Our Vision for Student Success: Education System Administration Review

This is the third of a series of posts highlighting the key initiatives in your Liberal government’s Vision for Student Success.

In October 2017, we hired world-renowned education consultant, Dr. Avis Glaze, to conduct an Education System Administration Review which looked at the structure of administration and governance in our public education system. This is the first time in over 20 years that the Province has reviewed how we govern and administer education in Nova Scotia.

Specifically, the review looked at how public schools are administered, including elected school boards and their central office administration, along with administration at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

The goal is to improve the foundation of the education system, so that the changes that emerge from the work of both the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions and the Commission on Inclusive Education are being introduced into an environment where there are clear reporting relationships, consistent implementation of policies and procedures and where the people who make up the system are organized around improving student success.

Dr. Glaze’s report, entitled Raise the Bar: A Coherent and Responsive Education Administrative System for Nova Scotia, was released in January. Dr. Glaze concluded that the Province’s education administrative model needs to be refocused and realigned to ensure student learning and achievement come first. The report includes 22 recommendations.

“Our singular focus is on improving student success,” said Zach Churchill, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

On January 24th, the Minister accepted the spirit and intent of the report and initiated the implementation of the recommendations beginning with:

  1. Unifying the system by dissolving the seven elected regional school boards and creating one provincial advisory council. The structure of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial will not change.
  2. Allocating a portion of the money saved from the changes to enhance the role and influence of school advisory councils for all schools (or families of schools) in the province to strengthen the local voice in schools
  3. Changing the name of superintendents to regional executive directors and to enhance their role to focus on student achievement, reporting directly to the deputy minister of Education and Early Childhood Development
  4. Moving principals and vice-principals from the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, while protecting salaries, pensions and benefits
  5. Moving teaching support specialists (literacy leads, math mentors) out of regional education offices and into classrooms four days a week, with the fifth day dedicated to planning and preparation
  6. Creating an independent Provincial College of Educators

You can review the full report, government’s response, the recommendations, and more here.