Edmonton-based startup teaching elementary students code

Local startup founded by U of A graduates teaches basics of programming in more than 30 Edmonton-area schools

Edmonton-based startup teaching elementary students codeU of A graduate students are teaching Edmonton elementary students how to write computer code for simple games and apps. The coding may be simple – just a few instructions enabling a computer to calculate whether it’s too cold for recess, for example – but the logic is the same as you find in more…

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education system

Being tested and labelled at an early age can have a devastating effect on a child’s self-esteem and intellectual potential

Alberta throws a stick of dynamite into education systemIf Steve Bannon isn’t on the Alberta government’s payroll, he certainly is its muse. Bannon is the notorious former strategic adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump. His views on the benefits of disruption might well inform Premier Jason Kenney’s government tactics of mass disruption in many sectors. These include the most vital areas of health…

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.…

Federal student job program puts Alberta at the back of the class

Study finds no link between the circumstances in the local economy, student unemployment and the level of subsidies handed out. So is it all political?

Federal student job program puts Alberta at the back of the classThose who argue that the Canadian federation exhibits plenty of fiscal and program biases against Prairie Canadians will see further evidence in a recent study from the Halifax-based Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS). The study, Rethinking Student Job Subsidies, authored by David Murrell and Alan Chan, is subtitled The Case for Regional Equity in…

Student performance declines despite spending hikes in Alberta

Policy-makers in Edmonton and in school districts around the province must learn from other jurisdictions

Student performance declines despite spending hikes in AlbertaParents in Alberta are concerned about the state of elementary and secondary education. Results from the Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) and international tests including the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) indicate alarming trends, particularly in math. Unfortunately, a pervasive myth that large cuts to education spending are responsible…

Don’t blame Alberta teachers for declining math grades

When a province mandates a single curriculum, it eliminates diversity and experimentation that can lead to better methods

Don’t blame Alberta teachers for declining math gradesBy Jason Clemens and Angela MacLeod The Fraser Institute The recent release of the latest Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) has Albertans again concerned about declining math scores. It would be wrong and misplaced, however, to blame teachers without understanding the role of the education bureaucracy. In reality, teachers are mandated to teach curriculum imposed by…

Academic results another reason to support school choice

In British Columbia, independent schools outperform public schools in academic achievement

Academic results another reason to support school choiceFor some students, the end of the school year means saying goodbye to one school and hello to another, so it’s an opportune moment for parents to reflect on school choice. In British Columbia, independent schools – operating outside the public system – provide the bulk of educational choice. There are many benefits to the…

Alberta can learn from B.C.’s independent school success

Independent schools provide increased choice and better outcomes for students than the current model Alberta employs

Alberta can learn from B.C.’s independent school successAs another school year ends, it’s a good time to reflect on kindergarten-go-Grade-12 education in Alberta, including independent schools and how they fit into the overall model of education. Although more and more families are choosing independent schools, there are many who view these schools with suspicion and would prefer a more homogenized system. However,…

Children are threatened when secrets are kept from parents

Alberta’s Bill 24 ignores the fact that predators thrive in an environment where secrets are kept from parents

Children are threatened when secrets are kept from parentsIt would seem like obvious common sense that secrets should not be kept from parents about what their children are doing. Especially when it comes to other adults talking to children about sex. Child abuse, sexual or otherwise, occurs most often when parents are absent and unaware. Countless Canadian criminal cases demonstrate that predators, abusers…

UCP: go back to school on proposed education reforms

The Alberta party’s proposal to increase funding for independent schools is unlikely to improve education in Alberta

UCP: go back to school on proposed education reformsBy Angela MacLeod and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute Alberta’s United Conservative Party (UCP) recently released a host of policy proposals in advance of its annual general meeting in May. They included proposed reforms in education that are unlikely to achieve their goals and could make things worse. The proposals presume that Alberta’s kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education system needs…
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