The UCP government has announced a new panel to review and “enhance” the province’s revamped curriculum.

The Curriculum Advisory Panel is being chaired by Angus McBeath, a former superintendent for Edmonton Public Schools, and vice-chaired by Jen Panteluk, the former CEO of Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta and Northwest Territories.

Other members include NAIT President Glenn Feltham, former Deputy Minister of Alberta Education Keray Henke, and Associate Vice-President Academic for Red Deer College Paulette Hanna.

“The curriculum advisory panel will review the curriculum work done to date, globally endorsed practices, jurisdictional research and previous engagement feedback and then provide me with advice on next steps,” Education Minister Adriana LaGrange said Thursday.

The panel will also develop a new ministerial order on student learning which guides education in the province.

“All Albertans expect us to get this right because the future of our society, the health and strength of our community, the strength of our economy all rely on sterling teaching and children learning the right things,” said panel chair Angus McBeath.


No active teachers or ATA members on panel

The news comes nearly a week after the UCP ended its agreement with the Alberta Teachers’ Association on curriculum development.

The memorandum of understanding was signed with the former NDP government and designated the ATA as the lead on the six-year project.

LaGrange called the agreement “too restrictive."

ATA officials said it did not prevent the government from doing broader consultations and expressed concern about teachers’ involvement moving forward.  

“They are curriculum experts. They live it. They deliver it every day. It’s important to have their voices heard,” ATA President Jason Schilling told CTV News Edmonton Thursday.

LaGrange said despite not having a seat on the panel, teachers will continue to be involved.

“We do have over 350 teachers working on the curriculum development group and that will continue to happen so we will be in constant contact with the ATA on curriculum and so many other matters."


New curriculum timeline

The NDP government started work on updating the curriculum for all grades in the fall of 2016.

In October, a second draft of the new K-4 curriculum was completed but field testing was put on hold after the provincial election.

“We have curriculum documents that are as old as I am. That’s shameful. It’s time to move forward and this is just another delay,” said NDP Education Critic Janis Irwin.

LaGrange said the panel will report back in December and early next year, the government will open consultations to parents, students and others.

She did not have any set dates for completion but said her goal is to have “elements” of the new curriculum in place “very, very soon.”