Today was a study in contrasts. I took today off work to finish the trim work in the kitchen. My Dad came over and we worked with his nailgun to get the quarterround and other trim in to “finish the kitchen” which has been something we have been “finishing” for over two years.
Around 10am I got an email from Leonard Preyra, the Halifax Citadel MLA and an all around outstanding fellow. I have been working on this education stuff and Leonard is very involved and we have had a number of conversations about this issue. Anyway, he was letting me know that the Minister of Education was going to be accepting the report from the “School Closure Review” committee at 12:30 in the Executive Council Room of the Provincial Legislature.
I sent out an email to csupdate, the citadel schools mailing list that said “the red room of the leg” ie the nick name, the Leg, or Ledge. Boy did that confuse a lot of people on the mailing list. Note to self, not everyone is a political nerd wonk guy. Use plain English.
So at 11:45 I cleaned the caulk and sawdust off, washed my hair, shaved (who knew I would have to shave today?) and headed down to Province House. In a suit. I looked fine, boy, I managed to get all the dirt out from under my nails.
Shocking. I was the only “civilian” there. Everyone else was a reporter, worked for DOE, or was a politician. No school board reps, no parents, no NSFHS, none of that. No NS Teachers Union, even though this proposal affects teachers and principals roles in the system. My thoughts on this proposal are over on the http://www.citadelschools.ca but basically, the advice the Minister has been given is great! It would bring this province in line with the systems being used in other provinces, such as Ontario.
This is an excellent first step. I have already been lobbying for Nova Scotia to adopt an actual process modeled on Ontario, so I hope we see the Minister choose implementation that is based on their system. There is always the fear that somewhere in the bowels of the Trade Mart building that the clarity will be lost, and the intent missed.
So, this is phase one of the three phase plan, achieved. Now, we need stable multi-year capital funding… and we need to stop electing school boards. We need some other system of oversight.
I went home, an hour later, put my dirty jeans and painting shirt back on and got back to work with my Dad.