1. C2 Committees on teacher’s life.. In April 2014, the Association will co-sponsor two C2 partner meetings, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary. Leads have been contacted and it is the hope that the C2 will have a positive effect on teachers’ workload.
2. Task Force for Teaching Excellence Report Delayed
This is probably the most notable issue that is forthcoming. We are not sure when the Task Force report will now be coming out, perhaps at the end of April. The following is taken from an editorial in the ATA News. “The biggest threat posed to government–teacher relations, however, comes in the form of the Task Force for Teaching Excellence. The task force has been wrestling with suggestions that
a) principals should be removed from the Association,
b) the ATA should have its professional functions removed,(split the ATA) c) a scheme of merit pay should be implemented in Alberta d) and that the Board of Reference should be eliminated. (The Board of Reference is an effective and efficient mechanism for teacher employment appeals.)
These ideas would not be popular with teachers, and if they are taken up by government, it would be viewed as a significant attack on teachers and the profession.” More info is available on the ATA website and ATA News.
3) How do you disseminate information to your teachers on a regular basis? Which is the most effective way for your local? Are your teachers aware of the Task Force?
4) The next Provincial Executive Meeting is coming up on April 10 and 11.
5) What happens now that Premier Redford has resigned? In an editorial in the March 25th edition of the ATA News, Gordon Thomas, our executive secretary, indicated that this will not have an effect on our current collective agreement. It may very well also slow down any peculiar recommendations of the Task force on Teaching Excellence and may also slow down curriculum reform.
6) Re: Leadership Race. What is the role of the Association? It is to help inform teachers of the candidates’ positions on education issues and to help inform candidates of teachers’ perspectives on matters involving education.
7) Our ATA President, Mark Ramsankar, calls for a balance approach to curriculum. He stated, ’Curriculum redesign should promote student learning by supporting the competent teaching professionals that have a proven record of delivering success in Alberta schools.” Page 4 of the March 25th edition is dedicated to the curriculum. Please advise your teachers to read this part on the ATA News.
8) The ATA Summer Conference program descriptions are available. The conference will be held on August 11 to the 15. Please make plans on attending if some of these programs appeal to you.
9) Teachers Teaching Teachers. Teachers only have until April 15 to apply for this great opportunity which will take place in Kenya from July 8 to the 22nd.
10) Emerging Technologies. The Association will host its second invitational research colloquium at Barnett Hose on May 1. The purpose of this research colloquium is to bring together experts who share an interest in the peril that technology poses for children, youth and communities. More info is available on the website.
11) Spring PDAC. The conference will explore issues related to the movement towards competencies in curriculum development and the role of the teacher in the Curriculum Redesign process. Invitations will be sent to PD chairs and other members for this conference to be held on May 2nd and 3rd.
12) ARA. Locals have received ARA resolutions. Hopefully, all locals will take the time to go through the resolutions and to submit their votes to place various resolutions in a block. These must be received at Barnett House on or before April 17th. Please do this earlier than later so that your input will arrive in time.
13) Breakfast with MLA Mary Anne Jablonski on March 31. Good discussion took place. More comments at the CSR meeting.
14) Did you know? Last year, Alberta Schools received 41,000 new students yet; only 106 new teacher positions were created!
15) ATA Educational Trust deadline for bursaries and project grants is May 1, 2014. Selections are made by draw!
16) Important dates for CSR reps: Mental Health Day, May 7; Education week, May 5-9
17) Local treasurers’ Seminar will be held on May 25.
18) TDPAC: another acronym! Teacher Development and Professional Advisory Committee. As part of the framework agreement, this committee was formed comprising of 10 non-teaching representatives and 10 teaching representatives. Our President, Mark Ramsankar is the co-chair of this committee. They will advise the Minister on matters that
a) would support or define the role of the teacher and the profession
b) relate to a continuing education requirement for all certificate holders,
c) would allow greater access to non-certificate holders to provide instruction to students in subject areas where qualified teachers are not available
d) the Minister may request in addition to the list above.