“Taking control” of education has been the agenda of the B.C.Libs. since 2002’s contract stripping -the original sin.
The newly elected Liberal Government tasked Christy Clark, then Minister of Education to break what they saw as an unwarranted control of education by teachers. The government set out to right the wrong.
But somewhere in the process, the animus Ms. Clark holds for teachers and public schools turned personal and became overt.
Ms. Clark’s anger with teachers has long trumped any desire she may have had to fund healthy public schools.
War room strategy replaced planning for adequate support of healthy public schools.
And the Liberal government’s educational pogrom of the last 14 years has been as much a strategic political success for Ms. Clark as it has been an educational disaster.
Far from defending public schools,many parents responded to the continuous political unrest in public schools, by bailing to private schools, which now house 12% of B.C.’s students.
So, now, what began in 2001 as a focussed vendetta to show teachers who’s boss, has morphed into a multi- faceted effort to accelerate the migration to private schools.
This year’s acrimonious teacher contact negotiations was a public education smack down success for the government.
They won. They gave public schools and teachers almost nothing, and they’ll recoup more than they gave with increased cuts.
They broke the teachers spirit.
One would think that there might be some time for a little cuddling after such a defiling.
But there has not even been time for a post coital cigarette for battle fatigued public educators.
If anything,the attacks on public education from government have increased, in order to keep the unrest up and encourage more parents to leave the chaos in our public schools.
$54 million in administrative cuts, appointing a VSB forensic auditor, and now, government scrutiny of Professional Development Days.
These actions are designed to imply that:
- there’s still lots of extra money in school district budgets
- local fiscal mismanagement is a big problem in public schools
- Vancouver, a perennial cuts fighting district, is particularly poorly run
- Pro D-days are not used wisely by teachers.
These are all strategically valuable aspersions to cast if your goal is to encourage B.C. parent’s to get away from the distemper of public schools and agree to pay half of their child’s education in private schools.
The privatization of education is now an obvious goal of the B.C. Government.
It’s significant that Christy Clark personally announced the appointment of a “Private Schools Advocate” recently.
Having personally taken control of education over fourteen years, she’s spiking the ball.