Saturday, October 9, 2010
Secret #20:Reaching the tipping point
Malcolm Gladwell's book, "The Tipping Point" was an interesting read and his premise certainly applies to the work of school boards. He argues that it takes a critical mass to effect change and that sometimes it only takes a little more effort or change in the environment to support a new direction or action.
The Edmonton Public School Board's recent debates around the question of student health and whether the board had a responsibility to offer healthier food and beverage options for students and eliminate the unhealthy( high sugar, high fat, high salt) options is a case in point.
EPSB Trustee Dave Colburn has been a leader in this policy area and had brought his anti junk food initiative forward a couple of years ago. Initially, most trustees didn't see the need for this action, and some even questioned what constituted "junk" food. When the vote was called, the motion was defeated. As a result, the Board faced considerable negative reaction from the community and so, the following year, when Trustee Colburn brought forward the initiative again, it passed with a strong majority.
It's my sense that the new Board that will be elected on October 18th is one that will reflect the community's "tipping point" on the issue of school closures.