Nova Scotia Needs Innovative Education Reform

February 11, 2017 @ 2:55 pm

Posted in: General

The leadership of the Green Party is questioning whether anything will, or even can be accomplished by the latest return to the bargaining table after the latest breakdown in contract negotiations.

The teachers of Nova Scotia know how to teach their students. While the government negotiates with the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, students are being harmed by a combative approach to our education system.  You cannot legislate or negotiate respect toward the teachers, the ability to hear them,  nor common sense.  The bargaining process does not address teachers’ needs in the classroom. While the government seems incapable of innovation, the NSTU does not have the power or mandate to address the flaws within our education system. 

After three failed attempts to find an agreement that Nova Scotia teachers can support, it is clear that broader solutions are necessary. The collective bargaining process is not addressing what the teachers are saying, and a temporary contract may have to be offered and accepted, while the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development embarks on bold systemic reform.

Politicians and policy makers need to take education reform seriously as we currently have a system that is not sustainable for students, nor teachers.  Sustainability will mean questioning not just financial matters and numbers of support staff, but practices such as standardized testing and data collection.
Bargaining negotiations are important, but they are not the right tool for the job that is currently needed, which is a re-thinking and re-forming of our education system, which has become cumbersome, expensive, and ineffective.  There is no clear road to a collaborative reform effort, but that doesn’t mean that one can’t be found. Let the teachers lead.

4 responses to “Nova Scotia Needs Innovative Education Reform”

  1. Dennis Tate says:

    A Green Party Volunteerism Hour or Dollar, somewhat similar to Calgary Dollars or Tamworth, Ontario, Hours, could potentially play an important role in assisting more retired teachers to tutor and assist Nova Scotia students who are on IPP’s or Special Needs. They could also assist parents in being able to afford tutoring for their children.

    • Thomas Trappenberg says:

      Nice point. We had something like this in our federal platform, and while I think we don’t yet have a GPNS policy like this, I very much like the idea and where this is going.

  2. Lisa McNamara says:

    I first saw your leader speak on Live at Five regarding the breakdown of teacher negotiations and the need for public education reform. must say I was very impressed. I am a teacher with 20 yrs of classroom experience and was hoping to see more of a presence from your party during the whole dispute. Yesterday, I traveled from Cape Breton to the Nova Scotia Legislature to exercise my only democratic right that I feel I have left in this majority Liberal dictatorship that I sadly elected. I hold many of the Green Party values and considered voting green the last election, however, I wanted to ensure that Steven Harper did not get elected. This seems to always be the dilemma. I can assure you that come election time, I will be voting anything but Liberal, that means Conservative (unlikely, opposing values), NDP (same old, same old) or Green Party ( risky, want to ensure anything but Liberal). If I decide to vote Green, I will throw my support behind your party and preach your message to all my teacher colleagues and family, however, I am not prepared to do so, because you need to become more active politically. Your party had a chance to show yourself at the teacher Rally at province house and you did not have a presence. The NDP and Conservative leaders spoke…. where was your leader? This is a prime chance to capitalize on teacher and public discontent. Wake up and make your presence known……

  3. Thomas Trappenberg says:

    Hello Lisa,
    I responded directly by email, but would like to state here that I would have loved to come on Friday but had to teach all day. Unfortunately I am not a full time paid party leader like the others and usually not even invited, but I was there and spoke Thursday night. Thank you so much for coming all the way. I think the public is now at least aware that something more drastic need to change.
    Cheers, Thomas

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