Alberta Education Minister not worried about school boards refusing to test draft K-6 curriculum
EDMONTON -- The education minister says she is not concerned about multiple school boards refusing to test the new draft kindergarten to grade six curriculum.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange made the remarks Saturday when asked during a media availability after announcing a rapid COVID-19 testing program in Alberta schools. LaGrange was asked if she was worried about the growing pushback against the curriculum.
The Calgary Board of Education, Alberta’s largest school board, was the latest to announce it will not pilot the new curriculum.
Edmonton’s two school boards have also declined.
LaGrange says they’ve given school boards the ability to pilot the entire curriculum, one grade, or just a single subject.
“We have said we will work with you, we will be flexible,” she added. “Now it’s in their ball court as to whether they choose to pilot or not.”
She added that those who do not participate in the curriculum could be missing an opportunity for valuable feedback.
“What we find is that those school divisions that are going to pilot it, they will be able to provide us that rich feedback,” LaGrange said. “The actual rich feedback that we will get from teachers on the ground actually putting it into practice will be indispensable to us.”
“The ones that choose to pilot will be leaders,” LaGrange said. "They will be able to give us that rich feedback we are searching for."
Many critics and parents have taken issue with multiple aspects of the curriculum, including the lack of mention of Indigenous and LGBTQ+ issues and some materials they feel are not age appropriate.
11 school boards have announced they will not pilot the curriculum including:
- Elk Island Public
- Edmonton Catholic
- Edmonton Public
- Calgary Public
- Lethbridge Public
- Medicine Hat Catholic
- Medicine Hat Public
- St. Albert Public
- Sturgeon Public Schools
- Wildrose School Division
- Wolf Creek Public Schools
Sarah Hoffman, NDP critic for education, said in a statement that the curriculum not prepare students adequately for further education and future careers.
“More than 10, including three of the province’s four largest school boards, have now taken a stand against the premier’s plan for educating Alberta children,” Hoffman said.
“I hope the government will finally listen to the people of this province and put an immediate halt to the curriculum pilots. Kids deserve better.”