Saturday, March 22, 2008

We are Not Alone in our Continuing Distaste for the BCTF


Whom does boycott benefit? Certainly not students

Letter
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Re: BCTF vows to fight standardized tests with job action, March 18
I am the parent of a Grade 12 student who will attend an American university in September. Almost every university to which our daughter applied requested a ranking report on her school, Lord Byng secondary. It took some explaining on my part as to why British Columbia does not produce such a report. Fortunately, the Fraser Institute's report on Lord Byng was acceptable.
It is critical for students who seek post-secondary education outside of Canada to have access to a performance report on their secondary school. A performance/ranking report is just one of many things U.S. admissions departments list as required documentation. It was embarrassing to advise American universities that our province does not produce a report that is so common down south.
I am very disappointed in the BCTF's position and wonder whom the boycott truly benefits -- certainly not students.
SANDRA THOMPSON
Vancouver
© The Vancouver Sun 2008

13 comments:

PelaLusa said...

Ranking? Performance?

These words are vile amongst everyone in the BCTF and all teachers who deeply support them.

So are these:
- Accountability
- Responsibility
- Firing bad teachers

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"I am very disappointed in the BCTF's position and wonder whom the boycott truly benefits -- certainly not students."

The BCTF is not in the business of benefiting students. They are the least of its concerns, despite all the BS to the contrary. Gordie Campbell has had plenty of opportunity to bring this out of control behemoth to heel and has jammed out for lack of cojones.
That's disappointing as well.

Anonymous said...

"It is critical for students who seek post-secondary education outside of Canada" - SANDRA THOMPSON

I question why you would send your child to an American university to the south. There are public & private Canadian universities all over Canada. Within my community (Langford) we even have a sattelite American University.

Maybe it is too far below you, that you should have been an American citizen, living below the 49th.
If in fact you do send your daughter to the states, remind her maybe she should raise her children through the American dream.
Where they have alot of guns and seem to be dern proud of it.
-Anonymous-
from the island to the west of the Metropolis of Vancouver

PelaLusa said...

I don't usually respond to Anonymous comments but this last one is so despicable that it needs a retort.

Dear Sir/Madam: Your small town, petty "provincial" thinking is precisely what is holding back so many in this province and country.

While there are some decent universities in Canada, there are some some outstanding ones in the U.S. and Europe and elsewhere. Why on earth would you lash out with such venom at someone who wanted to send their child to a great school elsewhere?

Does it not fit in with your pathetic socialist sensibilities?! I truly am disgusted with you!!

Anonymous said...

"PelaLusa said"...or appaluso said
I don't usually respond to Anonymous comments but this last one is so despicable that it needs a retort.
I as a respectable British Columbian think the likes of you and like-minded individuals should look for some other educated back yard, with all the great glory of the jack-ass and the elephant that can't remember why they started a thought.
That would be due south, woon it?
Anonymous, says ... had enough!!!

Samantha Orwell said...

SUCH teacher hateration.

you tell me if you have ever seen an FSA and thenwe will talk.

tell me that you have TAKEN an FSA and we will talk.

tell me if you have ever GIVEN an FSA exam and we will talk.

tell me if you have ever MARKED an FSA exam and we will talk.

to the anonymous woman/man- you are still an idiot.

to the rest of you, Teachers do not benefit from job action. We generally like to get paid, even as miniscule a paycheque as it is.

ranking- I agree, some post-sec institutions require ranking. that is an unfortunate practice. VERY unfortunate because ranking on a ladder is a pretty disgusting way of determining somebody's worth.

Just because rankings are the status quo does not mean that we should support them. And by the way, report cards are not so kids can compare with EACHother or get approval from ANY outside institution to determine their worth. Report cards are STUDENT PROGRESS REPORTS to show where students stand with respect to improving or regressing.

In the real world nobody in the job market or in a social situation will ever ask to see your transcript. In the real we get by using social networks.

we're trying to instil a personal drive for personal growth and development for kids and NOT make children feel that their worth, in all realms, is measured by what somebody else thinks of you.
Now don't you think THAT is how the system SHOULD work? Don't you think children should want to beter because they want to just be better people period?
I'll be happy if a kid says they want to learn more not because sally or joe is getting A's compared to his/her C's, but because they want to improve on their knowledge and be more intelligent citizens.

Now if that is the idea, or at least MY ideal, why are we perpetuating a grading/ranking system that gets in the way of those goals?

PelaLusa said...

I see our resident provincial cretin has crawled out from his rock to spew more venom. Goodnight Mr. America Hater. Tomorrow try prying the blindfolds from your eyes to see that there's a big wide world out there and there's NOTHING wrong with Canadians exploring it!

Anonymous said...

I wonder why ST did not send her child to school in the states just like the public one here namely Lord Bing. She could have sent her child to a private school here some of which you can matriculate from that would have solved her issue of entrance requirements. I think the rankings state-side universities require are for all foreign students. Just tell them that your child graduated form an excellent public school in BC.

MurdocK said...

For Samantha Orwell,

DURING the last TEACHER STRIKE (some thought it illegal at the end) I tried to volunteer to assist with the invigilation of the Grade 12 Exams, as I am a Court Approved witness and Licenced BC Investigator. I have to swear a new oath each year and take a Criminal Record check every 10 years to prove it.

All of this was presented to 2 vice principals and the principal at the local school and they accepted my offer as trying to get this task done with just the 3 of them for 80+ students was going to be a bear.

Then a JANITOR discovered what was going on as I was laying out the tests and sharpening some pencils.

20 minutes later the CUPE rep. showed up and I was asked to leave, though thanked profusely by the one Principal.

I say all this to get you and your mouthpieces to SHUT UP and stop blathering on about how we must walk a mile in your shoes regarding X-Y-Z test, when it was YOUR UNION and UNION supporters that take GREAT PAINS to make sure that ONLY TEACHERS in YOUR UNION EVER get close to the children to teach them.

It is because of the UNION element that I have chosen to take the advantage offered here and homeschool my own children.

Garbage in = garbage out.

If you are a parent with your children in the skoOl sIstYm, how well do you know what they are being 'taught'?

PelaLusa said...

Excellent story by Murdock. I have another one. A few years ago my friend's daughter was attending a public elementary school in New Westminster. In Grade 3 her and her classmates worked with the teacher to plant a small garden of flowers outside of their first floor classroom window.

When some of the other, more militant teachers saw this they reported it to the BCTF. Two things happened: The teacher in question got chastised by her union and the unionized maintenance workers dug up the garden. After all, can't have 8 year-old disobeying socialist union principles!

At the same school, the BCTF ensured that caring parents couldn't help out at all, blocking my friend (an accomplished businesswoman) from helping out her daughter's class.

These incidents secured her daughter's fate in another direction. She got her into a private Catholic school and has never looked back!

Samantha Orwell said...

You speak of some very isolated examples. I myself am not a fan of some union members who interpret the collective agreement in such a strict manner.

It was never my intention to begin hostility between parents and teachers, as I explained here: http://thevancouvermanifesto.blogspot.com/2008/03/are-kids-getting-dumber-teachers.html

but with that said there is some obvious hotility towards UNIONS in general regardless of me spewing on the defense.

I believe very much in unions because they protect the working class and workers rights. remmber it was unions who brought on the 5 day a week work day, minimum wages, work standards, etc. The working class is a large group whose sole power is in numbers and thus job action is a powerful way for voices to be heard.

That being said, I DO agree that there are some instances when union members CAN be very militant and CAN be very inflexible. BUT on a whole members are very flexible and only want the best for children. Don't let a few bad apples spoil the bunch- that goes for ANY group, work-related or not.

Union workers stop service when 1)workers are treated unfairly or 2) some aspect of the job is unjust/ working poorly. In most teacher job action YES teacher wages are a part of it- definitely, I won't deny that one bit. HOWEVER, the state of our schools is also at play (which is number 2). Our schools are continually getting less and less funding, supports that teachers absolutely NEED for special needs students are not being provided and the system is just SO poorly supported/funded that we, as workers, need to make a stand. The purpose of job action is to bring these issues to the forefront and get them recitfied FAST so that schools can run again asap and they can run WELL.

This isn't a LACK of provincial money, this is a LACK of money being allocated to SCHOOLS. Thus I can understand job action happening when teachers feel schools have been so run down that something needs to be done. The instance of you helping for grade 12 proincials is a sad one as I sympathize with both sides. on one side grade 12 students need their marks in for apply to post-sec. On the other hand it disrupts the disruption of services. And the whole POINT of stopping service is to SHOW HOW important this issue is and HOW important it is that teachers need support to do the public education system ANY justice. IT is admirable taht people like you try to help out, however it takes away from the POINT of trying to put focus towards the issue. Education is a touchy subject b/c it deals with kids and believe me I dont' liek it either when I have to go on strrike . But let me take the garbage strike- the strike lasted SOOOO long because PRIVATE services were coming in and making the issue not such a big deal. When there are garbage strikes there shoudl be HEAPS of garbage in the streets and the gov should respond QUICKLY with a rapid appeal and RAPID agreement from both parties.
BUT, when streets are clean nobody cares because they think public service workers are dispensible.

Now if you think that education, health and garbage services should be 100% PRIVATE, than we have a different discussion/debate. but if you agree that we should be paying tax dollars towards a central public service that is done RIGHT and WELL then there is no way that you cannot agree with union ethos.

i agree private schools have the abilityh to do better jobs, but that's only because they work with MORE dollars and guaranteed dollars to support the kids. That's the point- you pay a premium for things to work correctly.
But public schools can be JUST as effective if the governemtn didnt' continually disinvest in the system for economic returns elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

But public schools can be JUST as effective if the governemtn didnt' continually disinvest in the system for economic returns elsewhere.


Yes, and if the BCTF wasn't hampering teaching at every turn.

Samantha Orwell said...

wak, anonymous, WEAK.