Dr. Edmond Heatley Resigns As Commissioner

April 11, 2014 | 101 Comments

Dr Edmond Heatley, August 26 2013-4[Updated with video/statements/PLP response]

Dr. Edmond Heatley — an American educator who took on the post 7 months ago — has resigned as the Commissioner of Education.

Dr Lou Matthews, a Bermudian, will assume the role of Acting Commissioner upon Dr. Heatley’s departure on April 30th.

Dr. Heatley took up the post in Bermuda in September 2013 and last month it was revealed that he applied for a job in the United States.

Further controversy arose when it appeared that on his application for the job he claimed to have “increased public education approval rates from 23% to 93%” while employed in Bermuda.

In addition, there appeared to be some possible discrepancy with how many jobs he may have applied for, with Dr. Heatley saying he applied for one job, while the application suggested he may have applied for two.

Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown called on him to resign, Independent MP Terry Lister said Dr. Heatley should be told to “get cracking”, while School Principals who are represented by the BPSU declared a “vote of no confidence” in Dr. Heatley.

The press conference is still underway, and we will update with additional information/video as able.

Update 1.18pm:  The press conference is being hosted by Education & Economic Development Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons and Permanent Secretary Ross Webber.

Mr. Webber said he “received and accepted” Dr. Heatley’s resignation today, and said Dr. Heatley will stay until April 30th.

Update 1.27pm: The press conference has just ended, we will have the full video up later this afternoon.

Update 2.46pm: Video of the full press conference is below. When asked by Dr. Heatley resigned, Mr. Webber said he did not give a reason. He was then asked if Dr. Heatley had not resigned would he be forced out, and Mr. Webber replied, “I believe that is moot at this point.”

Dr. Gibbons’ full statement follows below:

Thank you for coming today.

We would like to provide an update on the status of the Commissioner of Education.

As you will be aware, under Public Service Commission procedures, ministers do not play a role in the hiring, transfer or termination of civil servants – and are not involved in staffing matters.

Consequently I am going to hand over to Mr. Ross Webber, Permanent Secretary, who will explain the Ministry’s position and the status of the Commissioner of Education, Dr. Edmond Heatley.

I’d like to conclude by saying that this has been a difficult situation over the last few weeks for everyone.

I am pleased the matter has been resolved and hope that we can now move on.

I look forward to working more closely with Dr. Lou Matthews as Acting Commissioner, as well as other senior members of the department in their ongoing roles.

I also anticipate that the Board of Education, as is their responsibility under the Education Act, will proceed to address the selection of a new Commissioner and make their recommendation to the Public Service Commission in due course.

I’d like to thank Dr. Heatley for the service he has rendered during his tenure, the Board of Education for their diligence over the last few weeks, and particularly the Permanent Secretary, Mr. Webber, for his careful handling of what has been a challenging situation for everyone.

We will continue to move ahead with education reform and the Ministry’s responsibility to ensure accountability and performance in the public education system. And I am confident that we will continue to move ahead in the best interests of students and their parents.

Thank you

-

Mr. Webber’s full statement follows below:

Today, the Ministry of Education and Economic Development confirmed the resignation of Dr Edmond Heatley from the role of Commissioner of Education.

Dr Heatley will work out a period of notice between now and April 30th while transitioning work duties to Dr Lou Matthews, who will assume the role of Acting Commissioner of Education for the near future.

Dr Matthews will be supported by a team of Directors and Assistant Directors. This team includes, Dr Llewellyn Simmons, Dr Freddie Evans, Ms Laverne Simons, Ms Terry Cox and Ms Chezia Calloway. They are supported by the rest of the staff of the Department of Education.

The last few weeks have been a challenging time for all involved with the Education portfolio.

It is important that Dr Matthews and the entire team in the Department of Education get the backing and support of Education stakeholders, and the whole community, as we move forward with the progression of our Education system.

-

Update 4.44pm: Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown said, “The Progressive Labour Party is pleased that Dr. Edmond Heatley has resigned from the post of Commissioner of Education. Once the facts were disclosed surrounding Dr. Heatley’s recent activities, we were concerned at his apparent lack of commitment and long term dedication to the job at hand. In fact, once I learned the facts, I called on him to resign as his position had become untenable.

“We are glad that we can put this situation behind us, and try and get focus back where it belongs – on the education of our children. Too often, these types of distractions serve no one’s best interests, and end up delaying progress that is so needed.

“We acknowledge the appointment to Acting Commissioner of Education, of Dr. Lou Matthews, and are confident Dr. Matthews has the skills and abilities required to act in this capacity. We call on the Ministry to move swiftly in their decision to appoint a new Commissioner, or to decide if a Commissioner is actually a necessary role in the top heavy Ministry of Education.

“The Progressive Labour Party has presented our vision for a reformed and realigned Education System, and we have expressed our willingness to work with the governing OBA in bringing this to fruition.

“We hope that the Ministry of Education, the teachers, students and the parents can all move forward together focused on ensuring the best possible education system for our country.”

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Comments (101)

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  1. Bermewjan says:

    Thank goodness!

    Like(22)
    Dislike(3)
    • BETTTY TRUMP says:

      Dr. Heatley had no alternative, but to resign. The pressure mounted and the next step was to resign. Unfortunately he tangled his own web and placed himself in an uncomfortable position. This is not a good situation to have happen, but his lack of transparency resulted in a bad situation.

      Bermudians must work together to hold the government accountable in regards to the Education of our Children. Movement to improve public Education must be an active step. But it will include active parental and community involvement.

      Shadow Education Minister Walton Brown called on him to resign, Independent MP Terry Lister said Dr. Heatley should be told to “get cracking”, while School Principals who are represented by the BPSU declared a “vote of no confidence” in Dr. Heatley.

      Like(40)
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      • BETTTY TRUMP says:

        Dr. Matthews, I wish you all the best in improving our Education system. Please stand up and be a strong leader, and not one whom is there merely for show. Bermuda needs a leader that will be forward thinking and push towards success in our system. Bermuda needs a leader whom is a critical thinker, and is able to applied his or her skills.

        To be successful in this post Dr. Matthews must:

        1. Active involvement of Educators, parents, and Community (key Stakeholders) in pushing Education forward.

        2. Not only apply his book (theory) knowledge, but be able to apply it, which often a weakness that he may have, according to many Educators.

        3. Be an effective communicator, to all and value the input from individuals regardless of where they are position.

        4. Develop a clear 5 year plan for Education, adopting some of the recommendations from the Hopkins report.

        5. Be honest in regards to what Education is able to achieve, and not able to achieve within a time period.

        These are only a few things that will ensure a movement towards a successful Education system.

        I know that you will do your best, to ensure the overall success of our future, which is Bermuda's children.

        Like(32)
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        • Lauren Bell says:

          Which parts of the Hopkins report should be adopted in this 5-year plan?

          Like(3)
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        • Bermyluv says:

          Bermuda's education system is not the problem. The problem is Bermuda's parents.

          Like(69)
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          • Suzie Quattro says:

            No. The problem is the education system. It needs major change. We need to get rid of the dozens of incompetent seat warmers at MOE and the half-a**ed teachers.

            Like(16)
            Dislike(20)
            • Steve Biko says:

              Can someone tell me what role MINISTERS play because when P.L.P was in power everything was the MINISTERS fault, did the rules change in the middle of the game or is this the two Bermuda's syndrome !!!
              WTF

              Like(22)
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              • Chaos Theory says:

                Because the PLP ministers intervened at every level and in everything, even when they were not supposed to.

                Like(8)
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              • Inquiring minds says:

                That is the cructz of the matter PLP ministers felt they were elected thus in charge and should manage staffing as well. The problem was 1) not their remit elected or not and 2) not trained or eerienced to manage staff.
                There is a very food reason that the professionals are supposed to handle staffing.the elected should stick to policy and stay out of staff and operations.

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      • Terry says:

        Good one Betty.
        Just a bunch of pissed off Bermudians who did not get the job and will now try and garner favors fro a local.

        Back to square one.
        Me.........................

        Like(7)
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        • Steve Biko says:

          Another one of O.B.A./ubp f!@# ups!!!!!!!!

          Like(13)
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          • PLOP says:

            really OBAs F'up???? You do remember how we got into this mess. You do remember 5 PLP ministers in what 10 years? The OBA attempted to fix it. Are they responsible for this mans decisions? Obviously they made what appeared to be a great choice at least initially...other jurisdictions thought enough of him and sought him out!

            He lied, misled us and I for one am disappointed and angry. However, his choices were his own and he resigned ...did your great fearless leader,Dr. Brown do the same when he admitted to lying to the people of Bermuda. You do remember that don't you? He was the leader of this country at the time, but somehow you looked the other way!

            Like(14)
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            • Steve Biko says:

              Ok that was then, I must admit P.L.P made some F@#! ups and O.B.A/ubp are F@#!ing up worst in shorter time.
              Being you want to play the numbers game O.B.A/ubp have 2 Ministers ,2 Commissioners and 2,P.S in 1 year.
              P.L.P had 2 leaders since Dr. Brown and you cant get past that, and it takes a real leader to admit that they F@#!ed up, unlike Jet Gate, the 4th guy who bummed a plane ride after we were told it was 3, I'm not answering questions, storming out of news press, avoiding TOUGH interviews with Sherrie J and Gary, etc, etc.
              As much as I didn't agree with some things Dr. Brown did or said one thing I do give him he answered tough questions, stood up and was not afraid of the "Powers that be" who have been controlling this Island from its discovery and that takes b@lls !!!!!!!!!!!!
              So I guess it's O.B.A./ubp's supporters time to LOOK THE OTHER WAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
              P.S
              Is Transparency, Ethical, Honest, Open, Accountable and all those fancy words that were thrown at P.L.P still valid or was that just for then? And the Daily's been QUIET !!!!!!!!
              TWO BERMUDA'S

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              • Wild says:

                How exactly has the OBA messed things up in a shorter amount of time. Is the economy getting worse? Is Tourism down? Is International Business down? Where have they messed up.

                Jetgate as you call it , is the best you can come up with?

                Why would anyone other than a PLP member go on Hott 1075? It is owned by a PLP member it is no secret that it is pro PLP and negative everything else.

                Like(3)
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                • Wild says:

                  I for one cant stand to listen to any of those shows. The are a cesspit of negative, complainers.

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                • Steve Biko says:

                  Get your facts right before you talk with one of the holes on your body, its 102.7, and its the most popular talk shows on the Island which gives accurate and precise information and as Crockwell said when he was on there,( were told we have to be READY when we come on your show).
                  So 102.7 is to the P.L.P like the Daily is to O.B.A/ubp !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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          • Unbelievable says:

            Steve Biko???? Really?

            Another of TCF's alter-egos.

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            • Steve Biko says:

              Sounds like you have a problem with de name.

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              • Unbelievable says:

                Nope. I have no problem with the name at all. I know Steve Biko's history very well.

                It's your lame and regular attempt to spread propaganda in the name of a real freedom fighter and try to connect any Bermuda situation to his that I have a general problem with, TCF.

                Like(1)
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    • LMAO says:

      Good, they got rid of Jones, Brangman and now Headley - the culprits of not hiring Bermudians and bragging about it on TV I would never vote for Nalton Brangman, he's a wast of time.

      Like(30)
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  2. Bermyonion says:

    Should NEVER have hired the man in the first place.

    Like(66)
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  3. LOL says:

    He shouldn't have been hired in the first place!!!!!

    Like(39)
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  4. SMH says:

    Check you later. don't stay until the end of April GO NOW!!!

    Like(36)
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    • PBanks says:

      Indeed. Why keep him until April 30th? Get whatever handover procedure in place this instant.

      Like(8)
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    • Marge says:

      Why did the PLP hire Heatley him in the first place ? and why did the OBA keep him on the payroll ? and what do we know about Lou Matthews ? the education system in Bermuda is the pits.

      Like(8)
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      • RawOnion says:

        Dr. Matthews is an intelligent guy however, he is not qualified for the position of commissioner. As a stand in for the being is ok until a new commissioner is found but If he keeps the position then we will do the children of Bermuda and the school system a disservice. Again, Dr. Matthews is a great educated person but he is not qualified for the job.

        Like(12)
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        • Speak Truth says:

          @Raw onion

          Dr Matthews has the academic qualifications, he may lack a few practical skills. But he is capable of carrying out the job with the help of other Education Officers . He will be successful if he is willing to work and utilize individuals in their skilled areas. Dr Matthews can appear to be aloof at times and often fail to apply himself in real situations that are problematic.

          Like(8)
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        • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

          @RawOnion...

          You are such a genuine person. You post to discredit an educator under an alias, so no-one knows who you are. Yes, it bears repeating, you are such a genuine person.

          @Anonymous commentators:
          And some commentators need to go back and re-read their posts, the toxicity of what you state under an alias as you cowardly hide your identities whilst being totally revengeful in your attacks against Dr Heatley. And most will claim that you do not give your names in fear of being singled out, all I read are posts from aliases abusing anonymity to target others; therein is your cowardly conduct.

          Dr Heatley is leaving, let him leave with dignity and respect. We do not have to throw him a parade, but we do not have to demonstrate cruelty either.

          It bears stating and occasionally repeating, what is said in parliament has parliamentary privilege, in other words, the comments cannot be challenged in a court of law. So, when Terry Lister makes a dumb and nasty statement, "he should get cracking." The insult should not give rise to aliases to assume that they can state whatever comes to mind. What is posted on blogs has no privilege against prosecution and/or civil litigation, if it's false, malicious and intentionally stated to injury and/or destroy another's reputation. So, before you go overboard, THINK before you post, THINK as you post, THINK after you post...

          London, England

          Like(7)
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          • RawOnion says:

            Thank you Valirie for pointing that out to me but bear in mind that I an Bermudian, live here in Bermuda and I'm close to the education system here and also follow politics closely. To use my real name would be career suicide as we all know how backstabbing us Bermudians can be. Just note, when I say something on this or any comment section, I say so with knowledge of what is and isn't.

            Like(1)
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            • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

              @RawOnion...

              Thanks for your reply, but there are too many posts that discredit individuals under the cloak of anonymity, it's an opportunity to hold some-one else accountable without having that individual hold you to the same standard.

              When I criticise the premier, which is often, I use my own name because I do not expect to hide behind a veil and/or brick wall. Although I have had posts from Bermudians warning me not to return to Bermuda, and/or to consider myself permanently unemployable in Bermuda.

              Nonetheless, I really do not like being told where my place is politically, and since Bermuda does not put bread on my table, as one of the few individuals who has been blacklisted, I call it as I see it, not calling how any political party would like me to see and call it. It's my simply life' philosophy...

              I may always see the premier as an easy on the eye brain dead novice politician, and the political standards in Bermuda so warped that he was put in that position because? Certainly not as an ethical lightening-rod, certainly not for business acumen, but he is likeable because he is cute? You Bermudians are very fickle!

              The OBA was very surprised when they won the general election, so the rationale could have been to allow him to gain experience and grow into his role (as Opposition leader). However, as reality has it, I thank God everyday that Bermuda does not have nuking capacity because the PLP Opposition, especially Marc and Michael, would be burnt toast by now.

              Just a thought...

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      • Wait a minute! says:

        Those are very GOOD questions. Seems people are jumping to thinking Lou Matthews was the best option...ask the teachers and Principals what they think. He doesn't have the experiences or credentials to do the job! Move some Principals around and let one of them lead, at least they know more about management, parents, children, curriculum and teaching. Things just keep getting worse with the Board making selections on expediency!! Hire on merit even if it takes time. Things can't get much worse but they do. SMDH!

        Like(2)
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  5. Tough love says:

    Ok. Do we have to pay him for resigning? We haven't been made aware of the terms of his contract.

    Guess we can see how committed to Bermuda's children he really is now.

    Like(16)
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    • Cleancut says:

      Resign?...... who?..... Do you think he is that foolish?....Heatley can now take a nice long break or even retire, at our expense.

      Like(1)
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  6. biggadon says:

    Grabs popcorn and pulls up a chair....

    Like(15)
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  7. Tough love says:

    Congrats Dr. Matthews!!! Well deserved! Now give him on the job training to make his position permanent!

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    • Sick n Tired says:

      So we are going to pay him $190,000 per year and train him to do this job??????? Hmmmm . . .

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      • Tough love says:

        What are you talking about? Do you know Dr. Matthews background? He already had more academic qualifications then Heatley. Even so, can a Bermudian receive on the job training as some of the expats receive? At least he won't need a housing allowance, and we already know about his commitment to the children of Bda.

        I'm sick n tired of you and your speculation.

        Like(39)
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        • North West says:

          What background does Matthews have? I'm not talking about degrees. Heatley has experience.

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        • sick n tired says:

          At the top managerial level, there is no time for on the job training., these are childrens lives that we are talking about. When you are in charge of a whole system with 5000 innocent lives in your hands there is no time for training. You either have it or you don't. All be it fine and dandy that he has a doctorate degree but take away the personal and look at the facts....three or four years as a math teacher and then a college professor. How does that qualify him to run a whole system? What administrative experience does he have?

          This is the number one problem facing out educational system....who we like!!! I personally don't care who the person is, as long as they have the qualifications and the experience to turn our system around for the betterment of the children on our island

          Like(11)
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          • PLOP says:

            Let every school govern themselves!!!! Many will rise and some will fall. here is no cookie cutter one size fits all method. Those principles that get results, keep them , those that don't assist them , if they continue fail replace them. You can get 1000 qualified commissioners but if they are running a "system" there will be failure.

            There are hundreds of stories and even movies of "indiividuals" that have taken over schools with far less resources money and serious problems and turned them around with nothing more than sheer determination and desire to teach and change lives. Howver, those same methods many not work in another school 10 miles down the road.

            Give the control of the schools back to the Principals, the teachers and the PTAs and hold them accountable. The Ministry of Education should be a resource and not a control mechanism!

            Like(13)
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      • RawOnion says:

        In Bermuda we are too quick to give the position to someone because we 'like' them. Dr. Matthews should be a candidate for the position but he is not qualified yet. There is no such thing as 'training on the job' for the top position. You either come qualified or you receive training under someone who is fully qualified and it takes years of experience to get there.

        Dr. Matthew's time for the position will come along with others who have excellent qualifications but are just shy of full qualifications. The reason full qualifications are needed is because to have a proper accredited school system the person at the top needs to be fully qualified.

        Like(11)
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        • New Blood says:

          That's an archaic approach to talent management and leadership development. I won't speak to whether Dr. Matthews' is qualified or not. However, I can speak to the notion of paper resume (education, experience) approach to filling roles. While those things are important they are far from being the best indicators of good leadership. Heatley... case and point. I agree that a qualified individual should have the post, but to dismiss Dr. Matthews because his 'paper' requirements don't exactly match is a mistake. Years in management does not make a leader. The educational system needs a leader.

          Like(5)
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        • PLOP says:

          Microsoft was started and directed by a college drop out that would be deemed unqualified. There have been similar success stories surrounding most of the worlds most successful companies! The worlds best companies are not driven by CEO's with multiple masters degrees and doctorates, they are driven by C+ average students! You know those that understand people, the market and care less about 's or s'!!!

          While I know at times certifications and degrees are all we have to insure that we have someone that is "qualified" sometimes we have to go back to the basics. Give the F'n control of these schools back to those that we trust as Headmasters and Headmistresses! If they are not qualified to run their schools then they should not be there! I for one trust that most are, and those that have BS'd their way to the top will be exposed!

          How can one person drive and be expected to make positive change to 20 + schools. That gives him or her 2 hours to dedicate to each school per week. Lets move forward instead of looking backwards!

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  8. Truth is killin' me... says:

    The right thing to do. Thank you all for doing the right thing for all of our children's sake.

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    • Ruthless says:

      So what was the right thing for the last 16yrs? This makes how many ex-commissioners? I could imagine his first couple of months..... I would like to change this..... Sorry we don't do that in Bermuda. Ok, I will be changing this.......sorry can't do that. We need to get rid of this person....... Sorry she's been around to Long. Something wasn't right. Who gives up 190,0000 in one year!!!!!

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  9. Unbelievable says:

    Please abolish the position all together.

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  10. boogiedownproductions says:

    Glad to hear he decided to save his own integrity n resign. Hopefully we can really learn a lesson from this and move on peacefully and get our kids educated

    Like(9)
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  11. Ryder says:

    Regarding the next person to be appointed- it is easy to make suggestions about who should be appointed. We should look to the UK again, since the curriculum is UK based. Lots of experience and management skills. Not smooth talking and negativity. Educators who are in the best positions really need more overseas training. Hopefully, the next person is better suited and committed. People do want change, but people want to be worked with. In a respectful way. Just my opinion.

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    • clearasmud says:

      I have to disagree we should be aiming higher like Singapore who consistently are among the best in Math, English and Science.

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      • Ryder says:

        @ clearasmud- I did not say that the UK system is the best for us. In my opinion other countries have better ones. I am hoping that the next person is better suited. Eventually (hopefully not too soon) we do need to look at implementing a curriculum better suited for our children.

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      • Jonny rocket says:

        the curriculum is not the problem, until we fix the mentality and our social issues, not curriculum will save our children.

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      • Understanding says:

        Parents in Singapore invest in their children's education by providing tutors for them outside of the regular school day, not for remediation but for acceleration. Unfortunately,too many Bermudian parents spoil their children with material things instead of providing quality learning experiences. In addition, too many parents believe teachers are the sole provider of knowledge when in actual fact parents are the first teachers. Consider this...why is it you can have a class of students taught by the same teachers, some achieve academic success and others do not? It is pretty simple- VALUE SYSTEM! I once heard it said "show me your children and I'll tell you who you are." Dysfunctional children come from dysfunctional homes and it is this that makes teachers jobs very difficult. I encourage all those that have something negative to say about public education to use your energy to volunteer your time to help mentor and tutor students in need. Every little bit helps- give back Bermuda!!

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    • SMH says:

      In order for the "system" to change and be successful... SOCIAL PROMOTION needs to be out of the equation. With this, students must meet required criteria/GPA, as a whole and in all school levels, in order to be promoted to the next grade. Just my two cents. Social promotion should be considered only in special cases.

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  12. Rhonda Neil says:

    I just want to let people know, that this had nothing to do with the OBA, we partake in photo ops.., but note when they go wrong it has nothing to do with us... that includes the BAS/SERCO fiasco... nothing to do with the OBA

    Like(10)
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    • Marge says:

      Rhonda, I think you need to take a break from calling the talk shows...lady the OBA are in charge so just live with it.
      Has anyone noticed that the callers that call in to the talk shows are the same boring callers everyday... the only talk show that is worth listening to is Shirley Dill ,she is a gem.

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  13. Family Man says:

    Took him long enough to come to the right decision. I wonder what inducements he received.

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  14. what in the world says:

    This is a giant mistake, creating more instability with education. But since this decision has now been made it's time to get rid of the Dept of Education and make each school a quango. Let each school have it's own board and the principal have powers of a CEO.

    All we need is a National Standards Board.

    Give each parent a voucher tell them to go an pick the school of their choice.

    Have parliament set up an education panel where each principal and chairman of the board have to report to it.

    Principal and board can fire under-performing teachers,while the parliamentary education committee can dismiss under-performing principals and boards.

    Minister and PS nominate persons to be principals, board members and national standards board (in which) the parliamentary education panel confirms or rejects.

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  15. Triangle Drifter says:

    Hmmmmm, wonder if the truth will ever be known on this one? Who was using who? Maybe who could not work with who? Who is trying to protect their backsides?

    The whole thing stinks, & it is coming from both sides IMO.

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  16. nuffin but the truth says:

    GOOD!..you were not wanted here anyway...
    GET CRACKIN'

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  17. hmmm says:

    Im slightly more worried that he was so-called vetted and chosen as the best possible person..when in only a matter of a few days a good deal of dirt was dug up by the papers, enough dirt for the public to cast immediate judgment, which as we now see proved correct. The whole situation mirrors that of COH... one thing is close.to.being finalized, then a few extra facts come to light and BAM..instead of taking heed, those in power choose to save face and stay the course...ultimately ending up with an egg on their face. Terrible management all around..I vote no confidence in both the Board and the COH.

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  18. North West says:

    You must live in Colorado.

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  19. watching says:

    haha...Dr Gibbons so obvious Disclaimer at the beginning. Basically - don't blame me for anything.

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    • Speak Truth says:

      Interesting that Dr. Gibbons uses a "DISCLAIMER" at the beginning of his statement as a Political Strategy to remove Responsibility away from the OBA. However Education is the responsibility of the government and they will be held accountable for it regardless.

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      • Terminator says:

        It was no disclaimer. It was the fact. A Minister has no responsibility for hiring or firing. In the case of the COE, the Board of Education, per the Education Act, has the responsibility to choose a candidate and recommend to the Public Service Commission. The PSC hires and fires civil servants. Do you really understand how the Civil Service works, or are you just trying to score political points? Do you want a Civil Service that is free of political interference or not?

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  20. blindbutcansee says:

    Hit the road Ed and dont you come back no more no more no more.

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  21. Rhonda Neil says:

    when did the buck stop, stopping with the Minister....

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  22. Onion Gal says:

    Good Luck Dr. Lou! I hope that he gets the support of his fellow educators, the BTU, the PTA members & the students . . . I believe Dr. Lou Matthews can do get education back on track IF he has the support from all.

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  23. Dennis Williams says:

    Just give the job to Dr. Lou Matthews

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  24. Fruity says:

    AFTER ALL THOSE PROMISES & PERSONAL MEETS?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:/ WHAT?! Gave you a chance but I guess the "crowd" DID know better!!!!
    NOT IMPRESSED.

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  25. clearasmud says:

    I dont know Mr. Mathews but if he is as qualified as some people here are implying why did he not get the job in the first place. If he could prove that he was indeed better qualified he could have challenged Dr. Heatley's appointment but did he? I dont know.

    This time lets get the best person for the job from where ever we can find them. Hopefully they will come with a proven track record of doing what we need done!

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  26. UpsetwithVerdict says:

    These dummies should have hired Lou in the first place... What a waste of tax payers time and money.... Lou is a great choice and I wish him the best and I hope they give him the job full time not just cause he is Bermudian but because he is qualified and cares about education and our kids from all sides.

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  27. Robert says:

    I thought grant was one of the smartest people in local politics, but after hearing his statment all i hear is how he is removing himself frim this garbage. Stop docking grant and grow a pair, stand up like your uncle !!

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  28. Triangle Drifter says:

    Ultimately the buck stops with the Minister but the Minister does not deal with the hiring & firing of people in Heatley's position. It is nice to have a go at the Minister & blame him for poor hiring but he did not do it, no matter if the Minister is an OBA Minister or PLP Minister.

    Maybe the blame should be laid at the feet of the people who did actually hire him. Hold them accountable for a very expensive mistake.

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    • Terry says:

      Bullsheet Triangle.
      Come better than that.

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      • Terminator says:

        TD is right. No bull. Do you want political parties to hire and fire civil servants? Doesn't happen in the U.K. Doesn't happen in the U.S. either (except at the highest levels. Be careful what you wish for.

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    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      @Triangle Drifter...

      The commission falls under the premier's responsibility.

      Initially there was no reason for the premier to ask tough questions of the Commission regarding its job.

      However, even after there was enormous disquiet regarding Dr Heatley's controversial management style in the US, as documented in newspapers, why was it arrogantly ignored by the Commission?

      The premier should, at the very least, find out what went wrong, why and how? Why was the vetting process so weak?

      Can we believe that this was just a mistake? Dr Heatley demonstrated just how easy it was to walk over the Commission.

      And no, it's not the premier's fault or a political faux pas - the blunder was made by the Commission, and we, the public, as both taxpayers and stakeholders, pay their salaries and pay for any contractual blunders made by the Commission, so we need to know why they insisted upon this candidate, and why they did not vet his CV more carefully?

      This blunder has cost the public purse in time, the process of a new CoE candidate and the stagnation of any new implementations to the education system. It therefore demands clarity, accountability and apology from the Commission.

      London, England

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  29. SMH says:

    What an appalling situation for the children and parents of public education. The Minister, the PS, the Board continue the blunder by appointing another rookie. Dr Matthews is not qualified or has the ability to run the Education Ministry. Just ask the Principals and teachers. What a mess!!!

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  30. Donna C says:

    To Mr. Raw Onion& SMH
    What makes Dr. Matthew's not qualified for the commissioner. He is a passionate educator, a brilliant mathematician, and a Bermudian. We do not give Bermudians an opportunity to prove that they can do the job. Dr. Matthew's has the passion, and the determination to ensure that our children receive the education they deserve. We depend to much on non-Bermudians to lead us when we have the expertise on the Island. Bermuda wake-up our educated Bermudians are leaving this island and opportunities await them overseas. There are many Bermudians living overseas who are doctors and scientists, lawyers, and business men/women and refuse to return to this country.

    Our children deserve the opportunity to learn and develop and walk into their purpose and destiny. Give Bermudians a chance to rectify our educational system.

    Congratulations Dr. Matthew's well done walk into your purpose.

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    • Wait a minute! says:

      Donna C....have you seen the mathematics results for the system? Appalling! And under the watch of the brilliant mathematician Dr. Matthews.Has Dr. Matthews improved upon those since he has been with the Ministry? And he was responsible for Standards and Accountability. Now that's where you need to start your questions.

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  31. Full moon in Paradise says:

    Let's get the ball rolling with our favourite pastime. Cut 'em off at the knees, Chew 'em up, and spit 'em out whether they are Bermudian or not.

    On to the next victim...Dr. Matthews... Meanwhile, educational standards decline and a lack of accountability prevails at all levels while student and individual school achievement results remain under the cloak of secrecy.

    Like(2)
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    • Valirie Marcia Akinstall says:

      @Full moon in Paradise...

      You are right, the aliases who have come on this blog makes one really begin to suspect that they are individuals with an agenda of destruction.

      We, the public, are stakeholders, but as advocates, we must realise that the job of choosing a new CoE is not a process of selection by popularity, an individual and/or the public's favourite. There is a committee or commission whose remit it falls under to 'vet' all candidates who have applied for the position. I sincerely hope that lessons have been learnt, such as, 'vet' your candidates with transparency and accountability. Give the public an update on your short-list, and remember any and/or all perks that would be given to a successful foreign candidate, should be offered to a Bermudian candidate, if s/he is chosen.

      To teachers, please stop using political tactics to muscle into the process, create a new slate on new CoE, it is NOT your call. Whether the muscle comes directly from your Union or by way of negative advocacy on blogs such as this one, again, this is NOT your call. Teachers have a remit - to teacher, not to become veiled politicians attempting to impose your will.

      And to the PLP, stop using the teachers as a political weapon. When they become disgruntled with policy and they will, it is your job to advocate on their behalf. How will the Ministry lay the groundwork in the future when you know that work in the Ministry is cleaning up past political mistakes? By directing its attention on to the senior educators within the Ministry, how does that resolve the issues of a full-time Minister, a full-time PS? Are you expecting a a full-time CoE to delve within your remits to pickup the lack? All roles of power and influence need to be honestly assessed and addressed, not bombarding the senior tier of the administration top heavy with educators, many of whom have now become quasi-politicians.

      The premier needs to bring clarity to the final selection of the Ministry of Education; full-time Minister, decision for a full-time PS and new CoE. That is his political role as the head of cabinet and the leader of Bermuda.

      Remember there is enough blame here that clogs the entire education system and grinds it to stagnation.

      London, England

      Like(2)
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  32. Coffee says:

    Very rarely do we witness first hand government ministers who admit to knowing absolutely nothing about major issues within his/her ministry . Recent history tells a different story , Pamp-Gor knew nothing about license plate , Shawn Crock didn't know the golf pro was invited on jet gate , Mark Pettigruw hasn't the foggiest on when to use Latin meanings for before the courts ,Trevor dancing around the amount of s*** in the water , Dunkley didn't know bas/servo wasn't fulfilling their contract after being paid , nobody knows how much Hanbury is taking home , Cannonier saying the clinic will stay open , Bascome/Davis says it will close . Will the bridge stay open , or will it stay closed ? One thing we know for sure ..... Heatly's getting the hell outa here ! Run Heatly Run !

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  33. Miguelito says:

    at Terry...From what I understand, Triangle is absolutely correct. Wutchoo barkin' at?

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  34. Really says:

    We Bermudians love to hate on foreigners this whole thing is embarrassing , and guess what the new commissioner won't do any better
    Sorry about our narrow minded peeps Mr Heatley enjoy the rest of your life and thank you!

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  35. Really says:

    Lou has been appointed as ACTING commissioner don't get excited folks another professional will be brought in to fix the continuing mess , work hard , shoulder to the wheel and try not take too many sick days .

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  36. Come On Man says:

    This guy has been playing yall for fools all this time. (Shaking my head)

    Like(1)
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  37. EDUCATION
    If there has ever been a time in Bermuda's history to RESTRUCTURE Education......NOW IS THE TIME.

    Our Blog RIDE the WAVE has been posting almost daily for over 3 months some amazing information about the many changes in education and indeed the people that make and lead change.

    Bermuda is stuck in a time warp. This country has spent nearly $ 4 BILLION on Education over the past 30 years. No one has thought to realize that this old INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION model is obsolete.

    We need the best teachers for our kids. We need to raise the bar. Bermuda needs to look at the success of places like FINLAND. It will require a huge shift from the top folks in Government, to the Bermuda Union of Teachers. Protecting the "status quo" is not acceptable.

    I urge everyone to start EDUCATING and ENLIGHTENING themselves and if you follow our BLOG, it just might excite you to the possibilities
    http://ridethewavefoundation.blogspot.ca/

    There are two amazing people that really have their fingers on the pulse of needed change. They have been leading the way in the United States.
    It would behoove everyone to watch these two men and then think about what the possibilities could be for Bermuda.

    • SIR KEN ROBINSON :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX78iKhInsc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
    • GEOFFREY CANADA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY2l2xfDBcE

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  38. Full moon in Paradise says:

    This entire situation is disgraceful and riddled with political expedience. Dr Heatley- roasted and served on a platter to the public.
    Those at the top of the heap should take some responsibility for providing little support and guidance to someone who is new to our shores; although technically sound. What assistance was given by the current PS? What was the contribution of the invisible junior minister? Did he have the support of technical officers who had ' scores to settle'? Did he have the support of the PS? How effective is the PS in carrying out responsibilities for two ministries? Is he am effective leader or do we just accept him at his word?
    ' oh what a tangled web we weave'. It's worth the time to unravel so that we avoid such debacles in the future. Every year,there's a crisis in Education.
    Get a plan and stick with it. In addition, hold everyone accountable which means not taking everything at face value. The PS should be required to show evidence of his efforts to guide,direct and give the appropriate feedback required.
    Getting sick and tired of the reign of 'incompetents' at the top of the org. Who skillfully escape accountability because the Minister's focus is elsewhere. ..Bermuda can be so much more!!

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  39. Ladeej says:

    Who is Ross Webber? He came across as a bit condescending in this press conference.

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  40. Wondering Why says:

    All this talk about children's education hanging in the balance because of this one hiccup is being overly dramatic. IMO it is the work of the TEACHERS, the ones that interact with students daily, that needs to be brought up to speed.
    Some of these teachers can barely write, yet are in a position instructing students. Following are two examples from a P5 teacher:
    "Remainder (reminder) about the field trip on Friday. Please make sure your child has correct bus fair (fare)."
    "Please make sure your child returns there (their) homework book on time as many are leaving there (their) book home."
    Are you kidding me? How is a kid supposed to learn difference between your and you're, are and our, there and their, etc if the teacher doesn't even know (or "no" as he would probably spell it!) Whenever I saw a note like that, I would highlight the mistakes and send it to the Principal. Eventually, once I realised these weren't innocent typos but the work of a teacher that couldn't spell, I demanded my child be moved. I later learned that the Principal considered my highlighting of the mistakes "rude." Wow.

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  41. He was indeed a distraction....makes me think...what transpired in his time slot...

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  42. We had some fun on the internet...

    "Dr. Matthews’ continued research and professional activities have focused on helping teachers incorporate visions of mathematics teaching and learning excellent that draw from both current reform ideology and culturally relevant pedagogy”.
    So bad thing he is a mathematician :) good thing he seems to be open to new ideas….

    Also we did some search - he seems to have been coauthor of a review of Public Education in Bermuda commissioned in 2007
    http://www.justice.bm/files/18/files/Hopkins-Report-2007.pdf
    http://scholar.google.ca/citations?user=_XS1708AAAAJ&hl=en
    Read the recommendations page 34 - don’t know if any of these were implemented...
    They identify as main issue for Bermuda education the "low quality of teaching and learning” - and propose as reform model one based on re-professionalism rather than restructuring. They also recommend to radically reform the ministry of education…recommendation 5 is a bit worrisome at students’ level..see attachment

    Anyway somebody with this twitter tagline "education leader in Bermuda Public Schools, solutionist, transformer, sky walker, blakskolar™, mountain biker. Breathes air. Vulnerable to Kryptonite. Christ” can’t be that bad… :) https://twitter.com/Blakskolar

    also he seems to be interested in new technology
    https://twitter.com/edutopia/status/451859213677887488/photo/1
    and he tweeted “I am a professed dreamer who is committed to working with doers. Are you a dreamer or doer? That’s promising..
    http://leadershipfreak.wordpress.com/2012/12/14/the-two-types-of-people-in-the-world/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=linkedin

    best of all he likes Finland :)
    https://www.rebelmouse.com/blakskolar/
    http://www.eschoolnews.com/2014/01/09/finland-education-model-405/

    this is actually quite a good page to get a sense of him:
    https://www.rebelmouse.com/blakskolar/

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  43. BERMUDA...
    I would like you all to look at this and lets think long and hard about what we need to do in Bermuda about Education.
    Are we failing our students ?? What do we need to do to change the OLD MODEL ?
    Have a look at this American educator: Pedro Noguera
    http://ridethewavefoundation.blogspot.ca/2014/04/are-we-failing-our-students.html

    EDUCATION is being discussed in the USA from Sir Ken Robinson to Geoffrey Canada and many others..... I have told you about these amazing educational visionaries.
    SIR KEN ROBINSON :
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wX78iKhInsc
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY
    • GEOFFREY CANADA
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY2l2xfDBcE

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  44. I tried to interest Dr. Heatley in the FREE EDUCATIONAL resources for the Bermuda schools. But I got nowhere. The "headmasterly" responses to my emails left me dumbfounded.

    The GLOBAL DAY of PEACE SEPTEMBER 21st – How BERMUDA can work to make the island a peaceful place though working through music and education and using the FREE educational resources of PEACE ONE DAY.

    The Annual Bermuda Peace Day Concert has become an important event in Bermuda to help bring people together through music, whilst spreading the message of Peace. To make this event even more powerful we feel that getting the children in our schools to understand what PEACE means and how we can plant the roots of PEACE through our kids that will see Bermuda become a true island of unity.
    PEACE starts in the home and in the schools !

    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4khdQUlNgg4 ( PEACE DAY in 3 Minutes)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-mjYTlUM5g#t=25 ( Introduction to PEACE ONE DAY 2013)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPiphUsv0mo (PEACE DAY 2013 Campaign – JUDE LAW)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvjvc5hZhYY (reducing DOMESTIC VIOLENCE – Jeremy Gilley & Baroness Scotland)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mlse8_Lu9fU ( reducing Domestic Violence Launch )
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25E-H0yHK04 (Global Truce 2012 Coalitions – Uniting student populations)
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9VEWrECBRc ( Jeremy Gilley in BERMUDA )
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXlo7oPDwlM ( Tony Brannon meets Jeremy Gilley in London )
    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zt7lqxXdkP8 ( The 1st Bermuda Peace Day Concert – A tribute to John Lennon )
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=youH8VVZAhg ( PEACE DAY CONCERTS )
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQp8gTQJ8jQ ( PEACE DAY CONCERTS help spread the word of PEACE)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pLcrR9-jQFg#t=163 (Peace One Day - Zelenogorsk, Siberia)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pVo4lQe8MhQ ( The Day after Peace )
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B8TF8Gr04k (ANGELINA JOLIE)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3bOOCm_hFM ( Press conference with Angelina Jolie )
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlnbJu31OkU ( In the studio with Jude Law )
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TTly9-_qOYE (JUDE LAW)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTgVN80AVt4 (SKY NEWS – KABUL INTERVIEW)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7_eK31tF28 (FREE EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES TO SCHOOLS everywhere – sponsored by SKYPE)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cuICqWiL6s (sponsored by COKE)
    • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PhUVaP6mSHw (ADIDAS & PUMA – together for PEACE)

    The amazing vision of ONE MAN – Jeremy Gilley - to make PEACE ONE DAY a reality WORLDWIDE !

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  45. Gotham says:

    Like KEMH and health care in general, what we are witnessing in education is systemic failure that has evolved over many decades. Until Bermudians are ready to accept that the fault lies within and just as importantly get on with fixing it, we can throw as many foreigners as we like to the vultures but it will achieve nothing.

    My own view is that school heads should have much more say in running their schools, such as hiring teachers, setting curriculum, stating expectations, etc. Schools should be tested and graded independently and these results published; parents should be free to choose where their kids apply and schools should be free to accept or reject. A voucher system should be introduced to subsidise parents who qualify and want their children to have a private education; possibly even to encourage the founding of new independent schools. The basic crux of my thoughts is to get education back with teachers and parents where it belongs and out of Government's meddling hands.

    By the way, none of this exonerates Dr. Heatley whose heart, I believe, was never really in the job to begin with.

    Like(3)
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