Education Minister Nancy Allan is proving to be a great interview.
My interview with Allan yesterday about whether students should get docked marks for turning in assignments late -- and related issues of tardiness and attitude that won’t be tolerated post-graduation -- led to our flare story on A3 and became considerable subsequent fodder for at least two radio stations this morning.
It’s not the first time I’ve had an interview with Allan that led to pretty good stories.
While Allan uses that awful word ‘stakeholders’ far too often, she still talks like a real person, so far not assimilated by the pod people into jargon-and-acronym-crammed eduspeak.
Of course, she followed NDP strategy and blamed the Tories back in 1997 for the guidelines that have led to many classes in which kids don’t get docked marks for missing deadlines, or getting all kinds of second and third chances without consequence. But what was also amazing was what happened when I reminded Allan that her NDP predecessor, Peter Bjornson, had sent out a letter last June which reinforced those guidelines.
"You’re absolutely right," Allan told me — something I don’t hear very often. "That’s correct, Peter did, minister Bjornson did."
But Allan said she has certainly been hearing about it from — sigh, yuck — stakeholders, and in this particular case, she may actually be amending the approach of the NDP’s going-on-11-years in government, if not reversing that particular stand, on docking marks for late assignments.
We’ll keep calling the minister and working on a clear resolution on umpteen other issues — after all, there’s a strong consensus among the stakeholders for clarity and transparency in the interests of positive learning outcomes for our greatest resource, and for our future, the children of Manitoba.