School review process under the microscope

Andrew
Andrew Wagstaff
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Province-wide public meeting tour to visit Amherst Monday

AMHERST – Those wishing to have input on the future of Nova Scotia’s school review process will have an opportunity to make their voice heard on Monday, Jan. 20.
A public meeting will take place from 7-9 p.m. at Amherst Regional High School’s Susan Taylor Theatre, organized by the Nova Scotia Department of Education, to invite Nova Scotians to consider a new or improved process.

The goal of the meeting is to make recommendations to improve the planning, consultation, and decision-making processes in ways that are good for students and communities, according to Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Karen Casey.

“I encourage every Nova Scotian who is interested in improving the school review process to come out and share their views with the committee,” said Casey. “We want a full discussion on a solution that works for all – students, families, school boards and communities.”

The Amherst meeting is one of nine being held around the province by a consultations committee headed by Robert Fowler, who is attending each meeting along with a local representative. In this case, the local representative will be Michael Wilson.

The role of the local representative is to listen to the public comments and contribute feedback to the full committee when it meets to discuss recommendations.

A discussion paper was released in November to support the current consultation, and is available to view online. It includes information about population changes affecting the province, a brief description of Nova Scotia’s schools, an overview of the current school review process, and topics for discussion.

During the past 10 years, each school board in the province has lost an average of about 350 students per year. The average school size in Nova Scotia is 299 students.

The Chignecto-Central Regional School Board has seen a decline in enrollment of 18 per cent during the past 10 years.

awagstaff@citizenrecord.ca

Twitter: @ADNandrew

Organizations: Central Regional School Board

Geographic location: Amherst, Nova Scotia, Chignecto

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  • Dave Penner
    January 17, 2014 - 11:24

    The whole point of government run schools is so that the customers (parents and their children) do not get too much of a say in how education is delivered. The teachers and department officials like it this way. It works for them financially, nothing else really matters. These feed back and suggestion panels are to make it look like you have a say when you really don't. Personally the province should have exactly nothing to do with schools and education, the parents and their own money should decide quality and quantity. When you have your education money taxed away you have zero control. What you are left with at that point are Teachers and bureaucrats living a pampered existence. In the current socialized model: they tell you what you are going to get instead of the consumer demanding what they want and getting it. The current model is backward and that means backward results. We need a public school teacher system like we need a public auto mechanic system.