Tuesday, September 06, 2011

School's in!

Today's the day students headed back to classes. But here in B.C., teachers are in the unenviable position of being without a contract (again). They've initiated a mild-sounding variety of job action, not doing tasks that are considered administrative ones. Among requests from teachers are a pay raise that will bring them to equity with teachers in other provinces -- provinces where it's less expensive to live than here -- and considerations to permit them input on class size.

Neither prospect seems likely to happen, as there's been a wage freeze here for public sector employees for far too long. Oh, unless you're a Member of the Legislature, in which case it wasn't that long ago you got a 29% increase in your pay.

As for class size, that consideration was taken away in 2002, the last time this province had Christy Clark serving as Minister of Education. This time, she's in office again, but as Premier of the province, so it doesn't seem like a good time to be looking for class size consideration. All of this despite the fact that she poses as being all in favour of whatever serves to benefit family.

On another educational front, two of Canada's universities, McGill in Montreal and Toronto's U of T, made it into the top rungs in a world ranking of top schools. Toronto inched at number 23, while McGill earned number 17.

These rankings are based on a number of factors, but one of the key criteria (constituting 20% of the points allotted) is faculty/student ratio.

It's a shame to think such a factor is important to evaluators doing world-wide ratings, but that it doesn't matter much to the powers-that-be around here. After all, the only losers aren't yet old enough to vote.   

1 comment:

Janet Vickers said...

Teachers mostly do a fabulous job under very difficult conditions - they are the ones who gave me hope and bolstered my self-esteem, who taught me a little about civil society and my place in the world.