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The Scott Ross: Public Education Before Health Care

When you replace the fan belt on your 1988 Toyota Corrolla, you can’t drive faster than when the car was brand new. Even with the new part, the car, with all of its wear and tear, is likely to be slower than when you first drove it off the lot.

No one expects that a trip to a mechanic for repairs is going to make their car better than new, we all know a mechanic only maintains a vehicle, he doesn’t engineer it to be better. When we want a faster, more efficient and more powerful car than the one (Read more…)

Trashy's World: Hudak vows to cancel full day Kindergarten

As a volunteer on a not-for-profit childcare centre Board, I can say with some authority that the FDK horse has left the barn. There has been some bumps on the road to implementation, but it has overall been a success. Furthermore, cancelling it now in its final stage of implementation would not only throw Ontario […]

Politics, Re-Spun: Poor Kids, Poor Families and Shame

“When Centennial’s students found out Seymour couldn’t hold a pyjama day because many students didn’t have pyjamas, they fundraised to buy every Seymour student a pair last Christmas.”

- When the Field Trip’s Too Pricey, Students ‘Self-Exclude’

BC’s disgusting and preventable child poverty crisis. Let’s stop coddling the rich!

When parents receive letters from their kids’ school asking for donations for playground upgrades or library books or technological devices, a certain segment of the population sighs, grows a few more grey hairs and dies a little bit inside.

Parents who are struggling financially cannot afford the luxury of even (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Expanding Our 2014 Boycott List: #BoycottLoblaws

First, it started with IKEA, which has been locking out its Richmond, BC workers for 11 months. Then it expanded to a white Richmond farmer who isn’t all that happy with all the non-white farmers changing the complexion of farming in BC.

So we’re are committing to #BoycottIKEA and boycotting W & A Farms products.

Now, it’s Loblaws/ExtraFoods/T&T/RealCanadianSuperstore that needs a hefty, long-term boycott.

A portion of every dollar you spend at any of that chain’s stores goes to fund the anti-social Fraser Institute and its campaigns to destroy the public education system in Canada.

The [Weston] family foundation (Read more…)

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: April Fools Prank in Class

If you watch this, turn down the sound a bit, read the captions, and prepare to laugh loudly.

The Adventures of Diva Rachel: Les Plumes des Peau-Rouges de Nepean attérissent sur le Rouge-et-Noir d’Ottawa

La région de l’Outaouais va bientôt accueillir un nouveau club de football. Ce sera la 3e fois que l’équipe renait de ces cendres : les Ottawa Rough Riders ont fait faillite en 1996, et encore en 2006, sous le nom «Renegades». À l’époque, les partisans Franco-Ontariens (et Gatinois) s’attendaient à ce qu’une équipe en difficulté financière fasse des efforts pour rejoindre le maximum de disciples, incluant les 250 000 francophones de la région. Ils sont restés sur leur faim. Les Renegades avaient même omis d’offrir leur site web en français.  (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Friday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your week.

- The Star-Phoenix discusses how the Cons are systematically attacking the independent institutions which are necessary to ensure a functioning democratic system: When a handful of Conservative MPs from Saskatchewan attacked the integrity of the province’s electoral boundaries commissioners last year in an attempt to subvert the democratic process, it may have seemed to be a rogue act of an outlier group of politicians concerned with their electoral future.

But when you consider the tactics of the MPs, who accused Justice Ronald Mills and political scientist Prof. John Courtney on the commission of attempting (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Alex Usher on Jason Kenney’s Enthusiasm for German Apprenticeships

Alex Usher, one of Canada’s most well-known post-secondary education pundits, has just written a blog post offering some sober second thought on Minister Kenney’s recent enthusiasm for Germany’s apprenticeship system.

Mr. Usher’s blog post can be accessed here.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: 2014 Stapleford Lecture on Senate Reform at #UofR

Part 1

I really have to disagree with Dr. Barnhart, who had the power to sign, or refuse to sign laws of Saskatchewan into effect while Lieutenant Governor, that he is a powerful person. Now his influence may be lessened, even to the point where Global TV won’t keep a promise to him, but he did get invited to to a prestigious lecture for the UofR too, didn’t he?

There’s a time to be modest, and a time to be real.

Part 2

Things Are Good: Documentary on Finland’s Education System

Finland has one of the best education systems in the world and repeatedly ranks amongst the top 3. Why? Basically Finland’s education system is diametrically opposite to how education in North America. Kids are allowed to play, homework is scarce, and teachers are treated with respect.

Via Reddit.

Saskboy's Abandoned Stuff: Beyond The Book Lecture: John Gormley – #UofR 2014

I’ve been to a lot of University of Regina lectures over the years. None by a right wing radio commentator, until tonight, and it didn’t turn out how I expected. I know there are people who reeeally don’t like John Gormley and his radio show. I used to listen to it frequently while I worked in a job that had me in a car most of the day, traveling the province’s east side. I’ve not really tuned in too much the past 6 years, while I work meters from where his talk was given Tuesday night. It’s not easy to (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Tuesday Morning Links

This and that for your Tuesday reading.

- Andrew Jackson writes that increases in Canadian inequality have been the result of deliberate policy choices: In an important recent book, Inequality and the Fading of Redistributive Politics, Keith Banting and John Myles argue that, while rooted in the market, politics has also been a major force behind rising income inequality in Canada. They emphasize the impact of deep cuts to income transfer programs for working-age Canadians in Canada’s “neo-liberal moment” in the mid-1990s.

Their argument is reinforced by Statistics Canada research by Andrew Heisz and Brian Murphy presented to a (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Breaking News: Sharp Pencils to be banned in Public Schools

Tragic accidents happen.

“A multimillion-dollar lawsuit has been launched by the parents of a student who almost died after being strangled by a lanyard at his school in Bearspaw just west of Calgary.”

You don’t sue people for not thinking of every possibility that might happen. If this isn’t the case , I look forward to our children being encased in foam for their protection and certainly not using potential hazardous materials such as pencils or pens.


Filed under: Education Tagged: Bubble kids, Education, Hot Coffee Lawsuits

. . . → Read More: Dead Wild Roses: Breaking News: Sharp Pencils to be banned in Public Schools

Dead Wild Roses: How to Influence Teenagers and other People too.

Working in behavioural education means that much of this stuff is old hat for me, but sometimes isn’t as common knowledge as I think it is for others, so lets review some the tricksy-hobbit ways P-sychologists work their magic. We’ll pick up midway though the article:

I asked Dahl what he does with his children when he wants to influence them.

His answer? He uses techniques from a clinical method called “motivational interviewing.” Motivational interviewing has proven effective in motivating behavior change in teens in difficult arenas, like drug and alcohol abuse, disordered eating, and risky sexual behavior. (Read more…)

The Progressive Economics Forum: University Governance

This afternoon I spoke on a panel on university governance at a conference titled Future U: Creating the Universities We Want, organized by the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations. Also presenting on the panel were Professor Glen Jones and Professor Claire Polster.

Future U: Creating the Universities We want Future U: Creating the Universities We want

My speaking notes can be downloaded at this link.

Points I raised in my presentation include the following:

The Basics. Typically in Canada, a university has both a board of governors (BoG) and a senate. The former (which was (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Bread and Circuses

Not owning a television is one of the best decisions TIO and I made. Well, we do have a TV but no cable so we can watch the occasional DVD if we so desire. What the media focuses on and what is important is often two very different sets of ideas. There are multiple cases of human suffering and abuse going on in the world at any given time; but often we are inundated with the very important happenings of celebrities and the random piffle they do as a substitute for what is actually happening in the (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Because You’re Not As Dumb As They Think You Are!

Today is Friday. Let’s make it “think for ourselves Friday.”

It’ll work: the government/corporations/1% won’t see it coming!

Twitter / occupythemob:

December 17, 2013 Fried Squirrels (0) December 20, 2013 Enbridge: What Now? We Escalate Our Fight (4) January 7, 2012 Day Two of Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0) January 7, 2012 Opening Panel from the Tragedy of the Market: From Crisis to Commons (0)

The Progressive Economics Forum: Do High Tuition Fees Make for Good Public Policy?

This afternoon I gave a presentation to Professor Ted Jackson’s graduate seminar course on higher education, taught in Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration. The link to my slide deck, titled “The Political Economy of Post-Secondary Education in Canada,” can be found here.

Points I raised in the presentation include the following:

-Tuition fees have been rising in Canada for roughly the past three decades. Yet, individuals in the 25-44 age demographic have the highest levels of household debt in Canada. This raises an important question: Is it good public policy to be saddling this demographic (Read more…)

Melissa Fong: ‘Women Get Paid Exactly What They’re Worth’: Fox New wants women to accept pickle juice

Equal pay is not special treatment, it is correcting for the inequalities born out of patriarchy.

Dead Wild Roses: Being Rich Makes you a Dick

Tell me again about those so called charitable rich people…? Onwards brothers and sisters to the class war. This vid is pretty much everything I’ve said on the blog and what I rail against a on regular basis. Go Ted Talks Go.

Filed under: Education, Politics Tagged: Being Rich Makes you A Dick, Egalitarianism, Inequality, Poor, Rich

Melissa Fong: Does public participation waste time and money?: A note on the value of participatory democracies

Francis Bula, Vancouver pundit, introduced a debate on wasting public resources to open up a debate that would have resulted in the same decision: Does public participation slow down cities’ […]

Politics, Re-Spun: What’s With Pipeline-Loving Old Men?

High 5′s to people are aren’t old men! [on average, 19 times out of 20, +/- 3.6% of the time.]

My apologies if you’re a man, or over 55, but those two demographics love the Big Oil, and they’re giving you all a bad name!

Here’s why.

I know lots of men and people over 55 who know that moving to a post-carbon energy infrastructure is the only sustainable future. The problem is convincing their peers that getting rid of their Lexus [it used to be Hummer] is in everyone’s best interest.

Maybe it’s because some of those (Read more…)

Accidental Deliberations: Sunday Morning Links

Assorted content to end your weekend.

- Jeremy Nuttall discusses why the Cons’ temporary foreign worker program is ripe for abuse, as it ensures workers have every incentive to avoid reporting employer wrongdoing since the employer can singlehandedly ship the employee out of Canada in retaliation.

- But the good news is that workers who aren’t quite so easily sent away are making efforts to fight back against the Cons’ anti-labour plans – as Kathryn May reports on a pledge among public service unions not to give in to attacks on sick leave and disability benefits. And on the provincial (Read more…)

Politics, Re-Spun: Who Is the Least Qualified to Evaluate Teachers?

Let’s say you don’t employ public school teachers. Let’s say you make millions of dollars. Let’s say you earn sometimes hundreds of times more money than the lowest paid worker in your organization. And let’s say you may not have even attended public school in Canada?

So what should you do? Release a report on how to pay public school teachers because…YOU’RE A CEO!

That’s what they’ve done because they want to “improve education and skills training in Canada.” This is their only purported connection to any credibility in evaluating public schools. They hire people who come from (Read more…)

Dead Wild Roses: Medical Facts keep getting in the way of Pro-Life Argumentation

Nice to have a handy reference poster to deal with our anti-choice, forced birth friends.

Filed under: Education, Feminism Tagged: Abortion, Anti-Choice is Anti-Woman, Anti-Choice Zealotry, Pro-Choice, Pro-life, Pro-life fail