Friday, January 21, 2011


The B.C. Teacher Federation has held education in this province hostage for at least the last decade.

The union has consistently imposed its wishes on schools, students, children, parents, the government of the moment and taxpayers.

That speaks well for the power of a well run ship.

But how well does it serve the people of British Columbia.

If you think Kevin Falcon and Adrian Dix are pit bulls (and I do), you might remember David Chudnovsky during his years as President of the BCTF. Mr. Chudnovsky was until recently the NDP MLA for Vancouver- Kensington. And an able, kind, thoughtful, clever and well-spoken representative he was. But when he ran the Fed., woe be the sorry slob who got in the way of Mr. C's Zamboni.

And so it has gone with every BCTF President thereafter. No doubt all unions could profit by studying the uncommon success of this outfit.

But when did it become acceptable for the teachers or principals to dictate public policy on education. Their job is to teach. And many do that admirably. Many do not.

Did you have that many great teachers in school? I didn't. I had a stand-out few and the rest were asleep at the wheel, simply mailing it in day after day.

Now, as every year, the Union is once again at public war with the Ministry of Education.

The territory at issue?

To test or not to test that is the question.


Life is a test. Driving to Safeway is a test. Getting through another day with your mate or your children or your parents or your dearest friends can be a test. Business and work are testing grounds. So are the community centre, the cafe, the bar, church...

They are also fun and beautiful and lovely, but ignore that they are also a test and you are toast.

So asking our children to pass the occasional test of writing and calculating skills is abuse or a crime or a terrible waste of precious teacher DNA?

Come on, folks. Give us all a Royal Canadian break.

I look forward to the day - perhaps in my lifetime, but I am not holding my breath - when the BC Teachers Federation has something to tell us that is about teaching, something perhaps about children, something that isn't a red flag of contention, something that isn't a war.

Peace and logarithms, Brothers and Sisters...

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