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

 

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 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.

Only a week left…!

The 2013 CSBA congress is only week away!   The program is sure to have something for everyone and we hope you can join us for this important opportunity to share and learn from other trustees/commissioners across Canada, as well as experts in the field of education.  We are especially looking forward to sharing with you and hearing your questions at the CSBA AGM and the Cross Canada Check In.   For those planning to attend the Annual General Meeting, you may download and print the 2013 CSBA Annual Report or simply access our website during the session using the wireless connection in the meeting room.    See you in beautiful British Columbia!

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.