Sys­tem doesn’t give ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion

Times Colonist - - Comment -

Re: “Kids with spe­cial needs strug­gle for ed­u­ca­tion — and fam­i­lies suf­fer,” June 10. Af­ter go­ing through our own kids’ strug­gles in the pub­lic-ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem, I can only imag­ine how much more oner­ous it would be if we also had to con­tend with autism or any other spe­cial need.

One thing is clear: Our pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is no longer equipped to pro­vide a ba­sic ed­u­ca­tion for any child with­out their par­ents ad­vo­cat­ing for them, let alone if they re­quire ad­di­tional class­room sup­port.

Pre­dictably, B.C. Teach­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion pres­i­dent Glen Hans­man con­tin­ues to blame the Ed­u­ca­tion Min­istry, even though tax­pay­ers are now ob­li­gated to pro­vide ad­di­tional mil­lions in fund­ing to sat­isfy his Supreme Court vic­tory.

Rather than fo­cus­ing on fund­ing, why isn’t the BCTF look­ing at in­flu­enc­ing the cur­ricu­lum by the use of ev­i­dence-based, sys­tem­atic, struc­tured teach­ing meth­ods that would meet the needs of all stu­dents?

Even though there is no em­pir­i­cal data that sup­ports how smaller class sizes improve class­room con­di­tions, the im­pli­ca­tions of this de­ci­sion affect thou­sands of fam­i­lies.

And this de­ci­sion doesn’t address the more press­ing is­sue: class­room com­po­si­tion, i.e. help­ing those kids who need it the most. All of our ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers sup­port our new cur­ricu­lum and this Supreme Court de­ci­sion, yet they over­looked the press­ing needs of one cru­cial stake­holder: the par­ents.

If our ed­u­ca­tion lead­ers con­tinue to ig­nore the most ba­sic ne­ces­si­ties of ed­u­cat­ing our chil­dren, per­haps it’s time to do what’s best, and sup­port par­ent choice in this prov­ince, rather than sup­port con­vo­luted ide­olo­gies and a bloated bu­reau­cracy in our pub­licly funded ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Tara Houle North Saanich

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