'We're concerned about what signal this sends': ATA responds to government's cancellation of partnership on curriculum redesign
The Alberta Teachers' Association says a new provincial curriculum may be at risk after the United Conservative government cancelled the ATA's involvement in the process.
The ATA says it was informed late Friday afternoon that the government was cancelling a 2016 memorandum which designated the two partners in designing a new curriculum.
ATA spokesperson Jonathan Teghtmeyer said the association was disappointed and concerned by the announcement.
"Teachers are experts in curriculum. They really are the people that are living the curriculum day to day, that need to be able to use it, so it's very important that teachers' voice plays a main part in curriculum development," Teghtmeyer said.
"We're concerned about what signal this sends as to the future of the role of the association, and of teachers, in curriculum development moving forward—and in fact, this brings into question concerns about whether the curriculum might move forward at all."
The ATA said the move has potentially endangered cooperation between the union and the government, as well as the curriculum redesign process.
"The premier has been clear over the last three years he's got some concerns with the content. We don't necessarily share those concerns, and we're worried that this ultimately is motivated by ideology," Teghtmeyer told CTV News Edmonton.
However, the government says the 2016 agreement was "too restrictive."
"There are many partners in the education system that have a role to play in determining what Alberta students should learn, and it is important that we open up that process," Colin Aitchison, education press secretary, wrote in a statement.
Teghtmeyer responded: "I don't see anything in there that would have restricted the government. What I have heard so far from the minister and the premier is that they want to consult more broadly, and there's nothing in the memorandum that stops them from doing that. The memorandum is simply about making sure teachers have a key piece to play in this curriculum development process."
The UCP government says in addition to new stakeholders, it will continue working with the ATA to implement a new curriculum.