Time to change the Superintendent of Schools

Having listened to Edmonton Public Schools Superintendent Edgar Schmidt on the local CBC Radio One this morning, and thinking back to what a number of elementary school teacher friends have mentioned to me in the recent past, I believe that it is time to find a new Superintendent.

This man is accepting and acting on bad advice.

Firstly, his decision to restrict all out-of-province travel (air and ground) for the students in his jurisdiction is, in my mind, misguided. The only reason to make such sweeping statements, and invoke such sweeping bans is if the insurers pulled their support. He makes no mention of that. His statements indicate that he has taken the advice of those close to him, rejecting the advice of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health and Wellness, the federal Ministry of Health, and the World Health Organization.

Secondly, his refusal to reimburse parents (students) for the funds they lose through this ban is unfortunate. The Edmonton Catholic School Board (the so-called ‘separate’ school board) is reimbursing families for their lost funds affected by the somewhat limited ban they have introduced. By the way, my feeling about what the ECSB is doing is very similar to my reaction to the EPSB; they are being silly. Joan Carr’s position as superintendent of that school district should also be reviewed.

Third; Mr. Schmidt, by silence or by active endorsement I can’t say, has allowed Edmonton Public Schools to impose a new metric (measure of success) on the Elementary School System that is absolutely ludicrous. Teachers will now be measured on students’ ‘visible delight’ with their learning. Who are the people who write these policies?

I believe that all school administrators, from the Superintendent on down through the so-called ‘consultants’ to the Vice Principal level should be required to spend the equivalent of one teaching month in the classroom. No exceptions.

In the meantime, get rid of Mr. Schmidt.

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