The board of trustees has goals or objectives for the operation of the public school system. They call their desired outcomes: Results. As an example, in yesterday’s board meeting, the administration attempted to show that reasonable progress is being made toward Academic Success. Likewise, we (as members of the voting public) have expectations of our trustees. We expect them to be transparent, responsive and accountable to the public.
During the December 2, 2014 public board meeting, the Trustees voted 5-1 in favour of holding a by-election in wards 11 and 13. This was a great move in support of local democracy and in support of providing a trustee to be accountable specifically within wards 11 and 13. Despite our doubts, the board of trustees did the right thing.
Furthermore, trustees also discussed, debated and made motions around some serious areas of concern from reports of some Grade 9 PAT exam results. (It should also be noted that Grade 12 diploma exam results received a commendation for the Chief Superintendent). It is refreshing to see trustees honestly raise areas of concern, respectfully debate positions and move forward in agreement.
There is a wise saying that “if you aren’t making improvements, you are going backwards.” It seems that too often, CBE trustees applaud, praise and repeat tired phrases like “we have the best education system in the world,” without looking for areas of improvement. That seemed to change yesterday, however, when trustees discussed how our “world-leading education system” can be made even better.
It is our hope that this meeting signals a turnaround for the board, characterized by respectful and honest dialogue about what the CBE is doing well and where improvements can be made. At ARTICS, we see in this one meeting that trustees have made reasonable progress toward our expectations of accountability, transparency and responsiveness. We commend you.