Class Size and Composition
Premier Proposed 10-yr Teachers Bargain on Jan 24, 2013
B.C teachers ratify agreement on next round of bargaining Jan 26
In 2001, the BC Liberals declared teaching an essential service, but that plan backfired.
Clark was minister of education and deputy premier at the time. Like the rest of her colleagues, she maintained that the essential services designation was going to “ensure that no child’s right to an education is denied during school strikes and lockouts.”
It didn’t work out that way. Instead the designation, enforceable only via the narrow rulings of the independent labour relations board, became a recipe for prolonging disputes and disrupted everything from extracurricular activities to the preparation of report cards.
Here’s the new plan. Abandon the essential services designation. Establish a measure of independent conciliation. Allow a partial return to local bargaining. Recognize that the dollar cost of settlements isn’t likely to depart from the average of other public-sector settlements. Disperse some of the policy and pie-dividing discussions to a council, away from the heat of the contract bargaining table. Some good observations… [that] merit serious consideration by whomever forms the next government. Canadians are grateful for our school systems but appear to have little appetite for school closures. Here’s hoping for an agreement before the first day of school.
B.C. NDP puts overhaul of standardized tests in campaign plans
The Opposition New Democrats say an NDP government would get rid of the standardized tests that the teachers’ union has fought against for years, but the party’s education critic says they’ll be replaced by some other kind of province-wide testing.
Robin Austin said the New Democrats’ aim is to remodel the Foundation Skills Assessment tests of students in Grades 4 and 7 to ensure they measure more than students’ writing and math skills.
Lambert said the BCTF has already sent every B.C. member of the legislature — Liberal, New Democrat and Independent — its Better Schools for B.C. platform that includes “authentic assessment practices.”
The plan to broaden the tests is one of the few election campaign promises the NDP has made so far, along with taxing banks to provide post-secondary students with non-refundable grants, restoring corporate income tax rates to 2008 levels and ditching the balanced budget law.
Saskatchewan’s Denise Batters Newest Senator
Parental alienation is a crime, but in its worst form it is an illness. I have tried to talk to Abbotsford schools about health issues, but teachers don’t want to talk to parents. I have complained to the BC Schizophrenia Society and they say, “Yes, we know. Teachers won’t even talk to us.” But here is a voice that can get inside our Middle schools and stand up to teachers, as so many family lawyers advocate.
Saskatchewan’s Denise Batters is Canada’s newest senator and a strong supporter and champion of mental health after her husband, Dave Batters, a former Saskatchewan MP, took his life in 2009 in Regina. Batters was admitted to the Saskatchewan Bar in 1995, and was in private practice in Saskatchewan until 2007. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2008. From November 2007 until June 2012, she was the chief of staff to Saskatchewan’s Minister of Justice, Don Morgan.
“Her history is such that she will understand well the nuances of the relationship between the province and the federal government,” Morgan said in a phone interview from Florida. “I think she will be a great advocate for Saskatchewan and she will be a hard working and competent senator. I think people will know her best because of the work she has done on mental health issues.”
1.2 Million Québécois Avoid Marriage
1.2 Million Québec couples in long term relationships have chosen to remain on the sidelines of matrimonial law, by not getting married. Can you blame them? This represents a third of the entire population of the province trying to save themselves from Canada’s Draconian Divorce Act by living in commonlaw marriages. See the Montréal Gazette article about the Supreme Court of Canada case of Lola v Eric .
Dave Flook Shows De Facto Custody Becoming De Facto Parents
Dave Flook’s Not All Dads Are Deadbeats website has interactive maps of Canada and the United States to look up our evolving family law details, especially grandparents visitation laws, which are part of our changing families. The Washington State notes are exciting, cataloguing increasing respect for parents.
In a 2005 case, “In re Parentage of L.B.” the Washington Supreme Court created the category of “de facto” parents. To show that one is a de facto parent requires the following:
The natural or legal parent consented to and fostered the parent-like relationship.
The petitioner and the child lived together in the same household.
The petitioner assumed obligations of parenthood without expectation of financial compensation.
The petitioner has been in a parental role for a length of time sufficient to have established with the child a bonded, dependent relationship, parental in nature.
The category of “de facto parents” has been of little use to grandparents seeking visitation rights, even though many grandparents may meet the criteria. Several factors have combined to reduce the impact of the ruling including the case of “In re Parentage of L.B.” involved a lesbian couple, some judges are reluctant to apply the principle of “de facto parents” to grandparents seeking visitation.
See Revised Code of Washington 26.09.240. Not All Dads Are Deadbeats.