Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Albert Public School System is on the Ropes!

The Conservatives have been moving towards a Private School system for the last decade.   The Wild Rose say today they will do away with school fees!  Indeed; the public system will be gone!  Both the Wild Rose and Conservative parties are advocating big cuts to expense, all coming out of your pockets by direct payment or by adding to the payroll costs.  As in everything, both parties are on the same page.

Over the past decade the Conservatives have trained Albertans by having them direct their school taxes to a school of their choice.  As in a Private School System if you changed your mind, the money stayed with the first school of your choice.  Now, Albertans think this is just the way it’s done!

The Conservatives continue to build schools on the P3 plans.  This makes them private properties which can be bought and sold at will. These same schools are routinely built too small.  At some point very soon parents will have to make choices on where to send their kids or should they stay in the overcrowded school.  You will be very surprised and feel lucky when a new, private school opens near you.

A broader easier routine was legislated to start private schools and a curriculum that could be changed by those same schools. “What is the drawback?” you may ask.

Private schools have the option of cherry picking students as well as excluding those who do not meet their self determined bench marks.  This allows them to score higher on achievement tests and then propaganda think tanks can then falsely claim that private schools are better, more efficient etc.

This serves to gut the public system that accepts all students but the increasing proportion of the remaining students do not have the same opportunities in many cases as those in private and religious schools.  That way poor schools can get punished and claims can be made that teachers are in it for themselves, that that is the fault of their strong unions.

Drive past the Webber Academy and have a browse at their palatial grounds, gates and all.  Go to their website and look at the prices they charge, strict admission but they still collect 70% of the money of public schools.  That 70% garnish could be used to provide support services to special needs students and to students and their family who are in crisis for whatever reason.

In the view of one experienced teacher:  In my teaching experiences, there was no support for families in crisis when 10 year olds brought vodka coolers in their water bottles or  when 10 year old girls were picked up for hooking in their communities.

The argument is that these schools are giving parents choices, and isn't it a great province??? 

All schools are not equal yet the financing model is equal.  Social programs have been gutted and the tough on crime agenda proponents are waiting in the tall grasses to get aroused and pounce on many of these disadvantaged kids and haul their sorry butts to jail. 

Then they can get the education that they missed in their youth.  What a system we have!

Private schools cost a great deal more than do public schools thereby reducing the cost of Government.

And if you are still with me, some very disturbing history.
Fifteen years ago the Alberta Conservatives took advise they could not build big business because we were not graduating sufficient degrees.

Acting on this, they frozen University spending at 1986 level where they remain now.  They cut all support for preparing for University Education  at the High School levels.  Senior Matriculation was done away with.

At the same time, they increased funding for trade schools and reduced the entrance marks required to get in.

They chose instead to hire degrees from abroad and commit our kids to labor and blue color like it or not!

By these smooth moves they took away all choice of advanced education from more than a generation of people resulting in our oil industry being staffed at senior levels by foreigners leaving our kids to think "what if"
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