Monday, July 7, 2014

Jeff Johnson strengthens cynicism and weakens democracy

Two months ago,  I wrote a post that detailed 9 reasons why Education Minister Jeff Johnson has failed Albertans.

When I tweeted that post again today, a teacher asked, "You could only come up with 9?"

So here's one more:

1. In her Edmonton Journal column, Paula Simons quoted Johnson:
"School boards serve at the pleasure of the minister."
And here I thought school boards serve the public.

Silly me.

There's so much wrong with Johnson's take on school boards that it's hard to know where to start -- but here goes:

Albertans are suppose to live in a democracy where many different layers of elected government exist. Some of our government is more local than others. Municipal elections, which include school board trustees, are no less or no more important than provincial or federal elections.

There are lots of good reasons to have provincial and federally elected politicians -- enslaving or eliminating local government is not one of them.

One of my education heroes Deborah Meier once wrote that, "every time we respond to our distrust by wiping out institutions close to ordinary citizens in favour of more distant authorities, we strengthen cynicism and weaken democracy itself.”

Every politician has a legacy.

As Alberta's Education Minister, Jeff Johnson has strengthened cynicism and weakened democracy.

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