LETTER: Divorce Derailed By Post Nuptial Compromise

Following the love-hate relationship saga between provincial government and the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union (NSTU) was like watching an episode of divorce court, with the NSTU being Partner #1 and the provincial government Partner #2.

Partner #1 claimed Partner #2 didn’t listen, didn’t respect them and wasn’t responding to their needs. They hoped talking would lead to reconciliation. Partner #2 believed their relationship was stifling their growth and preventing them from moving forward. Instead of talking, they decided to seek the advice of councillors Dr. Avis Glaze, Dr. Sarah Shea, Adele Njie and Monica Williams. Partner #2 preferred a separation, to show everyone they were no longer sleeping together.

Partner #2 claims it did listen and attempted to satisfy their needs in the following ways:

it created the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, and implemented all of their recommendations, such as capping all classes, P-12, hiring of 138 teachers and 14 support workers, and has $10 million for a second phase.

It responded to the dual problem of poverty and the Matthew Effect, by introducing a free pre-primary program, and increasing the breakfast program funding, with intentions of stretching it into a lunch program, to provide for those children arriving hungry and suffering from a preparation gap.

It is responding to the severe behaviour and emotional issues in classrooms, by hiring mental health practitioners such as psychologists or teacher-psychologists, with the intention of having one available for every school.

Eventually, an 11th-hour, post-nuptial compromise paved the way to an agreement. It allowed the NSTU and administrators to cohabitate, with separate but adjoining bedrooms (political version of friends with benefits). Administrators can reassess their situation every two years, with the option to move back and forth.

However, there has been no mention of renewing their vows.

The NSTU should have seen this conflict coming. It was also recommended in the 2014 Freeman Report. Their disastrous work-to-rule campaign brought it to a head. Surely they realized government would close that loophole.

Our inclusive education model wasn’t working. Classroom teachers were pleading for change. Rumour has it they were willing to strike to get it fixed. Neither the NSTU nor the other political parties would mention it!

It took a comment by Sally Capstick, president of the local teachers union, to open dialogue on the “elephant in the classrooms” (inclusive education). That started the process to produce a new inclusive education model. The decision by the government to replace our inclusive education mode, was one of the gutsiest in public education history, and it was prepared to deal with public criticism because it knew it had to be done.

The Inclusion Commission was created to produce a new inclusive education model, which will also reshape our education model. Its report is due this month and that should be interesting.

Some people still think more information is needed. There were over 19,000 responses in the Freeman Report, there were province-wide discussions by Dr. Glaze, recommendations by the Committee to Improve Classroom Conditions, province-wide workshops by the Inclusion Commission, as well as a considerable online response, reports from the auditor general, and pleas from the Nova Scotia Exporters Association and from AIMS [Atlantic Institute for Market Studies] an Atlantic Canada think-tank.

That’s almost as much political intel as was available for the D Day invasion.

Al Moore

Glace Bay


Source : http://www.capebretonpost.com/opinion/letter-divorce-derailed-by-post-nuptial-compromise-193218/

LETTER: Divorce derailed by post-nuptial compromise
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