And so it begins. On September 28, 2018, the Ontario government launched the first part of their curriculum consultation process.
All members are encouraged to participate in this consultation process and identify themselves as parents if that is appropriate. When providing feedback to the government during the consultation process, members may wish to consider that Ontario’s schools and students face numerous challenges relating to program funding, individual supports, and infrastructure. In this consultation, as in all areas of your practice, exercising your professional judgment is critical.
Parents, students, educators and interested individuals or organizations can address concerns and provide feedback on:
- Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)
- Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding
- Improving provincial standardized testing
- Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy
- Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones
- Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis
Developing the first-ever Parents’ Bill of Rights
- During this period, parents can also share stories about teachers who are making a difference in their children’s lives or report concerns about the curriculum currently being taught.
To assist members in submitting their feedback, a list of related OSSTF/FEESO policies is provided below.
Submissions can be made electronically on the website, www.fortheparents.ca, until December 15, 2018. The online survey and telephone regional town hall consultations are now available.
|Areas of concern for Ontario government’s consultation||Related OSSTF/FEESO Policy|
|1. Improving student performance in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)||It is the policy of OSSTF that
the goals of education should, through the expansion of knowledge, enhance the student’s ability to:
use mathematical skills with confidence in practical situations ;
use science and technology to gain access to information and make decisions;
|2. Preparing students with needed job skills, such as skilled trades and coding||7.14. Skills Training Programs and Apprenticeships
It is the policy of OSSTF that:
skills training should be developed within the context of the goals of education in Ontario;
skills training programs should:
be open to all students;
be designed to embody the generic skills built into the regular school program;
incorporate information that enables the trainees to work safely;
incorporate information to help trainees understand their rights both individually and collectively; and
flow from teacher-based identification of skills needs, and should be developed in conjunction with labour as well as with employers or consultants;
skills training programs appropriate for the age and developmental level of the trainees should be offered through public secondary schools; and
school workplace apprenticeship programs should be designed so that:
successful graduates have the same options available to them as do graduates of the regular program;
they have additional options which result from completing a considerable portion of an apprenticeship program; and
they allow for the easy transition of students to and from the regular program.
|3. Improving provincial standardized testing||7.6. Student Assessment and Evaluation
It is the policy of OSSTF that:
province-wide, system-wide, or international tests should not be used in the supervision or evaluation of teachers or to compare schools and/or district school boards;
there should be no reintroduction of public, province-wide exit examinations;
student assessment instruments should be developed by the Ministry of Education and/or district school boards in collaboration with the teaching federations during all stages of planning, development, implementation and review;
if province-wide or system-wide tests are used, then they should:
take into account the diversity of the student population in Ontario;
be based on curriculum objectives;
be used to make recommendations to improve student achievement;
be used to make recommendations to improve teaching strategies and/or modify program;
be free from discriminatory bias;
be reported to the student and parent by appropriate personnel who have access to pertinent printed information;
be accompanied by current information useful in interpreting scores from test programs;
employ a transparent and consistent passing standard, which is similar to that required for any secondary school credit, and which is established and released prior to the administration of the test; and
have their design and evaluation procedures clearly and concisely explained to all members of the education community, including parents and students;
the classroom teacher should be the primary assessor/evaluator of student progress;
any assessment/evaluation strategy should be of benefit to the students;
student assessment/evaluation should be a significant aspect of the learning process;
students should be assessed and evaluated through a variety of written and non-written strategies;
information from provincial standardized testing should not identify any student by class section or teacher;
OSSTF opposes, in principle, the use of the Blended Mode Assessment Process imposed unilaterally by any employer;
employers should accept zero as a mark when teachers, in their professional judgment, believe this is the appropriate mark;
members should be allowed to use the assessment tools that, in their professional judgment, best meet the needs of their students and Ministry reporting requirements;
teachers should only be required to complete report cards twice per course, as outlined by the Ministry of Education;
the Ministry Identification Number of the Ontario Secondary School that grants each credit should be shown on the Ontario Student Transcript;
province-wide or system-wide testing should not be administered in a format that disadvantages any students or limits them from full participation; and
no Member should be required to use EQAO assessment as any part of a student’s final mark.
10.8. Education Quality and Accountability Office
It is the policy of OSSTF that:
the Education Quality and Accountability Office and its testing program should be abolished and that the savings should be allocated to the province’s elementary and secondary public schools.
|4. Ensuring students graduate with important life skills, including financial literacy||It is the policy of OSSTF that any educational change should follow a Ministry of Education change protocol that:
includes a clear vision of student outcomes for both students leaving school to enter the workforce directly and students proceeding to post-secondary education;
|5. Managing the use of technology in classrooms, such as cell phones||It is the policy of OSSTF that:
where computers and other digital technology should, according to the member’s professional judgment, be an integral part of the instruction, assessment and evaluation process that:
the employer should ensure that all students have access to the technology required to fulfill the expectations of all curriculum programs in such a way that neither students nor OSSTF members are disadvantaged.
|6. Building a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sexual health education and the legalization of cannabis||It is the policy of OSSTF that the goals of education should, through the expansion of knowledge, enhance the student’s ability to:
assume responsibility for a healthy life style;
understand and challenge human rights violations such as sexism, racism, homophobia and harassment and other forms of such injustice including violence;