By Donna Marie Kennedy
The lively debates at the most recent Council meeting didnt
prevent the members from making a great deal of progress on a number of important issues.
Some of the lengthier discussions centred on the criminal records screening policy, the
Election Committee report and the Accreditation Committee report.
You can find a detailed report about the criminal records screening policy in the Blue Pages of this issue. The policy was a result of extensive
discussions, research, consultation and compromise. The committee that Council established
to create the criminal records screening policy was indeed a large one. With 10 elected
and appointed members, it involved almost one-third of Council members in the development
of this policy, and much of the debate that shaped it occurred at the committee and
executive tables. In the end, Council unanimously endorsed the policy.
The discussions around the Election Committee report proved to be equally lively. The
changes in Bill 160 make the revamping of the election regulation a complicated
To ensure a fair and equitable election process for more than 165,000 people from one
end of the province to the other is a daunting task and one that the Election Committee
will struggle with in the coming months. We hope that the recommendation that will be
required for the new regulation will be ready for the December Council meeting.
Equally lengthy debate surrounded the Accreditation Committee report. The specific
concerns raised by Council members centred on the reporting procedures of recommendations
made by the panels accrediting faculties of education. The chair of Accreditation was able
to assure Council members that in future a more detailed reporting mechanism will be in
place for both the public and the Council.
Its evident that the policies and procedures of the College and many of its
committees are in a state of evolution in these early stages. It is important that we do
things in a logical and sequential manner. Pilot projects have been established in order
to correct, fine tune, rethink or further clarify procedures and policies. In the end this
methodical approach to developing our working documents and systems will, I believe, serve
The cover story in this issue of the College magazine is a
very interesting and disturbing article on projected teacher shortages. With as many as
78,000 teachers retiring over the next decade, many new teachers with appropriate
qualifications will be required.
However, applications to faculties of education in Ontario are at an historic low
level. This projected shortage of teachers must be addressed by the Ministry of Education
and Training, the faculties of education and the College of Teachers in the very near
future. College members will no doubt be most concerned about specific subject areas that
are already experiencing recruitment problems Technology, Mathematics, Science and
While these areas of study are of particular concern, general recruitment to the
profession will be required as a whole generation of elementary and secondary school
teachers prepares to retire.
While the profession needs to examine and plan for shortages in subject-specific areas,
we also need to be aware of the projected shortage of male teachers in the profession,
which will be a growing problem in elementary schools across the province. When we
encourage people to enter the profession, teachers will need to keep this issue and many
others in mind.