CSBA statement on proposed draft of Quebec Law 86 abolishing school elections

CSBA stands with Quebec school boards and defends the basic Canadian right of community members having a voice in our children’s education.

The following is the letter sent to Quebec Minister of Education Sebastien Proulx on the CSBA’s position (french version follows):

 

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acccs_csba_logo_Word

Monsieur Sebastien Proulx

Ministère de l’Éducation, de l’Enseignementsupérieur
Assemblée nationale du Québec, Hôtel du Parlement
1045, rue des Parlementaires
Québec (Québec) G1A 1A3

March 9, 2016

 

 

Dear Monsieur Proulx,

The Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) continues to monitor Draft Law 86 concerning the governance of the public schools in Quebec.

A strong public education system that prepares students to become productive and contributing citizens is the foundation of a civil society. Setting the conditions that will provide a high quality education for every student to succeed in school and in life is the absolute first priority of a school board. It is why commissioners, without exception, run for office.

CSBA members represent jurisdictional school board associations across the country, which are made up of universally elected local school boards. This model produces one of the best student success rates in the world. Most significantly, this model allows local communities to be engaged and directly involved in decision-making in education, a researched, evidence based, proven contributor to student success, achievement and well-being for some four million six hundred and sixty six thousand Canadian children.

While CSBA members continue to be adapt and transform to meet the ever-changing needs of our 21st century world, be flexible in adjusting to the ever-changing expectations of children, parents, communities and the larger society we have always ensured that student success is at the centre of all we do. The intention of the Quebec government to replace the present successful system of elected governance with a system of variable structures/electoral colleges is troubling, and at the very least, a distraction from the basic mission of ensuring the best possible education for all students of Quebec.

As such, in the interest of the public voice, a pillar of Canadian democracy and a proven significant contributor to student achievement, well-being and success – CSBA strongly encourages the Quebec government to consider the following:

  1. Democratically elected community representation on every school board is of the utmost importance to the success of the education system and student success. This absolutely must be protected, at the same time recognizing that parents, teachers and administrators play an important and critical role in the system.
  2. In the majority of Canadian jurisdictions, school board elections are held in collaboration with municipal elections, allowing and resulting in far greater voter participation.
  3. Duly elected school boards are important players in the education system and all children in Quebec will benefit if the Quebec government works closely in partnership with the QESBA and the FCSQ.

The Canadian School Boards Association would like to offer our best wishes to you in your new role as Minister of Education and remain at your entire disposal for comments or conversations with a view to in finding solutions that respect all parties and will produce the best outcome for Quebec students. The priorities of our Association are focussed on creating the best possible education system for the children of Canada. We believe this is also your goal and we are prepared to work with you and your government to achieve this vision.

The vision of the CSBA is excellence in public education achieved through democratically elected school boards. Our mission is to support the members school board associations; to advocate the collective interests of the provincial/territorial public school boards; to promote the value of democratically elected school boards.

Respectfully submitted,

Signatures copy (2)

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cc: Philippe Couillard, Premier, Quebec
Doug W. Currie, Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture, Prince Edward Island, Chair, CMEC
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, British Columbia
David Eggen, Minister of Education, Alberta
Don Morgan, Minister of Education, Saskatchewan
James Allum, Minister, Department of Education and Advanced Learning, Manitoba
Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, Ontario
Serge Rousselle, Minister, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, New Brunswick
Karen Lynn Casey, Minister, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Nova Scotia
Dale Kirby, Minister, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Newfoundland Labrador
Doug Graham, Minister, Department of Education, Yukon
Alfred Moses, Minister, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Northwest Territory
Paul Quassa, Minister, Department of Education, Nunavut

Please see the full letter here.

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acccs_csba_logo_Word

Monsieur Sébastien Proulx

Ministre de l’Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport

Assemblée nationale du Québec, Hôtel du Parlement

1045, rue des Parlementaires

Québec (Québec) G1A 1A3

 

 

Le 9 mars 2016

Monsieur Proulx,

L’Association canadienne des commissions/conseils scolaires (ACCCS) continue d’être attentive aux avancées du projet de loi 86 concernant la gouvernance des écoles publiques au Québec.

Un système d’éducation public solide, qui prépare les élèves à devenir des citoyens productifs et engagés, est le fondement de la société civile. Les commissions scolaires ont comme mission fondamentale de mettre en place les conditions nécessaires pour offrir une éducation de haute qualité à chaque élève afin de lui permettre de connaître le succès à l’école et tout au long de sa vie. C’est ce à quoi aspire chaque commissaire, sans exception, lorsqu’il se présente aux élections.

Les membres de l’ACCCS représentent les associations de commissions scolaires de partout au pays, qui rassemblent à leur tour des commissaires locaux élus au suffrage universel. Il s’agit du modèle qui produit l’un des meilleurs taux de réussite pour les élèves dans le monde. Plus important encore, ce modèle permet aux collectivités locales d’être engagées et directement impliquées dans le processus décisionnel pour leurs écoles, ce qui a fait ses preuves pour contribuer à la réussite scolaire et au bien-être des quatre millions six cent soixante six mille enfants canadiens qui bénéficient de ce système.

Alors que l’ACCCS s’adapte et se transforme pour répondre aux besoins en constante évolution en ce 21e siècle et continue d’être flexible pour répondre aux nouvelles attentes des enfants, des parents, des communautés et de la société en général, nous veillons à garder la réussite des élèves au centre de tout ce que nous faisons. L’intention du gouvernement du Québec de remplacer le système actuel éprouvé de gouvernance élue par un système de structures variables et de collèges électoraux est troublante et, à défaut d’autre chose, ne servira qu’à distraire de la mission fondamentale, qui est d’assurer la meilleure éducation possible pour tous les élèves du Québec.

Pour toutes ces raisons et dans l’intérêt de la pleine expression citoyenne, un pilier de la démocratie canadienne qui contribue de manière significative aux progrès des élèves, à leur bien-être et à leur succès, l’ACCCS encourage fortement le gouvernement du Québec à considérer ce qui suit:

  1. La présence de membres de la communauté démocratiquement élus au sein de chaque conseil scolaire est d’une importance capitale pour le succès du système d’éducation et, par conséquent, pour la réussite des élèves et elle doit absolument être protégée, sans mettre en doute le rôle important et essentiel que les parents, les enseignants et les administrateurs jouent dans le système.
  2. Dans la plupart des provinces et territoires canadiens, les élections scolaires sont jumelées aux élections municipales, ce qui assure une plus grande participation des électeurs.
  3. Les conseils scolaires dûment élus sont des acteurs importants dans le système d’éducation et tous les enfants du Québec en profiteront si le gouvernement du Québec travaille en étroite collaboration avec l’ACSAQ et la FCSQ.

L’Association canadienne des commissions/conseils scolaires aimerait vous souhaiter beaucoup de succès dans votre nouveau rôle en tant que ministre de l’Éducation et reste à votre entière disposition pour engager une conversation en vue de trouver des solutions qui respectent toutes les parties et qui produiront le meilleur résultat pour les élèves du Québec. La priorité de notre Association est toujours la mise en place du meilleur système d’éducation possible pour les enfants du Canada. Nous sommes convaincus que vous partagez le même objectif et nous sommes prêts à travailler avec vous et votre gouvernement pour concrétiser cette vision.

Du point de vue de l’ACCCS, l’excellence dans l’enseignement public passe par des conseils scolaires élus démocratiquement. Notre mission est de soutenir les associations de commissions scolaires membres de l’ACCCS, de défendre les intérêts collectifs des commissions scolaires publiques provinciales ou territoriales et de promouvoir l’importance des conseils scolaires démocratiquement élus.

Respectueusement,

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cc: Philippe Couillard, Premier, Quebec
Doug W. Currie, Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture, Prince Edward Island, Chair, CMEC
Mike Bernier, Minister of Education, British Columbia
David Eggen, Minister of Education, Alberta
Don Morgan, Minister of Education, Saskatchewan
James Allum, Minister, Department of Education and Advanced Learning, Manitoba
Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, Ontario
Serge Rousselle, Minister, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, New Brunswick
Karen Lynn Casey, Minister, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Nova Scotia
Dale Kirby, Minister, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, Newfoundland Labrador
Doug Graham, Minister, Department of Education, Yukon
Alfred Moses, Minister, Department of Education, Culture and Employment, Northwest Territory
Paul Quassa, Minister, Department of Education, Nunavut

 

 

Signatures copy (2)

Signatures copy (2)

The Truth and Reconciliation Report has 94 recommendations.

headings - Version 4This tragic part of our Canadian history deserves our full attention.   This ADVOCACY PAPER, created by the Aboriginal Education Council and adopted by OPSBA unanimously at their recent AGM, is in the process of being adapted for national use.  In the words of Paul Martin, “If we do not step forward, then we step back, if we do not protect a right, then we deny it.”   It is time to step forward to ensure a bright future for all our young people.

Check out the last CSBA newsletter…

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The CSBA Newsletter will bring you up to date on recent CSBA activities, provide you with a snapshot of what each province is focusing on at the moment and let you know about programs that may be important to your students.

In case you were wondering who we are, this will answer your questions.  Sign up on the website and receive it each quarter…

 

 

How can we support Aboriginal student success…?

canadian flag smilingAboriginal children under age 14 make up 7% of all children in Canada.  The Aboriginal population is the fastest growing demographic in this country and eighty percent of Aboriginal children attend off-reserve provincial schools. In terms of school success, there are significant gaps in learning outcomes and graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students.  How can we create conditions to better support Aboriginal students and their success in our public schools…?

Check out the Publication and for more information on the research, visit the CEA website.

CSBA puts their commitment to Aboriginal Education in writing…

imagesCSBA , in collaboration with Aboriginal Leaders across the country developed and on February 16, 2014 was proud to adopt unanimously the Canadian School Boards Association Charter of Commitment to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education.  While in development the document was requested, reviewed and revised by First Nations Communities and was endorsed enthusiastically by all provinces.   It will now serve as our guide to all we hope to accompish in our school boards.  For their contributions and  hard work in producing this important document, CSBA would like to thank the First Nations communities for their precious guidance, as well as the members of the CSBA Aboriginal Education Committee Members and the Canadian Association of Academic Deans for providing a good, foundational resource for us to adapt.   To download your copy:  CSBA Charter of Commitment; First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education.  Display it proudly in your offices.

CSBA responds to the AANDC “Blueprint for First Nations Education”

iStock_000003355083MediumWhile we support a new way forward in First Nations education, when CSBA was invited to submit comments to  AANDC regarding the document “Developing a First Nations Education Act: Discussion Guide”, we  clearly expressed our concern that the process used to develop the coming legislation had been far too unilateral in approach, with no attempt to co-develop an education system in true partnership with First Nations.  The subsequent “Blueprint for First Nations Education” released in July 2013 served only to increase our concerns.   In response, CSBA has asked Minister Valcourt to recognize First Nations as a primary or at very least, an equal partner in decisions that will affect their young people going forward, as well as to address other issues such as funding.  The full letter sent to the MInister on behalf of Canadian school boards  is available at Letter to AANDC.

CSBA PRESIDENT MICHAEL McEVOY ADVOCATES STRONG ROLE FOR SCHOOL BOARDS

CSBA President Michael McEvoy
CSBA 203 Annual Conference, Vancouver, B.C.

New Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) President Michael McEvoy stated that a strong and united CSBA will support and advocate alongside its provincial partners to safeguard the key role of publicly and democratically-elected school boards.

McEvoy assumed the Presidency before more than 400 school trustees from across Canada attending the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) http://cdnsba.org/ annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 4-7, 2013.

Many trustees expressed concern at the conference about a growing and worrisome trend by provincial governments to bypass or limit the legitimate role of publicly-elected school boards in delivering quality education and maximizing student success.

The annual conference, hosted by the British Columbia School Trustees Association, offered 450 delegates an engaging and inspiring opening keynote address by the Right Honorable Michäelle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, who reminded delegates of her own personal journey and who gave true meaning to the conference theme, Diversity Matters.

Excellent speakers and presentations on such important CSBA themes as Aboriginal Education, Student Health and Wellness and 21st Century Learning Skills were all explored through the prism of respecting diversity within our public school communities.

For more information contact: Valerie McLeod, Managing Director of CSBA at info@cdnsba.org

School boards address student inactivity

Dr. Mark Tremblay

Only 5 % of Canadian school children are meeting the national physical activity standards.  Dr. Mark Tremblay, an expert in Children’s Health and part of the team that wrote the 2013 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, will be at the CSBA conference in Vancouver this week to speak to this critical situation and to offer 10 solutions as a starting point for school boards’ discussions.  Student Health and Wellness is a Key Priority for the CSBA and we hope that this Pre-Congress session, which takes place from 1 to 4:30 p.m. on July 4,  will assist trustees and commissioners from across Canada to take an active role in affecting change.

Please visit   http://www.csba2013.ca/index.php/program/july4  for more information on the session or Dr. Tremblay.

CSBA endorses a clear road map for positive, future direction…

 

A Year of Strategic Planning

When the CSBA congress in July 2012 was ended, CSBA had a new Managing Director, a new President and the knowledge that the many structural changes the Association had made over the past years required us to “regroup”, to redefine our priorities and especially, develop a road map that reflected what each province wanted from us in our role to affect change on behalf of their behalf.  After several meetings, workshops and much discussion, we reconfirmed our mission to support, advocate for, and promote publicly elected School Boards across the country and then worked out a 3-year plan on how we wanted to accomplish that over the coming years.  Our Core Issues for Advocacy include Aboriginal Education, 21st Century Learning and our newest addition on our list of national concerns; Student Health and Wellness.  The 2013-2016 Strategic Plan, adopted at our March meeting is available at CSBA 2013-2016 Strategic Plan.