire state/province to give an overall picture. Other people have explained what a problem it is to hold teachers responsible for things they don’t have full control over. I’m not going to go into that today. Instead I’m going to focus on the labour market.
If you haven’t seen it yet bill C-44 (the Protection of Canada from Terrorists Act) is an interesting read (see more here: http://openparliament.ca/bills/41-2/C-44/). It does a number of things, mostly putting in law things that are already happening. One portion of it is highly problematic, though others might take issue with different provisions, and that would be subsection 18 – the secret witness section. Here’s the complete text of that section before we get into the problematic part:
My thoughts on the 2014 Abbotsford municipal election. Actually just about the SD34 Board of Education Trustee election.
I’d like to start by thanking the 3500 people who voted for me. It was a great experience and my first time putting myself out there in a city context. I hope to run for School Trustee again in four years.
It’s interesting to look at the election results and compare them to the campaigns run. As expected the incumbents were re-elected (generally the majority of incumbents get re-elected for school trustee, though it is by no means easy), but the interesting thing is the numbers for the non incumbents.
The campaign season has wrapped up and I did not make it in. But I wanted to keep my platform here for people to see.
Noah Arney grew up and attended school in Abbotsford and returned to establish a family after receiving his Bachelor of Education from UBC. He has worked in education for six years at both the secondary and post-secondary levels; working primarily with Aboriginal learners.
During his post-secondary education Noah was active in student government and institutional committees at UFV and is now interested in pursuing a more active role in the community through service to the Board of Education.
Noah hopes to bring to the school board his expertise as an educator and his commitment to current best practices in education.
The current Abbotsford School Board has done some very good things over the last three years, the strategic plan is a sound document and I would love to be part of the implementation of it, and the increase in the Aboriginal student graduation rate to being within 5% of the general graduation rate is an accomplishment that should be lauded and continued to be worked on. But there are some areas that I feel need to be revisited.