BCTF President Irene Lanzinger called the Learning Round Table meeting of January 27, “a recurring nightmare.” The ministry presented data for analysis on class size and composition but no plan to improve classroom conditions.
The numbers from the ministry’s own report clearly show that conditions have deteriorated over the past three years. The number of classes with four or more IEPs in 2008–09 is 10,985 compared to 10,313 in 2007–08. The number of classes over 30 increased this year to 3,336 from 3,179.
Lanzinger accused Premier Gordon Campbell and Minister of Education Shirley Bond of once again breaking their promise to BC’s students, parents, and teachers. “There are more overcrowded classes now than in 2005–06 when the government first created the Learning Round Table and set limits in legislation. The data put forward by the minister shows her government has no plan and the round table continues to fail.” Class composition, which is a major problem for teachers, gets scant mention in the ministry’s report and the emphasis is placed on the consultation and district reporting process implying that these are guarantees that all is well and in compliance with the legislation.
Lanzinger said, “It’s ironic that the minister trumpets that BC has better data collection than any other province, but doesn’t want to talk about the fact that this province has the highest student-educator ratio in the country.”