• Either invest or face more turmoil at Ontario’s colleges and universities

    Canada has actually cut its public funding since 2008, and now we rank in the bottom half of advanced economies, spending well below what Denmark, Norway, and Sweden invest in their public post-secondary teaching, research, and innovation. The picture is the same in Ontario, where the provincial government has reduced public funding for universities and colleges and now ranks last in public per-student funding in Canada.

  • College strikes a symptom of broken business model

    … an inordinate number of teachers are part-timers with partial loads who are paid an hourly wage that doesn’t cover time spent marking papers or preparing lectures. They don’t know from one semester to the next who or what they’ll be teaching… The dirty little secret of higher education is that working conditions have hit rock bottom. OPSEU, the union representing college teachers, wants half of teaching staff hired as full-timers. That hardly seems excessive.

  • If Wynne’s Liberals were committed to equality, they’d help fund independent schools

    Ontario should treat all schools equitably… we’re left with a divided system of education: a Catholic board that’s publicly-funded as a result of the special protections it’s afforded under the constitution, and no funding for other independent faith-based schools. A 1999 UN Human Rights Committee report classified this system as discriminatory.

  • Let’s focus on education, not university rankings

    Universities wishing to move up the rankings should spend money on expensive amenities and hire top-dollar faculty (Nobel Prize winners are the best for rankings) who will rarely teach. To pay for all this, universities will likely need to increase tuition fees. Moving up in the rankings also requires a shift in resource allocation to marketing, issues management (keep bad news out of the public eye) and products and consulting services offered by rankers.

  • Ontario doesn’t need another Francophone university. Why is Wynne promising one?

    … the truth is, there is no Francophone access problem; Francophones are already very well served… A 2013 review by the government’s own higher-education agency, HEQCO, notes that students from French-language school boards are slightly more likely to attend university (24.6 per cent) than students from English boards (22.6 per cent).

  • Dyslexic kids in Canada deserve better

    In Ontario alone, more than 40,000 children are waiting for assessment out of 250,000 who struggle with dyslexia. Tragically, assessment and intervention will come far too late for this group’s learning development. It is a “wait-and-fail” disaster. Of children with learning disabilities, 80-85 per cent of them are believed to be dyslexic… A University of Toronto study reveals that a dyslexic child is five times more likely to be physically abused than the average child… Not only is the situation a living tragedy, it also has monumental costs to our country.

  • How a Canadian experimental program helped one child with autism speak

    Known as the Social ABCs, the program teaches parents strategies to help toddlers with ASD to talk or vocalize in more meaningful ways and to smile more with their caregivers… The 12-week intervention… uses objects that grab a child’s attention and motivates them to verbally interact with their parents… Researchers also saw increased verbal responses to parental prompts and gains in their functional language, as well as how often they initiated a verbal connection on their own

  • Polytechnics are the missing link in the automation revolution

    In the face of a transitioning economy, we only have one choice, really: embrace and adapt… If the essential fact about capitalism is creative destruction and the necessary reshaping of economies, then governments need to see polytechnics as the economic actors they are and bring them into the innovation policy discussion. Polytechnics adapt, embrace, and thrive in the face of economic challenge and change.

  • Grassroots group plans legal challenge against separate school funding

    The group wants to bring the issue to the forefront at a time when school closures are causing havoc in many regions, arguing that taxpayer-funded Catholic schools are no longer fair or affordable in a society of many religions and cultures… “We believe there should be one non-denominational two-language public school system.”

  • Province must bridge gap between affluent and needy schools

    One of the biggest barriers to equity, the group found, is fundraising. As the study points out, schools from richer neighbourhoods have a huge advantage with some able to raise up to $200,000 a year while others in poorer neighbourhoods couldn’t raise anything… Forty-eight per cent of elementary schools reported fundraising for learning resources such as computers, art supplies or other products or upgrades that clearly tilt the educational playing field.