If we were to turn to the "Comment" section of Education Minister Peter Fassbender's first quarterly report card, it might read as follows: "Peter's work in most subjects is exemplary. He is diligent in attending to his work, and while it is early for a full assessment, he appears to show a willingness to complete assignments on time and to his teacher's satisfaction. He receives a high grade in
'Communication Skills,' but that is more reflective of his easy style with words than of the contents of the messages he conveys. However, like most of his fellow students who have taken up studies in education ministry in Victoria, his arithmetic skills are questionable, barely earning a C-."
B.C.'s new education minister, Peter Fassbender, is a nice guy. He has a congenial disposition and a quiet, assured attitude that inspires confidence.
He speaks well, but when it gets down to the ABCs and 123s, neither teachers nor school trustees are likely to be overjoyed by what he has to say.
Granted, he has been handed a tough assignment: convince tens of thousands of teachers who feel betrayed by nearly all of his predecessors handling the Minister Education portfolio - including (and especially) the one who is currently B.C.'s premier and his boss - that they should sign a long-term contract in order to stabilize the delivery of education to public school students.
To sweeten the pot, Fassbender offered that teachers and other staff could get wage increases - but his math breaks down (as usual) when he refuses to provide provincial money to back up the offer. The districts' school trustees will have to figure out their end of the equation all by themselves.
When you add it all up, there still seems to be a "plus" sign missing on the kids' side of the "equals" sign.
@ Copyright 2013