Category: Education

Axing school boards exposes glaring contradictions

It was good to see the media finally reporting on the effect of the government’s planned abolition of school boards on the participation in education governance by African Nova Scotian and Mi’kmaq communities. The CBC posted a story on the weekend featuring the comments of Archy Beals, the elected African Nova Scotian representative on the Halifax board and Darren Googoo, the appointed Mi’kmaq rep on the Cape Breton-Victoria board. Neither was happy with the Liberals’ plan to axe school boards, thus depriving them of their say on local educational matters. Replacing that hard-won opportunity with a nebulous promise of...

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Democracy Good, Elected School Boards Bad? Go figure

There was irony aplenty this past week with the Liberal government’s warp speed adoption of consultant Avis Glaze’s quickie study of educational governance, called “Raising the Bar” (RtB). Item one was the death sentence recommended for democratically elected school boards. There are a couple of relevant items here, but let’s begin with the notion of representation. Two weeks ago, the Liberals warmly welcomed the report of the Independent Commission on Effective Electoral Representation (EER) and did not dismiss even the dubious idea of adding seats to the legislature. The EER report is a prelude to redrawing the province’s electoral...

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Inclusion Part 2: Bumpy road to inclusive education gets even rougher

Gordon Porter, this country’s guru of inclusive education, is fond of saying that it’s a simple idea. “It means kids go to their neighbourhood schools with kids their own age in regular classes.” But for such a simple concept, inclusive education – I’ll call it fuller[1] inclusion – has had a very complicated history in this province. And its future could become even more difficult. I first became actively engaged with the issue in 1991 when our son started school but became aware of the movement before that. We had been living in New Brunswick in 1986 when the...

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Inclusion Part 1: Students with special needs scapegoats in education battle

I was not planning to write about the seemingly endless dispute between the NSTU and the Liberals. For one thing, when it comes to education it can be a polarizing topic and I have too many personal and family entanglements with “the system” to stake out a passionate position on one side or the other. Furthermore, although it is a big political issue, I have no brilliant insights to offer beyond those that have already been advanced and chewed over by others. The best I can come up with on the larger political story is to say we’ll just...

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Richard Starr, The man behind the Point

About Richard

RICHARD STARR has had careers as a journalist, public servant, broadcaster, political staffer and freelance policy adviser. He is author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, appearing in everything from Atlantic Insight to Atlantic Progress. A lifelong student of Maritime history, Starr is married to playwright and former MP Wendy Lill. They live in Dartmouth.

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