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.
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 that children are at the centre of the enterprise. It is their individual and collective needs that should guide policy and practice.
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 their caregivers, and the teacher. Relationships with peers are also fundamental to their healthy growth and development.
All professional educators—teachers, administrators, and support personnel—should be free to speak out for the best interests of the children they work with.
A decolonizing lens opens the doors to truth and change, and embeds the TRC Calls to Action in schools and professional practice.
Assessing the progress and value of our Public Schools can not 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.
For public education to be optimally effective, schools need to be adequately and equitably funded.
Public Schools must strengthen and deepen democracy and encourage active citizenship.
Public Schools are open to all people regardless of special or diverse needs, economic status, background, religion, ethnicity, learning style or location in the province.
The public school is a secular and tolerant place that celebrates the diversity in our communities while underscoring and emphasizing our common humanity. Students in public schools come from families with every kind of religious background – and no religious background.
Public Schools are democratic public institutions governed by publicly elected officials (School Trustees and the Ministers of Education) who are 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.
We believe that, as a cornerstone of public education, 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 their presence and participation in the life of the school is welcomed.
Public schools must also be:
- safe and secure places for students and all personnel who work in them.
- community institutions as well as centers of learning. An understanding of the public school as a focus of community life is vital.
While public schools must strive to meet the needs of individual students, they also have an important role to play in creating a community of learners and fostering the social development and civic engagement of the children and youth in their care.