In today’s education system, in which budgets, curriculum and teaching credentials are handled at the provincial level, school boards are an an anachronism and have few substantive responsibilities. Most of what they do could be transferred to individual school principals, parents’ committees or the province.
Konrad Yakabuski, Globe and Mail, Monday, April 24. The Jig is up for Canada’s school boards
Truer words could not be spoken when it comes to the archaic governance system that controls education in Ontario and I would guess, the rest of the country.
I have worked in the Catholic School system in Ontario as a teacher and administrator for 31 years. I have learned a great deal over these years, but one thing I am now clear on is that we need to totally rework the governance of schools in Ontario.
The system we have now have is governed by trustees who have little public accountability and in the Catholic system, church leaders who have absolutely no role to play in our children’s education.
Let me be very clear. I worked in this system for 31 years. I also worked at a management level at a Catholic development agency for 6 years. I understand what it is like to work inside Catholic institutions. I understand how they are not agents for innovation and change and should therefore play no role in the education system.
Yakabuski does not address the urgent need to get rid of the Catholic School Boards of Ontario. He rightfully goes further and calls for the abolishment of all boards. I believe that one of the greatest impediments to quality education in this province is the needless splitting up of resources between Catholic and Public Boards. This is certainly a taboo subject in Ontario, incredibly taboo, but it must be addressed in a very public forum.
We have schools in the Ottawa area that are at 30% capacity. The two lowest capacity schools are located within 2 kilometres from each other. How is this useful, how does this serve the public?
I have lots of friends in the Catholic system, it has been my home for 31 years. But if we believe in true excellence and the best for our children we really do have to sweep away some of the debilitating bureaucracy that gets in the way. There are other sacred cows that also must fall in Ontario, but better to go one at a time.