• A university president apologizes for academia’s role in residential schools

    The continuing failure to address this history has meant the previous ways of thinking — or of not thinking — about the residential school system have remained largely intact. Failing to confront a heinous history, even if it is one we did not cause, is to become complicit in its perpetuation… While we cannot rewrite this history, we must not deny it either. It is our history to own and learn from.

  • Ontario Liberals promise $300-million to support special education

    Premier Kathleen Wynne called the increased funding a significant and permanent investment in the province’s special education system. It will go toward hiring about 2,000 new workers in schools, including psychologists, speech and language pathologists and educational assistants, and eliminating the wait list to have children’s special education needs assessed. One in six children in Ontario needs special support, Ms. Wynne said.

  • Hot!

    The mounting case for a single public-school system in Ontario

    It is unequal: Jewish or Hindu or Muslim schools don’t get government funding. How is that fair…? It is expensive: running two giant school systems side by side… It is increasingly awkward: the values of Catholic authorities are bound to clash with changing views in the world… Most of all, it is backward… It is time to embrace that new reality and wind up the separate school system.

  • Queen’s joins the academic bullies against author of colonialism article

    Gilley argued that the modern “notion that colonialism is always and everywhere a bad thing needs to be rethought,” and he argued persuasively that one of the things the colonial governance agenda was good at was recognizing “that the capacity for effective self-government (in fledgling states) is lacking and cannot be conjured out of thin air…” … He was also crystal clear that “colonialism can return (in any form) only with the consent of the colonized.” Predictably, the piece caused a holy uproar.

  • Time to eliminate publicly funded Catholic schooling in Ontario

    Apart from the ongoing inequity of letting a powerful religious group have unequal benefit of the law in one of our most important government services, shaping children’s minds, the time for a change is now more than ever… In 1999, the United Nations Human Rights Committee declared Ontario’s practice of funding Catholic education to the exclusion of other religions discriminatory. The UN’s power is limited to persuasion. Nothing changed.

  • Georgian College Cancels Diploma in Homeopathy – and CBC News Violates all Journalistic Standards

    Georgian College cancelled their new three-year diploma program for homeopathy after intense and aggressive attacks from a handful of medical doctors and ‘scientists’ representing special interest groups. The fact that a college can be bullied into cancelling an educational program by a handful of individuals is already very sad but it is even sadder that the CBC, our national news agency, engaged in such misinformed, biased and manipulative reporting…

  • The Catholic funding debate needs to be schooled by facts

    … this exposes the ridiculousness in 2018 of maintaining four distinct publicly funded school systems in Ontario – English public, English Catholic, French public and French Catholic. Most school boards are dysfunctional enough, embroiled as they are in petty politics, without giving trustees any added incentive to dream up ways of stealing students from rival boards. Not that any politician will touch this issue with a 10-foot pole.

  • Ontario university strategic mandate agreements: a train wreck waiting to happen

    Where the plan goes off-track is with the system-wide metrics used to assess research excellence and impact: 1) Tri-council funding (total and share by council); 2) number of papers (total and per full-time faculty); and 3) number of citations (total and per paper). A tabulation of our worth as scholars is simply not possible through narrowly conceived, quantified metrics that merely total up research grants, peer-reviewed publications and citations. Such an approach perversely de-incentivises time-consuming research, community-based research, Indigenous research, innovative lines of inquiry and alternative forms of scholarship. It effectively displaces research that “matters” with research that “counts” and puts a premium on doing simply what counts as fast as possible.

  • It’s past time to end academic streaming

    streaming — which puts kids into either academic or applied courses in high school — was supposed to be phased out in Ontario in 1999. Yet almost 20 years later, it’s still with us despite overwhelming evidence that it hurts rather than helps kids… studies also suggest teachers and guidance councillors actually push racialized and low-income students into taking applied courses. That perpetuates income-based disparities in educational outcomes.

  • School guidance counsellors ‘stretched’ amid rising mental health needs

    “Principals are saying ‘we’ve got a crisis here in terms of the mental health piece, and we don’t have enough staff to address it, either through psychologists and social workers or through guidance’” … With only half the schools able to regularly access a psychologist and a shortage of school social workers, “the role of guidance counsellors may be stretched to fill the gaps,” says the report.