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.…

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality education

To listen to the teacher unions and their supporters, the sky is about to fall if class sizes for secondary schools get bigger. The evidence shows they're dead wrong

Small class sizes no guarantee of quality educationClass war may soon break out in Canada. More than half of Canadian high school students are in Ontario or British Columbia. Teacher negotiations continue in both provinces with secondary school class sizes a central issue that could trigger strike action. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation wants to retain or lower high school class size limits…

School board attaches non-compete clause to building sale

Public board in Ontario refused to sell a school it closed to a private school to curtail competition for students

School board attaches non-compete clause to building saleWho does the government compete with? Is a public school a sacred building? A recent surplus building sale raises those questions. Near Brockville, Ont., the local public school board has sold the Wolford elementary school that it closed in 2018. The building was surplus, no other government had a use for it, so the school…

Students burdened by rising cost of university education

A look at one Ontario university shows tuitions skyrocketing when compared to asset investment and inflation

Students burdened by rising cost of university educationAs student fees rise across the country, being able to afford university is increasingly difficult. All students should be know where their fees and tuition payments go, instead of paying what’s needed and then forgetting about it. However, financial statements aren’t always easy for the average student to understand, especially if they’re not a business…

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in Ontario

A survey shows that independent school graduates are much more likely to work for the common good. How can that be bad?

Independent schools should be encouraged, funded in OntarioBy Doug Sikkema and Dr. Beth Green Cardus More than six per cent of children in Ontario are enrolled in independent (non-public) schools. In the 1960s, such independent school enrolments made up a mere 1.8 per cent of the student population. Six per cent might not seem like much, but the long-term trend in Ontario…

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policy

The basic presumption of democracy requires us to try to understand one another rather than calling opponents murderers

Reckless rhetoric is no way to debate public policyDennis Raphael, a professor of health policy and management at York University in Toronto, recently penned an opinion piece that represents a low point for discourse about public policy in Canada. Raphael describes the policies of the new Conservative government in Ontario, and specifically the decision not to increase the minimum wage next year, as “social…

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at risk

LGBTQ youth face additional mental health pressures associated with stigma and discrimination

Turning the sex ed clock back to 1998 puts our youth at riskIt’s now widely known that the Ontario Ministry of Education will be reverting to the 2010 sex education curriculum to teach youth – despite widespread criticism. Worse, youth in Grades 7 and 8 will actually be taught the 1998 sex ed curriculum. In 1998, U.S. President Bill Clinton got in trouble over Monica Lewinsky and…

How can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage?

Marriage understands shared existence, including the economic, spiritual, social and sexual aspects of our lives

How can we discuss sex ed without talking about marriage?With the Ontario government’s public consultations on a new sex-ed curriculum well underway, we should recognize that both the old and new versions of the document suffer from the same fatal flaw. Neither makes any effort to educate about marriage – in fact, the word is never mentioned – as a significant social institution. The…

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reform

The province needs to remove religious schools from the public system while introducing partial funding for independent schools

Ontario should look to B.C. as a model for education reformProfessors from Western University recently renewed calls for the Ontario government to change the way kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education is delivered. Most Ontarians live in areas served by four distinct public school boards – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. If you live in Penetanguishene on the Georgian Bay, a fifth school board operates…

Education reform must be on the table in Ontario

The delivery and financing of education could produce better results for students and their families while saving money

Education reform must be on the table in OntarioBy Jason Clemens and Sazid Hasan Fraser Institute As the new Ontario government begins to fully grasp the enormity of the task it faces to return the province to prosperity, education reform must be front and centre. The need to balance the budget while introducing tax relief to make the province more competitive and attractive…

Why Ontario’s controversial sex-ed curriculum had to go

The process of drafting the Liberal curriculum looked, smelled and felt politicized at its very core

Why Ontario’s controversial sex-ed curriculum had to goOntario Premier Doug Ford and the Progressive Conservative government announced last week that the controversial sex-ed curriculum, rolled out in 2015 by the previous Liberal government, would be repealed. It’s a good decision. Elementary schools will revert back to the old sex-ed curriculum in the fall, and parents will be consulted and provide recommendations to…

Ontario can learn from B.C.’s education model

Independent schools deliver higher student test scores at lower costs to taxpayers

Ontario can learn from B.C.’s education modelWith another school year ending, it’s a good time to reflect on kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education in Ontario. As the second largest area of provincial expenditure, it can’t escape review as incoming premier Doug Ford’s new government plans to rein in spending. Fortunately one only needs to look to British Columbia for an example of how independent…

Real education reform long overdue in Ontario

But the Progressive Conservatives promise nothing more than a disappointing package that ensures education status quo in the province

Real education reform long overdue in OntarioBy Angela MacLeod and Jason Clemens The Fraser Institute The Ontario Progressive Conservatives’ recently-released election platform shows they’ve opted for the status quo in kindergarten-to-Grade-12 education. That’s unfortunate, because the province’s education system is in dire need of reform. The platform the Opposition PCs offered as they prepare for next year’s provincial election contains almost no substantive…

When speech isn’t free, society pays a high price

A recent incident at the University provides a glimpse of what the future may hold for Canadian post-secondary education – and it ain’t pretty

When speech isn’t free, society pays a high priceAt one time, universities respected free speech and the exchange of different ideas. Intellectual discourse and thought-provoking debates were viewed as healthy, vibrant and treasured. Unfortunately, speech isn’t nearly as free on today’s university campuses. Intolerance of opposing philosophies, and hurt feelings among the hordes of special interest groups, have come to define modern institutions…

What Betsy DeVos could learn about school choice from Ontario

Unfortunately, the U.S. Education Secretary would have to visit the past to find truly innovative approaches to school choice

What Betsy DeVos could learn about school choice from OntarioBetsy DeVos, Donald Trump’s Education Secretary, is charged with promoting school choice. She was about to visit Ontario recently but her visit was cancelled. One cannot but wonder if DeVos’ advisors learned of how Premier Kathleen Wynne’s Liberal party clawed its way to power by smothering a truly innovative school choice program in its cradle.…