Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Trustee arrogance

"This is arrogance to deny the public their public right to information and choice for their children " PR

Public trustees oppose website Posted By ELLWOOD SHREVE, THE DAILY NEWS

A new school finding tool on the education ministry website has prompted the Lambton Kent District School Board to state its disapproval in writing.

Trustees voted unanimously to send a letter to the ministry and premier stating their opposition to the website that provides demographic information such as the number of special needs students, education level of parents as well as income levels, and number of immigrants. The site also compares scores on the Education Quality Accountability Office (EQAO) testing.

Chatham Trustee David Goldsmith raised the issue, stating: "I see potential havoc coming."

He is worried what impact this could have on transportation and school boundaries if parents decide to try to shop around for a school.

Sarnia Trustee Paul Millman said the website has "stigmatized our students . . . it's not right."

Gayle Stucke, LKDSB director of education, said the website "was deliberately set up to shop" for schools.

She said there was an indication the site was being created, but "there was never any understanding that it would be to this degree."

She noted all of the information is available in the public domain, but added, "it is the comparator factor that is of particular concern."

Stucke said it has long been the LKDSB's position that "there's been nothing to be gained by rating and comparing schools."

She added comparing data is only valuable in terms of helping to find ways for a school to improve.

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