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Comparing the performance of private and public school graduates in post-secondary education

Executive Summary

Proponents of British Columbia’s (BC) private education funding model have claimed that private schools provide students with an academic advantage over their public school peers. By comparing the performance of graduates of BC private and public schools at the University of British Columbia (UBC), we can test this thesis. Our results show no significant difference in the four-year retention rates or fourth year sessional average between the students. Students from private schools were more likely to graduate UBC within four years, though fewer than one-in-three of all students still completed their degree in that timespan. This result can be explained by the greater availability of university credit courses in private schools and differences in socioeconomic status between private and public school families. There was no significant difference between graduates of elite and non-elite private schools. Similarly, graduates of secular and faith-based private schools were largely identical, with the possible exception that graduates of smaller secular schools tended to have lower four-year retention and graduation rates.

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Christian takeover at Delta Hospice

The BC Humanist Association has heard complaints from Delta residents, echoed by reporting for CBC News, of efforts by the Board of Directors of the Delta Hospice Society to convert the organization into a Christian anti-choice body.

Applicants who wish to join the Society are saying they've been denied and new bylaws are being put to a mail-in vote that would ban medical assistance in dying in the hospice.

In February, the BCHA cheered the Minister of Health's decision to pull the Hospice's funding for refusing to provide MAID and urged the Government to end a loophole for faith-based organizations.

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A Just Recovery is a Humanist Recovery

The BC Humanist Association is joining over 150 Canadian organizations in the launch today of six principles for a Just Recovery for All. The BCHA has also signed onto the Vancouver Just Recovery's joint statement.

The movements for a just recovery are calling on governments to ensure that recovery efforts support the transition to a more equitable, sustainable and diversified economy, and not entrench outdated economic and social systems that jeopardize the health and wellbeing of people, worsen the climate crisis, or perpetuate the exploitation or oppression of people.

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Decolonizing Legislative Prayers

Building off the comprehensive House of Prayers report, the BC Humanist Association is releasing Decolonizing Legislative Prayers.

This new supplementary report investigates the use of Indigenous content - words, phrases and concepts - in the prayers said by BC MLAs during the daily prayers in the Legislature between 2003 and 2019.

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Humanists join call to decriminalize simple drug possession immediately

The BC Humanist Association is joining over 50 human rights, health and drug policy organizations in calling on key ministers in the federal government to immediately decriminalize the possession of illicit drugs in response to the twin crises of opioid overdoses and the COVID-19 pandemic.

The letter was started by the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Pivot Legal Society and the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition was sent to the federal Ministers of Health, Justice and Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness. It points out that they have the authority to issue an "exemption" to "any class of persons" from the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, in the public interest. This can be used to exempt everyone in Canada from the section of the law that makes simple possession of drugs a crime.

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Reduction in funding for online private schools a step in the right direction

The BC Humanist Association is applauding a step by the Ministry of Education to reduce public support for online private schooling.

The Government of BC funds in-person private schools up to 50% of the per-student amount of neighbouring public schools; however, online distributed learning (DL) programs run by private schools were funded at up to 63% of the rate of public DL programs. In person elite private schools receive 35% funding and the equivalent DL programs received 44.1%.

Under the changes announced earlier this month, privately operated DL programs will now only receive 50% or 35% of what a public DL program receives. Further, new private DL programs will only be funded at the 35% level for their first year.

The change reverts the private DL funding model to what it was prior to the 2012/13 school year.

Unlike homeschooling, students participating in DL are connected with certified teachers online. The majority of private DL programs are religious.

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Humanists support international COVID-19 relief

Humanists believe that the solutions to the world’s problems lie in human thought and action rather than divine intervention.

As a global pandemic, Humanists recognize that COVID-19 affects around the world. As part of our commitment to supporting one another, regardless of nationality, the BC Humanist Association is eager to support secular international relief efforts.

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Combating coronavirus misinformation

One of the most common questions we've heard during the pandemic has been how to navigate the good science from the junk.

This is a big concern for Humanists, who value science and evidence, so I'll do my best to provide some pointers that I use when browsing the news.

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Humanism in action during COVID-19

Humanists have a duty of care to all of humanity including future generations.

Humanism commits us to an ethical way of life that looks after each other. For many of us, this has been never been more apparent than in the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Over the coming days and weeks, we'll be sharing some ways that you can put those Humanist values in action both locally and globally.

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Taking precautions and protecting our community

The evidence and warnings from our public health officials are clear: To prevent the novel coronavirus COVID-19 from overwhelming our healthcare system and leading to a lot of unnecessary suffering and death, immediate action is required from every one of us.

Yesterday, BC's Chief Public Health Officer banned all gatherings of over 50 people and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau restricted travel to Canada to Canadian residents and Americans. Municipalities are also starting to close non-essential public facilities. More measures are expected today and throughout the week.

For our own part, the BCHA's Board of Directors is taking steps to protect our members and the broader community. Specifically, we are suspending all in person meetings and encouraging online connections until public health officials deem the risk to be over.

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