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Cdn EdWire – A New Year’s Hodge-Podge of Contentious Education Issues Fill the Dailies

An Alberta school reform plan, the launch of Toronto boutique schools, cutting New Brunswick school board, and the cost of minority language education are lightning rods for debate among stakeholders and the public.
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Minister launches school reforms – Edmonton Journal
Shorter bus rides, community facilities, college credits in high school included in Lukaszuk's 10-point program

Opening of specialized schools reignites fairness debate – Globe and Mail

Jody Carr cuts school districts to 7 – CBC NB
Education reform will save $5 million annually

Official bilingualism costs $2.4B a year: study – National Post

OTHER NEWS

Apple pushes education content to boost iPad use in schools – Vancouver Sun

Education minister plans Twitter chat Thursday to get education reform feedback – Vancouver Sun

Public schools expel junk food – Calgary Herald
Cafeterias go chip-free

No more ‘A for effort’: New wave of educators drop empty praise – Globe and Mail

Teachers seek hefty salary hike – Vancouver Sun
Minister says 15-per-cent increase a non-starter – Vancouver Sun

Parents don't have time to help kids learn, poll finds - CTV

Sell value of good education to your children – Globe and Mail

Kindergarten in a retirement home proves a hit with young and old - Globe and Mail

EDUBLOG HIGHLIGHTS

Education and Social Media in British Columbia – Culture of Yes
In the past year we have moved from several dozen blogs around K-12 education, to numbers in the hundreds, with representation in every area of the education system.  The #bced tag on Twitter is one of the most engaged with conversations about the ever-changing education profession, and there are many other social sites having these conversations as well.

The conversations around the profession itself are very interesting.  In social media, ‘role’ becomes less important; there is a flattening of society and it is ‘ideas’ that have increased value. There are also incredible opportunities  to reflect, share, and learn without the limitations of geography. I could go on, and there have been many others who have covered the ground about the value of social media for educators, and how Twitter and blogging can be extremely powerful in professional development(Read more)

Relationships are Priceless – 4 moms 1 dream
It is easy to build working relationships between principals, educators and support staff because they work day in and day out together. But where do parents fit into the relationship equation? We know from experience that it is often very hard for parents to make the first steps to build the type of relationship we are talking about so we would ask you, as the educators, to take that first step. Start by greeting parents at the door as they come into the school.  Say hello, introduce yourself, ask how their children are doing that day and build from there. Don’t wait until there is a problem before reaching out to the parents. Relationships take time and they are easier to make when there is not an issue/problem to address. If you can build those relationships when times are good, the problems that might arise when times are not so good are much easier to handle. As well, when you have a good relationship with everyone who has a vested interest in ensuring success for each child, you become part of the solution...(Read more)