Loading articles...

ATA says plan from UCP to overhaul education is 'misguided'

Last Updated Mar 26, 2019 at 10:37 pm MST

EDMONTON (660 NEWS) — The Alberta Teachers’ Association is criticizing the education plan proposed Monday by United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney.

Included in Kenney’s 13-point program is a plan to re-introduce standardized testing and increase the weighting of Grade 12 diplomas.

ATA president Greg Jeffery says the UCP’s priorities are misplaced and misguided, and the real issues are class size and inclusion.

“Instead of addressing the real issues of growing class sizes and a lack of adequate supports for students with special needs, the United Conservative Party election platform proposes new high-stakes testing for six-, seven- and eight-year-old children and for all teachers,” he stated.

“Class size is the unsolved crisis of the past 14 years, and unless something is done right away, the continuing failure to support inclusion will be the crisis of the next four years. Unfortunately, the UCP plan fails to make a firm commitment to fund continuing enrolment growth and is absolutely silent on the issues of inclusion and classroom complexity.”

Jeffery says standardized tests are expensive to develop and administer, and it is ‘nonsensical’ to think more testing will ‘magically’ improve teaching and learning.

He adds the province must fully fund enrollment growth and also address classroom complexity but describes proposals to give free rein to charter schools and reduce protections for LGBTQ students are potentially disruptive and divisive.

WATCH: Kenney to roll back rules on GSAs