Report cards- it is time to move forward

Report Cards
Yeah BC! It’s Sunday evening and my dear wife’s report cards are complete. I’m not even commenting on the objective or method of assessment- only the logistics. It’s time to re-invent reporting.

 After hours composing comments, entering data online and proofreading( never mind all the marking) is it wise BC then expects it all to be documented on paper with backup hardcopies? I posit its politicians and bureaucrats holding on to old notions of making teachers accountable via paper. 
Millions of teacher man-hours spent all across BC this week, sharing data with childrens’ parents. Including interviews, IEP conferences, etc . I think our teachers work hard enough. Our teachers expend so much energy above the classroom prep and instructional time. Even Admin have to read every page for every child. The so-called state of the art MyEdBc isn’t. Seems like a huge inefficient cost to me. Why need a provincial digital network if every child needs sheets of printed paper to report his/her learning? 
Just because it’s always been that way, is it now a reasonable activity? Just printing the millions of sheets of paper 3-4 times a year, we need to log the forest. I believe it’s time the Ministry of Education broke the mild and modernized achievement reporting. Not just for my overworked wife but just for common sense. Heck, don’t we all eFile our taxes?! Besides, teachers have face to face conversations with parents that share far more about learning than a series of checkboxes. 

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Canada- politics today

Politics will never be a final solution- life is far deeper. In a 21stC secular reality we need to proceed the best we can. 


Regardless that I am a federalist liberal, given the Trump chaotic era, Trudeau is giving it a good go so far. I believe providing good governance today is a near impossible task so, as an optimist, I give Justin a thanks and good wishes in the defence of civility. What school teacher or other professional, could do better? 😉 I’m a sentimental fool but I think his father would be proud of the effort. His dad was an MP for 14 years( I think) His father was never under the degree of scrutiny Justin must confront daily. In 2017, regardless of potential successes, he will never endure a decade of service? No man or woman can deliver what people expect. 

All people need to embrace their own responsibility far more… 

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Trump Congress speech- still a loose cannon wolf

A POV: Only DonaldTrump would have the unmitigated gaul to get a SEAL killed through his negligence, then parade his grieving widow as a prop…and then complain when some Congressmen don’t cheer. Respect for the death of any servicemen should be humbly honoured. Clapping and whistling shows of glee isn’t patriotic. God can hear each of our hearts just fine.


His tip to women and Trudeau initiative does not phase me one bit. Trudeau is just being wise and careful. Trump has no plans that I have seen. Tick tock… 

New friends? Who? I’m more scared today than ever…

-Al Smith 

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Immigration, citizenship essay – John Ralston Saul 

A truly remarkable Canadian, John Ralston Saul pens an essay about the time tested foil for conflict/ immigration. His current essay tackles the issue of identity in an age when borders or faith seem to reign mighty. A lengthy article but very rich in perspective. 

I’ll also argue it’s less a new vanguard of populist policy and more the collateral damage of a few zealots finding just the right demogogue to fortuitously obtain power.  There was no landslide. The Donald got lucky. If sensible wisdom prevailed and Trump lost, guys like Bannon or Miller would be unknown white guys. Perhaps more vital is citizens asking how the usual checks and balance of democratic electoral process has been breeched. Kings and crazies were not supposed to reach highest office. It’s no wonder that the weakest most desperate humans are now fodder for nationalist intolerance. – Al Smith 

When Canada decided in early December last year to take a first wave of 25,000 Syrian refugees, the government immediately flew a team of almost 600 immigration specialists to Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey. This included settlement officers, medical specialists, security teams, education experts, etc. Within two weeks families were being processed and flown out on chartered airplanes. On arrival they stepped off the plane directly into a room where they were registered as official refugees. In other words, the first act of the Canadian state was to put them on the countdown to citizenship. They were then registered for the healthcare system in a second room and in a third received social security and work papers.( Immigration)

Saul has studied and written citizenship his entire life so he speaks within a strong philosophical and national context. 


TRU. “President’s Lecture Series Presents John Ralston Saul.” InsideTRU. Lecture. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 

“Immigration and Identity.” John Ralston Saul. <essay» IAI TV. Web. 28 Feb. 2017. 

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to paddle from the base of Glen Canyon Dam to Lees Ferry? Did you know for the price of a kayak rental and a backhaul, one can paddle this 16 mile stret…


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19th C Philosopher muses about America – Trump era 2017

My post as an homage to Tocqueville… his insights were poignant wisdom. Almost prophetic. His words have been used by Neil Postman, academic and author who has posited that technology is not benign. See video. Today social media fake news, hacking, and journalism furor have us all in a state of fear. 

French sociologist and political theorist Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859) traveled to the United States in 1831 to study its prisons and returned with a wealth of broader observations that he codified in “Democracy in America” (1835), one of the most influential books of the 19th century. With its trenchant observations on equality and individualism, Tocqueville’s work remains a valuable explanation of America to Europeans and of Americans to themselves. ( History)

Watch Neil Postman lecture 1997.(College)


 Postman, Neil. Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology. New York: Knopf, 1992. Web.

Postman, Neil. “Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology.” Barnes & Noble. 30 Nov. 9479. Web. 14 Feb. 2017. Staff. “Alexis De Tocqueville.” A&E Television Networks, 2009. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.<

College Lecture Series. Surrender of Culture to Technoligy. Web. Mar. 1997

Kjantzen. “Neil Postman’s Technopoly … Twenty Years Later.” Kyle Jantzen. 18 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Feb. 2017.

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Rise of tyranny- Plato

Chilling reference to Plato’s Republic and our fear of Trump.


Under such presumably decadent conditions, “a would-be tyrant would seize his moment”:He is usually of the elite but is in tune with the time. Given over to random pleasures and whims. Feasting on food, and especially sex.

He makes his move by taking over a particularly obedient mob, and attacking his wealthy peers as corrupt. He is a traitor to his class, and soon his elite enemies find a way to appease him or are forced to flee.

Eventually he stands alone, offering the addled, distracted, self-indulgent citizens a kind of relief from democracy’s endless choices and insecurities.

He rides a backlash to success. Too much freedom seems to change into nothing but too much slavery. He offers himself as the personified answer to all problems. To replace the elites, and rule alone on behalf of the masses. And as the people thrill to him as a kind of solution, a democracy willingly, impetuously, repeals itself.( Open Culture) 


“The Republic by Plato.” Project Gutenberg. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.

“Did Plato predict” Open Culture. Web. 09 Feb. 2017.

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