Educate Yourself : The Status Quo Is Not an Option

Good advice in this Gazette letter to the Editor . It is followed by my bio for candidate for chairman.

“Voting in school-board elections is more important than ever”

We all realize that voting for a candidate who will eventually make decisions for the well-being of our children is important. Yet, historically, turnout for school board elections is low. The decision to vote for the right person is not always an easy one.

Consider this: Our responsibility is to educate ourselves as to which candidate meets and understands the needs of our teachers and children. We have become increasingly disillusioned with the performance of elected school boards. School-board representatives have a difficult task, but all too often have shown a lack of resolving important and sensitive educational issues directly affecting our children, parents and teachers.

Lack of transparency and accountability serves no one. It erodes public confidence and as a rule, affects proper decision-making practices. These mistakes are often avoidable if decisions are made in consultation with the people who matter most, the teachers and parents. We must never forget that any decision, initiative or project undertaken by any school board should specifically be designed in consultation with parents for the well-being of students.

Find a candidate who champions or promotes this way of thinking and perhaps he or she is worthy of your vote.

Frank Baldassare, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, is a retired teacher and school-board administrator (Lakeshore and Baldwin-Cartier school boards)

Time for a Revolution @ Lester B. Pearson School Board

RETIRED TEACHER: 37 yrs in LBPSB schools. Attended 16 yrs of Council meetings. Familiar with Pearson operations, issues, and its seriously flawed ETHICS POLICY.

PAST INVOLVEMENT: help expose misuse of $900K for a Pre-K program, initiated webcasting, student ombudsman, fought for defibrillators and an improved (2008) Code of Ethics.

I PROPOSE: close scrutiny of spending, free speech at board public question periods, elimination of QESBA saving $200,000/yr, remove 4-year gag order on ex-commissioners, improve current student programs for regular and special needs, and apply more emphasis on ethical operations.

PARENTS MUST BE THE AUTHORITY: Governing Board authority must be recognized. Classrooms are more important than board rooms. School boards must operate as service providers. Schools must be the policy makers.

THE WELFARE of all students must be a primary concern when making decisions.

OUR SCHOOLS need more than Reading, Writing and ’Rithmetic.

They need a 4th R – REVOLUTION, where among other things, school board secrecy is a thing of the past, and taxpayers will get more BANG for their buck.

THE STATUS QUO is not an option.