Public Education for Sale…

… and not by Owner!

Offers – Counter Offers – Barter?

Your thoughts?

Public Education is Hurting

Tim Lavery:

Good chronology and overview of Public Education (and teachers) seen as an “expense” rather than an investment. Check it out and please pass it on.

Originally posted on Schools, Politics and Other Stuff:

" Teaching is so much more than having knowledge to impart.. "

” Teaching is so much more than having knowledge to impart…”

The current B.C. public school dispute is only the latest example, though admittedly the worst, of decades of the undervaluing and underfunding of B.C. public schools and teachers.

Those who aren’t in schools can’t be expected to grasp the level of carnage in our schools over the past twenty years. But instead of listening to hysterical pundits on C.K.N.W. or the Fraser institute, take it from someone who organized and operated schools for 35 years.

B.C.’s public schools are skeletons of their former selves and we are passing the crisis point.

Were our kids going to school, they would be going to schools that are generally deteriorating, under staffed, under supplied and continuously under siege.

The grass isn’t cut, the weeds aren’t pulled, and summer painting is rare. Renovations, upgrades, and new equipment have long been put on hold…

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Clark government must act now to end B.C. teachers strike – The Globe and Mail

No Even-Divvying of Responsibility for this Public Ed ThrowDown : Class size and Composition – A Brief History


Class size history

* Click on image for larger view

On top of this, specific ratios linked to the # of students at a school for specialist teachers (librarians, counsellors, learning assistance, speech language pathologists etc) were eliminated when the contract was ripped up.

Now what do we see? – Larger classes with more needs, more split classes, fewer course options and key courses at the high school level unavailable because the reduced blocks are already “filled” to name a few outcomes.

School boards continually downsize important support services each budget year because they are no longer adequately funded.

Ripped up contract and subsequent chronic under-funding = eroded supports for students no matter how one attempts to bend the facts.

Info graphic as posted at Staffroom Confidential

From that link:

I put this table together today to share with parents and community members at our information forum this evening, but please feel free to share.

It is a slight simplification as it doesn’t deal with exempted classes like music, classes in distributed learning, special education class, the “fudge factor” allowing overages in special circumstances and so forth.

But if you want to know the basics of how class size and composition have changed over the last twelve years through three rounds of legislation, this is an overview.

It is based on the Greater Victoria collective agreement.

Unconditinal Love – Telling our Stories – by Dan MacQuarrie

Dan MacQuarrie has complied the first part of his family’s story. It’s worth a read and a follow-up chapter has been promised.

Follow the DropBox link just below to view the online pdf version.



A Couple of Months Ago, I decided to put pen to paper. However, in  gathering together material for MY autobiography, resulted in contacting all the remaining members of our blended family. Harold & Kebe had already died. It  became quite obvious that I was writing OUR STORY.

In my 30s, married to the girl of my dreams, with three  children, Edna & I  decided to look for some answers. Edna enrolled in Alberta College, & I in St.  Stephen’s United Church College in Edmonton Alberta. I was ordained May 31,  1964. I am now celebrating my 50th year in ministry. What follows is my  perspective from the vantage point of my youthful 88th year.

* Image from Dan’s work

Kids & Their Parents’ Tweets

Words_SnipSome days I’m blown away by how much my 4-year-old knows about the world.

Other days I have to explain why she shouldn’t lick random people


* From the Huffington Post’s Best Parenting Tweets of the Week

The Impact of the Missionaries by Jim Cooperman

Jim Cooperman’s latest post over at his Shuswap Passion blog is The impact of the missionaries .

Check it out.


Prior to European contact, the Secwepemc people had their own spiritual beliefs and customs based on respect for all life and nature, that had developed over many thousands of years. But after just four decades of life with the fur traders, the Secwepemc were eager to embrace the White man’s religion, but in their own ways. The first opportunity came in February 1843 when 400 natives gathered to wait ten days in the cold outside the Thompson’s River Post for a visit by Jesuit Father Demers.


Global Climate Change March – Salmon Arm Sept 20 2014

Climate rally

Stop whining about the teachers, start shouting about your government

Tim Lavery:

Check this post out “But you know what I’m also really sick and tired of? Ignorant people blaming the province’s teachers. Whether or not you agree with everything the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) has asked for at the bargaining table, blaming teachers for labour disputes deliberately provoked by the BC government is completely misguided (note that when chief government negotiator Paul Straszak was asked in court whether the BC government’s objective prior to disputes in 2011 was to “increase the pressure on teachers to have them go out on a full-scale strike”, Straszak answered “Yes. I’ll say that’s correct.”, and no contradictory government testimony was offered in court)

Originally posted on niftynotcool:

Disclaimer: I am not a teacher and I am not married to a teacher. I do not have children currently and have absolutely no stake in the outcome of this labour dispute, financial or otherwise. Though I was a member of a CUPE union for several years, I am no longer in a unionized position. I am, however, the daughter of teachers (in Saskatchewan) and am incredibly passionate about this issue.

Photo: Brayden McCluskey

Photo: Brayden McCluskey

Like many people in BC, I am sick and tired of the teachers’ strike. I’m sick of the anxiety underlying every news story, especially as the first day of school has come and gone and public schools in BC remain closed. I am sick of parents needing to worry about how to pay for childcare/time taken off from work. I am sick of the idea that kids are missing out on their right to education. I…

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Supporting Public Education – The Need for your Voice Is Now

…  as the days on the calendar blow away like a scene from an old movie…

From the twitosphere this morning

“84 days since full-scale #bced strike began; 28 days until scheduled return of Legislature”

BCLibs won’t negotiate, mediate or arbitrate. Please let our MLA and the BCLibs know how you feel – today.

Contact Greg Kyllo

Phone numbers


Twas the Night Before School

Tim Lavery:

“Christy Clark and her tiny Fassbendeer – a right smarty elf” – and a smarty good read. Check it out

Originally posted on The Blahgg Blog:

(with apologies to Clement Clarke Moore and his heirs)

Twas the night before school, when all through the house,
not a textbook was open, not even by mouse.
No backpacks were hung by the front door with care,
in hopes that the school bus soon would be there.

The children weren’t nestled all snug in their beds,
while visions of math quizzes danced in their heads.
And mom in her kitchen, and dad in his cap,
had just resigned themselves to a long summer gap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the couch to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the late summer glow,
gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear,

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Kids & Their Parents’ Tweets

Told my kids we’re going to a farm.

9: Does it have Wi-fi?

6: Can I bring my DS?

I think I’m going to leave them there.

* From the Huffington Post’s Best Parenting Tweets of the Week

Why BC Teachers Are Angry

* Re-posted today from the initial entry in late June

… this vid hits it out of the park!

.. Plus a box of timbits for those who spot one minor error – one that doesn’t alter the underlying situation today in 2014.

Your thoughts?

“Going to the Sun Road” Glacier Natl Park by Duncan Morris

This is the second in our summer series of bike videos we took during our “Summer Sizzler” trip to Jackson Hole.

We cycled the famous “Road to the Sun” highway.

18 K Free fall from the Mount Logan Pass to Avalanche Creek on the valley floor reaching speeds in excess of 70 kilometers an hour.

I think you’ll like it.


CSRD – Solid Waste Management Plan Review Process

The CSRD Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) review is currently being conducted.  This process relies on input from all residents of the CSRD to help guide future waste management programs and initiatives over the next 5 years.  An online survey has been created to obtain feedback on our current system, and to gain insights into future program ideas.

As public feedback is essential in this process, it would be most appreciated if you would share the information and the website link to access the survey:

As well, the link is posted on the CSRD Facebook page…if you are a Facebook user, please consider sharing this post on your own page:

Your assistance in helping inform residents of the CSRD SWMP review is most appreciated.

Carmen Fennell | Waste Reduction Facilitator

Environmental Health Services

Operations Management

Columbia Shuswap Regional District

T: 250.833.5936 | F: 250.832.1083 | TF: 1.888.248.2773

E: | W:

The government’s mess in BC education: How it affects negotiations

Tim Lavery:

Succinct overview of the legal elephant in the room and the importance for the BCLibs to negotiate in good faith… Even if it is solely for risk mitigation

Originally posted on The Coal Mine:

Make no mistake. The BC Liberals have got the province into a terrible mess. It’s not unlike their BC Hydro fiasco in which years of lack of oversight of the crown corporation have led to retroactive costs that will need to be funded by sudden massive increases in citizens’ Hydro fees. In education, the problem is similar. Bad policy has led to a huge burden on taxpayers years later.

The trouble started on January 26, 2002, when Education Minister Christy Clark stood up in the BC Legislature and proudly announced the new Bill 28, which removed class size and composition limits from the teacher contract and enshrined them in law.

In effect, what Christy Clark was announcing was that the government was reneging on its part in a contractual agreement, and creating a law that prevented the teachers from ever even asking for such an agreement again.

Naturally, the teachers’ union took the government…

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Yes Indeed – We All Need Reminding


All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in Kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life—learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands, and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup—they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned—the biggest word of all—LOOK.

Up and Coming on Aim High


- The start of Local Government election stories

- Political challenges and challengers for this fall

- The good things that Salmon Arm council has accomplished

- Some commentary on what I think is one of the more important documents that the city has published – and that’s a good thing

- More on political accountability and transparency regionally and locally

- the changing of the federal political guard for the North Okanagan – Shuswap riding

- and more … Stay tuned over the next short while as Aim High climbs back in the Summer 2014 Saddle


Salmon Arm Bike for Your Life Century Ride Saturday, September 13, 2014

Calling all Cyclists! You are invited to join in the fun of a 10K community bike ride on the scenic back roads of the Shuswap – North Okanagan on Saturday, September 13 starting at 9:00 a.m. from Blackburn Park in Salmon Arm.

BFYL 2014

Over 600 cyclists have registered for this year’s community bicycle ride. Many cyclists registered on-line on the June 2 opening date. The majority of cyclists have registered for the 100K, 75K and 35K distances. About 10 Registration spaces are left for these three distances as of August 24/14. There is no limit on the number of cyclists registering for the 10K so please, join in the fun activities for children and families!

The Bike for Your Life Bicycle Tour started in 1998 with the aim of promoting a healthy lifestyle, family solidarity, and community involvement through a fun cycling event in which all ages and abilities could participate. This is the 17th year the community bicycle ride has been held in Salmon Arm.

The Ride’s four bike routes are designed to be safe and fun. Whether you have never ridden a bike before, or you are an endurance cyclist, join in. Everyone is welcome!

This is not a racing event. The emphasis is on participation, rather than time, to make it fun for an individual or family. Enjoy the company of fellow cyclists. Ride with your friends. Continue reading

A strategy to improve Shuswap food security by Jim Cooperman

Check out Jim’s latest post A strategy to improve Shuswap food security over at his Shuswap Passion blog.

The Shuswap is blessed with some of the best farmland in the province, but too much of the land is underused or lies fallow, while farming continues to represent a minor part of the local economy. Despite the growing interest in farmers markets and local produce in some stores, the vast majority of produce comes from massive farms hundreds, if not thousands of kilometres away. At least now, there is an excellent strategy designed to promote change.