QUEEN’S PARK – POLITICS – The Ford Government says that too many Ontario students are not getting math. Ontario has launched a broad consultation process to engage parents into their children’s education. This process was announced on Wednesday.
The government states that during the election campaign, the promise of to “get back to basics” was made, and the Ford Government plans to keep that promise. “We expect our teachers, principals and school board officials to fulfill their obligations to parents and children when it comes to what our students learn in the classroom,” said Premier Ford. “We will not tolerate anybody using our children as pawns for grandstanding and political games. And, make no mistake, if we find somebody failing to do their job, we will act.”
As a part of this process, the Ontario Government has also added new ways that parents can raise complaints about how their children are being educated.
In a media statement, the government says, “For any parent who believes that their child’s teacher is jeopardizing their child’s education by deliberately ignoring Ontario’s curriculum should call the Ontario College of Teachers’ Investigations and Hearing’s Department at 1-888-534-2222 or go to their website to file an online complaint at www.oct.ca.”
Parents can also visit Fortheparents.ca to submit any concerns or complaints related to their child’s education.
Today half of Ontario’s Grade 6 Students fail to meet provincial math standards. By the time they get to Grade 9 more than half of applied math students are failing to make the grade.
Our Government promised to get back to basics, with proven methods of teaching that work.
Starting in September 2018, our Government will engage in province-wide public consultations that will allow parents, educators and interested individuals from across the province to contribute.
The consultations will focus on the current shortcomings of Ontario’s curriculum:
- We will consult on how to improve math scores and other STEM disciplines.
- We will consult on including important life skills like financial literacy to help our students succeed in a complex world.
- We will consult on preparation for the jobs of today and tomorrow, like exposing students to the skilled trades or important fields like coding.
- We will consult on building a new, age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sex-ed, and legalization of cannabis.
- We will consult on how to improve standardized testing.
- We will consult on the steps schools should take to remove distracting cellphones from the classroom.
The consultations will be conducted across three channels.
- Online survey
No matter where someone lives, anyone will have the chance to participate via a simple intuitive online tool.
- Telephone Town Halls in every region of Ontario
Professionally moderated town halls that capture input on a wider circle of parents on important issues.
- Dedicated Submission Package
Parents and organizations across Ontario can hold their own forums and present detailed proposals to the Ministry of Education.
Today, the Ministry of Education also released a revised interim curriculum to be used by teachers during the course of the 2018-2019 school year. The curriculum will include the 2014 Health and Physical Education curriculum. In the coming weeks, an updated math curriculum compendium will be released as part of the initiative. This compendium will provide educators with the resources they need to move away from Discovery Math to traditional formulas and memorization techniques.
Public Interest Committee
To ensure that the rights of parents are respected throughout and following the reform process, our Government will also begin drafting a Ministry of Education Parents’ Bill of Rights. Parents will be asked what elements they want to see included in the Parents’ Bill of Rights as part of the province-wide consultation. In addition, the Minister of Education announced she would use her authority under the Ontario College of Teachers Act to strike a Public Interest Committee that will help inform the creation of the Parents’ Bill of Rights.
The Public Interest Committee will ensure curriculum-based misconduct issues are fairly dealt with at the college. Based on the feedback of the Committee, our government will be prepared to take regulatory and legislative action to ensure that the rights of parents are protected.