Wednesday’s updates

A collection of articles and reading.

“There are three things that have changed, gradually but inexorably, since the turn of the century: The first is that students with special needs and their parents are fully aware of their rights, and are comfortable advocating for themselves. The second is that society, in turn, has become more accepting of people with special needs, so that the language and practices used in education, including post-secondary education, which used to be unthinkable for students with special needs, have been transformed. The third change is that medical research and knowledge about some disabilities, like autism, as well as other unknown factors, have led to a remarkable surge in both diagnosis and incidence.”

Their tool for seeing how your child’s school looks like for class size & number of students with individual education plans:

“Today, I’d like to look at what’s called E.80 – that’s the proposal from the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) which was put forward to initiate bargaining on class size, class composition, and specialist educators.


Because to understand the current impasse we need to understand the background to the proposal and, more importantly, we need to understand what it is and what it is not.  Given the complexity of the issue, this may be a somewhat longer than usual post.”

From BCPSEA (if anyone has alternate BCTF costed proposals, please send them along and we’ll post them):
UPDATE Following Meetings With Vince Ready — Barriers to Concluding a Negotiated Collective Agreement: Costing the BCTF Proposals Currently on the Table
UPDATED-August 31-Backgrounder-Barriers to Concluding a Negotiated Collective Agreement – Cost of BCTF Proposals Currently on the Table

Class Size and Teacher Workload BCPSEA Response to BCTF Statements
No 2014-06 For the Record – Class Size and Teacher Workload – BCPSEA Response to BCTF Statements

“BCTF President Jim Iker is calling upon Premier Christy Clark to meet with him to help reach a fair settlement to the current strike/lockout before September 2.

Over the weekend in talks with Vince Ready, the BCTF trimmed its package by $125 million”

“There will be no public school classes today in British Columbia, nor quite likely for weeks, after veteran mediator Vince Ready walked out of negotiations, saying teachers and the provincial government were too far apart.

So it’s time for a reality check.

First, the sky will not fall. Everybody take a valium.

Students will not be scarred for life in learning that the peaceful resolution of strong differences among adults is inconvenient and expensive in a democracy. In fact, it’s a valuable life lesson.

Alternative ways of dispute resolution are now on display by Russian tanks and troops in eastern Ukraine, where the rule of force trumps the rule of law and respect for international borders.”

With Tuesday’s traditional return to school a no-go for students, parents are busy planning to cushion the blow.

“Parents are being super-resourceful,” Annemarie Tempelman-Kluit, founder of the Vancouver online parenting resource, said on Monday. “I’m seeing people taking alternating days off work, where the wife works from home Monday and the husband does the next day.

“But that’s only a short-term solution. Alternating working from home with your partner is great for a week or two, but I don’t think this is good for the long term.”

The teachers strike will likely continue well into September after hopes of mediation were crushed, classes were formally cancelled for Tuesday’s scheduled opening day, and each side blamed the other.

Some school districts warned parents to brace for a lengthy shutdown of schools.

“We suggest parents make alternative arrangements for the coming week and look to the very real possibility that a resolution may take much longer,” Jordan Tinney, Surrey’s superintendent of schools, said in a letter to parents. “The disruption is especially unsettling when there appears to be no end in sight.

“…I grew so tired of that constant, divisive narrative — that incessant wrangling and finger pointing that always used patients as pawns — that I left health care coverage for awhile for the more pleasant pastures of running a lifestyle magazine.

But in the interim these last six or seven years, unbeknownst to many, a dramatic shift has occurred in the BC health care narrative. In fact, a new collaborative culture between government and the medical profession has been emerging that is creating positive health care change. And moreover, patients are no longer the unwitting pawns in a battle for dominance, but the winners in a cooperative conversation that aims to put their needs first.”

“Rather than fighting over what is good for government or good for doctors, the committees found if they focused on what is best for patients they could find common ground. Asking the question, “how do patients benefit from this change?” has depoliticized the whole process.”
” BC has some of the best health care indicators in the country such as the best cancer survival rates, lowest maternal mortality rates and longest life spans. We have the lowest per capital spending on health care but have the best avoidable mortality rate for treatable causes of any province or territory in Canada, as well as the lowest hospitalization rate for conditions that are best handled outside of hospitals in primary care. These indicators show that while there is always room for improvement, our health system in BC is working relatively well compared to other provinces.”

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