Education analysis was poorly informed

Dear editor,

Re: Steven Young’s letter (Record, March 11).

His premise that “society needs teachers. They provide a vital service,” is sound.

But his analysis of why “our school system isn’t working,” and how it needs to change, is poorly informed and reflects no attempt on his part as a parent, to communicate directly with his children’s teachers and administrators.

He seems unaware of the vital role of Parent Advisory Committees (PAC) as informed, independent, parent and child advocates. Every school has a PAC group.

Mr. Young concludes with two ill-founded assertions:

1) That the school system “needs to force teachers to communicate more about their goals.”

Each September, every teacher is required to submit detailed year-long goals and plans for each subject, to their school administrator; then to communicate with parents about those goals and their child’s progress throughout the year, through meetings, three formal report cards, and informally but regularly through daily planners, phone calls, e-mail etc.

2) “Teachers ...who want to strike ought [not] to be working for our children.”

If Mr. Young examines the history of public schools, he will find:

a) That a great many of the major improvements in class-size, learning conditions and support services for students resulted directly from negotiations with teachers;

b) That very occasionally a brief strike was the only effective way to obtain those improvements. Talk with your children’s teachers, Mr. Young.

You’ll find that none of them “want to strike” — quite the opposite. But, sometimes unfortunately, it is necessary so children’s learning needs can be better met.

J. Walter Driscoll,

Comox Valley


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