Ford government must stand strong against union demands

Ford government must stand strong against union demandsFord should follow BC’s example if the union continues to refuse to accept a reasonable offer Ontario taxpayers need to know some important numbers as CUPE squares off with the government over wages. Their province is facing a fiscal reckoning. Their province is $469 billion in debt. Their province is the most-indebted sub-national government in…

Being a school trustee is not for the faint of heart

School trustees must approve budgets, hire key personnel, determine policy priorities, and ensure proper transportation for students

Being a school trustee is not for the faint of heartManitoba trustee elections take place later this month. While some candidates have already been acclaimed, voters in other parts of the province have quite a few candidates to choose from. We should not take this election for granted. At this time last year, it looked like there wouldn’t be any trustee elections at all. However,…

Canada desperately needs school choice

Tying funding to parental choices generates strong incentives for schools to provide higher-quality customization

Canada desperately needs school choiceWhen Canadian schools suffer from poor track records and students fall behind, provincial governments always favour the same response: throw more money at the problem. New crises prompt political actors to request further rounds of new investments, reinvestments, refinancing, and improved financing — the slogans change, but the strategy is always to try to secure…

Memorizing facts still has an important place in schools

Students learn best when immersed in a content-rich learning environment that builds up their background knowledge

Memorizing facts still has an important place in schoolsInstead of making students memorize a bunch of useless facts, we need to help them think like scientists and historians. Does this make sense to you? It probably does if you’re a curriculum consultant or an education professor. After all, that’s what’s being pushed in faculties of education. The problem is that this approach is…

Time to let principals run our public schools

The primary job of the principal is to improve the results of a single school, not a district

Time to let principals run our public schoolsNearly two years ago, Quebec’s ministry of education reorganized the management of the province’s elementary and secondary schools to enable each school’s principal, staff, and parents to take over the operation of the school. The external political school board no longer exists. In a sense, the Quebec system now looks very much like the management…

Will the next crisis also shut down in-person schooling?

Should in-person learning be an essential service? Can parents and guardians be included in decisions?

Will the next crisis also shut down in-person schooling?Sometimes it takes a crisis to make things clear. Consider the last two years of rolling pandemic school closures. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Ontario’s government education systems largely failed to serve more than two million students well. Calls for wholesale reform to Ontario education have begun and include revamping all kindergarten-to-Grade-12 curricula and a…

Private schools treated like outcasts in Ontario education system

Ontario's single public school system will never adequately meet the needs of all of its families

Private schools treated like outcasts in Ontario education systemRecent controversy over the provincial government’s provision of rapid tests to independent (private) schools but not public schools stems from the fact that independent schools in Ontario exist in a policy no-man’s-land. If education policy throughout the pandemic has proved anything, it’s that the provincial government doesn’t have the framework to make adequate provisions for…

How independent schools provided quality education in the pandemic

The public system, on the other hand, failed in its response to Covid-19

How independent schools provided quality education in the pandemicAs Ontario’s public schools struggle to accommodate students in a new school year amid what could be a fourth wave of COVID-19, what can the provincial government learn from the last 17 months? For starters, the government needs to accept that huge, industrial-scale schools (typical in the public system) are pretty weak at responding to…

The case for creating informal neighbourhood schools

In the midst of a pandemic, home-schooling is an important option. And tutor-led neighbourhood schools can help fill the curriculum gaps

The case for creating informal neighbourhood schoolsMany parents are frustrated by the limited educational choices their children have right now. For example, a recent article in the Calgary Herald (“Parents regretting in-person classes with no options to go online”), suggests that parents are concerned about sending their children to school. They’re equally concerned by the lack of spaces in online courses…

Why traditional schooling fosters better results

Most students learn best in a structured and orderly school environment that’s directed by a good teacher

Why traditional schooling fosters better resultsPicture a school in an underprivileged part of north London, England.  One-third of nearby families live in poverty, a significant percentage are visible minorities, and the neighbourhood crime rate is twice the national average. What kind of academic results would you expect from this school? If you expected this school to score below average, think…
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