Education

Why incentive pay won’t fix education or health care

Oct 14, 2010
It turns out — surprise! — that it’s really hard to measure quality in complex social systems and that employing simplistic quantitative measures can backfire. That’s the take-home message from a recent talk by UC Berkley economist and public policy professor Jesse Rothstein who came to SFU to present his latest research on using standardized… View Article

The Globe’s Report on Private Schools

Sep 15, 2010
If there was truth in news reporting, the Globe’s “report” on private schools (Sept. 14) would be labeled a “special advertising supplement”. It is essentially a cheerleading exercise for private schools, funded by advertising from private schools, so you’ll find no news in this report. Which is too bad because the topic of private schools… View Article

Your Brain on Capitalism

Sep 7, 2010
At least as far back as Sokrates, people have speculated on the relationship between psychology and politics. In the 20th century, Wilhelm Reich, Erich Fromm and members of the Frankfurt School (such as Herbert Marcuse) pioneered discussion about how individual dispositions affect one’s social and political ideologies. On the other hand, social psychologists like Stanley… View Article

The U.K. having problems with its P3s

Jul 27, 2010
Britain, which led the charge for public private partnerships under both Conservative and Labour governments over the past decades, is now seeing problems with the projects. This month the new coalition government cancelled the controversial Building Schools for the Future program.  Michael Gove, the Conservative Secretary of State for Education said the P3 school program… View Article

Message to school boards: Shut the hell up

Apr 15, 2010
The punch may have landed on the Vancouver School Board but make no mistake; BC Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid just took a swing at every school board in the province. The Minister’s imposition of the province’s Comptroller General as a budget cop for the Vancouver school board sends a clear message to other school districts. … View Article

Something missing from the H1N1 fight

Oct 2, 2009
When the government announced its plans for dealing with H1N1 in schools on August 24th there was something missing. The government’s “pandemic response framework”, announced by the Ministers of Education and Healthy Living and sport deals with issues like transporting the sick, communications, roles of emergency response teams, school instruction and post-pandemic recovery plans. What… View Article

The recent secretive, haphazard spending cuts should be repealed

Sep 23, 2009
Almost daily we wake up to news of yet another important program or initiative whose funding has been cut by the BC government. Literacy initiatives, high school sports, programs that protect women and children from violence, arts and culture: hardly an area of social service provision has been spared. These cuts have been devastating to… View Article

What should our government be spending money on?

Sep 16, 2009
One question that is missing from the public debate on deficits and debt is whether we’re getting the best bang for the stimulus buck. Even if we accept that it’s appropriate for governments to borrow and engage in deficit-financing during a recession, as I have argued here, we need to have a discussion about the… View Article