Friday, October 8, 2010

Interview With Ward 12 & 14 Public School Trustee Candidate Carol Bazinet

This is a continuation of a series of interviews that I will post about local candidates that are running in the 2010 Calgary municipal election. I do not endorse any of the candidates necessarily, unless stated otherwise. The intent is to allow the candidates a forum in which they can share some of their views as I feel that the school trustee candidates often do not get the same amount of attention from the mainstream media as the alderman and mayoral candidates.

This interview is with Carol Bazinet, who will be running fro re-election as the Public School Trustee in Ward 12/14 this term.

Why are you running for the position of school board trustee?

CB: The important role that trustees play in public education is based on their representation of the public. Since all of the public can not be “at the table” for debate, trustees must do their best to represent as many views as possible. I really enjoy talking to members of the public about their education system and what their hopes and dreams are for their children. That is why I would want to be a trustee.

Can you share some of your past volunteer, political and/or Board of Directors experience?

CB: Serving as trustee for Calgary Board of Education since 2003, President of Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils for 3 years, Board of Directors for Alberta School Boards Association 3 years, member of Board for Alberta School Employee Benefit Plan (continuing) 2 years, Vice-Chair Calgary Board of Education, 3 years, member and currently Chair of CBE Audit committee – 7 years.

What is your future vision of the education system in Calgary?

CB: Vision for education system is that 100% of students complete high school. By the time students complete high school they have some understanding of their direction for the future.

What do you think the future of School Boards are in Alberta. What changes would you make to the school board trustee model?

CB: I believe school boards will continue to exist but we must recognize some of the recent changes to our education funding and delivery model in order to make the current role of boards more relevant. Per pupil funding implies a different model for school boards in that in order to be successful they must provide services that parents/students want in order to maintain student numbers. We need to ask serious questions about who school boards represent when many constituents in Calgary send their children to schools run by school authorities other than CBE or Calgary Separate and yet those are the only two boards they can vote for on election day.

If you could implement one radical idea to improve the school system, what would it be?

CB: One radical idea would be to base our system on outputs not on inputs. So if a student knows the information in a course, can they write an exam and get credit? Do all students need exactly the same number of hours of instruction before they write a test or produce a document? If a student wants to work independently (or students working in a group) and they can produce great representation of their knowledge and skills, do we have to ask them to conform to certain rules? How can we change our system to better measure what students know, what they want to explore, what their thinking abilities are, how they are preparing themselves for the future? Our goal is to have lifelong learners.

Carol's website is at 

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