COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Time to end board’s patronizing attitude

News Sep 02, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Because of the recent closure decisions in Ward 7, public school board trustee candidates for the ward were offered the opportunity to write in the Community Columnist space.

The next two columns will appear Sept. 18 and 25.

By Dawn Danko, special to the News

As a mother, college professor and a small business owner, I think it is safe to say that knowledge, truth and reason are significant in my life and are some of the core values I would like to instill in my children.

When I became involved in the battle to save my children’s school from closure this past year, it came as quite a shock when I realized that the public school board – the very institution tasked with teaching our children knowledge, truth and reason – seemed to hold these values in very low regard.

Knowledge, truth and reason were actively shut down by board staff at every opportunity throughout the school review process.

Community members were blocked when requesting information and clarification. Board staff would not acknowledge even glaring errors in their data. All forms of reasonable public consultation were avoided.

This must change. The review process must be open and transparent, there must be clear communication between the accommodation review committee members and their communities, and we need a standard, impartial means of evaluating various options for school closures and boundary changes.

Speaking to parents and community members across the central Mountain, I have heard the same concerns in every neighbourhood relating to a wide range of issues. The common theme is that parents and community members consistently feel the public school board has a serious lack of transparency and a patronizing top-down attitude.

Parent involvement in the school system is critical to ensure that local issues are considered at the board level. The current top-down “we know best” decision-making process does not value input from the talented and experienced parents, teachers, city partners and community members, and is a trend that does not serve our students well.

With a taxpayer-funded annual budget of over $500 million, the elected board of trustees must ensure the entire Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is transparent and accountable.

The need for a strong voice that requires knowledge, truth and reason in decision-making has called me to action and prompted me to run for trustee in Ward 7. You can have a voice in the future Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the future of our children. Be informed. On Oct. 27, cast your vote.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Time to end board’s patronizing attitude

News Sep 02, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Because of the recent closure decisions in Ward 7, public school board trustee candidates for the ward were offered the opportunity to write in the Community Columnist space.

The next two columns will appear Sept. 18 and 25.

By Dawn Danko, special to the News

As a mother, college professor and a small business owner, I think it is safe to say that knowledge, truth and reason are significant in my life and are some of the core values I would like to instill in my children.

When I became involved in the battle to save my children’s school from closure this past year, it came as quite a shock when I realized that the public school board – the very institution tasked with teaching our children knowledge, truth and reason – seemed to hold these values in very low regard.

Knowledge, truth and reason were actively shut down by board staff at every opportunity throughout the school review process.

Community members were blocked when requesting information and clarification. Board staff would not acknowledge even glaring errors in their data. All forms of reasonable public consultation were avoided.

This must change. The review process must be open and transparent, there must be clear communication between the accommodation review committee members and their communities, and we need a standard, impartial means of evaluating various options for school closures and boundary changes.

Speaking to parents and community members across the central Mountain, I have heard the same concerns in every neighbourhood relating to a wide range of issues. The common theme is that parents and community members consistently feel the public school board has a serious lack of transparency and a patronizing top-down attitude.

Parent involvement in the school system is critical to ensure that local issues are considered at the board level. The current top-down “we know best” decision-making process does not value input from the talented and experienced parents, teachers, city partners and community members, and is a trend that does not serve our students well.

With a taxpayer-funded annual budget of over $500 million, the elected board of trustees must ensure the entire Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is transparent and accountable.

The need for a strong voice that requires knowledge, truth and reason in decision-making has called me to action and prompted me to run for trustee in Ward 7. You can have a voice in the future Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the future of our children. Be informed. On Oct. 27, cast your vote.

COMMUNITY COLUMNIST: Time to end board’s patronizing attitude

News Sep 02, 2014 Hamilton Mountain News

Because of the recent closure decisions in Ward 7, public school board trustee candidates for the ward were offered the opportunity to write in the Community Columnist space.

The next two columns will appear Sept. 18 and 25.

By Dawn Danko, special to the News

As a mother, college professor and a small business owner, I think it is safe to say that knowledge, truth and reason are significant in my life and are some of the core values I would like to instill in my children.

When I became involved in the battle to save my children’s school from closure this past year, it came as quite a shock when I realized that the public school board – the very institution tasked with teaching our children knowledge, truth and reason – seemed to hold these values in very low regard.

Knowledge, truth and reason were actively shut down by board staff at every opportunity throughout the school review process.

Community members were blocked when requesting information and clarification. Board staff would not acknowledge even glaring errors in their data. All forms of reasonable public consultation were avoided.

This must change. The review process must be open and transparent, there must be clear communication between the accommodation review committee members and their communities, and we need a standard, impartial means of evaluating various options for school closures and boundary changes.

Speaking to parents and community members across the central Mountain, I have heard the same concerns in every neighbourhood relating to a wide range of issues. The common theme is that parents and community members consistently feel the public school board has a serious lack of transparency and a patronizing top-down attitude.

Parent involvement in the school system is critical to ensure that local issues are considered at the board level. The current top-down “we know best” decision-making process does not value input from the talented and experienced parents, teachers, city partners and community members, and is a trend that does not serve our students well.

With a taxpayer-funded annual budget of over $500 million, the elected board of trustees must ensure the entire Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board is transparent and accountable.

The need for a strong voice that requires knowledge, truth and reason in decision-making has called me to action and prompted me to run for trustee in Ward 7. You can have a voice in the future Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board and the future of our children. Be informed. On Oct. 27, cast your vote.