The Glaze Report: An Illusion of Improvement to Hide McNeil’s Failures

The Nova Scotia Liberal government’s recently-announced reforms are part of a broader, troubling global trend in education.

The recommendations from Dr. Avis Glaze’s report will do nothing to improve the experience of students in Nova Scotia schools. They are a thinly-veiled attack on the teachers union, and an attempt to turn our community-focused education system into the problematic business-driven model prevalent in many U.S. states.

Even if it were true, as Dr. Glaze claims, that Nova Scotia’s students were consistently under-performing on standardized tests – and several observers have pointed out that the results cited in her report do not support this claim – there is no evidence to suggest that any of the proposed reforms will improve test scores.

The Liberal government must recognize that standardized test scores in a handful of subjects are by no means the measure we should use to evaluate how our schools are doing. Academics around the world oppose using large-scale test scores to make drastic changes to education policy. All these tests do are show the powerful effects of economic disparity on student learning.

Stephen McNeil’s Liberals say they want to improve student achievement, yet their proposed reforms do nothing to address the fact that one-fifth of Nova Scotia’s children live in poverty.

The Liberals have dragged their feet on changing rules that claw back child support for families on income assistance.

They stubbornly refuse to raise the minimum wage to anything close to a livable amount, condemning low-income parents and their families to live in poverty.

They have mismanaged the department that oversees the care of our most vulnerable children.

Addressing any one of these issues should be more of a priority than dissolving democratically elected school boards and creating new layers of educational bureaucracy. We oppose the Liberals’ agenda, and urge them to reconsider implementing these reforms so they may instead address the issues that truly have an impact in our children’s lives.

Teacher’s Voices: An Independent Report on Nova Scotia’s Education System

Educators for Social Justice Nova Scotia is collecting information from teachers for an independent report on Nova Scotia’s education system. We are encouraging Nova Scotia teachers to contribute by participating in this survey.

Why do we want to hear from you?

Following a year of contract negotiations which ended with an unprecedented teachers’ strike and an imposed contract, the provincial Liberal government has committed to researching conditions in our schools via the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions. For a variety of reasons, many teachers have expressed skepticism with the partisan interests of the Council. Our goal is to provide an alternate reading of classroom conditions in Nova Scotia through the eyes of teachers and others who work within the school system.

We are not receiving any funding to complete this report, nor are we connected to any governing body, school board, or government department. Through multiple teachers’ perspectives, we want to create a nuanced understanding of education that centers the experience of teachers, and is free from partisan interests.

What we will do with this information?

The collected information will be widely distributed through social media networks and possibly other online local press outlets. Since teaching is a dynamic occupation with a wide variety of experiences, we are open to all perspectives and will take all voices into account. Answers are anonymous, and unless participants choose to volunteer their information, no email addresses will be collected through the survey. We won’t contact you for any follow-up questions or for any other reason.

Thank you for taking the time to complete our survey. Your voice matters to us, and could possibly make a difference in shaping public perceptions of teaching in Nova Scotia. If you have questions or concerns, please contact us at: esjnovascotia@gmail.com.