• The End of Identity Liberalism

    We need a post-identity liberalism, and it should draw from the past successes of pre-identity liberalism… It would speak to the nation as a nation of citizens who are in this together and must help one another. As for narrower issues that are highly charged symbolically and can drive potential allies away, especially those touching on sexuality and religion, such a liberalism would work quietly, sensitively and with a proper sense of scale.

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    Why we are weaning our students from electronic noise

    We’ve decided to… ban… all electronic devices from both the course lectures and the discussion sections… thinking thrives on silence or on dialogue with other human voices, when electronic noise has faded. We hope to help wean our students from that noise. Our new policy is a small step, but we’re convinced that it’s in the right direction.

  • 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.

  • On campus, it’s good to be bothered by a diversity of ideas

    … consider the advice U.S. President Barack Obama… “There will be times when you shouldn’t compromise your core values, your integrity and you will have the responsibility to speak up in the face of injustice. But listen. Engage. If the other side has a point, learn from them. If they’re wrong, rebut them. Teach them. Beat them on the battlefield of ideas… you will have to deal with ignorance, hatred, racism, foolishness, trifling folks … at every stage of your life.”

  • 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.

  • What’s So Great about University Rankings?

    The rankings seem arbitrary… with universities rising and falling for reasons that are unclear even to academics… who study the rating systems… criteria are biased toward western values and ignore student satisfaction, safety, diversity and economic and social justice… if university leaders become obsessed with rankings, then they become obsessed with branding… with how many articles our academics are getting in top-ranked journals, which is a bit of a racket itself… attention is taken away from issues that need a lot of focus.

  • Panel to review federal funding for university-based scientific research

    The federal government has named an expert panel to conduct an unprecedented and sweeping review of how it supports university-based scientific research… the panel could trigger anything from minor tweaks to a major rebuild of Ottawa’s science-funding apparatus, which this year is expected to funnel more than $3-billion to Canadian researchers and their labs.

  • Queen’s Park should save schools for deaf children

    … depriving deaf children of sign language results in linguistic and cognitive delays that extend into adulthood… The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires governments to facilitate learning of sign language by deaf students and promote the linguistic identity of the deaf community in schools. Instead of closing the provincial schools, the ministry of education should work to enhance the schools’ environment and enable deaf and hard of hearing students to thrive.