How does CBE know what parents and the public want?
In the 2015/16 school year CBE Administrators developed a Literacy Strategy. At the time, there was no public or parent input. Parents were told that there had recently been a great deal of engagement, and that there was a desire not to overload the public with too many requests for input.
Parent/public engagement was promised for the following year. It didn't happen. There is still no mention of it on the website. Interestingly, in the meantime, a K-12 Math Strategy was developed with public input. Sadly, the parent input was just not particularly well reflected in the resulting Strategy. (See Blog post of Sept 13).
Why has there been no public input yet? Perhaps because CBE Administrators are quite aware that parents are going to want a different kind of Strategy. They will want to know which children are having difficulty with reading. Parents and the public might want resources devoted to support children who most need help in learning to read. They might not think that providing joyful experiences is sufficient. With provincial Student Learning Assessments becoming optional, parents are going to want some kind of objective measure of their child's reading skills.
I don't think that all the leaders downtown are currently prepared to provide what parents want with respect to Reading. Luckily, a new Board of Trustees will be able to work with their Chief Superintendent to provide him the backing and the support he needs to require his entire senior team to be truly responsive to what parents want.
And so now the public will speak at the ballot box. An election is the ultimate public input. The Trustees who will be responsible for monitoring the system will be chosen by you. Do you want someone who knows about reading (and math)? Do you want someone who has background in assessment and measurement and can make sure we do a good job monitoring?
This election will determine the quality of the oversight you will have for the next 4 years. Please consider my skills and background on October 16th and get out to vote!