This past spring, when the public’s fury with the board’s conduct coalesced, your Minister of Education did not establish an arm’s-length inquiry into both sides of the problem. Instead she sent a technician to aid the board, saying repeatedly that she would vigorously support the board, and the board only.From the article:
This technician refused to speak with anyone who was not a member of the board, the administration or some like institutional organization. He refused to speak with the public or any citizen. Public concerns were systematically scorned.
Nine people signed a letter to McGuinty in mid-December saying an inquiry into the board's activities is necessary and that he had until Jan. 8 to take action.The article quotes Ferguson but neglects to mention he's appears to be the principal author of the letter requesting the inquiry.
The nine include Lesa McDougal, the founder of the Bluewater Citizens for Education, and John Fearnall, the founder of MendEd:Mending Education, local action groups, and Deborah Whipple of Aurora, the chairwoman of the Parents of Gifted Advocacy Network.
This leaves me wondering whether Ferguson read the report received by trustees in November. I wonder-- is that the very same "technician" referred to in the letter who was involved in this report? The report that spoke to families who've left the board's schools? That surveyed members of the public? That held public meetings where, as best as I can tell from this post, any member of the public was able to speak?
What are these people still seeking an inquiry into?
Further, in their nine demands -- to be responded to by Friday -- they ask for "redress where damage has been done," and that a "proper" complaints procedure be established for the future.
Yes, the BDSB trustees haven't (at least not as I can tell through the media) indicated how they will implement the recommendations of the November report. They should be held accountable to implementing -- or at least beginning the process -- those recommendations.
What good, other than ego, would an inquiry do? Particularly when we're 10 months away from an election? If Ferguson and his supporters truly don't want "trustees to waste further effort on a venture for which they are simply not ethically competent," well, put more of your money where your mouth is. Nominations for Bluewater District School Board trustee opened Monday.
If you can get the support to get elected, then you can implement all the changes you want, bring "redress" to the afflicted and move on.