Saturday, October 30, 2010

If Campbell's Grade 4 pledge is serious...

If Premier Gordon Campbell is serious about his TV pledge to have every Grade 4 student meeting expectations for reading, writing and numeracy within five years and is willing to fund a serious plan, he'll be creating a real legacy.
The Times Colonist looks at the pledge in an editorial today
And even the discussion confirms the usefulness of the FSA tests, as I argued here.


Anonymous said...

If 20% of grade fours are not performing, the Liberals only have themselves to blame, since all those kids were born on their watch.

Dawn Steele said...

At least 10% of those are kids with special needs. They are not going to read at Grade 4 level by Grade 4 age no matter how much money you pump into them, so the promise is naive and unrealistic.

For some kids, the platinum performance is going to be reading at Grade 4 level by Grade 6 or 7. For some it's reading at Grade 2 Level by Grade 12.

The premier's promise assume all kids are uniform widgets - the same flawed assumption that leads to misuse of FSA data by some parties.

I remain deeply skeptical over this promise. In 2005 the premier promised to build the best system of supports for children with special needs and children at risks. Despite huge fiscal surpluses and economic boom years in the intervening period, we have instead watched core services for kids with special needs further eroded every year. So what do we think is going to happen with all the pressures of a massive deficit, pressure to cut/eliminate the HST and further pressure from the latest tax cut????

It's totally shameless and disgraceful for the premier to make these false promises which apparently have noting to do with vulnerable kids and everything to do with saving his political skin!

Anonymous said...

I don’t know who wrote that editorial but it was extremely refreshing to read something truly non-partisan for a change without the writer having to interject editorial slant.

Paul, please read from this article and learn from it.

Crankypants said...

In an utopian setting all children would perform in equal fashion. They would read , write and calculate with equal abilities. Well people, it's time to face reality. We do not live in an utopian world, and not all people are created equally.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses, and no matter what, there is little chance that all students in any given grade will perform to a certain standard unless the standard is so low that it is nothing but an useless measure.

The bottom line is that we all have an inherent aptitude to excel in some areas and fail miserably in others. For anyone to claim they can change this is nothing more than a pile of bull scat.

Anonymous said...

I can't disagree with anything in Dawn Steele's analysis of Campbell's attempt to save his own sorry ass. After hearing of it I was left wondering who the premier "included" in any discussions and consultations that precipitated the astonishing elementary education announcement. Probably the same bunch (of two or three) that he consulted before the recent cabinet shuffle. Your misplaced optimism Paul, overlooks the fact that the tax cut he announced simultaneously with this "education legacy" you dream of, will do next to nothing for the families whose kids are going to school too hungry to learn anyway.
Why this promise should ring any less hollow and empty to you than so many previous utterances from the exalted leader of the BC Liberals, is also a mystery to me, but your short essay indicates that you still have the faith. Pollyanna would be proud.

Raymond Graham

paul said...

I hold the writer of the editorial in great regard, Anon 9:31, and will rise each day striving to be more like him.

RossK said...


(I will be laughing hard, about the comment directly above this one....)


Anonymous said...

If the Premier sees all Grade 4 students as being equal... then I, as a voter, see all BC Liberals MLAs as being equal. Step down Campbell and let other MLAs be the Premier, or can't you read yet

Dave said...

As far as Anon 9:31's complaint goes, would an editorial slant be all that out of place in an editorial?