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.…

Republic of Ireland offers valuable social, economic lessons

Looking for – and finding – solutions to hot-button issues from education to economic vibrancy to population growth

Republic of Ireland offers valuable social, economic lessonsNew Brunswick has much to learn from the Republic of Ireland. My recent selection as a Dobbin Scholar by the Ireland Canada University Foundation allowed me to conduct an academic visit to Maynooth University and the Republic of Ireland in June. The purpose of my visit was to explore the lessons that the Celtic Tiger…

Public school monopoly is a disservice to education

A modern, diverse system that meets the needs of a pluralistic society can deliver education in different ways

Public school monopoly is a disservice to educationThe Liberals are making support for public education a litmus test in the federal election campaign. The Liberals aren’t satisfied that Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer has dropped the promised he made during the Tory leadership race in 2017 to provide tax credits to parents for costs of non-government-provided education. Various Liberals have spoken out. Katie…

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…

Adding international students undermines Canadians and economy

The job market will be flooded with cheap labour and Canadians will be denied spots at university

Adding international students undermines Canadians and economyRecruiting and teaching international students in Canada is big business for private universities, and the federal government has backed a scheme that puts more cash in the pockets of university administrators and wreaks havoc with the Canadian job market. In 2000, some 122,665 people held study permits in Canada. In 2018, that number reached 572,415.…

The rise of the student loan debt is killing initiative

The world has changed a lot but we still try to convince youth that they must go to expensive schools and take on debt that will burden them for years

The rise of the student loan debt is killing initiativeThe dream of future success is fading for many North American youth as higher education cost keeps rising. For example, according to official data, United States student loan debt increased from US$619 billion to US$1.56 trillion during the last decade. Canadian student loan debt exceeds $3 billion right now. Who’s at fault for the student…

Why Milton Friedman’s ideas still resonate

Why Milton Friedman’s ideas still resonateWere he still alive, Milton Friedman would have celebrated his 107th birthday on July 31. An intellectual giant, his ideas played a significant role in making the world a freer and more prosperous place. Those ideas remain vital. From driving the elimination of military conscription in the United States to influencing the economic transformations that…

Pay teachers well and classroom results will follow

It’s no accident that Canadian schools are among the best in the world. But if we withdraw education funding, the damage will be deep

Pay teachers well and classroom results will followCanadian schools are among the best in the world, and B.C. schools are arguably the best in Canada. This is so much the case that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is studying our educational system to see how we’re achieving such exceptional results. It’s no surprise then that Canadian teachers are among…

Mid-career workers are higher education’s next challenge

The traditional student no longer exists. That means we need to find ways to encourage and fund lifelong learning

Mid-career workers are higher education’s next challengeWith a host of transformational challenges putting pressure on labour markets, a line from Robert Atkinson and Jeffrey Brown’s latest paper struck me: “Nothing about the future of work is inevitable.” Their paper is intended to reaffirm that in the face of structural change, coming impacts can be mitigated through dedicated effort and smart policy.…

Education faculties fail to prepare young teachers to be effective

Education schools often tilt from one useless fad to another with little practical use in actual classrooms

Education faculties fail to prepare young teachers to be effectiveIn 1933, the retiring president of Harvard University, Lawrence Lowell, famously stated that his university’s school of education was “a kitten that ought to be drowned.” Of course, university presidents wouldn’t talk like this today. But Lowell was far from the only scholar to hold education schools in such low repute – and for good…
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