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…

Scrabble’s surprising benefits, from the mundane to the profound

Learn new words, hone your math skills, employ strategy … calm the restless mind, learn patience and humility

Scrabble’s surprising benefits, from the mundane to the profound“Why do we play this game?” I asked my husband for the umpteenth time. I was referring to Scrabble. It was not going well. Despite the claims on the box, not every word is a winner. Not all Scrabble games are fun. It’s definitely not fun to lose by over 100 points. Nor does winning by…

When inclusivity runs counter to simple common sense

Inclusion is a virtue, but not when it erodes the boundaries of taste, truth and common sense

When inclusivity runs counter to simple common senseSometimes you have to wonder what’s going through another person’s mind – or whether anything’s going on in there at all. The latest entry in the what’s-he-thinking? ledger belongs to the teachers at Archbishop Denis O’Connor Catholic High School in Ajax, Ont. To celebrate Black History Month, the school’s black history committee suggested students and…

Enduring words of wisdom on reconciliation

If we had listened to Pierre Trudeau, we would no longer be talking about reconciliation – we would be at least part way there

Enduring words of wisdom on reconciliationReconciliation between Canada’s Indigenous people and mainstream society is a goal all thoughtful Canadians seek. It’s obvious that too many Indigenous people lag far behind other Canadians by most economic and health indicators, and we must find ways to close that gap. It’s worthwhile considering what Prime Minister Trudeau has said: “The weight of history…

Bizarre cult of oppression grips Canada’s West Coast

The environment is only a side issue for an increasingly passionate mob of activists whose assault on the ‘establishment’ is nothing less than a moral crusade

Bizarre cult of oppression grips Canada’s West CoastRegardless of your political feelings about Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, you have to admit the guy has guts. Not many politicians would have the courage to host a town-hall meeting in a place as openly hostile as Nanaimo, B.C. Immediately upon entering the building last week, the climate bullies jumped on him with a torrent…

Marxism rears its ugly head in the academic world

Brutal communist societies did advance economic equality, although what was shared equally was poverty rather than prosperity

Marxism rears its ugly head in the academic worldWestern civilization and liberal democracy are under siege. This isn’t new. We’ve been challenged just in the last century by fascism and communism, by Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Soviet Russia and Red China. One might have expected – and many did– that the ideology of these failed societies would remain in its grave. But,…

The job-market payoff of a hands-on bachelor’s degree

The graduate employment rate for bachelor’s degree holders from Polytechnics Canada members was 91 per cent in 2015-16

The job-market payoff of a hands-on bachelor’s degreeThere are bachelor’s degrees and there are applied bachelor’s degrees. The difference – when it comes to finding fulfilling employment – can be dramatic. In late November, Statistics Canada released its comprehensive reports on education, covering a wide range of topics, including overall education attainment and the skills mismatches and earnings potential of bachelor’s degree…

Face-to-face education drives home the message

Higher education cultivates relationships – the abstract relationship with knowledge and the flesh-and-blood relationships with other people

Face-to-face education drives home the messageThe older I get, the more my life looks like a bank of fog. Distant memories fade. Only the most important moments in my life give off light. But memories blink out eventually, so in the long run they may not prove the best way to measure our time. As is the case of school.…

Are women’s marches a step back?

Focusing on what’s right with gender dynamics rather than what’s wrong might produce better outcomes for women and girls

Are women’s marches a step back?Women’s marches were held around the world recently, with more than one million people taking to the streets to highlight the gap in gender equality. Their stated purpose is to get more people politically engaged. To that end, they’re no doubt working. But what if that goal comes at too high a cost? One that…