Currently, it’s much worse.Teachers are on strike, so there is no public school!The thing you have to take into account with things like the Fraser School Report is that they’re comparing achievement exam scores — which is a horrible metric for measuring a school’s “quality”.
It would be like hiring based entirely on IQ score.So I don’t have a great point of comparison, I can speak anecdotally about education in BC and Alberta in general.For some background, I grew up in Calgary attending both public and private schools.
I obtained an M.Ed.from the University of Lethbridge (which is arguably one of the best Education faculties in Canada).I don’t work in the school system, I used to work for a University several years ago.
Alberta has (had — I haven’t lived there in 6 years) a great school system.It was well funded, teachers are given a good number of professional development opportunities, and there is a great focus on learning outcomes.I’ve never lived in Ontario, but my impression was that Alberta and Ontario have very similar eduction systems.
While I lived in Alberta, there was a huge focus on learning, a knowledge-based economy, investing in education infrastructure and in research (that was largely during the “King Ralph” PC government).Sure, there were opportunities for education in skilled trades, but it felt like there was a big emphasis on academics and technology.Life-long learning was a catch phrase that was thrown around a lot.
I can remember a single teachers’ strike during the the 12 years I was in the school system.I don’t remember the details of that strike, only that I was off school for a couple of weeks.In general, teachers in Alberta seem to be happy (I’m basing that on friends who are teachers in Alberta and my experience in the school system).
Let’s shift to BC now.I don’t have any direct experience in the school system here (as an employee or student).I do have two kids who are in school, we live in a very small community (I think there were 30 to 40 kids TOTAL in the school last year).
We’ve lived in BC for 6 years, and my oldest is going into grade 5 — so it’s the only school system they’ve ever known.My impression of our provincial government is that education is just not a priority for them.Everything from the curriculum and expected academic levels, to the slow erosion of funding to the public education system indicates that they just don’t care whether students succeed or not.
They’re happy that BC (after PEI) has the second lowest spending per student in all of Canada.The only thing that’s compensated for this is that we have some AMAZING teachers in our school who have really connected with my kids and gotten them excited about learning.So BC has some great teachers — but so does Alberta (and presumably Ontario).
So you can’t say that we’ve got an advantage there.If I were graduating with a B.Ed.right now, I wouldn’t be looking for a job in BC with this provincial government.
You asked specifically about Vancouver.I don’t live in Vancouver, so my experience is limited there.I have heard (via the media, so take it or leave it) that there are some serious class size and composition problems in Vancouver though.
You can have a class with 35 students where 15 of them are either ESL students, or have some sort of learning issues (ADHD, dyslexia — something that requires additional support).In fact, the provincial government has lost two court cases because they stripped provisions for class size/composition from the teachers’ contract illegally.
It meets all Provincial standards, and has a strong commitment to English-as-Second-Language programs.It is as modern and progressive as the systems in Toronto and Calgary, despite the financial challenges posed by the former (Liberal) provincial government that have led to almost hostile relations between the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Education, and the Vancouver School Board.The new (NDP) government is moving to improve relations and funding; in particular, the new government is expediting the earthquake preparedness of the oldest schools in S. D. No.
Teachers in BC are critically undepaid and cannot afford to live in Vancouver, which is one of the most unaffordable cities in the world and by far the most unaffordable in Canada.
Vancouver is not a place to raise children unless you’re extremely wealthy.