Feb 26 media – Moira MacDonald (Toronto Sun) on Ward 20 candidates

In today’s Toronto Sun, Moira MacDonald breaks down the School Board by-election top candidates. The link isn’t available yet online, but I will post it once I do receive it.

“And the nominees are…”

Candidates square off in T.O. school board byelections.

Toronto Sun. Sunday, February 26, 2012, page 12

Excerpt:

Monica Batac, meanwhile, is a young, energetic and smart candidate completing a master of teaching degree and sporting refreshing, out-of-the-box thinking, including a Chinese/English/French alternative school concept.

And if you have the right to vote in these elections, you should, since it’s gobbling up close to $500,000 of your tax dollars.

 

 

All Candidates Debate video – Goldhawk Live

Here is the televised Goldhawk Live All Candidates Debate for Trustee – Ward 20 Scarborough-Agincourt.

My thoughts? I have always talked specific to the Scarborough-Agincourt community, specific to education, schools, programs and classrooms.  I bring the Trustee role right back to who we serve: students.  I see the role as immersed in dialogue and action with students, parents, and the entire community.

Communication and interaction with students, parents, and community is not a one-time event. It’s not a spectacle. I see it as a constant endeavour.

Since Day 1 of this campaign, I have been easily accessible by anyone and everyone. I am transparent. I am honest. I am willing to engage in conversation.  This is the role of Trustee: to listen, to discuss, to inform, to plan, to take action.

I see the Trustee role as consulting with our students, parents and community, with our schools, with internal and external evidence, with exemplary model programs and schools outside of TDSB to ensure we are providing quality, effective, and cost-efficent programs that really drive student achievement. I provide a comprehensive and informed approach to improving and innovating our schools.

Education is my background, my passion, my life. I am engaged in education all day, every day. Vote Monica Batac, someone who is informed and engaged in education TODAY. Not 5, 10, 15 years ago. Not as a hobby. I am an educator first and foremost, with our students and schools as my top priorities.

Full URL: http://www.rogerstv.com/page.aspx?lid=237&rid=16&gid=91573&.T0hk6cp0-VU.twitter

Media coverage in Taliba & Balita papers

As printed in the Taliba & Balita Filipino newspapers.

TDSB Trustee candidate Monica Batac’s focus is supporting Scarborough-Agincourt’s diverse students
Culturally relevant programs are key to the academic success of first-and second-generation students

As a Filipino-Canadian, Monica Batac knows first-hand the strengths and weaknesses of programs designed to meet the unique needs of first- and second-generation Canadian families, which make up 78% of the Scarborough-Agincourt community.

“A common barrier for these students is the English language.  I’ll advocate for more funding and continued innovation in ESL programs. Many students arrive here with math and science skills that exceed Canadian standards.  We want to help them integrate successfully into our school system,” says Batac, who would have an open-door policy for parents to share their ideas and concerns with her.

Batac’s 5-point platform is indicative of her experience as an educator and acquired knowledge as an education researcher. She understands the importance of integrating technology into classrooms and improving the way we prepare the next generation of teachers to meet the needs of a diverse student population. If elected, she will study the feasibility of a trilingual alternative school that provides cultural immersion for first- and second-generation students.

“I’m currently surveying the community to establish the level of interest among parents for culturally-relevant programming,” says Batac. “A Trustee is responsible for representing the voice of the community and I’m in the process of understanding what that voice
would like to say to the Toronto District School Board on a variety of important issues.”

About Monica Batac
Batac is an educator currently completing her Master of Teaching Degree at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE/UT). Through her involvement in the organization of leading-edge teacher professional development events
such as EdCamp Toronto, she’s gaining a solid reputation among her peers across Ontario for advancing and presenting education research, facilitating discussion among educators, and making use of the latest education technology to improve day-to-day learning in the classroom.

Monica Batac 416.579.5670
Email your questions and comments to:  monica@monicabatac.com
Monica Batac on Twitter: @monicabatac
Monica Batac Trustee Campaign Website: http://www.monicabatac.com

Monica Batac’s 5-Point Platform for Student Success in Scarborough-Agincourt

1.      Prioritize ESL program funding increases to address the growing demand.

2.      Study the feasibility of a trilingual alternative school that provides cultural immersion for first- and second-generation students.

3.      Influence the design of more culturally responsive teacher-training programs to ensure that new teachers connect with our diverse student population.

4.      Promote the responsible and effective use of technology in our classrooms for student learning that keeps pace with the competitive global labour market.

5.      Gather concerns from parents and provide expert guidance about proposed changes to Ontario’s Sex Education Curriculum.

Media coverage #5

Jordon Glass

“BREAKING DOWN THE TDSB BY-ELECTIONS”

February 15 2012.

Excerpt:

If you are unaware that there have been two ongoing Toronto District School Board (TDSB) by-elections in this city, you could hardly be blamed. You aren’t the only one. The by-elections in TDSB Ward 17 (Don Valley East) and TDSB Ward 20 (Scarborough-Agincourt) have largely managed to fly under the radar in a city that has so recently faced three general elections, a federal by-election, and constant political strife at City Hall between the Mayor and his political adversaries.

The two seats became vacant when Liberals Michael Coteau and Soo Wong were elected during the previous October’s Ontario general election in Don Valley East and Scarborough-Agincourt, respectively. While both have become key members of Premier McGuinty’s Toronto team of MPPs, their old seats at the TDSB have become the focal points of two of the most hotly contested by-elections in the school board’s history. Boasting an impressive thirty-one candidates between the two wards; it would be needlessly complicated to break down the platform for each and every single candidate. That said; there are a few who have managed to break ahead of the pack.

Just a little southwest, Ward 20 has managed to mimic the formula put forth by Ward 17; that of a small number of candidates managing to stand up above the crowd. Chief among them is Monica Batac. Attracting far more media attention than any other candidate in either race, Batac is running on her experience as a teacher with the TDSB and a researcher with the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education. She has built her campaign around prioritizing English as a second language education. However, the most interesting piece of her platform may be her commitment to study the feasibility of opening a trilingual school in Toronto.

 

Read the full article here.

Media Coverage #4, includes interview

Here’s a Digital Journal feature article about me, my platform, and some of my perspectives on TDSB & the Trustee role, written by Andrew Moran.

TDSB Trustee candidate Monica Batac wants to innovate classrooms
Full URL: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/319209

Excerpt:

During municipal elections, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Trustee contests usually do not garner much attention from voters or media outlets, but that could change this year as two by-elections are being held in Ward 17 Don Valley East and Ward 20 Scarborough-Agincourt.

Ward 20 voters will have 14 candidates to choose from on Feb. 27, including an exuberant Monica Batac, a classroom teacher who is completing her Master of Teaching degree at the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute of Studies in Education.

DigitalJournal.com spoke with Batac to find out what makes her qualified to become a school trustee, understand the importance of such a position, what the TDSB can do to improve education and public awareness of trustee elections.

Read full article here.

Media coverage #2 – campaign

Ontario educator and blogger Doug Peterson wrote this article on me, entitled “Yoga and Politics.”  Some of the things he highlights: how we met, my experiences and perspectives, my social media and technology use, and what I bring to the table as Trustee for Scarborough-Agincourt.

Excerpt:

The use of social media just at election time is disingenuous.  I know that it’s a relatively new phenomenon to some but I think that I would really have a great deal of respect for someone who promises during her/his campaign to stay connected after the election to provide information directly to we taxpayers.  In fact, anyone who promises to live-tweet or live-blog during debates on bills would be guaranteed to get me to look strongly at their candidancy.

Even more impressive would be someone who is a known user of social media to spur conversations, debate issues, take a stand, etc. BEFORE the election.  For them to have a position already established and then to slide over to election mode would be the best possible scenario.

Voters in Scarborough-Agincourt have that opportunity in candidate for board of trustees, Monica Batac.  Monica is a an established social media user.  I first met her at the ISTE Conference in Philadelphia where she was just another Ontario Educator in the pack of us that learned and dined together.  At the time, she was going to school to get her Master’s Degree in Teaching.  We met up again at the ECOO Conference in Toronto.  What I particularly like about these events and the Ontario Educators that went to these two events is that the conversation is certainly not an echo chamber.  In our discussions, we talk and push each other to think about the WHYs that go with what we’re doing.  That is so helpful.

It was with a smile that I read that Monica was planning to run in Scarborough-Agincourt.  Monica has strong ideas and opinions about education and isn’t happy with the status quo.  I think that she’s perfectly placed to take on the challenge of representing people in that huge school district.

Many who head into political office do so with a machine behind them.  Monica’s working to build a social machine.  Whether it’s through her Facebook fan pageTwitter account, orpersonal website, she’s doing her best to build community to help spread her message.  Reading the content recently, she does have friends and followers, but not necessarily in Scarborough-Agincourt.  Hopefully, that grows as she heads towards the February 27th election date.  She did get a little bit of traditional media coverage which can be a challenge in a by-election.

So, how does a first time politician get money to run?  There have been a lot of fund raisers that I’ve heard of before but how about attending a Yoga Class together?  Is this a sign of new thinking to come?  Her friend Colin Harris already has blogged about her thoughts of planning and expecting excellence.  These are the sorts of things that we need driving education towards the future.

It would be terrific and a positive sign for the future that candidates who know and use the technology are taking the time to get elected and move the educational system forward.  I just wish that I could vote for her.

See full article, click here.

Media coverage on by-election

Hi all,

I wanted to share this article about the upcoming by-election with information about some of the candidates – including yours truly.

Trustee by-elections are anyone’s race. by Moira MacDonald. Toronto Sun. Jan. 10, 2012.

Excerpts:

If you want to see what a difference no incumbent makes, take a look at the growing list of trustee by-election candidates in Don Valley East’s Ward 17 and Scarborough-Agincourt’s Ward 20.

There’s the heavy smell of opportunism in the air for both races, but there’s the whiff of idealism too. Political neophyte Monica Batac, 24, is finishing a master’s degree in teaching this spring, but says the experience taught her education needs advocatesat the political table too. She plans a “grassroots” campaign in Scarborough- Agincourt, including how she fundraises. Next weekend she’s part of a “karma” Bikram yoga class where proceeds will go to support her trustee bid.

“I don’t have a campaign manager, I’m writing my own content,” says Batac, who has a special interest in how to use technology in education. “It’s not easy. I’m an underdog — but I have the best of intentions.”