Education

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The recent secretive, haphazard spending cuts should be repealed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

And from the department of kicking kittens……

Sep 10, 2009
Vaughn Palmer asked the Finance Minister a question in the Budget lock-up on the day of the Budget speech.  How about a list of all those programs you’re going to cut?  No can do, Finance Minister Colin Hansen replied.  You’ll just have to wait until the Public Accounts are published next year. In the Liberal… View Article

On tough times and priorities

The BC government cannot afford $130,000 for the budget of BC School Sports, a volunteer organization which organizes sporting events for students. This is likely to affect 100,000 high school athletes across the province whose meets and competitions will be canceled. “It’s not business as usual right now,” explained Education Minister Margaret MacDiarmid, quoted in… View Article

Doing the math on all-day-K

Sep 8, 2009
Amid the corner-cutting exercise that was the September BC budget, there seemed to be a glimmer of hope: actual money was alloted for the expansion of kindergarten to full day. Could it be that the BC government has finally started to get it and is planning to heed its own report on childcare (as I’ve… View Article

School funding an election issue at the local level

Apr 30, 2009
It hasn’t particularly reached the level of a provincial election issue, but school funding is quietly percolating along as an issue at the local level. The provincial election overlaps with the time that school boards set their budgets and many of those school boards are making cuts due to lack of funding. A few examples?… View Article

Children’s mental health: Are we paying attention?

Feb 11, 2009
According to the Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD), 15% or about 1 in 7 children in BC suffer from a mental health problem serious enough to cause significant distress and impair their development and functioning.   In children, mental illness supersedes all other health problems in terms of the numbers affected and the degreee of impairment.  Think about… View Article

School ranking: public shaming with a statistical veneer

Feb 9, 2009
By printing the Fraser Institute rankings of elementary schools the Vancouver Sun gives unwarranted attention and a gloss of respectability to a cynical attempt to create anxiety among parents and educators through public shaming of students, families, educators and to place public schools in a negative light. The FI’s ranking calculation is not a legitimate… View Article