After years of observing the operation of the Toronto District School Board, Education Minister Liz Sandals is hoping that she's found the key to making Canada's largest school board work properly. When the minister visited our studio recently, Steve Paikin took the opportunity to get some history of the TDSB's poor performance, and to ask why she appointed an expert to review the TDSB's problems.
Margaret Wilson, the former registrar of the Ontario College of Teachers, was appointed to review the operational issues at the TDSB in late November, and was expected to produce her report by the end of the year - a deadline which has now been extended to January 12, 2015.
As Sandals points out in the above video, the review is being conducted under the provisions of the Provincial Interest Regulation portion of the Education Act. All this follows numerous reports of dysfunction at the TDSB, including a board meeting which saw the police called in to deal with accusations that one trustee held the director of education hostage in her office.
But will a little over a month be sufficient time to put together the sorts of comprehensive recommendations that will undo the governance problems that this board has faced since its inception? Problems that seemingly have become more complex and entrenched over the years. More than 246,000 students, in 595 schools, and their parents can only hope that the future of the TDSB is as chipper and hostage-situation-free as the promotional video found on the board's website.
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