Theresa in the news....
Lots of local coverage!

Standardized tests to go ahead
The education ministry will not be putting a moratorium on standardized tests for elementary school students.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario had written a strongly-worded statement condemning the Education Quality and Accountability Office tests as a “costly exercise” that is too limited, monopolizes classroom time and “does little to improve learning.”
The tests — mandatory for students in grades 3 and 6 — cover mathematics and literacy, which gives short shrift to science, history, social studies and the arts, ETFO president Sam Hammond said in the statement.
But on Tuesday, ministry spokesman Gary Wheeler confirmed that a moratorium “is not part of the ministry’s plan.”
The tests provide an “important snapshot” of achievement that allows the ministry to focus resources on areas that need them most, he said. And parents like that an independent body can assess their children’s progress.
That doesn’t sit well with Theresa Kavanagh, who launched her campaign for Ottawa-Carleton District School Board trustee this week.
“It’s starting to be used for ranking schools,” said Kavanagh, who will run in Bay ward.
Schools with higher concentrations of new immigrants whose first language isn’t English will naturally fare poorly on literacy elements, making it seem like the schools are no good.
“That’s something I’m really concerned about,” she said.
Kavanagh, who’s worked for over 21 years on Parliament Hill, will face off against incumbent Doug Lloyd.

EMC News

Kavanagh seeking OCDSB role in Zone 4

Posted Sep 2, 2010 By Phil Ambroziak

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 Theresa Kavanagh
Theresa Kavanagh
EMC News - Theresa Kavanagh believes a promising tomorrow for everyone begins with a promising today for youth.

Ms. Kavanagh, the wife of current Bay ward councillor Alex Cullen, has officially filed her nomination papers in an effort to win the seat of public school board trustee in Zone 4 (Bay).

"I've been thinking for a while now about doing more in the local community," Ms. Kavanagh said. "I have an intense job on Parliament Hill, but found the need to have more of a balance (on a local level). When (the school board) was suggested to me, I thought it would be something I'd really like to do."

Much of her inspiration to seek the role of trustee came from how highly she regarded the school system when her children were young students. She said she believes there are fewer opportunities for students today because of an erosion in the level of programs and services offered by Ontario schools.

"We have to fight for what we still have," she said. "It's very grassroots, but it all starts with kids getting the proper education, it's about building community and ensuring all kids have the same opportunities for a high level of education."

She added that not all families could afford to provide the same opportunities for their children, noting it's important this is addressed because today's children will be tomorrow's community leaders.

"Schools should be very important to all of us, whether we have children in the system or not," she said. "It takes a village to raise a child, but we all have to do our part. This (serving as trustee) is a good way to do just that."

Ms. Kavanagh's children attended Woodroffe Ave. Public School. Today they are grown one pursuing a PhD, the other having recently achieved a masters' degree.

"We were lucky to have very good programs offered at the public school level back then," she said.

As to why it's not the same today, the candidate said she feels it primarily has to do with funding.

"Funds are allocated through the provincial government, but with annual budgets and such, it becomes harder and harder to keep things going year in and year out," she said. "I want to be a voice for the people and for the community at large."

Having been employed on Parliament Hill for 21 years, Ms. Kavanagh described her current role as being that of a committee coordinator and procedures person. Until recently, she served on the board of directors of Alterna Savings. She has a strong interest in athletics, specifically running and triathlon. While this is her first attempt at securing a role on the local school board, Ms. Kavanagh was a candidate in the 1988 federal election for Ottawa West.

"Since then I have worked with elected politicians, but have not been one," she said. "This intrigued me because it is non-partisan and allows me to work with everybody, which is something I really like to do."

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