Advance View: Public schools keep changing

With the ongoing labour dispute paralysing the B.C. public school system, it’s no wonder that there’s been a lot of interest in private schools.

Education is now vastly more complicated than it was in the 1930s, when B.C. schools tended to concentrate on the three Rs, when the vast majority of students would never see post-secondary education as an option, and when one-room schoolhouses were still common.

Now a majority of students will go to university or to a technical or trade school. Computers are as important to mechanics and nurses as they are to engineers. Literacy and numeracy are more vital than ever, but to those basic skills we have added a vast range of social issues we expect teachers to address, from physical fitness to life skills to social awareness.

A society used to choice and seeing more and more options for the future of its next generation has demanded more choice from its schools. To a great degree, the province and school districts have provided that.

An article in Sunday’s Vancouver Province sang the praises of private schools – smaller class sizes, specialized programs, higher test scores. Yet it capped that coverage with a photo from the Langley Fine Arts School – a public school.

Choice schools, dedicated to everything from the International Baccalaureate program to French immersion, from athletics to performance to the fine arts, have become a feature of the landscape. And these schools are open to every student who can meet their requirements, regardless of their parents’ ability to pay.

A danger of praising private schools too highly is that parents may not even try to find out what is available in the public system. Another danger is that, if too many of our political elites enroll their children in private programs, what incentive do they have to add more choices and support to the public schools?

 

Just Posted

VIDEO: Child airlifted to hospital after crash in rural Langley

Jaws of life were used to cut off the roof of a car and free its occupants from a two-car accident.

LETTER: Medical care in Langley and beyond deplorable

The shortage of family doctors shouldn’t exist. Who’s really to blame?

LETTER: Langley has water in its chemical supply

A homeless man in Langley questions what’s being put into the public drinking water.

LETTER: Langley needs to find balance between construction and destruction

One letter writer calls for review of Murrayville development, saying trees need to be preserved.

Langley netminder makes ‘unbelievable’ saves in draw against Seattle

Trinity Western University women’s soccer team battled to a 0-0 draw to Seattle, while boys fell 2-0.

VIDEO: Mustang Roundup in Langley attracts car lovers from all over

A car show dedicated entirely to one model of Ford drew admirers and collectors to George Preston Recreation Centre.

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read