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October 29, 1993 NEWS AND VIEWS ON EDUCATION Vol.6 No.18
Top school achievers target hours of study
By D'Arcy Rickard
A SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY professor says top
high school students are gearing their studies to
achieving high scores on government and scholar-
ship examinations
But he wonders if their high school success real-
ly prepares them for the world of work
Dr. Milt McClaren said high-achieving students
want to be on top, and they know how to get
there : prepare for government exams by studying
20 hours a week .
"At the end of the day I would have to say, basi-
Ily, these kids have figured out the game we have
asked them to play : get high scores on government
exams and scholarship exams," McClaren said
"And, basically, the way you do that is by using
the textbook on the course and your notes . If you
work on those two things you can score high
McClaren came to this conclusion after inter-
viewing 16 high-achieving students in Kelowna,
B.C., on everything from study habits to hobbies
outside school
Although McClaren is still analyzing the data, he
said students are of the opinion they don't need to
use the library, nor other resources ; all they need
to do is learn what's going to be on those govern-
ment exams .
McClaren said he has concluded the assessment
system "is the silent guest at the banquet . That is
the ghost at the banquet table. The key is to under-
stand the assessment system and to prepare for it
And that preparation, by the top students
probed, is mostly on textbook review and notes
Education Law /2
First Nations Trustees Our series on trus-
teeship continues. In this segment we focus
on native trustees and the special viewpoints
they bring to the school board table
• Education Across Canada /4
McClaren recalled it
had been a while since
he looked at a govern-
ment exam so he picked
up a few of last year's
exams, from a local
school . He was surprised
by the format,
"You take a typical
government exam - Ge-
ography 1 2 -- look at it
and you will discover that
it begins with 45 multi-
ple choice questions. If
you are in the competi-
tion for top scholarships,
how many multiple-
choice questions can you
afford to get wrong?
"You can't afford to
- -
miss more than two . That is the harsh reality of it
These kids know that. So they are preparing them
selves for those multiple-choice questions ."
But even these top students, who obviousl'
know how to work the system, raised concern
about their highly-focused approach to learning
McClaren asked: "Are these young people reall
prepared for the world as we think they are goin
to have to face it?
"I can tell you they are not prepared for the kin
of world they are going to live in . The reality of cur
rent business is not answering 40 multiple-choia
test questions ."
He forecast most new workers will find jobs ir
small firms employing 10 people, selling service
or inventing products that don't even exist now
I Can TV improve reading skills? Yes, if it has
captioning. Technology for hearing-impaired
TV viewers is being used by some English-as-
a-second-language and literacy teachers . / 5
U Education Events Calendar /8
• Education International U.S. President Bill
Clinton's health-care plan has generally won
praise from educators for its inclusion of
grants to booster school clinics, full childhood
immunizations and "universal access ."
Students should be learning how to discover new
knowledge and figure out how to apply it, he said
Perhaps these students will discover how to do
that for themselves because McClaren also found
that the high achievers seemed to take responsibil-
ity for their own fate - they neither blame nor
credit their teachers, families or friends for how
well they do .
McClaren did his study on high achievers as
part of the research for a book he is writing aimed
at teaching parents how to help their kids with
school work .
"I did this study in order to find out how these
kids worked, how they did school. How they ap-
proached school tasks; how they organized them
See STUDY / 6
PubUshed by
the British Columbia School
Trustees Association
'Working Together for B.C. Students"

Teacher dismissed for violating
corporal punishment policy
THE COMMON LAW, and most provincial educa-
tion legislation, requires that teachers act as "kind
and judicious parents" when disciplining students
In some provinces, including British Columbia,
this standard of care is the basis of a general prohi-
bition against corporal punishment
as a form of corrective discipline
Even in provinces where corporal
punishment is permitted, such disci-
plinary action does not typically ex-
tend to the ad hoc use of physical
force by teachers against students
But what happens when teachers
disregard the "kind and judicious
parent" standard and use inappro-
priate physical force as a means of
student discipline? In the recent Al-
berta case of West v. Red Deer No .
Tern A. Su
23 (County), a board of reference con-
sidered the case of a teacher who had a history of
using physical force as corrective student discipline
The Red Deer board of education had a corporal
punishment policy which provided that "a prudent
teacher shall not lay hands on a student except to
prevent mayhem or to administer the prescribed
form of punishment." The only types of corporal
punishment that were permitted were the use of
the hand or strap on the buttocks, or the strap on
the hands of the student
The policy required that any corporal punishment
be witnessed by another teacher, and could never
be carried out in the presence of other students
Notwithstanding this policy, corporal punish-
ment had reportedly only been used rarely in the
county for the last several years. Moreover, Red
Deer teachers, including Mr . West, had attended
workshops and training to assist them in employ-
ing assertive discipline which emphasized dignity
and respect for students .
The factual background
West had an extensive history of using physical
force as a means of corrective discipline in the
classroom . For example, in 1982, a parent com-
plained that West had kicked a student in class
The teacher was reprimanded by the superin-
tendent. Later in the same year, West was given
another written warning from his school principal,
this time cautioning him about causing physical in-
jury to a student as part of a reprimand
In 1985 a parent complained about West
"yelling, berating students and taking inappropri-
ate physical measures" against students . In 1988,
another student complained about being physically
removed from class. West admitted that he had
pushed the student, who he said, had always been
a disciplinary problem
The teacher received another memo from the
principal including a warning that stated "under no
circumstances should a student be physically con-
tacted when disciplining him/her ." Two years later,
in 1990, an incident occurred in West's social
studies class in which paper objects
were thrown at the teacher when he
was working at the chalkboard .
West seized three students whom
he suspected of launching the paper
missiles. He grabbed one of the stu-
dents by the neck causing the stu-
dent's neck to become red
That student testified that West
had also hit him with a book on his
head earlier in the year .
This incident led the superinten-
dent to orally reprimand West, warn-
ing him that any further similar inci-
dents could result in his discharge
The final occurrences leading to the termination
of West's employment arose in 1992. In February
of 1992, West was teaching a Grade 8 class when
one of the students refused to stop talking . The
teacher took the student by the arm, and placed
his other hand on the back of the student's neck
and escorted him from the room . Later, another
student, who also refused to stop talking was hit
lightly by West on the arm
Shortly later the bell rang, and students began
to leave. West told them that they were not per-
mitted to go. Most of the students came back, but
one of the students appeared reluctant to do so
West pushed the student, who fell and bruised
his hip. Another student intervened and told West
he should not have pushed the student, to which
West replied with a phrase that could be construed
as a profanity. The student responded with the
same phrase. That student was then escorted to the
principal's office by West, who placed his hand on
the arm and neck of the student leaving red marks .
The board of reference decision
West was discharged by the school board follow-
ing these three incidents of corporal punishment .
In reaching a decision, the board relied on not
only the 1 992 incidents, but several earlier situa-
tions where West had used inappropriate physical
force in disciplining students
The teacher appealed the termination to a
board of reference . It concluded that the school
board's discharge of West was not excessive .
Although all the incidents relied upon by the
school board were relatively minor infractions of
the corporal punishment policy, it was the view of
the board of reference that collectively the inci-
dents warranted the teacher's discharge. 'L
spublisherl by the British Colunthia
Se/wol Trustees Association.
BCSTA Board of Directors, 1993-94
Jackie Tegart, S.D.#30
Bill Brown, S.D.#39
Ron Christensen, S .D.#3
Evel3m Cutts, S.D,#1
Bev Dendys, S.D.#7
Paul Scotchman, S.D.#29
Jack Finnbogason, S.D.#36
Past President
Dr. Alan J.H. Newberry
Editor: Jennifer Gray-Grant
Contributing writers: D'Arcy Rickard, Tern
Page composition
Hole-in-the-Wall Communications, Vancouver
Our promise to readers -Education Leader:
useful information about broad curriculum and
policy issues and developments, and the la(
in trends and research - if it isn't important
schools, it doesn't see print
People and public education are best served
through frank and open discussion. Material pub-
lished in the Leader, therefore, sometimes pre-
sents divergent and controversial points of view
which do not necessarily represent the views or
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Address cheques or correspondence to:
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EDUCATION LEADER October 29, 1993

Fitst Nations school Irustees
extra to offer
By Jennifer Gray-Grant
WHEN FRAN HUNT-JINNOUCHI was 12 years old,
her whole world changed .
The Quatsino Band's community, which she had
lived in since birth, was relocated by the govern-
ment from a remote inlet on Vancouver Island, to
an area outside of Port Hardy, on the northern tip
of the island .
Hunt-Jinnouchi's family was the last to leave
"It was quite a transition and I guess you might
say I wasn't successful in that transition," Hunt-Jin-
nouchi, 33, said .
This week we continue our series on trusteeship,
leading up to the Nov. 20 elections, with a look
at the unique perspective on education brought
to the board table by First Nations trustees .
Well, perhaps not in the short term, but the trau-
matic event gave her a wealth of experience to draw
9 to reach out and help other native children
(. Hunt-Jinnouchi, who now lives in Port Hardy, is
one of 1 4 First Nations school trustees in B .C. The
number of native trustees has grown slowly over
the years. And as the number of native trustees
has grown, First Nations concerns have been bet-
ter represented in BCSTA
In 1989, BCSTA established the First Nations
Education Committee (then called the Native Edu-
cation Committee), to highlight native educational
concerns .
The election of
Paul Scotchman, a
member of the Lil-
looet School Board,
at BCSTA's AGM ear-
her this year repre-
sented the first time
a native person has
been elected to the
association's board
of directors.
said that in her three
years as a trustee, she
has been very proud to see the amount of time de-
voted at BCSTA's AGMs - and other seminars - to
native culture and concerns .
As a trustee, Hunt-Jinnouchi knows she is a role-
model for other First Nations people
In her district, of the 3,000 students whose edu-
cation trustees oversee, about 400 are native
Hunt-Jinnouchi said that whenever she speaks
before a group of students, she knows she can tell
her personal story, which resonates with many of
the native students. She hopes it helps them to
"crystallize their dreams ."
Before Hunt-Jinnouchi's family was relocated
near Port Hardy, she had done very well in her
community's one-room school . But the adjustment
to her new life and her new school was difficult and
she dropped out of school in Grade 9 .
Her parents were already uncomfortable with
schools because they had been forced to attend
residential schools, another common experience of
native families .
"Education has not been a priority for First Na-
tions communities, in fact in the recent past it was
something to fear and a lot of that is connected to
the residential schools ."
Fourteen years passed before Hunt-Jinnouchi
returned to school, which she did enthusiastically,
despite the fact that she had acquired a husband,
four children and several foster children - and all
the accompanying responsibilities they demanded
- along the way.
And while she completed high school and
chipped away at a university degree, she started a
boat-rental business and was elected to the Van-
couver Island North School District
She will graduate with her bachelor in social
work from the University of Victoria next April . She
plans to apply to do her master's degree in social
work .
The first-ever native trustee in Vancouver Island
North School District, Hunt-Jinnouchi was aware,
from the time she decided to run, that her candi-
dacy raised questions in voters' minds
"I sensed a fear, on some people's part, of 'What
is your agenda?'" she said . "People question your
motives ."
Hunt-Jinnouchi said she doesn't think non-native
trustees have to answer similar "hidden-agenda"
questions when they seek office .
"It's very difficult for people to see a First Na-
tions person running in the political arena and not
recall things they have heard on TV about fishing
rights or land claims ."
Hunt-Jinnouchi said she stressed then - and
continues to stress as a trustee - that she is inter-
ested in offering the best possible education for a/I
students .
But once she was elected to the school board,
Hunt-Jinnouchi discovered that some of her
trustee colleagues expected her to be a native-is-
sues expert. She said she found that strange, as
non-natives are not expected to be experts on
every non-native issue
And at times, Hunt-Jinnouchi felt alienated from
both her colleagues on the board and her native
community as she found herself straddling both
worlds .
She said that as a First Nations person, and as
a trustee, she works for a good school system for
all students, but she also sees herself as a strong
link between the First Nations and non-native com-
For example, when her board was in the middle
of budget deliberations, and she could see cuts
were inevitable, Hunt-Jinnouchi went to the First
Nations community and explained that cuts to
some native programs were necessary. She asked
them to help her target areas where there could
be some belt-tightening. Then she returned to the
board with the suggestions .
Hunt-Jinnouchi said as more boards start nego-
tiating Local Education Agreements with bands, to
fund the educations of native students in public
schools, native trustees will find themselves in-
creasingly pulled between two loyalties .
"You get this from both communities: 'Whose
side are you on?'" she said
Although she is not running for re-election,
Hunt-Jinnouchi has enjoyed her term as a trustee
"I really believe that in three years I was able to
See RRsT/12
EDUCATION LEADER October 29 . 1993

Trustees approve year-round schooling plan
ALBERTA - Calgary public-school trustees have approved a mo-
tion which allows communities to vote for a year-round school in
their area. If the proposal wins by a simple majority of votes
among parents who will have children attending the school within
the next three years, year-round schooling can go ahead . Currently, the pro-
posal must be approved by 80 per cent and that led to two votes on year-
round schooling being defeated after they were approved by 56 and 64 per
cent of the vote. "I believe year-round schooling is inevitable now, given the
fiscal realities," said trustee Diane Danielson, who co-sponsored the motion
Year-round schooling can accommodate more students, by using a multi-track
system that splits the student body into different groups with separate vaca-
tions. That means boards can save on capital - and other - costs
Butterfly garden wins Wildlife award
SASKATCHEWAN - Thirty Grade 5 pupils from St. Pius X School
in Regina have received an award from the Canadian Wildlife
Foundation (CWF), for their Butterfly Garden . The garden, original-
ly started two years ago by teacher EsteUe D'Almeida to help the
pupils gain an appreciation for nature, is a Habitat 2000 project, developed
by the Foundation to encourage children to create projects that will help im-
prove habitat for wildlife. The Butterfly Garden earned the pupils the 1993
National Wildlife Week Award. D'Almeida taught her pupils that certain kinds
of flowers attract butterflies, and so they made a garden with these flowers, in
the shape of a butterfly, in front of the school
Boards warned operating grants will shrink
NOVA SCOTIA - Education Minister John MacEachern has told
the 22 school boards in this province to expect $2 million less in
operating grants this year . MacEachern has said that public
schools will receive a total of $714.5 million in the October pro-
vincial budget, less than the $716.5 million promised by the former Tory gov-
ernment last February. MacEachern said, "I know this is going to pinch . I'm
hoping this is a signal to the boards that they have to re-examine everything
that they do ." Stan Surette, head of the Nova Scotia School Boards Associa-
tion, said that although the cut amounts to only .27 per cent of the total pub-
lic school operating budget, the $2-million reduction couldn't have come at a
worse time. "It's going to be difficult (for boards), to reorganize their finances
and come up with that amount in the remaining months of the fiscal year,"
said Surette. MacEachern said that depending on the size of the board, the
cut is worth between $30,000 and $300,000 before April . School boards
based their 1993-94 budgets on expectations of a 5 .17 per cent raise an-
nounced in February to facilitate school board planning . Part of the $35-mil-
lion increase was to cover an overdue teachers' pay hike
N.W.T. high schools opening daycare centres
- To enable teenage parents to
complete high school, schools across the N.W.T. are starting day-
care centres. Volunteers
like Sallie Harrison are helping. After a
year-long absence from school, Harrison helped launch a daycare
at Samuel Hearne Secondary School in Inuvik . Harrison dropped out in April,
1 992, because, she says, some teachers were insensitive to her morning sick-
ness. She tried to return to school last year, but no one would watch her
baby. Last February, Harrison, local teachers and the grandmother of another
teenage mother started the Teen Parent Access to Education Society and ap-
plied for Territorial government funding, which is still awaited . Harrison, 18, is
back in school, and able to visit her seven-month-old daughter Alyssa between
classes. Teacher Nora Dixon of the society says the daycare, tagged Infant
Development Centre, was modelled on similar centres in Winnipeg . About
$10,000 in first-year funding came from the region's divisional board of edu-
cation . Ruth Bowden of the Hay River education council says Diamond Jen-
ness High School in Hay River is going to launch a daycare in 1994. Many
schools in the N.WT. are trying to cater to teenage parents, Bowden says
Condom machines don't encourage sexual activity
NEWFOUNDLAND - Professor Paul Sachdev of Memorial Uni-
versity says condom machines in high school washrooms do not
encourage sexual activity . Sachdev, a professor of social work,
says in Sex, Abortion and Unmarried Women,
his most recent
book, that 85 per cent of the women between 18-25 he surveyed did not use
contraceptives during their first sexual experience . These women, however,
were educated about the many methods available. Research for the book was
conducted in 1 988-89 in three major hospitals in Ontario. Sachdev sampled
unmarried women who had terminated their first pregnancy in its first
trimester .
Course gives kids skills for real world
MANITOBA - About 15,000 Grade 10 students in this province
are taking a mandatory course - Skills for independent Living -
that includes instruction in street-level finance and common-sense
life skills. Joyce McMartin, coordinator of social sciences for
Manitoba Education Department, said the new course was developed as a
sponse to a provincial review of the educational system . "We think kids really
need it," McMartin said . "People said over and over that there are new skills
required as we get into the 21 St century." The one-credit course comprises
seven units for a total of about 110 hours. It covers: enterprise and innova-
tion ; learning skills ; self-management; managing resources; and the world of
work, including analyzing past and future job markets, non-traditional careers
for men and women, job-seeking strategies, assessing skills and aptitudes,
and developing plans to meet career goals. Jennifer Heckert, who took the
course in Lord Selkirk Regional Comprehensive School, said it covered every-
thing from budgeting to buying a home . Heckert, 1 5, said she enjoyed learn-
ing how to furnish a house for bargain-basement prices. It is one of a host of
unusual exercises Manitoba's Grade 10 students will find in the new course
Other students in Selkirk who took part in a pilot project for the course last
year applauded its practicality and usefulness in the "real world ."
Minister urges schools to sunmion police
ONTARIO - In a letter in the wake of a knife incident at a Toronto
school, Ontario Education Minister Dave Cooke has urged school
trustees to call police immediately about alleged acts of violence
"We want to make sure that everybody understands that when
there is an incident that occurs in the schools, it's to be treated in the same
way as incidents that occur anyplace else," Cooke said . "If somebody is alleg-
ing that there's an assault, then that's a matter for the police ." Earlier Conser-
vative leader Mike Harris told the legislature that officials at a school in sub-
urban Scarborough did not notify police and parents immediately when a
1 5-year-old girl was held at knifepoint in her classroom . When there is an al-
leged violation of the law, police and parents should be called, Cooke s
The minister said he has instructed ministry officials to put together figures
acts of violence to find out how widespread the problem is . As well, officials
are to report on the policies of various school boards in handling acts of vio-
lence .
Compiled by staff writers from correspondents' reports
EDUCATION LEADER October 29, 1993

Captioning can help
ESL, illiterate students
By Jennifer Gray-Grant
and captioning
have in common?
Aside from the fact that they both
begin with the letter C, they can be
used to help English-as-a-second-lan-
guage students with their reading,
writing and speaking skills
That's the experience of Aidrian
Christie, an ESL teacher who has
used captioning to teach students at
Vancouver Community College's King
Edward campus .
And while just about any North
American who has glanced at a tele-
vision set in the past decade would
be familiar with the hit show Cheers,
many people have mistaken assump-
tions about captioning .
Closed captioning is not
a little
square in the corner of the screen
showing somebody doing sign lan-
guage for the deaf. It is words, run-
ning across the top of the television
screen, writing out what's being said
by the people on the screen . And it
can be used with movies, documen-
Hands-on help for teachers and affiliated
school service providers is now available for
Managing Extreme andAggressive
Behaviour in Schools
THROUGH A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP, skilled presenters help teachers
focus on :
[ learning practical, usable skills to dealwith aggressive
behaviour problems
L understanding the psychology of youth who exhibit
aggressive behaviour
i recognizing and defusing potential problems
[ understanding the legal rights of students, parents,
teachersand school boards
developing prevention and protection plans
understanding group dynamics and crowd management
[ understanding the importance of personal preparation
and approach
L clarifying the role of police in dealing with problems
Skilled experts include
: Randy Noonan, BCTF lawyer ;
Jennifer Shifrmn, registered clinical counsellor
; Len Bosch, secu-
rity consultant
; Cpl Tim Laidler,Vancouver Police Department .
Date Options: November 25-26, 1993 December 2-3, 1993
February25-26, 1994 March 3-4, 1994
(All workshops will beheld in Burnaby, B.C. at the Executive Inn/I.ougheed Highway .)
REGIS TERNOWfor $199.00 (includes GST and lunch both days)
Workshop size limited to 25 people .
For more information contact:
The Planning People Management Group
#4-4416Dawson Street
Burnaby, B.C. V6C 4B9
Tel (604) 291-2525 Fax (604) 291-2503
taries, television shows and even
news .
Captioning was created to reach
people who have hearing difficulties
But as the service becomes more
prevalent, its applications for others
are becoming better known
English-as-a-second-language and
literacy teachers are using captioning
to help students improve their read-
ing and their language skills
That's where Christie comes in . An
ESL teacher since 198 1, Christie also
worked for a
couple of years
used to it," because it can be difficult
to become accustomed to reading
text, as well as listening to and
watching, a program. But she said
it's worth the effort.
"It tends to take a lot of convincing
with a lot of people because it is a
new teaching technique," she said
Christie's comments echo the find-
ings of a study by the National Cap-
tioning Institute in the U.S. One hun-
dred and twenty-nine ESL students
from a variety of junior secondary
schools participated in the
. ..
ci Cl cipuuIIcl,
for a Vancouver-
based caption-
ing company
That's when it
occurred to her
that the two
skills could be
and she started
Ellen Rusi
captioned videos
into her classroom instruction . She
said it helps to offer students instruc-
tion around the kind of speaking they
hear daily, which is what many televi-
sion programs offer
"You want to use idiomatic speak-
ing because that's what they're hear-
ing all the time," she said
"Everything is to reinforce . The vi-
sual of the captions will reinforce
what they learned previous to that
viewing," Christie said, adding that
the speech, actions and sounds of
the on-screen characters all help the
students with their understanding of
the language
She said around Halloween, for
example, she decided to bring in a
portion of a Cheers show, which had
a Halloween theme
Cheers fans, it's the one
where Carla buys a house that's vast-
ly underpriced because, she believes,
it's haunted. It shakes and rumbles
as if ghosts are coming to get her
she later discovers the house is un-
derpriced because it's located near
an airport, under a flight path, which
is what caused all the bad vibra-
Christie taught her students some
of the vocabulary around the Hal-
loween theme, and then showed
them a portion of the
episode, with captioning . She admit-
ted one joke fell flat, which showed
her that the students had not
grasped that vocabulary, but they
obviously picked up other parts of
the program
Christie said that at first it can
take students "a bit of time to get
. .
it U alt 1 ru use
idiomatic speakt ug
because that's what
I hey re hearing
all the timc,
Lvervlhing is
l't/Hi force .
1 2-week study, which was di-
rected by a Temple University
reading professor
The classes were randomly divided
into four groups and presented with
educational material through four dif-
ferent methods: standard television,
captioned television, printed materi-
al, and printed material that was also
read aloud .
Students in the captioned-televi-
sion group consistently outscored the
other groups on various measures of
word knowledge. As well, these stu-
dents appeared to remember more
of the information than their col-
leagues, and used more target words
in their written retelling .
Dr. Patricia Koskinen of the Read-
ing Centre at the University of Mary-
land has researched captioning. In a
November 1991 speech to the Na-
tional Conference for the Closed-Cap-
tioning of Local News she spoke
about how captioning reaches out to
ESL and literacy students
"Poor readers don't feel comfort-
able reading," she said . "They think
they will fail, so they avoid it .
"To help people who are having
trouble reading, you first have to
help them want to read. This is
where captioned television has
tremendous potential
"In our work with captioned televi-
sion, we have found kids want to
watch television. Kids who never
wanted to re-read anything definitely
want to 'review' a captioned pro-
gram. Adults and young people feel
comfortable watching television . The
addition of captions to television
means that the written word is put in
a very positive environment ."
,ee vuo I 0
October 29, 1993

examines top grade-getters
From 1/Top
What kind of study skills they applied ; how they used texts and re-
sources ."
McClaren said all the students he surveyed made conscientious
efforts to pursue high grades
Surprisingly, only two of the 1 6 said they made regular use of
the school library. And most recalled that Grade 11 was their
most challenging year .
"These students are competitive," McClaren said
. UThey com-
pete. They know they are in a competitive world . They realize if
you are competing for scholarships, there is only one person who
is going to get one. So they are competing, and they are some-
times competing against their friends who are also high perform-
ers. So they know it's a tough sort of game they are in."
At the same time, "
..they are not sort of superior, not 'I am bet-
ter than everyone else is .' They are very realistic about themselves
They know they are smart, but they know other kids are just as
smart, but don't work as hard, and don't take school as seriously
Furthermore, the high achievers McClaren studied showed they
have good social skills, he said
"They are obviously the school leaders : people doing the school
yearbook, on student councils, organizing dances
. . very soc'
good musicians ."
In some instances McClaren sensed real compassion for other
"They (top students), had the sense that for many young people
school was not serving them really well. Other young people
had no idea where they were going, what they were going to do
They haven't taken school very seriously, and are not getting very
good grades .
"They are not going to get into college or university . So they
(high achievers) say 'I have really no idea what the rest of these
folk are going to do .' They feel a kind of sorrow about that ."
Next McClaren will take a hard look at students with abilities in
the middle range, to find how they differ from the high achievers
"The mid-performers are not having trouble, but they're not
achieving top marks," McClaren said . "What makes them different
from the high achievers?"
U.S. report shows fewer students
are doing their homework
sor Dr. Milt McClaren's study showed that
top achieving students do about 20 hours
of studying a week, recent American studies show
that homework is taking a nosedive in the U
A report in The Wall Street Journal said growing
numbers of students are rushing through assign-
ments - if they do them at all - in school hallways
or scribbling shared answers during class breaks .
It went on to say that many teachers are assign-
ing less homework, and fewer students are com-
pleting the assignments.
Kathy Harrington, a teacher at Greenway Mid-
dle School in Pittsburgh, Penn ., said that when she
began teaching 1 7 years ago, 80 to 90 per cent of
her students turned in their homework. Today, it's
50 per cent or less, she said
Some educators blame the changing household .
They cite work-weary parents who lack the energy
to nag their children, as well as fractured families
in which no one watches the kids
In the U .S. a poll earlier this year by Yankelovich
Partners and the cable network Nickelodeon sur-
veyed 1,200 children. Eighty-three per cent of stu-
dents ages 14 to 17 said it's important to their
parents that they complete their homework, down
from 96 per cent in 1987
Fighting the trend, some school districts in the
U.S. - and one in Canada - have set up homework
hotlines that parents can call to get their children's
assignments. Other districts are considering offer-
ing evening tutorials for parents to teach them
how to help their children with homework
In Philadelphia, Warren G . Harding Middle
RoUer BlindsSchool Map
• Remounting
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• Rollers
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• Re-hemming
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• Cords
331 West 7th Avenue, Vancouver, B .C. V5Y 1 M2
______ ______
Tel. (604)874-1121
Fax (604) 874-0076
School encourages children to spend half their
lunch period doing homework
Teachers are designing homework that's mean-
ingful for kids who, for the most part, don't have a
desk or quiet place to work at home, or a parent
with time to help them .
Harry Gaffney, principal of Warren G . Harding,
said some teachers increasingly try to keep the
homework practical to increase the chances th
will be completed
Cheryl Kocay, who teaches home economics at
Langley High School in Pittsburgh, said she has
been forced to water down the quantity and quali-
ty of homework she assigns because so little of it
gets done
In Colorado, Adams City High School students
are doing more homework because of an overhaul
in scheduling . Classes are held on alternating days
but now run longer - 90 minutes, up from 50 min-
utes. The new "block" scheduling plan, instituted
this year, gives teachers more instruction time and
invites students to seek help from teachers be-
tween classes on homework assignments
EDUCAT0N LEADER October 29, 1993

Chipping away at
the dropout rate
By D'Arcy Rickard
EVERY TIME a high school student drops out, Cheryle Beaumont tries
As student-services coordinator for Mission School District, Beau-
mont pushes people hard to keep kids in school, because, "These are
challenging kids, and they haven't been very successful before for lots
of reasons, We make it really clear at the secondary level these kids
are going to be given another chance ."
Beaumont says dropouts should even have a second, third, fourth
or even a fifth chance to come back and make education right for
"Letting them know they have all kinds of chances to come back is
very important to us," Beaumont said
Joining hands with all administrators and vice-principals in Mission
district, Beaumont continually asks kids who have quit to come back
"We ask them to get ready to start again in September ."
This dedication is paying off. From 1989 to 1993, the two sec-
ondary schools in Mission School District - Hatzic and Mission with
about 2,200 students - cut their dropout rate by 6 .8 percentage
points, from 11 .8 to 5.0 per cent
In the 1989-90 term 215 secondary school students - including
59 in Grade 1 2 - left
The next year showed some improvement - 113 kids, including
28 in Grade 12, bid their schools farewell
In 1991-92 96 secondary students left school
* Last June the tally was 107 dropouts, not good but a lot better
an three years earlier. Furthermore, only 19 Grade 12 students left
( The last two years
Mission Districts efforts lauded
Peter Northover, assistant director of the B.C. Education Ministry's
Student Support Services, said Mission School District's stay-in-school
programs have improved student-retention rates dramatically
Northover is delighted with Mission, and other school districts, for
whittling away at the supposed provincial dropout rate of 31 per cent
"It's gone down but we can't prove it," Northover said, noting that all
kinds of dropout-rate figures are floating around
Regardless of the correct number, something is being done both to
pull dropouts back into school, and stop younger students from start-
ing the downward spiral that eventually leads to dropping out .
Northover said Mission "has a nice array of programs that provide
a great safety net that prevents kids from dropping out,"
Beaumont credited hard-working staff with making this array of pro-
grams - part-time education, alternative, night school, and perinatal -
work smoothly
(Student counsellor Sherry Bedwell of Hatzic Secondary said anoth-
er project, the district's Career Centre, offers tough counselling to help
kids plan careers and move on to post-secondary education
"There is a heightened awareness at both secondary schools of the
importance of keeping students in school," said Beaumont
In fact, educators across this country are well aware, or should be
by now, of the consequences of kids quitting. The cost to this country
in lost opportunity is both staggering and tragic .
Last year, a study by the Conference Board of Canada said this
country will lose more than $4 billion over the working lifetime of
'arly 137,000 students who dropped out of high school in 1989
1ie study estimated that $2 .7 billion of the $4 billion is lost income
and other benefits to dropouts
The remaining $1 .3 billion represents added social costs, such as
more expensive health care, crime, and administration of unemploy-
ment insurance benefits
Why do they leave?
Some say it's because the kids were bored and confused
Researcher Marilyn H . Macdonald says in
Early School Leavers :
Current Issues and Concerns, a report written for the Saskatchewan
Instructional Development and Research Unit, that educators should
focus on those aspects of school which reduce the alienation of poten-
tial dropouts .
Macdonald said mentoring has great value, whether done by teach-
ers or members of the community
Beaumont and her colleagues at Mission are paying attention .
This term, Hatzic and Mission secondary schools continue to devel-
op student-mentoring programs that were launched last spring . Every
high-school teacher takes part in the teacher-advisement program .
Each student is paired with a staff mem-
ber .
Counsellor Wendy Blackmon makes
sure that mentoring is shared by school
staff and members of the community,
people who take a special interest in kids
who seem to have unending problems.
- Beaumont is a strong advocate of
mentoring; she also promotes effective
communication between programs in
both high schools, parents and kids .
T. Beaumont said that over her 30-
Cheryle Beaumont
month sojourn with the district, the high
schools have taken pains to invite par-
ents of dropouts to come to the schools and apprise themselves of ed-
ucational avenues possible for their kids
"You need a clearing house for what you are trying to do with these
kids, instead of having kids in individual pockets," she said
Early identification a key strategy
Almost as soon as children start school, Mission teachers identify
pupils who will likely run into trouble later
"We're trying to practise some preventive medicine there," Beaumont
said, explaining the troubled children are placed in special classes sev-
eral days each week .
"A teacher and two child-care specialists work with the kids at Chris-
tine Morrison School, interview their parents and keep their home
school up to date, laying groundwork for the pupil's return . Teacher
Jim Taylor and youth-care workers Mike Pesic and Rosanne de Mont-
brun help 1 2 pupils at a time
"They receive some real intensive work in this partial pullout pro-
gram," Beaumont said
The goal of course is to help kids understand that if they do their
best in the lower grades, they will have a better chance later in high
school .
Mission's teenage moms are winning help as well
This year 1 2 teenage mothers of infants and toddlers younger than
three are back in class, their children safely stowed in a nursery at
Mission Secondary School .
The young mothers have returned to their studies, and to lessons
about parenting skills and child development, as well
Beaumont noted that "society has made good progress in accepting
teenage moms. It's less frowned upon . Ten years ago you would have
had a great deal of difficulty stimulating interest in the topic and get-
ting money. It makes sense to people ."
Last March the B.C. Ministry of Women's Equality gave $68,000
funding to Mission district to launch the daycare . The local Community
Futures Board offered $49,000 while the Kinettes gave $1,000 for
furniture. Other service clubs are pitching in and high school students
built furniture and sewed curtains
The daycare opened in September
Management and guidance comes from Mission Community Ser-
vices and Housing, and B .C. Ministry of Women's Equality, with help
from an advisory committee comprising people from Social Services,
Public Health, District Parents' Advisory, Community Services and
Teen Parents, and Mission School District
EDUCATION LEADER October 29, 1993

Video and words together
as powerful medium for li
NOVEMBER 8: Robert's Rules of Order Demystifled, with
Eli Mina, Registered Parliamentarian, at Vancouver, B.C
: Deliberately Speaking, 946 West 8th Ave., Vancouver,
B.C. V5Z 1Y5, phone (604) 732-4135 .
NOVEMBER 8-10: Safer Futures: Building a Framework for
Child-Abuse Prevention In Your CommunIty, at Vancouver,
B.C. Contact: Society for Children and Youth of B .C., 3644 Sb-
can St., Vancouver, B.C. V5M 3E8, phone (604) 433-4180, Fax
(604) 433-9611 .
NOVEMBER 18.19: Cost-Benefit and Multi-Goal Program
Analysis for the Public Sector, at Vancouver, B .C. Contact:
University of British Columbia, Faculty of Commerce and Busi-
ness Administration, Executive Programs, 2053 Main Mall, Uni-
versity of B.C., Vancouver, B.C. V6T 1Z2, phone (604) 822-
8400, Fax (604) 822-8496.
NOVEMBER 20-23: 1993 National Aboriginal and
tural Conference, at Vancouver, B .C. Contact: Brenda Taylor
(604) 261-6047, (604) 434-6315 ; DaIjit Sidhu (604) 594-3484,
(604) 576-1845; or Jim Coyne (604) 590-1311, (604) 536-7328
\bNOVEMBER 24.26 and JANUARY 12-14: Fundamentals of
Finance and Accounting for Non-Financial Managers, at
Vancouver, B .C. Contact : University of British Columbia, Faculty
of Commerce and Business Administration, Executive Pro-
grams, 2053 Main Mall, University of B.C., Vancouver, B .C. V6T
1 Z2, phone (604) 822-8400, Fax (604) 822-8496 .
NOVEMBER 25-27: Multicuituraiism and Anti-Racism, A Vi-
sion for the Future: Equality, EquIty and Empowerment, at
Vancouver, B .C. Contact : lnez Elliston, Vice President, Canadi-
an Council for Multicultural and Intercultural Education, Ste . 204
-316 Dalhousie St ., Ottawa, Oct. KiN 7E7, phone and fax (613)
NOVEMBER 29-30: Information Policies In the '90s : The
Dawn of Freedom of information and Privacy Protection In
B.C. at Vancouver, B.C. Contact: Riley Information Services
Inc., Ste. 2207 - 633 Bay St ., Toronto, Ont,, M5G 2G4, phone
(416) 593-7352, Fax (416) 593-0249
DECEMBER 6-7 : Strategic Overview of Self-Managing Work
Teams, at Vancouver, B.C. Contact: University of British Colum-
bia, Faculty of Commerce and Business Administration, Execu-
tive Programs, 2053 Main Mall, University of B .C., Vancouver,
B.C. V6T 1Z2, phone (604) 822-8400, Fax (604) 822-8496 .
DECEMBER 9-12: New Trustees Seminar, Part I, a BCSTA
conference, at Vancouver, B .C. Contact: Karen Hawkins or
Nancy Lagana, BCSTA Board Development Services, (604)
734-2721, Fax (604) 732-4559. B.C. Trustees note : AirBC
(CV932003) and Time Air (5030) offer a 1 5-per-cent saving on
economy air fares. Please give the registration event number to
your local travel agent for ticketing; be sure the agent enters the
event number in the Tour Code box and BCSTA in the Endorse-
ment box. Toll-free numbers: AirBC 1-800-361-7585, Time Air 1-
JANUARY 19-20, 1994: Leadership In Public Governance, a
BCSTA conference at Vancouver, B .C. Contact: Karen Hawkins
or Nancy Lagana, BCSTA Board Development Services, (604)
734-2721, Fax (604) 732-4559 .
JANUARY 20-22, 1994 : Employee Relations Conference, a
BCSTA conference at Vancouver, B .C. Contact: Karen Hawkins
or Nancy Lagana, BCSTA Board Development Services, (604)
734-2721, Fax (604) 732-4559 .
FEBRUARY 17-19, 1994: PerspectIves on Learning: A Devel-
oping Picture, a conference at Vancouver, B .C., co-sponsored
by the Staff Development Council of B .C., North Vancouver and
Chilliwack School Districts. Contact: Candace Marshall in North
Vancouver at (604) 987-6667, or SteIla Cordeiro in Chilliwack at
(604) 795-4758 .
Koskinen said studies she carried out on cap-
tioning showed that the method significantly im-
proved students' word knowledge and comprehen-
sion .
"Television, which is sometimes said to con-
tribute to reading problems, now, with the addi-
tion of captions, might be used as one of the solu-
tions," she said .
"The combination of video action with spoken di-
alogue and printed words may be a powerful tool
in learning to read, both at school and at home ."
Ben and Ellen Rusi own Western Captioning
Ltd., a captioning company in Vancouver . Ellen,
who is deaf, is a home economics teacher - team-
teaching hearing and deaf students - at Burnaby
South Secondary School
Ben, who emigrated to Canada from Finland in
1 960, worked in television and movie production
In the mid-1980s, Ellen - who lip-reads, and
speaks was thinking about starting a captioning
business some day, when she retired from teach-
ing .
The husband-and-wife team decided to fly out to
Toronto to study one of only two captioning sys-
tems in Canada; the other was located in Montreal
They liked what they saw and suddenly, Ellen's
plan was accelerated
Ben was ready for a career change and they
both felt they could set up and run a captioning
business. "So I sold my boat and bought a comput-
er," Ben said. Ellen kept her day job and worked at
the new company too
At the time, the federal government had set up
a non-profit organization to oversee captioning as
it moved into Canada
The Rusis were screened and then approved for
the sole western Canadian licence which then al-
lowed them to purchase the software needed for
the captioning process
(Licences were also approved for the Tor(
captioning company and for two Montreal compa-
nies, one working in French, the other in English
These days, the market is more open, and the
Rusis say there are six small operators also doing
captioning in Canada, but using American soft-
ware .
Once their licence was approved, the Rusis had
to hire their first captioning editor . Their staff
eventually grew to three full-time people and a
couple who worked freelance
The Rusis explained that the U .S. is ahead of
Canada in making captioning more mainstream
For example, within the last five years there have
been a couple of pieces of legislation passed which
broaden access to closed-captioned television pro-
grams .
One recommends that any government-financed
film or video should have captioning, and it sug-
gests that private industry adopt the practice
Over a number of years, hotels must phase in cap-
tioning de-coders with the televisions they provide
Another piece of legislation ruled that by July 1
of this year, all televisions with screens over 1 3
inches must be manufactured with built-in caption-
ing decoders. (Captioning is difficult to read on
smaller screens .)
The Canadian Association of Captioning Con-
sumers - Ellen is its president - is pressin
similar legislation in Canada
Its mandate, Ellen said, "is to try to convince tne
government of the benefits of captioning and to
get them to change the legislation so that all
broadcasters must provide captioning services ."
Ellen said she knows that many ESL teachers are
unaware of the benefits of captioning for their stu-
dents. And some are turned off by the technology
"They just have no idea it's a simple matter of
hooking up a decoder to a VCR and TV and show-
ing (the program) to your class ." 1i
Funding cuts stressing Sask. teachers
SASKATCHEWAN - The economic crisis in edu-
cation is causing stress for teachers and school
trustees, says Ed Nordhagen, president of the
1,325-member Regina Public School Teachers
Association .
"One of our main concerns as teachers at a
provincial level is redundancy and temporary
contracts," Nordhagen said
"In a sense we are very concerned about job
security as a result of the provincial government
continuing to offload things like wage settle-
ments on to local boards ."
Nordhagen forecast that next year's planned
four-per-cent cut in the province's education op-
erating grants means local school boards will be
faced with an estimated $1 4-million shortfall
Cuts to grants in 1994, combined with school
boards having to pick up 25 per cent of teachers
salary increases - added to a variety of other
costs - mean boards will have to find additional
money if they want to maintain existing levels of
services, Nordhagen said .
Meantime, the Saskatchewan School Trustees
Association estimates local school boards will
have to come up with an additional $18 million
to $20 million to maintain existing services in
1994 .
Nordhagen said the operating shortfall will
likely translate into school boards having to cut
jobs, programs and close schools
However, Craig Melvin, executive director of
the school trustees' association, said taxpayers
won't see much change from previous years
Melvin said school closures and grade disc&
tinuance in schools have more to do with declin-
ing enrolment and operating efficiencies than
with boards making wholesale cuts to balance
their budgets
October 29, 1993

Business gets a crack at school curriculum
By D'Arcy Rickard
USINESS LEADERS have long been leading
the chorus in an escalating call for standards
of excellence in education . Now, in British
Columbia, the business community has started
taking part in the government's curriculum review
process .
Robin Syme, head of the Curriculum-Develop-
ment Branch of the B .C. Ministry of Education,
says members of the corporate sector are provid-
ing "a perspective on what's going on in the real
world, and what they think students should learn
in order to be successful in that world ."
As well, business people are offering "insights
around issues in career development, which we are
including in the curriculum now, and they should
be able to give us a perspective on the business
component of career development ."
What are B .C. labor leaders contributing?
Nothing so far, says Christine Skrepetz, secre-
tary for the B .C. Federation of Labor
Skrepetz says her committee has long sought to
have labor included in curriculum review but to
date, the federation "has not been approached,
nor consulted on," she said .
That may change
Syme said discussions are under way that could
result in other sectors of society, in addition to the
business community, taking part in curriculum re-
e are actually negotiating that, so I can't be
specific about that," said Syme . "One of the issues
is the extent to which, and how many, sectors
want to be involved
.. Labor is one possibility,
yes ."
There are others already involved in reviewing
curriculum .
In an interview, Syme said a "peer review" in-
volves other educators - educational colleagues -
and a "scholarly review" involves people from uni-
versities and colleges
Syme said the challenge for reviewers is to rep-
resent a broader community, like business
Even now, Keith Gray of the Business Council of
British Columbia is listing volunteer business lead-
ers who are willing to serve as curriculum develop-
ers or reviewers .
The roster of more than 40 indicates which sub-
jects in which the business people are interested
and the grade levels in which they would be inter-
ested in working.
Gray said his organization, "representing the
major business community," has for years asked
Time to start the preparations!
Eelucation Week '94 will be
celebrated March 7-12
Open the Generation Rap: /j('°
Invite a Gran4parent
sackto School!
that the curriculum
process be opened up
, "There needed to
be greater input from
the broader commu-
nity," said Gray, vice
prestdent of govern-
ment relations and
educational services .
"If you don't know
what kind of math or
Keith Gray
science general skills
are needed out there,
how do you address curriculum for those needs? he
asked. "I think that argument finally prevailed
Last spring the ministry invited business people
to take part. Now they are doing so, acting as re-
viewers for seven curriculum development commit-
tees currently tackling Home Economics, Physical
Education, Technology Education, Dance, Music,
Visual Arts and Drama
The developers and reviewers have a kind of edi-
tor-author relationship . Concepts are sent to review-
ers, and returned to developers, with suggestions
It is, Syme said, high-level thinking about such
things as "statement of aim," "what is the subject
area?" and "what is the rationale for the subject?"
"This is provincial policy, which teachers will
take and use as a framework, to develop their in-
structional practice," Syme said
But what do business experts have to offer to
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October 29, 1993

generally laud
WASHINGTON, D.C . - Mary P. Crosby, director of government affairs for the Ameri-
can Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, says that U .S . President Clinton's
health-care plan does not provide adequate coverage for treatment of mental illnesses
Crosby says the plan is inadequate in that it
would limit coverage for in-patient mental-health
treatment to 30 days per episode, with an annual
limit of 60 days .
"Children seldom need hospitalization, but when
they do it is extremely serious," Crosby said,
t-.--1 \
adding that the academy will push for unlimited in-
patient coverage for children and adolescents
Nevertheless, the education community in the
U .S . is generally pleased with the Clinton plan, and
is gearing up to protect what they view as its child-
friendly features
Educators and child-health advocates are
pleased because the plan would guarantee health
coverage for all Americans and include tangible
benefits for schools and children, from grants to
The Clinton plan would guarantee health cover-
bolster school clinics to full coverage for childhood
age to all American citizens . The coverage would
not disappear even if they became unemployed or
"All in all, it's a big plus for kids, and therefore
changed jobs
schools," said Michael Casserly, executive director
Samuel G. Sava, executive director of the Na-
of the Council of the Great City Schools .
tional Association of Elementary School Principals,
The plan's emphasis on "universal access" has
said his group likes the coverage for teachers, who
immediate appeal to educators concerned about
may not know until the last minute whether or not
the number of children who arrive at school with
they're going to be employed
untreated health problems .
While large school districts, with 5,000 or more
The Children's Defence Fund says nine million
employees, will form health alliances and offer coy-
American children are without health insurance at
erage to their employees, smaller districts may mi-
any given time
tially see their health-care costs increase
- -
Bureaucratic blunder
bites into pensions
VENICE - Retiring teacher Maria Eboli Rota
stands to lose more than five million lire
(52,300). thanks to a bureaLirratic blunder
Signora Rota along with other teachers who
retired last summer, will not be paid a pension
until next January And she will also hase to
wait for the lump sum due to her after 25
years service
A \iscuola materna (nursery school), teacher
in Venice, Rota decided to pack it in after 25
years' sers ice The scuola materna is a phsi
cafly demanding sort of place and I feel the
children deserve teachers who have the energy
and stamina to give them the attention they
need," Rota said,
But when the Amato government froze re
quests last summer by state emrloyees seeking
early retirement in 1993, as part of a huge aus-
terity package,
it forgot about teachers. Unlike
other public sector employees teachers retire
at the end of the school year, not on Jan 1
Many retirees decided to stay on the job for
another year, rather than spend four months
without any income
Rota retired anyway L(
Bruce Hunter, a senior associate executive di-
rector of the American Association of School Ad-
ministrators, guessed state legislators will have to
help small districts recover . At the same time,
Hunter suggested the reforms could indirectly
drive down the cost of serving disabled students
by reducing the number of birth defects, since pre-
natal care is covered .
The plan's emphasis on prevention is welcomed
by child advocates. It will help school nurses, as
preventive care is at the core of their mission
Melinda E. Mercer, a lobbyist for the American
Nurses Association, said school nurses would
probably play an enhanced role, as the plan calls
for more school-based health centres .
Under the plan, all children would receive all
medically necessary vaccines by age two . Preven-
tive dental and eye care for children under 18
would also be covered .
As well, the plan calls for new federal grants
supporting health-education and other initiatives
designed to prevent substance abuse and AIDS in
adolescents, as well as childhood and mental disor-
George Ayer, executive director of the Council
for Exceptional Children, said that because the
plan prohibits discrimination based on pre-ex"
conditions and offers mental-health benefi
children, it would likely have a positive impact on
students with disabilities .
Rock at recess raises funds for U .S. schools
. - Sales director Scott Plum of
Star Broadcasting Company says more than 900
schools in the U .S. are receiving Star's music radio
channel, and earning on average about $20,000
in an advertising-revenue split with Star
The music radio channel - and 10 minutes of
advertising each hour from 7 am . to 7 p.m. - is
delivered by satellite to school lunchrooms, hall-
ways, and student lounges
"With all of their budget cuts, schools are ob-
taining resources more independently," Plum said
"An average school could expect about $20,000
(in revenue) over the year," he said
Star has been pitching the service through facul-
ty advisers to Distributive Education Clubs of
America chapters, which promote marketing and
business skills among high school students
Lyle Hamilton of the National Education Associa-
tion said the radio service is just the latest example
of marketers using schools to reach the lucrative
youth market, "The more commercials there are in
the schools, the more clutter," Hamilton said
But marketing teacher Joe Felardo of Eureka
Senior High School in Eureka, Calif., said the ser-
vice will give his students a chance to sell ads to
local merchants and provide money for the school
"When I first read about it, I said this sounds
too good to be true," Felardo said . "I took it to the
school-site council and principal, and they agreed
to try it on a trial basis ."
Star said it will not
air the music-radio ser-
top 40 rock and
I country - in class-
rooms or other places
- -
declared off limits by
school officials,
/ National advertising
revenue will be split
with participating
schools, which also will
get two minutes each
hour to sell to local ad-
I vertisers or to use for
_______- ,-.-----. .
Several other companies have launched com-
mercially sponsored current events videos in ele-
mentary schools in the U .S. Kidsnews videos,
which include messages from such sponsoç
Hershey Foods Corporation and Hasbro lnc.,
being seen in 3,000 elementary schools
Whittle Communications' Channel One, a daily,
12-minute classroom TV-news show, is being
viewed in schools . It carries two minutes of ads
EDUCATION LEADER October 29, 1993

Welsh activists conmilt
break-ins to spread
their language message
to young black offenders
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Rev. Jesse Jacksons Rain-
bow Coalition plans a nationwide, church-based,
mentoring program for African-American youths
who have committed nonviolent offences
Jackson said leaders to be re-
cruited for the fledgling pro-
gram will be ethically conserva-
tive yet politically revolutionary
He said he hopes to recruit 20
churches in each of 50 cities
across the U.S . Each church
would reclaim 10 offenders by
linking them with mentors, and
helping them find education and
employment opportunities .
"We seek to transform our
community here in Washington,
and set the pace for the nation,"
Jackson said .
The program hopes to reach
eight- to 1 8-year-olds who have
'e into contact with the juve-
justice system .
Eugene Lang, founder of the I Have A Dream
Foundation mentoring program, said, "I think it's
great for churches to become involved ."
Lang said, however, that sustained individual in-
volvement must remain central
"You have to stay with the children," said Lang,
who launched his program in New York in 1981
"A periodic phone call, a periodic visit, an occa-
sional lunch or a movie is not enough ."
Other leaders in the mentoring field say the ef-
fort sounds promising .
Marc Freedman, director of special projects for
Public/Private Ventures, a Philadelphia organiza-
tion that has probed mentoring
programs, said the plan "has a
lot of merit ."
Since July, the project has
been in the works at weekly
meetings at Shiloh Baptist
Church here .
About 70 education, social-ser-
vice, juvenile-justice and religious
officials have been designing the
project as a response to what
they describe as a social and spir-
itual crisis confronting African-
American youths .
A pilot site will be based in
Washington .
Gil Dickinson, field director of
the National Capital Area Council
of Boy Scouts of America, said
the city has many services of which people are un-
aware. By networking, "we can help each other,"
he said .
Bert L'Homme, director of City Lights, a private
nonprofit school for emotionally disturbed and
delinquent children, said the program's education
and employment committee wants to create a data
base of services to assist area mentors, as well as
the youths and their parents
Britain's courts get tough on truants
- In East London's borough of Tower
Hamlets, 15 successful prosecutions of parents of
students who skip school had been completed by
September, up from 24 prosecutions in all of 1992
The increase in court action has been spurred
by field officers who prosecute instead of taking a
longer route: getting an education-supervision
order under the 1989 Children Act which sets up a
series of meetings between parents, students,
school and Local Education Authority .
Writing in the Times Educational Supplement,
Antony Dore reports that a survey last March indi-
cates schools in Tower Hamlets had a 3 .3 per cent
truancy rate in primary, and six per cent in sec-
3ry schools.
me average, one in eight Year 11 students was
skipping school . At the worst school in the bor-
ough, one in 10 students was cutting classes
Jean Smith, an education social worker in the
borough, has the job of getting kids back to school
As well, Smith gathers evidence for court cases
Smith manages to apply to charities for money
for school uniforms and other help for families, but
there is less time for preventive work .
Peter Joyce, education officer at Tower Hamlets,
defends the prosecution and fining - £200 ($400
Cdn.) is the highest fine to date - of poor parents
Joyce said these are effective deterrents
"Some parents will only do something about get-
ting their children to school when it is easier than
not doing anything," Joyce said . "It is remarkable
how many find some form of control when they are
summoned ."
Smith said few parents turn nasty during a tru-
ancy prosecution. She has been pushed down a
garden path by an irate father once in 14 years,
but most parents still let her into their homes
"Some of them say what a wonder it is that it
hasn't happened before, after all the chances their
children have had," Smith said
EDUCATION LEADER October 29, 1993
- Selwyn Williams, a
lecturer at a teacher-training college here, has
been arrested and charged for a break-in at the
Conservative party offices in Cardiff .
The break-in was one of a series scheduled
by Welsh-language activists as part of a cam-
paign for an independent Welsh education sys-
tem. Government-maintained schools now are
under no obligation to teach Welsh
Williams has no qualms about taking such
action .
"Where I work colleagues are extremely sup-
portive: if anything, people feel a bit guilty they
are not involved in direct action themselves . It
is not seen as a crime but a political act
Martin Perry the Conservative party s direc
tar in Wales said Welsh language activists have
broken into his office a number of times and
have caused thousands of pounds in damage
"If they wish to discuss education policies in
a normal manner they should forsake their vio-
lent actions," Perry said in an interview with
Times Educational Supplement writer Mike
Prestage. "As long as they continue we are not
really interested in discussing it ."
The Welsh Language Society with a long tra
dition of non-violent protest, is undertaking the
break-ins to force educational reforms. Groups
of 10, including many teachers and students,
will take part. Police will be notified and ac-
tivists will leave a card for Welsh MP Wyn
Roberts demanding local control over educitron
through locally elected committees a Welsh Ed
ucation Council and Welsh Education Develop-
ment Body, both democratically elected .
Sian Howys chair of the education campaign
group said Conservative education policies
were being forced on Wales
We regard the Education Act as the great
est threat to the development of Welsh medi
um education this century Who can parents
lobby if local education authorities are abol-
ished? Where will the long-term strategy and
planning for education in Wales come from7
The Welsh Language Society proposes a new
system of regional committees that would be
responsible for education in their area and pro-
moting the local community in schools. Repre-
sentatives from these committees would form
the Education Council for Wales, which would
operate as an education department with
Welsh Office funding .
Howys said, "We hope the campaign (of
break-ins) will get our education proposals on
to the political agenda, and that we will suc-
ceed in winning some concession ."
Howys said a petition, demanding an individ-
ual education system for Wales, has been dis-
tributed through every school in Wales and
been well supported. L1
Rainbow Coalition reaches out

From 3
sensitize and educate a number of trustees that re-
turned to their districts - and even my own board
- to some of the issues facing First Nations stu-
dents ."
Frank Collison, 58, is on the Queen Charlotte
School Board. Collison, a Haida, said as a child he
attended elementary school on his reserve outside
of Masset. His high school, with about 30 stu-
dents, was in Masset
"My mother and grandparents said, Well, you
have to learn how to work in the other world, and
get an education and learn the ways of the other
people,'" he said
When Collison was 16, his father died, and Colli-
son had to leave school to work. He eventually ob-
tained his Grade 1 2 diploma and did some post-
secondary work at an Abbotsford Bible College
"The thing I missed out on mostly is that I didn't
get a chance to go on. That's bothered me im-
mensely," he said
But he ran as a trustee in 1986 because he felt
his experiences gave him a different perspective
on education. "I've always felt learning was not
confined to the classroom ."
Collison, who plans to run for re-election this
November, said that when he first ran as a
trustee, he didn't view himself as mainly a First Na-
tions representative. "I was elected on the basis of
my position of trying to better the system for
everyone. That's still my basic philosophy ."
But he said the fact that he is part of the First
Nations community can make a difference
He said a recent
discussion around a
proposal to hire a
First Nations coordi-
nator for the district
- which was defeated
- squared off the
three First Nations
trustees against the
other four trustees
"It wasn't con-
frontational, it just
Frank Collison
turned out to be a
natural division ."
And Collison said when he speaks before a stu-
dent group, and is introduced as chairman of the
school board, First Nations students appear to be
impressed with his accomplishment. He reluctantly
admits he may be a role model to them
More First Nations involvement urged
But he wishes more First Nations people would
get involved in the education system
"It's not enough to say we should be taking con-
trol or running our own schools ; we have to be
aware of what's happening at this moment and
what our children are learning in our schools right
now," he said
When Chief Philip Joe is asked for the number
of years he has been a trustee on the North Van-
couver School Board, he stops for a moment and
then guesses, "1 2, maybe 13 years?" and then
says he originally ran because "we were having In-
dian' problems with the school system
Joe, who is hereditary chief of the Squ
band, had been having discussions with one I
administrators with the school's district office,
about some of the concerns around the education
of the approximately 400 native kids attending
school in the public system
He said some of the students were missing a lot
of school, failing grades, or teachers were com-
plaining they didn't know how to handle the kids .
At the urging of the administrator, Joe decided
to run for a seat on the school board .
"If you want to change the policy you have to
get in there," he said
As a trustee, Joe noticed an immediate differ-
ence in the reaction of those within the school sys-
tem to his efforts on behalf of native students
"As a person phoning the principal or school
board, they say, 'I'm sorry, he's busy, he'll get back
to you.' When I call as a trustee, they get back to
me; it's that black and white ."
Joe said, as a trustee, he has continued to serve
as a link between native families and students, and
the school system
And, like Frank Collison, he reluctantly admits
that he is a role model for students
But like Hunt-Jinnouchi and Collison, he stresses
that while he's pleased to offer extra help to native
students and parents, he is working for all students
"I think at the heart of it we all want the best
education for our children," Hunt-Jinnouchi s--"
All of the native trustees also stressed th
would like to see more First Nations trustees . i.,,
Busiiiess helps with curriculum development
courses such as Literature 11 and 1 2?
One aspect of these subjects is that they teach
students how to listen, Gray said . Business leaders
rate listening skills very highly, he added
"I don't think anybody said you don't have to
have good listening skills," he said, citing surveys
of executive officers,
Gray said business leaders he surveys rate com-
munication skills highest of all skills required in
business, and measurably higher
That's because executives need employees who
can read and write well, are able to speak well,
and, most importantly, are able to work in teams
And working in teams requires good communica-
tion skills, Gray said .
"Some of them (executives), are even talking
about body language," he added
Syme said a 10-person committee would sit for
about 1 5-20 days, to develop a prescribed curricu-
lum, which will later be reviewed . "New areas take
more time," Syme added
The idea, said Syme, is to come up with "broad
curriculum intentions or goal statements ."
Curriculum development involves setting out
"specific outcomes kids are expected to meet."
In environmental courses, for example, "kids
should be able to understand environmental issues
and struggles going on in their local communities
and be able to articulate the issues and pose other
options," she said
Once the course is developed, curriculum re-
viewers bring insights and perspectives to the
"The difficult thing is, since we can't have every
single business person reviewing it, we are getting
a perspective," Syme said . "A lot depends on the
individual, the area they are from, how large a
base they represent ."
Developing as well as reviewing
Sometimes businesspeople, or other partners,
will not just be reviewing curriculum but will be
helping to develop it, Syme said
"A good example of that would be business edu-
cation. They (business leaders) would help partici-
pate in the development, which is slightly different
from being a reviewer
.. But in most instances we
would use them as reviewers."
Curriculum developers produce drafts. Review-
ers review the drafts, and provide feedback
"The idea is that we get incremental feedback
throughout the development process," Syme said
Eventually the material is sent out for a broader
response, she said .
In an area like English Language Arts, where
there is a lot of shared understanding about what
that subject is about, the work proceeds smoothly
compared with subjects like dance or technology ed-
ucation. New subjects engender "a lot of discussion
about what constitutes the subject," Syme said
Commending teachers involved in the process,
Gray emphasized, "We are not going into these
meetings with a sharp stick
"The men and women who are seconded (to cur-
riculum development and review), through the
teaching profession are usually folks who have
been involved in curriculum writing and develop-
ment and teaching. They literally are the experts in
that area. We don't write curriculum and we don't
teach in curriculums ."
E.A. (Ted) George, executive director of the B .C .
Chamber of Commerce, said: "I think any tiny
business community has the opportunity tc
vide input, it's a positive step
.. It's a chanceto
review the material and make sure it's germane to
what we ultimately think the students should be in-
volved with ."
EDUCATION LEADER October 29, 1993

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