Archive for the ‘school board’ Category
The job of a School Board Trustee must be frustrating indeed… what kind of fool would consider taking on such a task!
Thanks, Cathy. I reckon your experience will be missed – at least by some.
OTTAWA — Kanata public school trustee Cathy Curry says she’s so sick of the board’s dysfunction that she’s calling it quits.
But before she goes, Curry’s also calling on the Ministry of Education to introduce sweeping changes to the way public school trustees conduct business provincewide and to launch an investigation into how Ottawa-Carleton District School Board trustees govern themselves.
In a letter to the board’s senior staff — and circulated to trustees Friday afternoon, Curry quotes one of the board’s former governance coaches, saying, “If you can’t change people, sometimes you have to change people.”
Pam FitzGerald is stepping aside
Given the current composition of the Board, I worry a bit about who will be selected to replace her and the process that will be used to do so.
Should be interesting, to say the least.
Thanks to the soon-to-be ex-Trustee for her service to her community. (159)
I say largely symbolic because “inclusive” policies at the Board are already in place and staff and Board members consider intolerance toward any students for whatever reason as inexcusable. Forward thinking stuff.
But symbolic actions are important; especially in these politically and socially polarised times.
One thing that does surprise me though has been the deafening silence from those in the conservative corner of giggling journos and commentators. There are a couple of Tweeps (you know who you are) who I had thought would be all over this like dogs in a butcher shop. Maybe they missed it? (307)
… in trying to track down some scumbags who defiled Pleasant Park School (OCDSB: JK -> 6… yeah, little kids) with some truly disgusting graffiti at some point over the past few days.
As in TRULY disgusting. Swastikas. Racist crap. The works.
The police are not likely to be able do anything other than log it as a report and look for similar incidents in the area. This kind of crap is fairly rare. We have been pretty lucky in our community until now.
So, please re-post, and re-Tweet. Maybe someone can come forward to the police with any info that may lead to identifying the worthless pieces of sewage who did this.
Before scripted responses in QP. Before “messaging”. Before every utterance from a Minister’s mouth had to be cleared by the PMO, sitting MP’s actually communicated directly with their constituents and other members of the public. All by themselves.
Yes. They did. I’m not making this up.
I know that on all sides of the House, there are Members who do good riding work…. no doubt. But in these days of über controlled messaging, rare is the MP who will just thrown out an email or letter in response to questions. No way. What if they said something that was counter to party lines? What if they strayed from the key messages that the PMO (or party leadership in the case of Opposition parties) wishes to convey.
The Resident Love Goddess was rummaging through some old boxes in the crawl space yesterday when she came across this letter sent to her by Flora MacDonald who was then the MP for Kingston and the Islands. She asked for some information to help prepare for a school debate.
She wasn’t even the MP for my RLG’s riding!
Imagine. Asking a number of specific question about an MP’s stand on different issues – some quite divisive – and getting a clear and unambiguous response… not a form letter sent by a staffer based on a template approved by the PMO.
And that is how it should be. Any and all elected representatives have as one of their duties, the obligation to answer questions posed to them by the public. MPs, MPPs, City Councillors and even School Board Trustees are obliged to communicate with the folks who elected them. They have a duty to go to community functions like association AGMs and other major functions, openings of businesses, breaking ground for a new arena and even school barbeques. My MP does a lot of this “riding work” and does it well. He was at our Community Association’s AGM last week and, just like I and several of other parents, flipped burgers at our local school’s year-end BBQ. (Oh, and for the record, our School Board Trustee was nowhere to be seen.)
In any case, the days that saw speedy and complete responses from our MPs are largely over. Public Servants like Mrs. MacDonald would have had a difficult time functioning in this climate of muzzles and straight jackets.
And just to note, the Honourable Flora MacDonald just turned 85 and is involved with a number of volunteer organizations. (320)
Gotta love transparency! True to their word, the mandatory financial statements as submitted by the candidates involved in last Fall’s municipal elections were published on the City website yesterday and WOW! Was I ever outspent! It is amazing how much $$$ some of the candidates sunk into their campaigns and how much they raised through contributions! Even the 3rd candidate in my Zone spent about 8 times more than I did (but he got only ¼ of the votes).
Bronwyn (the incumbent) spent $3,500 – which was peanuts when compared to the candidate who went up against John Shea in Orleans – she raised 11K! On the other end of the scale, ex-Chair Cathy Curry claimed only $600 in expenses… she was even more frugal than yours truly!
Note to self – next time, if there is a next time, find a fundraising coordinator!
Of course, as a statistician, I have to look at this using a common denominator – money spent per vote received. And I guess on a dollar per vote basis, I rocked. Yay me.
- Me – $0.17/vote
- The incumbent (Bronwyn) – $0.48/ vote
- The third candidate (Mohamoud) – $4.23 /vote
Some of the statements really blew me away! Aside from the one candidate who received over $11K in contributions, Another sunk more than 10K of his own money into it! Another contributed $7,600 out of pocket!
Sigh. And there I am with my big 780 bucks in expenses.
A couple of lessons I’m taking from all of this:
- Fundraising is a big weakness for me. I have a hard time asking people for money. I’m just not comfortable with it. I had a hard time doing it when I ran in 1993 and always when I volunteered to for one campaign or another. Again, if I do run again, find someone who can help me with this.
- Union endorsements = donations. A quick perusal of the candidates who were endorsed by organized labour reveals that they all received some level of financial support from one of the teacher’s unions. I don’t have an issue with this, but next time, don’t expect me to fill out your long questionnaires if you have already decided on who to endorse beforehand! All I ask is for a level playing field. I don’t know what I did to offend organized labour in this town, but I suspect it may have something to do with a certain failed candidate who tried talking me out of running at the outset of the campaign… Hmmmm….
All in all, I’m glad that these have been made public. The amount of money spent by School Board candidates to win a job that pays a pittance shows a level of commitment to public service that other candidates at other levels of government should regard with envy – and aspire to!
OCDSB Zone 6
|Number of Polls/Nombre de bureaux de scrutin||76|
|Polls Reporting/Bureaux de scrutin rapportés||76||100.0%|
|Total Votes/Total des votes||13127|
Here is how the OCDSB schools ranked according to the Fraser Institute school “report card” that was released on Friday.
As a statistician, I do have some serious issues with rankings like these – much like the EQAO testing process itself – there is no context presented in order to interpret these numbers fully. Unknown are factors that can greatly influence a schools performance, like:
- the percentage of students in ESL programs
- proportion of special needs students
- family income and household education
- and others…
The Fraser Institute says the following on their website:
By combining a variety of relevant, objective indicators of school performance into one easily accessible public web site, the school report cards allow teachers, parents, school administrators, students, and taxpayers to analyze and compare the academic performance of individual schools in an attempt to answer the question, “How are our schools doing?”.
Fine. Take this at face value, but the danger is that some parents will use tools like these as their ONLY basis of judgement about a particlar school. THAT is where I have a problem. Still, this is a tool that might be combined with others to help make decisions about the relative merits of one school over another. In that case, rankings like these can have some limited value.
Anyhow, here is the list. It would be interesting if someone organized these according to zone…
|Rank in the most recent five years||School Name||City||2009-10 Rating||Rating in the most recent five years|
|1||44/2733||25/2327||Katimavik Elementary School||Kanata||9.4||9.4|
|2||70/2733||107/2327||Knoxdale Public School||Nepean||9.1||8.4|
|4||99/2733||107/2327||Devonshire Community Public School||Ottawa||8.9||8.4|
|5||122/2733||48/2327||Woodroffe Avenue Public School||Ottawa||8.8||8.8|
|6||139/2733||171/2327||Briargreen Public School||Nepean||8.7||8.1|
|7||229/2733||n/a||Hilson Avenue Public School||Ottawa||8.3||n/a|
|8||262/2733||n/a||Osgoode Public School||Osgoode||8.2||n/a|
|9||288/2733||292/2327||Elmdale Public School||Ottawa||8.1||7.7|
|10||316/2733||142/2327||Stephen Leacock Public School||Kanata||8||8.2|
|11||355/2733||n/a||Steve MacLean Public School||Gloucester||7.9||n/a|
|12||396/2733||259/2327||W.O. Mitchell Elementary School||Kanata||7.8||7.8|
|13||423/2733||331/2327||Broadview Public School||Ottawa||7.7||7.6|
|14||423/2733||411/2327||Adrienne Clarkson Elementary School||Ottawa||7.7||7.4|
|15||423/2733||n/a||Roch Carrier ES||Kanata||7.7||n/a|
|16||459/2733||221/2327||Rockcliffe Park Public School||Ottawa||7.6||7.9|
|17||459/2733||812/2327||Blossom Park Public School||Gloucester||7.6||6.7|
|19||552/2733||331/2327||Mutchmor Public School||Ottawa||7.4||7.6|
|20||552/2733||331/2327||W. Erskine Johnston Public School||Kanata||7.4||7.6|
|22||601/2733||292/2327||Jack Donohue Public School||Kanata||7.3||7.7|
|23||601/2733||567/2327||Castor Valley Elementary School||Greely||7.3||7.1|
|24||601/2733||1137/2327||D. Roy Kennedy Public School||Ottawa||7.3||6.2|
|26||767/2733||936/2327||Berrigan Elementary School||Nepean||7||6.5|
|27||767/2733||1262/2327||Huntley Centennial Public School||Carpion||7||6|
|28||767/2733||n/a||Farley Mowat Public School||Ottawa||7||n/a|
|29||828/2733||936/2327||John Young Elementary School||Kanata||6.9||6.5|
|30||964/2733||567/2327||Fallingbrook Community Elementary School||Ottawa||6.7||7.1|
|31||964/2733||1137/2327||Churchill Alternative School||Ottawa||6.7||6.2|
|32||964/2733||1498/2327||Meadowlands Public School||Nepean||6.7||5.6|
|33||1025/2733||873/2327||Castlefrank Elementary School||Kanata||6.6||6.6|
|34||1025/2733||936/2327||Henry Larsen Elementary School||Gloucester||6.6||6.5|
|35||1025/2733||936/2327||Roland Michener Public School||Kanata||6.6||6.5|
|36||1025/2733||1324/2327||Vincent Massey Public School||Ottawa||6.6||5.9|
|37||1114/2733||465/2327||Parkwood Hills Public School||Nepean||6.5||7.3|
|38||1114/2733||1137/2327||Trillium Elementary School||Orléans||6.5||6.2|
|39||1114/2733||1208/2327||Pleasant Park Public School||Ottawa||6.5||6.1|
|40||1185/2733||1208/2327||A. Lorne Cassidy Elementary School||Stittsville||6.4||6.1|
|43||1244/2733||n/a||South March Public School||Kanata||6.3||n/a|
|44||1358/2733||873/2327||Stonecrest Elementary School||Woodlawn||6.1||6.6|
|45||1358/2733||1208/2327||Maple Ridge Elementary School||Orléans||6.1||6.1|
|46||1476/2733||1262/2327||Leslie Park Public School||Nepean||5.9||6|
|47||1476/2733||1498/2327||Bridlewood Community Elementary School||Kanata||5.9||5.6|
|48||1601/2733||567/2327||Orleans Wood Elementary School||Gloucester||5.7||7.1|
|49||1601/2733||1389/2327||Sawmill Creek Elementary School||Gloucester||5.7||5.8|
|50||1601/2733||1607/2327||Alta Vista Public School||Ottawa||5.7||5.4|
|51||1674/2733||1549/2327||Elgin Street Public School||Ottawa||5.6||5.5|
|52||1674/2733||n/a||Avalon Public School||Orléans||5.6||n/a|
|53||1794/2733||936/2327||Century Public School||Nepean||5.4||6.5|
|54||1846/2733||1549/2327||Greely Elementary School||Greely||5.3||5.5|
|55||1889/2733||1652/2327||Robert Bateman Public School||Ottawa||5.2||5.3|
|56||1889/2733||n/a||Centennial Public School||Ottawa||5.2||n/a|
|57||1944/2733||1778/2327||Roberta Bondar Public School||Ottawa||5.1||5|
|58||1944/2733||n/a||Dunning-Foubert Elementary School||Orléans||5.1||n/a|
|59||1987/2733||567/2327||Dunlop Public School||Ottawa||5||7.1|
|60||1987/2733||n/a||York Street Public School||Ottawa||5||n/a|
|61||2098/2733||1778/2327||Riverview Alternative School||Ottawa||4.7||5|
|62||2098/2733||n/a||Cambridge Street Community Public School||Ottawa||4.7||n/a|
|64||2356/2733||2009/2327||Hawthorne Public School||Ottawa||4||4.3|
|65||2414/2733||2113/2327||Charles H. Hulse Public School||Ottawa||3.8||3.9|
|66||2434/2733||1954/2327||Elizabeth Park Public School||Gloucester||3.7||4.5|
|67||2477/2733||1778/2327||Heritage Public School||Navan||3.5||5|
|68||2492/2733||2191/2327||W.E. Gowling Public School||Ottawa||3.4||3.5|
|69||2509/2733||n/a||Queen Elizabeth Public School||Ottawa||3.3||n/a|
|70||2618/2733||2223/2327||Connaught Public School||Ottawa||2.5||3.2|
|72||2633/2733||2147/2327||Arch Street Public School||Ottawa||2.4||3.8|
|73||2639/2733||2320/2327||Queen Mary Street Public School||Ottawa||2.3||1.4|
|74||2720/2733||2307/2327||Pinecrest Public School||Ottawa||0.4||2|
According to Gallup, 40% of Americans believe that humans were created by a “god” in the past 10,000 years while this number is only 14% north of the border.
I love Americans. I truly do. They are an amazing people. But I just don’t understand them sometimes. They voted in Dubya twice. Indebted themselves into oblivion. And 4 out of ten of them, like our own Stockwell Day, think that humans played with dinosaurs.
A cousin of mine who is an ex-pat Québécois living in Tennessee, once remarked to me on Facebook that in the States, unlike Canada, religion and faith is everywhere. You can’t get away from it. With data like these, I think I understand what he said a bit better.
But still – wow. What a difference.
And I bet that if you removed the Alberta respondents, the 14% would drop into the single digits.
But if we’re so smart, why:
- Do we keep voting in the ReformCons?
- Have Ontario voters not pushed governments to abolish the separate schools system?
- Do we have voting rates in the 50′s?
- Does our weather suck so much?
OK – the last point is just me whining.
A while back, I wrote this piece about non-Catholic kids in this small Alberta community being forced to attend a Catholic school.
The Alberta Education Minister, Dave Hancock, seems to agree that a way must be found to provide a secular education to families on the area.
They have a legitimate beef, says Hancock. “I think that they’re entitled to a public education that doesn’t include religion,” he said in an interview.
The columnist goes even further and notes:
Frankly, I think the denominational school system should be relegated to the dustbin of history. Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario are the only provinces that still maintain publicly funded separate schools. Quebec got rid of the denominational system years ago with very little fuss.
Catholics, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and any other religious group has the right to educate their children in a faith-based system if they choose – but it should not be on the public’s dime.
In the meantime, it is encouraging that the Alberta government is on its way to correcting this injustice.