• It is time to merge Ontario’s public and Catholic school systems

    Quebec and Newfoundland put an end to their publicly funded denominational school systems… At a time of extremely tight education funding, the added costs due to duplication of services, extra busing, etc., is nothing short of an obscenity… Merging two (actually four) overlapping school systems in each municipality would produce huge savings in transportation, administration, maintenance and capital costs. It would also allow children of all different faiths to learn and play together and make it easier to maintain a school in every community.

  • Schools must become ‘hub’ of mental health support, says OISE’s Dr. Katreena Scott

    Kids who experience adversities in childhood such as abuse, neglect, exposure to domestic violence or having a parent with mental health issues are most likely to have problems. Those children who have experienced many of such adversities are: 4.4 times as likely to report two or more weeks of depression in the past year; 12.2 times as likely to have ever attempted suicide; 10.3 times as likely to have ever injected drugs; 7.4 times as likely to consider self an alcoholic

  • Province boosts education funding to $24B for next school year

    Ontario is increasing education spending by almost 4 per cent to $23.8 billion in the next school year, with a focus on providing more special education support and reducing class sizes… The education funding includes money to hire hundreds more special education teachers and support workers based on local need, and capping class sizes in full-day kindergarten as well as grades 4 through 8.

  • Ontario should save kids from interminable bus commutes

    … school boards across Ontario are struggling to deal with a declining student population. Many boards are targeting small rural schools for closure, even though their enrolment is often higher than schools in larger centres… It’s not just the long hours that are detrimental… but the total disconnect from local life… hours spent on a dreary bus ride are hours they can’t be in extra-circular sports, clubs or just playing shinny. Ontario must do better, for the sake its children.

  • Canada doesn’t have a Harvard, and that’s a good thing

    … getting into a “top” Canadian university is nowhere near as difficult as entering an elite U.S. college: the entire undergraduate population of the Ivy League is roughly equivalent to that of the University of Toronto. Moreover, the consequences of not getting into a top Canadian school are relatively minor: those who graduate from a Canadian undergraduate program are on a much more equal footing than they are in the U.S.

  • Ontario coalition pushes for transparency on autism policies

    … the Ontario Autism Coalition asked Children’s Minister Michael Coteau to waive confidentiality agreements it says will muzzle panel members and limit their ability to hold the government to account. “It’s time to restore some trust between the government and the autism community by permitting a full and open discussion about how we help kids with autism in Ontario”… The newly launched Ontario autism program advisory committee includes parents, educators and experts.

  • A closer look at the StatCan tuition data reveals some worrying trends

    Ontario’s domestic undergraduate fees are 74 per cent higher than the average in the rest of Canada… Graduate tuition is even worse: 96 per cent higher than the rest of Canada, having increased by 13 per cent since 2010, compared to six per cent in the RoC. International fees tell a similar tale: undergraduate tuition fees are 54 per cent higher than the rest of Canada, and graduate fees are 66 per cent higher.

  • Ontario’s schools have issues – but don’t blame funding cuts

    … for an explanation for resource challenges in Ontario’s public schools, look to how the system is organized and managed… Archaic regulations, union monopoly (which helps create misaligned incentives for both bureaucrats and educators), lack of responsiveness to parental demands, and centralized, prescriptive curriculum are just a few of the many handcuffs holding back Ontario’s public-school systems… the problems in Ontario public education require a fundamental restructuring

  • Ontario won’t close schools for deaf and blind children

    Ontario will keep open four schools for 160 children who are deaf, blind or have severe learning disabilities while it develops pilot projects to help kids with similar challenges in traditional schools. The move follows protests by worried parents last winter and spring — and an outcry from opposition parties at Queen’s Park — after the government stopped admissions at the schools in Milton, London, Belleville and Ottawa for the fall.

  • Elementary students to get hour of math every day under new Ontario plan

    “We know the jobs of today and tomorrow require key math skills and knowledge,” said Sandals, who noted that while Canadian students are still among the strongest math performers on global tests, scores on Ontario’s standardized math tests slipped 7 percentage points in Grade 6 over the past five years, and 4 points in Grade 3. “We’re doing fine, but we need to improve how we help students who are struggling with math,” especially in a “tech-driven world,”