What is schooling for? In the midst of a teacher strike that is now entering its second week, the BC Labour Relations Board provided an answer – to rank and sort students. Upon application from the BC government, they declared that providing Grade 12 student marks was an essential service, and on Friday afternoon, that reviewing Grade 10 and 11 marks provided by school administrators was an essential service. Also essential is the provision of provincial exams, which students wrote last week behind teacher picket lines.
I guess we already knew that time in the classroom learning was not paramount. Many Districts across BC have shortened the school year by a week or longer to address chronic budget shortfalls. Some have even adopted a four day week. So it was already evident that time involved in learning activities with teachers can be jettisoned – if it saves money. No surprise then that the government appears to have very little interest in ending the strike and re-opening schools before the end of June.