CSBA 2014 – Destination Niagara Falls

speakersThere is an old Jewish proverb that says “Who is wise? He who learns from other people”.  The CSBA congress is an opportunity. Our hosts at OPSBA have brought together some brilliant leaders from all over the world to share their experiences with you. In addition, each delegate attending has something to share with you that could change your perspective or show you a way through a problem. We hope you will join us in Niagara Falls July 3-5, 2014 for an outstanding program of professional development and some great networking. Check program info for more everything you need to know.

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.

Three CSBA nominees win awards from C21 Canada

C21_icon-150x150C21 Canada seeks to support the accelerated and effective integration of 21st century skills and competencies, teaching practices and learning technologies into Canada’s education systems.   CSBA was proud to submit several nominees for the C21 Shifting Minds National Award for distinctive achievement in the field of 21st Century learning and innovation.  Three CSBA nominees won in their category:

Individual Leadership Award:  Al Reyner, Principal at Sir John A. MacDonald High School in Boutiliers Point, Nova Scotia for inquiry and project based learning.

System Award Red River Valley School Division, Morris, MB for the use of technology in learning and teaching through the “One to the World” technology initiative.

School Team Award: Sisler High School in Winnipeg, for true innovation in education technology.

The Canadian School Boards Association congratulates the above winners on their efforts to integrate technology and the wqst century skills and competencies into their student’s lives.

 

 

 

 

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.

Facts on Education Series: Standardized Testing Does Not Lead to Improved Educational Outcomes for Students

Girl writingJPEGEducators and students should be provided with assessment tools to identify issues and gaps for individual students.

Release date: 10 February 2014

Standardized testing is a contentious issue in Canada, and internationally. There is a large body of literature about these large-scale standardized tests with no consensus on their effectiveness. According to the Canadian Education Association’s latest Facts on Education fact sheet, while there is some support for standardized testing, overwhelmingly, research suggests that it does not lead to improved educational outcomes for students.

To access What is the Value of Standardized Testing, go to  Facts On Education – Standardized Testing  And for other hot button issues such as, Under what conditions does technology impact learning? Do good grades in high school guarantee post-secondary successHow useful is homework? and Do smaller classes improve learning?, please visit: www.cea-ace.ca/facts-on-education

About The Facts on Education

With a generous sponsorship from the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), CEA has teamed up with researchers from the University of Prince Edward Island’s Faculty of Education to conduct the research and produce the content. Four more facts sheets focusing on what the research says about the correlation of high school grades and post-secondary success, the impact of technology on classrooms, effective approaches to improving students’ mental well-being, creating conditions for Aboriginal student success in our public schools, and defining what standardized testing is actually measuring, will be distributed throughout the 2013-2014 academic year.

 

Max Cooke, Director of Communications

Canadian Education Assocation

 

PISA results shows that the public education system in Canada is working

global citizens handsFEBRUARY 10, 2014:  The 2012 PISA results were released in December .  The “Programme for International Student Assessment”  is run by the Organization for Economic Co-operation Development (OECD).  Testing is done every three years since 2000.  More than half a million 15-year old students from 65 countries take part in studies assessing their abilities in math, reading and science.  While those of us who work in education are always cautious about the weight given to this kind of testing, it is so far, an important indicator of how Canada measures up academically when compared to other countries.  And this year, we learned a bit more about Canada’s learners, outside the usual academic portrait.

Bottom line, Canada does very well in this testing.  With a mean score of 518, we find ourselves in 10th place.  Higher scores ranged from 519 to 613 and were from China, Singapore, Korea, Japan, Finland, Netherlands, Liechtenstein, and Switzerland.  Our neighbors to the south, the United States ranked in 33rd place with a score of 481.

While we have dropped a few spots (partly as other countries improved their scores), it is certainly fair to say that education systems in Canada remain the envy of countries throughout the world.  That is not an accident of history.  It is a success built upon the work of locally elected and accountable public school boards for more than a century.

And what school boards realize is that even with success it is always necessary to re-evaluate and improve what we do.  This is why trustees are constantly working together throughout this country to share ideas and best practices that will help our students succeed.

The importance of school boards and the history of their success is not always recognized when provincial governments discuss educational policies.  But it is school boards and their associations that stand up for students in the face of provincial cut backs to education.

The governance of public education in Canada by locally elected school boards and the advocacy by those boards and their provincial associations has resulted in an education system where:

  • More students go on to university and college (51%) than the average of OECD countries (32%).
  • Policies and practices have had a positive impact on the extent to which socio-economic status influences student success, Canada being one of only 8 countries which were able to combine high performance with high levels of equity in education.

The bottom line is that the work of Canadian school trustees have produced a system that works.   It is the efforts of trustees across this country; listening to their communities and creating the policies and environments that encourage our students to succeed.

The Canadian School Boards Association is proud to support this work.

Michael McEvoy

President, CSBA

 

Ref: PISA 2012 Results in Focus (pisa-2012-results-overview.pdf)

How Canadians Measure Up Internationally (81-590-x2010001-eng.pdf)

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.