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Call for Participants: BCTF Virtual Think Tank on Privatization

With guest presenter Dr. Sam Abrams, Columbia University 

May 7, 2021
9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

This one-day Think Tank will bring together BCTF members with educational experts to (1) explore growing pressures and trends towards privatization of education within the province and globally and, (2) identify strategies for resisting privatization and defending public education as a public good. Dr. Sam Abrams, Director of the National Center for the Study of Privatization in Education at Teacher’s College, Columbia University, will frame the context for the day’s discussions using his book, Education and the Commercial Mindset. Participants will be mailed a copy of the book by the end of March with suggested readings to preview prior to May 7th.

Why have this event now? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has created conditions in which the privatization of public education can flourish. Privatization is a threat to education as a public good. While public education can contribute to a more equitable society, privatization in education privileges individual and financial interests. This event aims to mobilize teachers’ perspectives and experiences to resist privatization of BC public schools.

Who can participate? 

The Think Tank will bring together 20 participants, including 8 selected through an open call to the general BCTF membership. The other participants will come from the Professional Issues Advisory Committee (2), the Working and Learning Conditions/Bargaining Advisory Committee (2), the BCTF Executive Committee (2) and education partners working on issues related to privatization in education (6).

Is there any cost?

No. The BCTF will request union leave for participants and cover the cost of the TTOCs as required for participation at the summit. The Think Tank will be held via Zoom.

Schedule at a glance

9:00 a.m. Welcome
9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. Guest speaker and discussion:
Privatization in Education, Dr. Sam Abrams
11:00 a.m.  – 12:00 p.m.    Panel discussion:
How the pandemic is amplifying and extending privatization in public education in BC
12:00 p.m. – 13:00 p.m. Break
13:00 p.m. – 15:30 p.m. Privatization in BC schools: challenges and strategies for resistance
15:30 p.m. Closure

How do I apply? 

To apply, please fill in a BCTF Virtual Think Tank on Privatization application form. Email your completed application to or mail to: BCTF Research, 100-550 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4P2; Fax: (604) 871-2294. Applications are due March 12, 2021, at 5:00 p.m.


Email BCTF Research at Call 604-871-2283 or toll free 1-800-663-9163.

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