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…

Breaching the fine line between teaching and brainwashing

Being a teacher means making sure your students are exposed to more than one perspective

Breaching the fine line between teaching and brainwashingThere’s a fine line between teaching and brainwashing. Teaching informs students about the world around them and helps them become critical thinkers. In contrast, brainwashing provides students with heavily skewed information that leads to one predetermined conclusion. It’s easy to mix these two things up if we aren’t careful. People who work in schools are…

Alberta’s independent schools provide needed choice, value

Despite activist claims, most independent schools in Alberta are not bastions for the rich, but they do fill a critical education niche

Alberta’s independent schools provide needed choice, valueIn Alberta, school choice is under attack. Alongside several teacher unions and associations, groups such as Public Interest Alberta and SOS Alberta want to reduce the choices available for families outside the public education system by pressuring the government to eliminate provincial funding for independent schools. SOS (Support Our Students) Alberta, for example, claims that…

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…