The BC Teachers’ Federation is committed to communicating with parents about our public education system. By sharing the stories of teaching and learning about the work we do every day, we hope to highlight important issues facing BC’s schools. We value the insights that parents provide about the learning needs of their children. Many teachers are parents themselves, and all teachers understand how important communication between school and home is to help the students we all care so much about.
Skills Assessment (FSA)
Skills Assessment tests will again be administered to Grades 4 and 7 students
in January and February 2016.
For BC’s teachers, the FSA tests are fundamentally an educational issue that we have
a responsibility to communicate about with parents and the public. These tests
do not help students learn or teachers teach, nor do they result in any
additional funding or support for students. The BCTF is working towards a
better model of provincial assessment with our education partners.
As in past years, information about FSA tests will
be sent home in a sealed envelope to parents of Grade 4 and 7
students. The accuracy of the contents in these
communications is agreed to by the BCTF and BCPSEA, the employers’ association.
Teachers believe parents should be able to make informed choices about whether their children should write these tests, which are not part of
the curriculum. Some school boards have also sent letters to parents supporting
their right to decide.
Please visit the BCTF’s FSA webpage for the FSA withdrawal request
letter and information pamphlet in four languages, along with additional information.
What BC parents need to know about student data and privacy
- Concerns and Questions about BC’s Student Information
System and Student Privacy
MyEducation BC is the new
$100 million student information system of the Ministry of Education. Its
introduction in this school year has seen huge problems, especially with its
extremely slow operation. There are also a number of important questions about
what information on students is being collected, and why. Read more...
- Information for Parents on Data Breach and Student Privacy
Parents need to know that information about their children is accurate, protected and accessible only to those who have legitimate access. The recent loss of over three million student files is alarming, and BC's teachers have several other concerns about data collection in our schools.
Curriculum change (revised)
Major changes are currently happening to curriculum in British Columbia’s education system. The BCTF believes that many of these changes are positive, although there remain outstanding concerns.
- Education Funding Brief
Recommendations for more funding for public schools were presented by the BCTF to the Standing Committee of the Legislature on Finance: funding for curriculum change, more teaching staff, and restoring free education for adults. Reduced funding for private schools was also
- Countering the statements in the Ministry of Education Factsheet on education funding
Each ministry statement is quoted, followed by a BCTF evidence-based response: “What the ministry doesn’t say”
- Challenging the ministry myth of unaffordability
A one-pager drawing on a recent CCPA article and the Province of British Columbia’s Public Accounts 2013/14 report to provide evidence that the economy is robust enough for the province to fund class composition and BCTF proposals for improvements in wages and working conditions.
- The numbers tell the story
This easy-to-read pamphlet presents reliable information from Statistics Canada and other sources to show the decline in BC government support for public education over the past decade.
Last year we gave
presentations to about 2,000 parents across the province. These workshops are short—approximately one-hour long. Presentations are available in English and in French. Some are specifically intended for Aboriginal parents. To have one of our trained presenters visit your school, please fill out the
Parent Presentation Request form.
Better Schools for BC: A Plan for Quality Public Education
Our 41,000 members are working with parents, administrators, trustees, and other partners to support public education across BC. Nearly 600,000 BC children and youth from richly diverse backgrounds are enrolled in our schools.
Bill 11 - Education Statutes Amendment Act, 2015
BC Court of Appeal Decision: Bills 22 and 28
The BC Court of Appeal ruled in favour of the provincial government on April 30, 2015. The BCTF will seek leave to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court of Canada.
2014 BC Supreme Court Ruling on Bills 28 and 22
The BC Supreme Court ruling reaffirmed that provincial legislation limiting teachers’ bargaining rights is unconstitutional, restored collective agreement provisions stripped in 2002, and ordered the province to pay $2 million in damages plus court costs.