• 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.

  • 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.

  • End unjust and ineffective practice of academic streaming

    For nearly a quarter century, this policy has done nothing to advance the academic prospects of Ontario students while doing a great deal to reinforce the educational disadvantages experienced by low-income and Black kids. It’s high time to end it… The education system should be a tool for redressing inequities, not compounding 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.

  • Even with new investments in affordability, Ontario remains most expensive province in which to pursue higher education

    Ontario remains the most expensive province in which to pursue post-secondary education, according to data released today by Statistics Canada. Average undergraduate tuition fees for the 2017-2018 academic year will be $8,454, up from $8,114 in the previous year… The current tuition fee framework will expire in 2019, and students are calling on the government to ensure that the next framework reverses this decade-long trend of rising costs for students and their families.

  • 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.