Public Education: Have Your Say

Germany * Finland * Greece * Israel * Norway * Korea * Slovenia * Ireland * Switzerland * United Kingdom * Czech Republic * Ireland * Denmark * Italy * Slovakia * Hungary * Poland *CANADA * USA

While you are watching the new documentary Waiting for Superman, you might notice that out of 28 reporting developed countries, Canadian students ranked 19th in graduation rates.  If you are an educational policy researcher, school administrator, teacher or education activist parent, you will be familiar with survey results such as PISA (the OECD Programme for International Assessment).  It is always illuminating to look at attempts to compare education programmes across the continents.  Waiting for Superman focuses on the state of public education in the United States.  While the issues that affect schools in the United States are not identical to those we face here in British Columbia, Americans are grappling with many challenges that are similar in nature to those affecting schools in Canada.   Watching this type of documentary can help to sharpen our focus on what we believe about the purpose of public education.

Here in British Columbia you can watch a former Simon Fraser University Dean of Education discuss key education issues on his show Your Education Matters. The show features topics of interest to educators, parents, students and research academics focused on educational practice and policy. Recently he invited Dawn Steele, former journalist and education activist to discuss her findings based on research completed for the BC Education Coalition.  On the Coalition’s Stop Education Cuts website you can find information regarding action and events in your community, news about public education and resources including studies and other tools.  Over the years Dawn Steele has focussed on special needs education, government funding of public education, accountability issues, school closings and childhood poverty.

Do you agree or disagree with the statement that school choice and full day kindergarten are fads?  Who should determine the priorities for public education?  If you are a parent who is concerned about the state of public education in British Columbia, you will want to stop by the BC Education coalition’s website.   It’s a good place to start if you want to find out how you can support public education in your community.

What do you think about this topic?  Please leave a comment using the comment function below or by visiting our Facebook page.  We would love to hear from you!


Davis Guggenheim, the director of Waiting for Superman, discussed his latest work on PBS.

PISA (OECD Programme for International Student Assessment): Catch up on the latest international results of findings regarding 15 year old students in developed countries worldwide.

BC Education Coalition website (Stand up for Public Education)

Stop BC Education Cuts on Facebook

Education Reporter  Janet Steffenhagen on Twitter and her weblog on the Vancouver Sun website

Paul Shaker on Your Education Matters

Paul Shaker’s website

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