CSBA 2014 is around the corner…

2014_speakersAlready, the program for this year’s CSBA conference is looking amazing!  The quality of speakers is reflective of this year’s theme, “Excellence, Reimagined”.  Hosted this year by OPSBA, this event is a lifetime opportunity in a spectacular venue.

For more information on program, registration or transportation, go to the CSBA2014 website .

 

* Please note that the Sheraton on the Falls is already filling up so the Organizing Committee has arranged for additional hotel rooms at the same rate, with shuttle service, at the Marriott Gateway on the Falls Hotel.   For help with accommodation please contact Ernesta Graham egraham@opsba.org.

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

 

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.

We are looking forward to seeing you in July…

BCSTA, hosts of CSBA 2013 have opened registration and hotel reservations for the upcoming conference in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Go to the congress website here to find out information on speakers, programming, scheduling, tours, etc…everything you will need to know to make your time at the congress a most postive experience.   The theme of this year’s conference is Diversity Matters; in the boardroom, in the classroom, in public education and we have had every indication that we can expect nothing less than a spectacular program this summer.  Make your arrangements soon.  We hope to see you there!

Working together to inform Canadians…

New Partnership with CEA

The Board of Directors made a unanimous decision to partner with the Canadian Education Association in the publication of “Facts on Education”, articles that are circulated across the country to inform readers of recent evidence-based research that addresses issues that are of interest to the public.   Look for the first issue in September 2013.  We hope that we can participate in clarifying the issues that are of importance in the education today.

We are delighted to be working with the CEA on this publication and look forward to sharing in other new initiatives with them over the coming years.

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.

STUDY SHOWS THAT SCHOOL BOARDS ARE A SUCCESSFUL AND EFFECTIVE MODEL FOR GOVERNANCE OF THE PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM

MONTREAL, JANUARY 9, 2013 -  The Canadian School Boards Association is pleased to see the results of the study “School Boards Matter: A Pan-Canadian study of school district governance”  by Bruce Sheppard, Gerald Galway, Jean Brown and John Wiens.

The full report, School Boards Matter; A Pan-Canadian Study of School District Governance   is available along with a CSBA Executive Summary and a list of other studies with complementary reading.

This important and timely study on school district governance, counters recent literature that has called school boards “wasteful hierarchies” and deals head on with political trends affecting public education across Canada.  At the heart of the study, the authors provide convincing evidence that in fact, effective and successful school boards do matter to the education of our children.

The authors draw a strong correlation between effective school boards and successful public school systems and state that “strong and effective boards are essential to maintaining a meaningful and sustainable public school system”.  They provide clear answers to the question “What are the attributes of effective school boards in Canada?”.

This study will be of particular interest to local school board trustees/commissioners across Canada, Provincial School Boards Associations and members of the CSBA Board of Directors.

CSBA President, Sandi Urban Hall welcomed the report and stated, “Boards of education use a wealth of research to strengthen their education practices and decisions. This report gives school boards data that will help strengthen school board governance and as a result, student success”.

For more information, contact the CSBA at valerie.mcleod@cdnsba.org.

Canadian School Boards Association is proud to have participated in the Senate Committee on Human Rights report on Cyberbullying, released in Ottawa this past December.

MONTREAL, January 8, 2012 -  The harm caused by cyberbullying is known all too well by Canadians. In fall of 2011, the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights Committee was mandated by the Senate to study this important issue and subsequently, conducted hearings with over sixty witnesses, including academic researchers, volunteers, website operators, government departments, non-government organizations, teachers and students.

The CSBA was pleased to be among witnesses called and were able to present several examples of work being done by school boards across Canada.  Present for the day were Sandi Urban Hall, President of CSBA and of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association at the time, David Birnbaum of the Quebec English School Boards Association and Dr. Wayne MacKay, who has done extensive research for the Nova Scotia School Boards Association.

The report,  Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights in the Digital Age was released this last month, calling for Canada “to meet its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, by taking necessary actions to protect children from all forms of physical and mental violence, including cyberbullying”.   The federal government intends to step in and coordinate an anti-bullying strategy with provincial and territorial counterparts.  The report demonstrates that focus is needed on prevention, through digital citizenship, information and education.  Promoting awareness and supporting initiatives that have proven effective are among the recommendations made, in addition to addressing the need for a national Children’s Commissioner to coordinate effective approaches.   Punitive legal sanctions, – a rising trend across the country – are continually proving less effective.  Said Senator Mobina Jaffer, chair of the committee. “It takes a whole community approach, the teaching of human rights and digital citizenship by parents, teachers, governments and by youth themselves to change online behavior”.  Canadian school boards are an integral part of that community.

In addition to the report, the Committee created a Guide for Youth and a Guide Parents, educational resource guides that offer responses that can help youth, parents, educators and others involved in cyberbullying at any level.  In both of these guides, there is a summary of the six recommendations from the committee also provided.

The report again is available at  Cyberbullying Hurts: Respect for Rights in the Digital Age and the guides for both youth and parents are available at:

Youth Guide:   http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/RIDR/DPK/01Dec12/youth-e.htm

Parents’ Guide:  http://www.parl.gc.ca/Content/SEN/Committee/411/RIDR/DPK/01Dec12/parents-e.htm

 

CSBA endorses “Shifting Minds: A 21st Century Vision of Public Education in Canada”

 

The Canadian School Boards Association is excited to endorse “Shifting Minds: A 21st Century Vision of Public Education in Canada“.  Produced by C21 Canada following the C21 Summit in February of this year and released October 4, 2012, this document was developed by a group of fifty educational and business leaders with a view to providing our young people with a new set of modern competencies for success.  As an active participant in this prestigious group and as one of the founding members of C21, the CSBA is proud to be a part of this important initiative which will provide leadership and a much needed framework that will encourage reflection and inspiration for new, innovative and vitally important practises that will support successful student outcomes.

The document is available at “SHIFTING MINDS”