Blame government for Vancouver school mess


Re: “Investigate Vancouver school board,” and “Administrators shouldn’t abandon their post,” columns, Oct. 7.

It is shocking that the Vancouver school board’s senior administrators have all gone on sick leave. They are handsomely paid to help trustees make decisions for the education of children and they have “abandoned their posts.”

Top-paid teachers earn about a third of what these superintendents earn, and yet they’ve soldiered on without the resources that were in place before the B.C. Liberals began their campaign against public education in 2002.

Geoff Johnson calls for the province to investigate the Vancouver school board, as though the district employer is at fault for the superintendents’ decisions to go on sick-leave. Lawrie McFarlane justly chastizes these superintendents for walking away from the responsibilities they signed on for. But neither columnist places the blame for the crisis where it belongs — with our provincial government.

Having spent most of my professional career as a teacher in the Vancouver School District, I know the kinds of programs that were created during the 1970s through the 1990s. It was a time when more personalized programs were developed to keep troubled children and youth (such as First Nations students) in school, and when English language programs were developed to integrate thousands of immigrant and refugee students.

There are Vancouver school trustees who have fought to keep these programs intact and now they are cornered. The taxpaying public needs to recognize who put them in this corner, and the Vancouver superintendents need to get back to their job of helping their employers — the trustees — to continue the fight to maintain quality learning.

Starla Anderson, EdD


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