Our Mission

The Institute for Public Education BC, an independent non­profit organization, provides high quality information and leadership to build a strong public education system for British Columbia’s children, families, and communities.

Quality

A quality Public Education system strives to insure every child develops their abilities to the fullest. No child is excluded.

A strong Public Education system recognizes children are at the centre of the enterprise. It is their individual and diverse needs that should guide policy.

Public Schools are concerned with a broad-based education that includes aesthetic, cultural, emotional, social, physical and vocational development, as well as intellectual and academic engagement.

The most fundamental and significant relationship in Public Education is between the student – and his or her parents ­ and the teacher. Relationships with peers are fundamental.

All professional educators—teachers, administrators, and support personnel—should be free to speak out for the best interests of the children they work with.

Assessing the progress and value of our Public Schools can’t be reduced to a standardized test. School and system evaluation needs to be carried out with diverse tools and focus on supporting the lives of the children in those schools.

Democracy

Public Schools are open to all – rich and poor; urban and rural; Aboriginal, native born and immigrant. Students with special needs are welcomed.

Students in public schools come from families with every kind of religious background – and no religious background. The public school is a secular and tolerant place that celebrates the diverse reality of our communities while underscoring and emphasizing our common humanity.

Public Schools are democratic public institutions governed by publicly elected officials (School Trustees, Ministers of Education etc.) accountable to their communities.

Those closest to the education process—teachers, administrators, school staff, students and their parents and community members—must have a meaningful and respected voice in education policy and practice.

Public Schools must strengthen and deepen democracy and encourage active citizenship.

Accessibility

Public schools…

  • should be welcoming and inclusive. Students, parents, educators and community residents should feel that their cultures and contributions are respected and valued, and that their presence and participation in the life of the school is valued.
  • must be safe and secure places for students and all who work in them.
  • can only be optimally effective if they are adequately and equitably funded.
  • are community institutions as well as centers of learning. An understanding of the Public School as a focus of community life is vital.