In this book a well-informed insider documents the steady stream of changes to Nova Scotia's schools, highlighting the power shift from parents, teachers, and the public to provincial bureaucrats and think tank "experts." Nova Scotians know that schools are undergoing a transformation, but until now there's been no clear explanation of what those changes are and why they're happening.
Teacher and union activist Grant Frost documents how fifteen years of new programs, bureaucracies, and policies originate from business-oriented think tanks whose change agenda was developed and promoted for schools across the US, into Canada, and now for Nova Scotia. The think tank prescription has led to increased emphasis on testing all students (and teaching to the tests), multiple school closings, extensive detailed centralized record-keeping by teachers, teacher-government conflict and strikes, and finally abolition of school boards, and an ever-narrowing vision of what public education means.
Grant Frost's book will allow parents, teachers, students and others with an interest in education to understand the agenda of politicians and educators implementing these changes, and to decide whether they share the think tank vision of public education.
GRANT FROST is a teacher, the president of the Halifax local of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, and a blogger at frostededucation.com. He writes a column in the Halifax Chronicle Herald and hosts a talk show on Halifax cable TV. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.