MERN Forum Presentation id=437
MERN Forum # 26
Session: 3E
Author: Jon Young &
AbdelHady El Nagar
Affiliation: University of Manitoba
Title : Equity without participation is not equity: The changing role of school boards
Description : The argument developed in this presentation is, simply put, as follows: (i) that while education and schooling are quite different concepts, our best expectations of the purpose/raison d’etre of public schooling is clearly located within some notion of an educated person and an educated society; (ii) that a commitment to ‘equity’ in this context means, in some general sense, that all people and all segments of society should have similar access to, and educational benefits of, the resources of public schooling; and (iii), central to this presentation, that both the notion of education and the notion of public schooling require participation – that becoming educated is an active process of identify construction/ ‘appearing in the world’ and that public schooling requires that ‘the public’ in its broadest expression contribute to the educational policies and practices that their children experience. This presentation examines the role of school boards within this education equity framework, with particular reference to recent developments in Manitoba and Ontario related to school board size/amalgamation and school board-provincial government authority (Young and El Nagar, 2011). In doing so the presentation highlights some of the practical tensions associated with the pursuit of both equity and participation, and returning to the position that ‘equity without participation is not equity’ argues for the importance of maintaining some form of strong local school boards.
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