8. BEING ACCOUNTABLE MEANS SHOWING YOUR WORK

From: Julee Kaye
Sent: April-13-16 1:05 PM

To: ‘educ.minister@gov.bc.ca’; ‘mike.lombardi@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘allan.wong@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘Janet.fraser@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘fraser.ballantyne@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘christopher.richardson@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘patti.bacchus@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘joy.alexander@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘penny.noble@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘stacy.robertson@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘david.eby.MLA@leg.bc.ca’; ‘andrew.wilkinson.MLA@leg.bc.ca’;
‘communications@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘nbrennan@vsb.bc.ca’; ‘jpearce@vsb.bc.ca’;
‘jstewart@vsb.bc.ca’

Subject: 8. BEING ACCOUNTABLE MEANS SHOWING YOUR WORK

To VSB’s trustees & Superintendents, our Minister of Education, and my local MLAs:

You must all ultimately be accountable to the public who supports you. That
means that your decisions about our schools should be based on sound
analyses – not emotion-based party platforms – and that you must expect to
share those analyses with the public.

To the VSB trustees and staff I would ask “Where is the cost-benefit
analysis that supports your proposed cuts?” It looks rather as if you have
just selected items with the goal of having the least immediate and academic
impact on the bulk of students while most upsetting some of your most vocal
parents. While that is somewhat understandable, it is not sufficient. Even
the financial drawbacks of the proposed cuts have not been evaluated (let
alone the educational and social drawbacks, and the long-term cost to
society of producing less skilled, less involved and more alienated adults).

To the BC Government and my MLA’s I would ask “Where is the analytical
justification for this proposed school funding level?” Have you even
attempted a cost-benefit comparison of multiple potential funding levels?
One would hope so, but it is certainly not evident. Producing a talented,
skilled workforce has tangible economic benefits that are never mentioned in
the annual funding debate. It shouldn’t be only about how much money can be
pulled out of schools!

Incidentally, while I believe BC students continue to perform well overall
in international testing, their performance appears to be sliding. One
additional worry is that the average scores are being propped up by the high
percentage of students in private schools rather than because our public
schools are still coping under the current funding levels. Consider that 20
of the top 24 elementary schools in the Fraser Institute report are private
schools*. Please ask your staff to sort the data and determine how well BC’s
public schools are performing if private schools are removed from the
international test results. Publicize the results.

Please work together to help build and maintain a public education system of
which we can all be proud.

Thank you again for your attention to these matters which are vitally
important to your public,
Julee Kaye
(Parent from QEA, JQ, General Gordon, Kerrisdale, Kitsilano & soon Point
Grey)

*Curiously the 4 exceptions are all public elementary schools in West
Vancouver. Is there anything that could be learned from West Vancouver? Here
is the Fraser Institute report:
https://www.fraserinstitute.org/school-performance