Next NB – what’s next?

I attended the Next NB education discussion session at Mount Allison University this evening. Not a lot of of people showed up, given conflicting appointments and the rather poor advertising, or maybe just due to apathy. I found out why the website doesn’t work, and now Lisa, our facilitator, has my utmost sympathy.

There were 15-20 people in attendance; most of whom were middle-aged or older. Attendees included university professors, retired professors, school disctrict representatives, teachers’ association representatives and others – not quite what one would call vox populi. I made comments based on my previous posts, so I won’t repeat them here. Some other interesting comments were:

  • We should bring back the teaching of civics in school.
  • We need to be inclusive of all minorities.
  • We expect too much of our teachers.
  • We should reinstate apprenticeship programmes.
  • Low expectations are a critical problem.

As you can see, it was quite the potpourri of perspectives this evening. Not much was accomplished, but all comments were recorded. My suggestion to link to other blogs and conversations will be taken up, and I’m told that there will be links to this blog on the Next NB site.

A document entitled A Covenant with our Children: Education in New Brunswick (PDF) was handed out tonight. From the document:

  • We must embrace the movement towards standards-based assessment, increased accountability and greater social inclusion. [interesting trio]
  • Principals and vice-principals should be removed from the collective bargaining unit of the New Brunswick Teacher’s Union (sic) [is that why there were two reps from the NBTA in attendance?]
  • Education reform is too important to allow the voices of teachers to be barred from the conversation. That discussion must include an open dialogue about French immersion. [and the students?]

Lots of stuff to digest, but I kept asking myself, will this exercise change anything? I’ll finish with an often quoted observation from Albert Einstein:

The world we have created today as a result of our thinking thus far, has problems that cannot be solved by thinking the way that we thought when we created them.

4 Responses to “Next NB – what’s next?”

  1. Anonymous

    Discussion boardThe discussion board is the component of the web site that does not work. It is a non-standards compliant system built in-house by SNB. Think legacy & unwieldy, even if it is free. You can see my previous post on what kind of message you receive when you send a comment. Lisa did not get very good advice on her technology options. She was told by government techies that it would be very complicated to get a web discussion board (aka blog) up and running. She was threatened that she would be responsible for the maintenance of the site if she tried to use an open source alternative – and of course she balked. As you know, she could have had a site up within 20 minutes, or a more robust Drupal site from Tantramar Interactive in short order.

    Bottom line – she got bad advice, from staff at NRC as well as SNB.


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