• Ontario families to launch human-rights challenge against sex-ed curriculum rollback

    Six families plan to file a case with the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario in the next week, noting that the old version of the curriculum makes no mention of issues such as gender diversity or the rights of LGBTQ students… The government’s decision to repeal the modernized curriculum violates the province’s human rights code and should be declared unlawful, their lawyers said… a parent from Guelph, Ont., credits the 2015 curriculum for making his daughter’s gender transition almost “seamless.”

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    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.

  • Campus culture wars: Universities need to rediscover the radical middle ground

    In the classroom, university teachers must lecture competently; they do not have a license to use their podiums in order to propagandize, speak in habitually ill-informed ways, or lie. Free speech allows citizens to do this on street corners or blogs, but universities have loftier goals. Academic freedom and freedom of speech are not the same thing; they are different forms of expression, both vital, in a democratic society.

  • Sex-ed programs shouldn’t be informed by left or right ideology

    … gender identity and gender expression are… interrelated. Level of exposure to prenatal testosterone – a scientific phenomenon repeatedly denied by gender scholars – has been shown, time and again, to influence all three… Sex education should not be rooted in ideology, whether it’s being propagated by religion or identity politics. When it comes to shaping young minds in particular, we should praise science and call out distortions of truth on both sides.

  • School vouchers don’t improve educational outcomes. Elitist parents may be the culprits

    … the quality of the pedagogy isn’t the only thing that shapes student outcomes in schools. The peer group matters a great deal; families with higher socioeconomic status are better able to navigate the educational system, and they value education very highly, traits they pass on to their children. Those parents also work hard to improve the quality of the schools their children attend.

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    One-third of Ontario college and university students receive free tuition grants

    The free tuition grants are part of a number of changes to the student assistance program, which makes mature students eligible for the first time, and also requires repayment only after grads are earning $35,000 a year, up from the current $25,000. The government is now providing students with aid money up front, before tuition bills arrive, for families earning less than $50,000. Some 70 per cent of those students were expected to receive more in grants than average university tuition rates.

  • Ontario school boards to collect detailed data on hiring, suspensions

    Ontario plans to revamp Grade 9 — with an eye to ending streaming in the first, “critical” year of high school — as part of its new equity plan that will also compel school boards to collect detailed data on everything from staff hires to student suspensions… The province’s three-year equity plan will, for the first time, have school boards collect data on race, ethnicity and other factors to determine if certain groups are disproportionately represented in areas such as suspensions or expulsions and work to address them.

  • It’s time to rethink strategy for post-secondary education

    It is socially responsible as well as fiscally shrewd… There are a number of EU countries that offer free college to their residents, including Germany, France, and Sweden… In Canada, a strategy to invest in four more years of free education could see the government collecting added tax revenues for decades to come from a more educated workforce with higher incomes. This is a winning strategy.

  • A clear call to move Canadian research forward

    Because of research, the average life expectancy of a Canadian born today is double what it was when the country was created 150 years ago. The social, health and economic benefits are so pervasive that it is sometimes difficult to see how important fundamental research has become to our lives… the landmark report… by … David Naylor should be compulsory reading

  • Preserving the quality of university education in Ontario

    Ontario’s universities currently receive the lowest level of public per-student funding in Canada, are not hiring full-time faculty at the rate necessary to keep pace with student enrolment, and have the highest student-faculty ratios in the country. OCUFA’s recommendations to the Standing Committee include: Increasing per-student funding for Ontario’s universities to match the average for the rest of Canada… that brings Ontario’s student-faculty ratio in line with the rest of Canada