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NSSBA Responds to "Raise the Bar" report and recommendations

FEBRUARY 8, 2018 - Halifax, NS – On Wednesday, February 7, 2018 the Nova Scotia School Boards Association sent a formal response to the report by Dr. Avis Glaze to the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development and the Premier.

The response outlines concerns with the review process and aspects of the mandate that were not thoroughly addressed. The response also highlights important information that was provided to Dr. Glaze, both verbally and in writing, but was either not read or consciously ignored in the report.

"We felt the need to provide feedback to the Minister and the Premier, and challenge assumptions underlying the report," said Hank Middleton, President, NSSBA. "Specifically, we highlight alignment between the work school boards have already done on behalf of students and the recommendations made by Dr. Glaze. We also advise government and Nova Scotians on important information that was provided to Dr. Glaze but was ignored in her report."

The response document identifies what was missing from the report authored by Dr. Glaze, including work previously done by the NSSBA and individual school boards in response to recommendations made by the Auditor General in 2015. Also omitted from her report is any reference to a second literature review entitled: School District Size and the Impact of Changes to Governing School Boards: An Abbreviated Report. This paper includes an overview of the enlightening experience in New Brunswick, which would presumably be very relevant to Dr. Glaze’s recommendations.

"In this response, we review five years of resolutions through which the NSSBA called on the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development to make improvements in a wide variety of areas," said Mr. Middleton. "These resolutions covered areas such as collaboration, multi-year funding, capital planning, and asked the Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development to work with us on clarifying the roles of governing school board members."

The NSSBA supports the need to monitor the implementation of the recommendations. "In speaking to his acceptance of the recommendations, Minister Churchill committed to ongoing and integrated program evaluation," said Mr. Middleton. "We hope that Nova Scotians will hold the government accountable for this commitment, as it would have been the role of the governing school boards."

Read the letter and responses HERE.

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Trish Smith, Communications Manager
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