(This is a blog post that I wrote in February for the ARTICS website which encapsulates why I am running to be a school board trustee.)
Over the past two years, members of ARTICS have been called many things; advocates, watchdogs, troublemakers, and armchair quarterbacks to name a few. However, since our inception we have consistently maintained that we are simply a group of concerned citizens working to improve the education system for all of Calgary’s students.
Perhaps we were overly naive in believing that we could have an impact by shining a light on areas of the system which we found very troubling. Some may have questioned whether our methods were appropriate. However, we strongly believe that change can only happen when the truth is confronted, not ignored. Like Abraham Lincoln, we believe that, “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” And we truly want to help. There are very few things that matter more to us than the education of all of our children. They are our hope and our future.
For ages, people have fought the battle of “right against might” (Ghandi). Why do they do it? Why did we do it? Why did we sacrifice all the time, money and energy required to take a stand against a billion dollar organization with nothing more than willpower and dedication? Because, we believed that we could make a difference. We believed that our kids were worth it. And we still do.
We believe in the CBE. We believe that there are extremely dedicated and competent people in all levels of the organization who want what is best for our students. We believe that there are innovative practices and programs here that will better prepare our students for the future. We believe that our students are developing the skills that will make them the leaders of tomorrow. And we also believe that the CBE can do better. It must do better.
Transparency. Responsiveness. Accountability. These words are bandied about so often that they have become almost meaningless. But to us, they remain essential. It is upon these core values that great public organizations are built. And we want the CBE to be a great organization. We believe it can be. And we are willing to continue working as hard as we can, in the best ways that we are able, to ensure that it will be.
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