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Putting the Screws to Teachers

From the Province, an article on the British Columbian government's takeover of the College of Teachers:

B.C.'s education minister has taken control of the professional body that governs teachers away from the teachers themselves...

Currently the college's 20-member board consists of 15 teachers elected by teachers from various regions in B.C., four members appointed by the government and one representative from the faculties of education at B.C. universities.

But under legislation introduced yesterday by [Minister of Education Christy] Clark, only eight of the board members will be elected by the teachers. One will still be chosen from faculties of education, but the other 11 will be appointed by the cabinet.

Clark said those 11 will be chosen after she consults with representatives of private schools, superintendents, principals, vice-principals and parents...

She acknowledged the legislation will probably be unpopular with the B.C. Teachers Federation, but added: "I have to look at the broader public interest."

"We're outraged," fumed BCTF president Neil Worboys.

"Clark and her government are putting the boots to teachers.

"The teaching profession will no longer be a democratic, self-regulating body. It's going to be controlled by the minister."

So does "the broader public interest" justify any action that impinges on the rights of individuals?

While I'm no fan of teachers' unions, I'm a huge fan of teachers, and to take control of a profession's regulating organization seems wholly unjustifiable, absent evidence of corruption, which the BC government has not alleged. In fact, I can't think of another example in Canada or the US where a professional regulatory group has been taken over by the government. If anyone knows of one, I'd like to hear about it.


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