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Ken Chapman
08-02-2009, 11:22 PM
The EPSB is such a terrific public school system I wonder why there is not C2E forum on public education and one that can deal with the dirty little secret around literacy issues in this space. Public education is a key economic and social attractor to the city. It is also a significant social concern about the quality fo life and citizenship for us as well. What would it take to have a public education forum on C2E?

DebraW
08-02-2009, 11:33 PM
Great question Ken.

There are threads on C2E regarding EPSB. From the various reports that praise the system and even a couple on literacy and economic factors.

Since literacy is something that concerns all Edmontonians and all aspects of Edmonton life perhaps with the upcoming forum changes this is something that is or could be looked at?

Ken Chapman
08-02-2009, 11:46 PM
Where are the public education forum threads Debra?

DebraW
08-02-2009, 11:57 PM
A few:

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=4838&highlight=Howe

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=1612&highlight=Howe

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=10627&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=10213&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=9407&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=9208&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=1659&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=4548&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=904&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=3461&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=2189&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=2208&highlight=Elementary+schools

http://www.connect2edmonton.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=897&highlight=Elementary+schools

Green Grovenor
09-02-2009, 10:03 AM
The EPSB is such a terrific public school system...

Please forgive me for being dense, Ken, but I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic, or if that is your genuine belief?

DebraW
09-02-2009, 10:09 AM
The EPSB is such a terrific public school system...

Please forgive me for being dense, Ken, but I'm not sure if you are being sarcastic, or if that is your genuine belief?

Knowing Ken, I would guesss it is his genuine belief.

Green Grovenor
09-02-2009, 10:53 AM
I believe passionately in public education. A lot of good things happen in Edmonton's schools. However, I also think the reputation of the school board is based on innovations introduced two or more decades ago. There are some emerging problems that are not being addressed effectively.

Anyway, these are my five top concerns about the EPSB:

- Although I would not return to the era of closed attendance boundaries, the policy has created a situation where more than 50 per cent of children do not attend their community school. Traffic on Edmonton roads increase 20 per cent every year after Labour Day, as children are bundled into cars and driven to schools sometimes all the way across town. That's not a sustainable model, when childhood obesity and global warming are urgent concerns.

- The focus on programming choice has created a two-tier system. Institutes that offer extra science classes or hockey practices or language immersion are heavily promoted, at the expense of "regular" schools.

- Urban sprawl has created a situation where many children are forced to ride a bus, because there are no local schools. It is costing taxpayers mega-bucks, and the new P3 schools under construction in these areas will cost even more. The EPSB does not manage city planning, but it should flex its muscles a bit, when another level of government forces it into an absurd situation. When the district is being picked on, it needs to stand up for itself.

- This is just anecdotal information I've been told by educators, but the gap between results posted by children from low income homes and those from high income homes seems to be increasing. If indeed that's true, public education is failing in its key mission, which is to find paths to success for all kids, especially those who start at a disadvantage.

- Too much policy is made in secret. Two years ago, trustees abruptly decided to fire the superintendent. We still don't know why.

In the 1980s, the EPSB came up with a formula of doing things that worked pretty well. However, because change is constant, there has to be room for new ideas. When innovation happens, the district, ironically because of its past success, resists adaptation.

Green Grovenor
09-02-2009, 05:47 PM
- This is just anecdotal information I've been told by educators, but the gap between results posted by children from low income homes and those from high income homes seems to be increasing. If indeed that's true, public education is failing in its key mission, which is to find paths to success for all kids, especially those who start at a disadvantage.


DebraW kindly posted a link to the new report on children in Edmonton. Here are the exact numbers:

"Between 2002/03 and 2006/07, the percentage of grade 3 students in high-needs schools in the Edmonton Public School Board who met the acceptable standard was unchanged in both language arts and math.
"Rates were consistently lower than the district average in high-needs schools. In 2006/07, 65.7% of students in high-needs schools met the acceptable standard in language arts, and 63.6% met the acceptable standard in math, compared with 78.4 and 78.7% in the whole school district.
"This means that in a classroom of 30 students in a high-needs school, 20 would meet the acceptable standard in language arts, and 19 would meet the standard in math. This compares with 24 at acceptable standard in each subject area in the school system as a whole."

Ken Chapman
10-02-2009, 04:37 PM
It is my belief. ESPB is one of the best in the world

moahunter
10-02-2009, 04:45 PM
^ x2 - this is a terrific school system, second to none, from what I have seen in respect of my children. Far better than the school system I grew up with anyway - and that is a compliment to the school boards, the teachers (who seem more dedicated than I have seen elsewhere - mind you, they are well paid in Edmonton relative to many places), the systems and monitoring, and even the separate school system which provides some healthy competition / choice.

As to the problems in disadvantaged schools - that is an issue anywhere in the world that school systems struggle with. There is no easy answer, for typically I think the problems are more societal in terms of poverty traps, substance abuse, etc. Growing up I saw cases where children could be almost written off from the first day at school, not because of lack of effort on the part of teachers, but rather, from parents. Sadly, there is only so much a school, or a school system, can sometimes do. Like it or not, the "middle" will always pull away from the bottom more and more over time as education quality improves no matter how many resources are thrown in. For the societal issue of poverty is like an evil glass ceiling that may not move up over time, it can even descend with new street drugs, rising costs and similar - sadly some children will never be able to break through it - but we have to keep helping them try.

Ken Chapman
10-02-2009, 08:46 PM
I really like the EPSB starting with Emery Dosdall as Super. Tough times in the Oberg induced teacher's strike but better now. I think it is one of the truely great advantages Edmonton has as a place to live.