Politics and its Discontents: Chris Spence’s ‘Performance: The Reviews Are In

I realize that the subject of Chris Spence is likely of little or no interest to readers of this blog outside of the immediate area, but I cannot apologize for writing what is now my tenth entry on the disgraced former Director of the Toronto District School Board. My anger at his betrayal of education ...

Politics and its Discontents: When Is Claiming To Take Full Responsibility Just A Platitude?

When it is proclaimed by Chris Spence, the disgraced former Director of the Toronto District School Board who lost his job earlier this year for extensive plagiarism. In what the Toronto Star describes as a ‘far reaching interview,’ Spence says “there are no excuses for what I did; I didn’t give credit where credit was ...

Politics and its Discontents: Retribution

…when Exhibit A extends to Exhibits B-C-D, when the allegations start stacking up, then what you’ve got is a pattern and a pathology, not an anomaly. A career lies in tatters because a man who’s always been able to express himself well enough, extemporaneously, annexed the parlance and patter of others in published dispatches. Here’s ...

Politics and its Discontents: Why Chris Spence Must Be Fired

It is hardly an insight to observe that ours is a world that bears witness to institutional and organizational failures on a massive scale. Those bodies that should be there to promote and protect the public good have proven far more adept at promoting and protecting their own interests instead. Be they church, government, police, ...

Politics and its Discontents: What Happens When The ‘Top’ Educator Plagiarizes?

Probably nothing, if your name is Chris Spence and you are the Director of the Education for the Toronto District School Board. A shocking story in this morning’s Star reveals that the highly-paid functionary plagiarized great gobs of an article he recently ‘wrote’ for the paper on the importance of extracurricular activities. The Star, which ...

Politics and its Discontents: Toronto District School Board Blinks

As I suspected, after yesterday’s Star story about the Toronto District School Board’s outrageous demand for $3.6 million to release work order information related to the costs incurred in their exclusive contract with Jimmy Hazel’s maintenance and construction skilled trades council, the board is singing a different tune today: The Toronto District School Board is ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Glacial Pace Of Change At The TDSB

Regarded by some as a master of platitudes, Toronto District School Board Director Chris Spence says that things are getting better. As outlined in The Star’s investigative series, the board, in the thrall of Jimmy Hazel’s Maintenance and Construction Skilled Trades Council, which forms the backbone of the TDSB’s facilities division, has for years been ...

Politics and its Discontents: More Political Responses From The Toronto District School Board

While the goings-on at the TDSB may seem only a matter of regional concern, in my view the implications extend well beyond any geographic boundaries, evidence as they are not only of system-wide cronyism but also the inevitable corruption and lassitude that bedevils organizations or institutions of any size or purpose over time. In the ...

Politics and its Discontents: Prepare For The Revolution, A.K.A. Spin, Spin, And More Spin

What is the priority of organizations that are mired in embarrassing public revelations about fraudulent spending of taxpayers money? The development of a good PR plan. At least that is what I gleaned from Part Three of The Star’s investigation of the Toronto District School Board and its relationship with the Maintenance and Construction Skilled ...

Politics and its Discontents: The Star Continues Its Investigation

Unless the Toronto District School Board is staffed by a raft of incompetents, it has to have known what is going on. As I wrote in my blog post yesterday, an investigation by The Toronto Star has revealed theft on a massive scale in the form of grossly inflated charges to the board for even ...