Listening to Parents When it Comes to Education

Queen’s Park — The Government of Ontario announced a plan to respect parents when it comes to their kids’ education. Premier Doug Ford and Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education, detailed the scope of the unprecedented parental consultation into Ontario’s curriculum.

“We promised to deliver an education system that put the rights of parents first while getting back to the basics when it comes to teaching fundamental subjects like math,” said Premier Ford.   

“We want to prepare our children for the jobs of the future, and make sure they can compete on the world stage. We also want to respect parents and hear from them about their priorities in terms of education,” said the MPP.

Starting in September 2018, the Government will engage in province-wide public consultations that will include:

An online survey,

Telephone town halls in every region of Ontario, and

A submission platform that will allow interested individuals and groups to present detailed proposals to the Ministry

As part of the announcement, the Premier and Minister shared details about the scope of the consultation, which will include:

How to improve student performance in the STEM disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math;

How our schools are preparing students with needed job skills, whether it be by exposing them to opportunities in the skilled trades or giving them the opportunity to improve their skills in increasingly important fields like coding;

What more can be done to ensure students graduate with important life skills like financial literacy;

How to build a new age-appropriate Health and Physical Education curriculum that includes subjects like mental health, sex-ed, and legalization of cannabis; 

What measures can be taken to improve standardized testing;

What steps schools should take to ban cellphone use in the classroom.

“We expect and look forward to a robust discussion on each of these items – and this input will be used to shape our decisions for the 2019-2020 school year,” said Thompson.

To ensure that the rights of parents are respected throughout and following the reform process, the Government will also begin drafting a Ministry of Education Parents’ Bill of Rights.  Parents will be asked what elements they want to see included in the Bill of Rights as part of the province-wide consultation. 

Parents can visit www.fortheparents.ca to provide feedback about any concerns they have with respect to the curriculum currently being taught in the classroom, while the consultation process is underway.