Thursday, 15 September 2011

Why Do We Have More Than One School Division?

I have wondered this out loud on facebook causing many arguments with fellow autism moms whom I hold close and dear to my heart, even through our opposing views.  The argument typically being I love the way Alberta's school system runs and the opposition agrees, however they say that Alberta's school system works better because they have oil money to help progress the school system.  Manitoba is a poor province, therefore not able to financially make the same school system happen here.

Here are my thoughts, and please remember they are only my thoughts and opinions, and not law. 

The city of Edmonton has what's called "school of choice."  It means one school division, therefore one superintendant.  Seems to me that this could save Manitoba some money, right?  I mean, I realize the superintendant would need helpers, but I'm sure their income would not be as high as the six superintendants the city of Winnipeg is paying for now.  I'm sure there has to be some financial savings we could allocate in places where "school of choice" may be more expensive in other areas?

The beauty of the "school of choice" for parents is that they get to pick where they want their children to go to school.  Each school specializes in an area of education.  So, if your child with or without special needs is a mathematical genious, chances are you would want to foster that genious, right?  It would make sense then, to send your child to a school that specializes in mathematics.  For those of us with special needs children, we would pick a school that has the most experience with our child's special needs...  The parents get to "shop" around for a school of their choice, having more control of their child's education.  There are no division lines to battle crossing or having to sell your child to a particular school that is not in your catchment area.

As any plan, school of choice is not perfect.  There are areas of concern, especially when it comes to transportation.  What happens if you cannot afford to drive your child across the city to the school your child would most benefit from?  Schools of choice like high marking students, to better sell their schools.  But even so, the city's school board has been visited by educators across the world to examine and review, wanting to implement the same system...  The beauty for us is that we live in the same country, and there is no need to re-invent the wheel...

For a detailed report and analysis, here is the link to Edmonton's school of choice model:

I know, I know...  Awwwwww Lou...  why are you making me read this?!  It's too much like homework!  In order to make an educated decision, you must educate first.

Consider yourselves hugged,


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