Province releases ten-point plan for education
Published Tuesday, January 10, 2012 6:40PM MST
In the wake of a series of consultations on education involving more than one thousand Albertans, the provincial government has unveiled an outline of its plan for education in the province.
The multiple-point plan comes after seven day-long public meetings held between November 26 and December 9, where 1,130 students, parents, teachers and other school staff participated.
Another five student forums were held, in addition to feedback from Albertans by phone, by e-mail, letters and through social media.
"About $35 million per day is being spent on education," Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk said. "The question is: Are we spending the dollars most effectively?"
The ten-point plan includes cutting travel time for students who spend more than one hour on a bus, reviewing provincial achievement tests, increasing transparency and accountability of the education system and investigating the requirements for full-day kindergarten.
"I'm going to be checking them off one by one, in no particular order," Lukaszuk said. "But I want them checked off very shortly."
Critics said the list is nothing new.
"I'm not very impressed," Bill Moore-Kilgannon with Public Interest Alberta said. "The minister has announced ten things that people have known for many years."
Others said the list is a direct contradiction to one of Premier Alison Redford's campaign promises to eliminate achievement testing in elementary school.
"Clearly this is a plan to delay or perhaps completely break that promise," NDP MLA Rachel Notley said. "So that's disappointing to me as a parent."
Regardless, some parents who were present at the announcement on Tuesday are looking forward to results that could come from the outline.
"Just the ideas, the changes that can happen," Troy Locke said. "I was very pleased with that."
The information gathered through those means will be considered as the province prepares new education legislation, before that legislation is introduced in the spring.
With files from Sean Amato