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…

Why traditional school may not be ideal for your kids

COVID-19 concerns could open parents’ eyes to the crucial benefits of kitchen-table learning

Why traditional school may not be ideal for your kidsDavid is the father of three children. While pushing his kids on the swings at his local park in Ottawa, he confesses to other parents at the playground that he’s concerned about putting his kids back in school because of COVID-19. However, he’s also worried about keeping them home in case they fall behind. The…

School choice key to improving education

Competition is always better than monopoly and the education system is no exception

School choice key to improving educationThe Ontario government recently announced a new elementary school math curriculum. It’s likely a positive step but more fundamental funding changes are necessary to truly improve the province’s education system. The province will return to a “back to basics” approach to math aimed at improving standardized test scores. It will also introduce lessons on financial…

Loss of international students a blow to Canadian schools

Foreign students spent about $23.6 billion in Canada last year and much of that income will be lost as a result of COVID-19

Loss of international students a blow to Canadian schoolsSome industries are obvious victims of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic downturn. Everybody knows that businesses in the travel and hospitality sector, especially at the international level, have taken a serious if not lethal blow. Even with government aid, airlines, cruise ships, hotels and tourist attractions will have great difficulty rebuilding and even…

Upholding freedom of religious education

A recent court decision should be welcomed by all parents, particularly in Saskatchewan, Alberta and Ontario

Upholding freedom of religious educationIt seems rare to find good news amidst the challenges of physical-distancing and self-quarantining, but a recent Saskatchewan Court of Appeal ruling gives much to celebrate for educational pluralism and religious freedom. The unanimous decision in Saskatchewan versus Good Spirit School Division No. 204, given March 25, centred on education funding and, specifically, the question: Should taxpayers…
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