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Thursday, February 09, 2006

BCTF needs new excuse for strike...

You may remember the teacher's strike in British Columbia last fall that disrupted the lives of thousands of students and their families.

Today the BC Government released their audit of class commposition in BC - you can find the news release with links to background here.


"The report shows that, on a provincial level, there is an average of 17.7 students in kindergarten; 20.8 students in grades 1 through 3; 26.3 students in grades 4 through 7; and 25 students in grades 8 through 12. The report further shows:

· Eighty-six per cent of all classes have 30 or fewer students.
· Fifty-six per cent of all classes have 26 or fewer students.
· Twenty-two per cent of all classes have 20 or fewer students.
· One-third of classes have no students with special needs; only five per cent of classes have five or more students with special needs, and the vast majority of those have additional classroom supports.
· More than half of all classes have no ESL students; only 10 per cent have five or more ESL students.

The class-size data also determined that 15 school districts were not in compliance with provincial average class-size legislation in at least one category."

Hardly appears the disaster we were led to believe in September where we were given visions of children packed to the gills in BC's classrooms fighting for attention by over-worked and...underpaid.... professionals who still refused to allow parent or other volunteers in libraries, etc.

Awaiting the BCTF response. 


Posted by ErinAirton on February 9, 2006 | Permalink


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To speak the obvious, the strike last year was never really about class size, or even about the students. It wasn't really even about teacher compensation.

Class size should be understood to be a PC euphemism; the real issue for the BCTF was the number of classrooms. More classrooms means more teachers - teachers paing dues to the BCTF.

Good for the union, but not so good for students, many of whom are being taught by more marginal teaching professional. Good for the union, but not so good for extraordinary teachers, who can't be compensated for their excellence.

Posted by: BCDad | 2006-02-09 3:14:17 PM

Excellent point, BCD. Teachers, as well as other unionized employees are blind if they think their unions are working on behalf of the members. Unions are companies that have their members as customers. It's in their best interests to be PERCEIVED to be providing a service for the revenue they collect but it's also in their best interest to collect the most money possible for the least service. If they're aware that the long-term repercussions will outweigh the benefits of an action, it's still good for them if they end up with more customers and, ergo, more revenue.

Posted by: Rob R | 2006-02-09 3:53:53 PM

The BCTF response is to hold a conference: See http://www.bctf.bc.ca/events/EveryKidCounts/

On NW today there was a news item featuring a new spokesperson Susan Lambert from the BCTF reacting to the class size item. (No more Jenny Simms??)

You guessed right. They think these numbers reflect an even larger problem than they alluded to last September during the strike. Why are we not surprised. (The sky is falling again)

The Parent advisory councils say these numbers are accurate and can be worked with to make improvements.

Posted by: Servant | 2006-02-09 4:04:07 PM

Where are all the teachers with their rationalizations? They have been out of school for hours.
The strike, like all strikes by the modern Union worker, was about more money, more power and more perks. Teaching is not a profession anymore, teachers are not respected as they were in the past and they have no freedom to teach, they are forced to indoctrinate the students; that makes their job boring, repetitive, and un gratifying. Teaching is no longer a job for someone who really wants to educate. With such an unsavory profile it is no wonder that teachers are only working for the money - like ditch diggers, janitors and plumbers.

Posted by: jema54j | 2006-02-09 5:34:38 PM

I would take the special need point with a grain of salt: "one third of all classes have no students with special needs" The government has tightened the definition of special needs so that many students do not qualify.

Behavioral problems (ie. jerks) do not qualify as a special need although they certainly cause more problems for the teacher than blind students (who ARE considered "special needs").

Posted by: pete e | 2006-02-11 1:24:22 AM

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