The making of School/Education Policy is not simple. The issue being addressed maybe complicated and/or controversy or simple and straightforward, however sometimes you may get thrown for a loop. The question I am asking here is "Who is involved in making the Policy?" This Parents for Education article touches on the issue.
Whether it be at the Classroom Level, School, Board, or Ministry Level what procedure(s) is used in determining that policy and what parties are involved. Where is the consultation process? Who is consulted?
All public schools in Ontario are legislated to have a School Advisory Council (SAC) that all parents have an opportunity to belong to and participate in. One of the roles of the SAC to help develop school policy. Do the SACs take on this role? People for Education Report 2010. Do the Principals and Teachers consult them before the fact or is it 'Here is what we are going to do, what are your thoughts?" What about Board policy, who are the participants; Parents, SAC, Principals, Teachers, Board Staff, Superintendents, Trustees? Who initiates this consultation? All too often the line of communication does not exist or fails. The Ministry of Education has made some major changes to the Ontario Education Act, did the grassroots have much say or even asked. Where do the numerous Memos and Consultation Papers go? Who within the Board responds for the Board, the Trustees or Board Staff? Does the Ontario Public School Board Association (OPSBA) speak for the Boards? If if does, where do they get their input? They have been many Policies that the Ministry has introduced that Boards have a tough time grasping and implementing.
I have asked many questions here and hopefully as I learn my role as Trustee and things begin to happen I will get answers. We are always wanting transparency and until the grassroots (parents) of the education system see how policies are created and implemented there will always be disconnect and suspicion.
Here are two articles worth reading Parents as Partners: 'Its a Matter of Trust' and Opportunity of a Lifetime .
Stay tuned for further input.