Good news for Canadian education – and cause for concern

Despite excellent recent PISA results, Canadians shouldn’t be complacent. From 2015 to 2018, scores fell in all three subjects

Good news for Canadian education – and cause for concernCanada’s 15-year-old students continue to do well on the gold standard of academic testing, but with some concerns. The Programme for International Student Achievement (PISA) has randomly tested students worldwide every three years since 2000. It recently released results from reading, math and science tests completed by some half-a-million students in 79 countries in 2018.…

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality education

To listen to the teacher unions and their supporters, the sky is about to fall if class sizes for secondary schools get bigger. The evidence shows they're dead wrong

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality educationClass war may soon break out in Canada. More than half of Canadian high school students are in Ontario or British Columbia. Teacher negotiations continue in both provinces with secondary school class sizes a central issue that could trigger strike action. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants to retain or lower high school class size limits…

What Betsy DeVos could learn about school choice from Ontario

Unfortunately, the U.S. Education Secretary would have to visit the past to find truly innovative approaches to school choice

What Betsy DeVos could learn about school choice from OntarioBetsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, is charged with promoting school choice. She was about to visit Ontario recently but her visit was cancelled. One cannot but wonder if DeVos’ advisors learned of how Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal party clawed its way to power by smothering a truly innovative school choice program in its cradle.…

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discrimination

Subjecting parents choosing such schools for their children to extra costs is discriminatory

Kudos to Toronto, but independent schools still face discriminationBy Derek J. Allison Deani Van Pelt and Beth Green Cardus You could call it a step forward in fairness for Canadians who send their kids to independent schools. The Toronto Board of Health recently recommended the extension of its student nutrition programs to qualified independent schools. That means more than 300 independent schools could…

The facts behind private schools in Alberta

Alberta’s 94 private schools received $151 million in grants this year, a drop in the bucket when it comes to Alberta Education’s $7,228,040,463 budget

The facts behind private schools in AlbertaPublic funding for private schools continues to be a hot topic in Alberta. As argued in a recent Edmonton Journal opinion piece, some want to eliminate all financial support for private schools. But what are the facts? Less than four per cent of Alberta’s school students attend private schools benefiting from public support. Given that this…

Three principles for better schools

More than ever, Canada needs an education system based on the powerful principles of freedom, autonomy and accountability

Three principles for better schoolsThe evolution of education is coming full circle, for the betterment of children. In earlier times, the education of Canadian children was sometimes compared to a three-legged stool, one leg representing the family, another the church, the third the government. Over time, the first two legs have come to bear less weight. The education of…

There are no shortcuts to quality learning

Cheating will come back to bite you sooner or later, causing embarrassment, and damaging your reputation, life and career

There are no shortcuts to quality learningThe 1967 movie How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying is typical 1960s satire. It suggests that success only requires cutting corners, chumming up to the right people, lying, cheating and choosing the unethical path whenever it appears. This might be true in organizations like the World Wide Wicket Company, in which this fictional indulgence (based on a musical, based on…

Private schools in Canada – not what you think

Old myths about independent schools in Canada simply aren’t supported by the facts

Private schools in Canada – not what you thinkBy Deani Van Pelt and Derek J. Allison The Fraser Institute A lingering myth about private schools continues to cloud public perception in Canada – that private schools are only for the wealthy few. A recent study using 2013/14 enrolment data provided by provincial ministries of education for every independent school (that’s a more appropriate…

Independent schools offer Albertans more education choice

A unique and vital contribution to the education landscape

Independent schools offer Albertans more education choiceBy Deani Van Pelt and Derek J. Allison The Fraser Institute Alberta is recognized internationally for educational choice – a reputation recently reaffirmed by the provincial government, which supported a “parental choice” motion in the legislature. However, in a province awash with choice in public government-run schooling, the choices offered by independent schools, and the…

Independent schools fill gaps in Ontario

One of every 18 students in the province attend independent schools

Independent schools fill gaps in OntarioBy Deani Van Pelt and Derek J. Allison The Fraser Institute Often opponents of independent schooling – education which exists outside of public government-run schools – invoke caricatures of private schools catering to the ultra-rich. The reality, however, is that independent schools in Ontario provide parents and students with a tremendous variety of school cultures…