Government pauses K-4 curriculum testing
The provincial government has paused field testing of a new Alberta elementary school curriculum, without a timeline for the review of the NDP's work in the same area.
School boards were sent a letter with the announcement, the education ministry confirmed to CTV News Edmonton on Monday.
The United Conservative government said it "respects the hard work done so far" by the NDP, but that a review of the former government's work is needed.
"The government still intends to advance the development of the K-12 curriculum, however we were clear in our election commitment that we were going to pause so we could have time to review what has been drafted so far, and to consult," Press Secretary Colin Aitchison said in a statement.
"This pause will give us the opportunity to make sure that we are taking the right approach towards improving outcomes for our children."
The working group that was established by the NDP is still in place, the ministry said, and new Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was able to join its meetings last week.
A second draft of the curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 4 was released in October.
Months later, as anticipation of the spring election was vamping up, UCP Leader Jason Kenney promised to "stop the NDP's ideological rewrite of the school curriculum" and "reform our education system to offer more practical, experiential and apprenticeship learning" if elected. His statement prompted defense by the NDP of its six-year plan to overhaul Alberta's primary education curricula.
Education Opposition Critic Sarah Hoffman is again defending her party's work, saying Monday the new curriculum modernized studies in areas like financial literacy and residential schools.
"It also reflects advances in science and technology over the past 20 years, such as the Internet and the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet," Hoffman said.
The party is calling for more transparency during the review process.
"What did Minister LaGrange see in the new curriculum that caused her to cancel field-testing? She needs to be candid with Albertans."