Debbie L. Kasman is author of the book Lotus of the Heart: Reshaping the Human and Collective Soul, a former principal, acting interim superintendent, and student achievement officer at the Ministry of Education in Ontario with a career spanning over 28 years in Ontario.
The New-York Times Bestselling author, Daniel H. Pink, placed Debbie’s blog on his Reader Recommended List in December 2016.
Debbie has lots to say about the need to transform education. She also writes about female leadership, equity and spirituality.
Here are Debbie’s thoughts on education:
Ontario may be an educational “superpower,” but there’s a dark side we never talk about. It’s time to shine a light on those dark places or we’ll never improve the system.
We are struggling with systemic discrimination and a culture of fear, silence and retribution in the education system. And two different reviews of two very high profile school boards – the Toronto DSB and the York Region DSB – pointed to a dysfunction and deficit of leadership capacity on the administrative and elected sides of the organizations.
Margaret Wilson's 2015 review of the Toronto DSB called for a roll-back of trustee power. Suzanne Herbert’s and Patrick Case’s 2017 review called for meaningful professional development in relation to trustee responsibilities and governance training. They found that far too many trustees "failed to demonstrate a basic understanding of their role and responsibilities as elected leaders."
My next book is about the educational crisis in Ontario - institutional secrecy, lack of effective governance, the culture of fear, silence and retribution that keeps people quiet, racism and discrimination in schools and board offices, and the trickle effect these have on the classroom.
I’m going to reveal the dirty little secrets about our education system that no one wants you to know about. You’ll be stunned by what I reveal, but I think you’ll also be moved and inspired to help transform the system. In addition to shining a light on the dark, I also offer solutions to help move us forward. It’s only by shining a light on the dark - and talking openly and honestly about the issues that plague our system - that we’ll be able to truly create a world-class education system for the nearly two million students currently attending our schools.
For a sneak peak at some of the issues, read Counterpoint: Ontario experience provides ample rationale for axing school boards in Nova Scotia, which was published in the The Chronicle Herald, February 2018, and Education crisis in Ontario: Trustees stay on boards even after issues arise, which was published in The Peterborough Examiner, November 7, 2018. You can also check out the highlighted sections of the Toronto District School Board Review and the York Region District School Board Review.
Subscribe to my newsletter below to be alerted when the book is released.