Make it easier for schools to compete for students

We need to allow boards to recruit and hire the best teachers regardless of seniority and the free movement of students regardless of postal code

Make it easier for schools to compete for studentsWith declining birth rates leading to threats by the Ontario government that would force school boards to shut down and sell off under-enrolled schools, many boards are reportedly pouring millions into attracting and retaining students. While some may question if this is money well spent, creating competition between the public, separate, and French school boards…

Like the health act, our schools need funding guarantees

The federal government needs to address the inequities that exist between the provinces today

Like the health act, our schools need funding guaranteesThe Toronto District School Board (TDSB) is facing a repair backlog for more than 600 of its schools that will cost taxpayers $3.4 billion to complete. It should not come as much of a surprise to anyone. For many years, the board has been delaying necessary maintenance while putting all hopes on an Ontario government…

Financial literacy must be part of learning plan

By giving students the tools they will need to grow wealth, as opposed to bad debt, we will be helping the next generation to succeed

Financial literacy must be part of learning planA few weeks ago, the Government of Alberta announced an ambitious overhaul of the Kindergarten through Grade 12 public education curricula. The $64-million project will span six years and will involve approximately 50 education professionals in the planning, drafting, and communication of the multi-faceted review. What is unusual about Alberta's approach is that it means…

How well are your children really doing in school?

A full understanding of a child's progress requires report cards that provide teacher's comments as well as grades

How well are your children really doing in school?In the next few weeks, parents of Toronto's 75,000 public high school students will be receiving year-end report cards in the mail. These report cards will contain final grades, but they won't include any teacher comments due to an on-going labour dispute between the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and the Ontario Secondary School Teachers…

Private career colleges deserve closer scrutiny and support

These colleges fill an educational and economic need that is not being met by public post secondary institutions

Private career colleges deserve closer scrutiny and supportWith the fallout in certain economic sectors, most notably Alberta's oil production, many displaced workers need to return to school to seek a second career. For many, a private career college is the most flexible option. It is estimated that one in 15 post-secondary students will rely on a private career college education to earn…

Band-Aids won’t work long for Ontario’s crumbling schools

$1.2 billion in new funding towards badly needed repairs doesn't come close to the $15 billion Ontario schools need

Band-Aids won’t work long for Ontario’s crumbling schoolsFor some time now, kids and teachers in classrooms across Ontario have been struggling with less-than-acceptable accommodations, ranging from asbestos to structural repair. Besides the obvious risk this puts our kids in, it's reckless to put this priority on a backburner. It deserves government’s immediate action. The Wynne government’s budgetary deficit struggles are well documented.…

Ontario’s education file lacks accountability

The education department needs more than a fresh new face; it needs a full review that includes a new way of delivering on public education

Ontario’s education file lacks accountabilityAs is often the case with tired governments low in popularity and mired in scandal, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne shuffled her cabinet this week. The ministry with one of the biggest expenses – Education, at $22 billion – is also the most troubled. Under former Education Minister Liz Sandals, school closures, extraordinary payouts to unions,…

Standardized tests aren’t perfect but they are useful

Standardized testing is one of the very few ways parents can assess the quality of public education provided to their children

Standardized tests aren’t perfect but they are usefulAcross the continent, time and money is being invested to assess the quality of public education in reading, writing and mathematics. And the reactions of the teachers' unions to this testing is consistent across the board. Universally, they deplore standardized testing. The names of the tests differ – Common Core in the United States, EQAO…

Exposing the flaws in discovery math

Elementary math skills continue to decline in Canada, and that has long-term societal implications

Exposing the flaws in discovery mathThe defunct game show that asked Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader? may have predicted this problem. Reports out of teachers colleges suggest that the fifth grade teacher is struggling with the mathematics curriculum – just as their students are. Many new Canadian elementary school teachers lack basic math skills involving multiplication, division and fractions.…

Grant programs fail to help the most needy students

70 per cent of the RESP and CESG funds which were supposed to target needy students actually go to wealthy families

Grant programs fail to help the most needy studentsTwo federal programs that reach back more than 40 years were established to improve access to post-secondary education for the lower and middle classes. A recent report from Employment and Social Development Canada concludes they have failed to achieve that goal. The Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) program was introduced in 1972 as a way…
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