• 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.

  • Social media is no more a nemesis to democracy than books

    … this method of communication makes it easier to create anti-democratic movements… editors of the Economist magazine drew up an even more severe charge sheet. Social media, they said, spreads untruth and outrage, creating a “politics of contempt” in the process… A historic pattern lies behind these troubled accusations. When a new form of communication is invented and becomes popular, it creates uneasiness… It may be used by people with dangerous ideas.

  • Fighting a war of attrition on college campuses to the last student body

    A sheepish Liberal government — the provincial paymaster behind the scenes — has acknowledged that it now needs to do for colleges what it long ago did for school boards. The government relies on an independent advisory body to declare whenever a strike threatens the school year, and now wants to emulate that model at the college level.

  • Sensing a moment, Canadian scientists swing for the fences

    Research advocates say a growing economy at home and political turmoil elsewhere has handed Canada a once-in-a-generation opportunity to get back on par with other developed countries in its science investments… Canada’s scientific enterprise needs a long-term infusion of stable funding to keep younger researchers in the profession and set the stage for the kinds of major breakthroughs that are decades in the making.

  • All students deserve respect in classroom

    Inclusivity for all diverse learners warrants a clear and concise commitment to support teachers, support staff and administrators, with the appropriate continuous professional learning and resources to ensure success… statements from parents… serve as a call to action to ensure that no child feels excluded because of their learning need or exceptionality. The diversity of learners in today’s classroom is the norm and no longer the exception.