Thursday, September 30, 2010

Come in to my parlour . . .

This morning on CBC's Sheila Cole program, Ray Morrison, Chairman of the Saskatoon Public School Board, attempted to clarify the controversy on student reporting. I empathized with him as he attempted to explain and defend the Board's position in response to that of a Superintendent, teacher and students. If nothing else the Board is guilty of poor communication. In essence he stated that there was no policy but simply an understanding that each teacher would consider student behaviour when rendering a grade and that teachers simply had flexibility in grading. I suspect this is not that comforting to parents and students.

Chairman Morrison also stated that he canvassed the Trustees and they indicated that they had received few negative reactions from the public on this issue. I would suggest that is a result of the public-at-large not knowing who in hell even sits on the Board. For a service as important as public education, very little media or reporting occurs on what is happening in our educations systems.

Following Chairman Morrison, Premier Brad Wall weighed in on the subject as both a father and Premier. As a father he wants student accountability and responsibility to play a role, but acknowledged as a Premier that student reporting has always been the purview of school boards. In light of this controversy he followed up with the comment that since the province has overall responsibility for education, his education ministry would be looking at introducing some form of standardized reporting.

Boom! With that little bomb you can expect to hear from the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation. There is nothing that can rally the education troops like the thought of standardized testing or reporting or anything that would remotely impact on their grip of publicly funded education. Our Premier has stepped into a mine field.

I cannot count the number of times I have heard, and stated myself, that "our children are our greatest resource." Let's hope that this "resource" issue continues and receives as much play and consideration as does the potash resource issue.

. . . both Morrison and Wall flew into the spiders web.


  1. Oh for the Love of Pete!!! This is just the same old bull that Administration expounds at every opportunity. If this is about giving parents more information maybe the reality check is to indicate why the student got the zero mark on an assignment. It would look like this:
    Essay written - 100% very good quality work and well thought out.
    Fact it was ripped off - loose 100%
    Your final mark! ZERO!!!!!!
    That would tell the parents exactly what they want to know. Their son or daughter knows what is good, knows how to find it but has no morals, which goes to the parents responsibilities and all their fault. Isn't that what the teachers are looking for.. a scape goat for the fact they aren't doing their job.

  2. Mistress, your cynicism is outstanding.
    Standardized assessments within two years.
    Heard it here first.


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