Scrapping the Provincial Achievement Tests will Join Race to the Bottom – May 20, 2013
Alberta education minister Jeff Johnson recently announced plans to scrap the Provincial Achievement Tests (PATs) currently written by grade 3, 6 and 9 students. More “student-friendly” assessments will be written at the beginning of the year. This is a disappointing development, especially since Alberta has long been the top-performing province in the country.
Media Release - Frontier Centre’s Rod Clifton appointed Professor Emeritus – April 30, 2013
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is pleased to announce that Rod Clifton, a Senior Research Fellow, will be named Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba on Tuesday, April 30, 2013.
Content Should be King in Schools – April 11, 2013
Vacuous edu-babble needs to be stripped from curriculum guides and replaced with meaningful standards based on academic content.
Mandate Letters Will Increase Universities’ Troubles – April 11, 2013
Alberta’s Advanced Education Minister Thomas Lukaszuk is correct in saying that universities need changing, but incorrect in wanting to be the one to direct such change. Such approach risks making universities weaker and more vulnerable to decay.
The Manitoba Bullying Legislation is Going to be Expensive – March 26, 2013
Bill 18 is winding its way through the Manitoba legislature against considerable opposition from parents and schools. Nevertheless, the government is convinced they must have this new anti-bullying legislation. However, by examining what has happened in American universities when they enacted similar policies, we see that this could likely create a gold mine for lawyers, while not improving the situation for students.
Manitoba’s Bill 18 Fails the Test of Good Legislation – March 22, 2013
Bullying is deeply hurtful to students and destructive to the culture of schools. In the past, bullying was often dismissed as a minor issue, but today school officials and the general public take it much more seriously. Several provinces, including Manitoba, have decided to redress school bullying with legislation. But, to be effective, the legislation must satisfy two fundamental criteria: it must define bullying accurately, and it must respect existing rights and freedoms.
The Myth of Student Styles – March 1, 2013
The public education sector widely accepts that students have individual learning styles. Teachers are expected to tailor their lessons to meet the needs of the visual, auditory and tactile-kinesthetic learners in their classes. However, the learning styles theory is no more valid than an urban myth.
Media Release - Frontier’s Education Video Series to Air on SUN TV This Week – February 19, 2013
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy is delighted to announce that five videos from its new education reform series entitled Common Sense Education will be broadcast nationwide on Byline with Bryan Lilley on Sun TV at 9pm ET each night this week.
Do Universities Exploit Undergraduates? (Clifton) – February 14, 2013
PowerPoint slides which accompanied Rodney Clifton's speech Do Universities Exploit Undergraduates? that he gave in Winnipeg on February 7, 2013.
Merit Pay for Teachers Not Such a Bad Thing – January 28, 2013
If implemented properly, merit pay is a reform that could be used to reward effective teachers.
Common Sense Needed in School Discipline Policies – January 18, 2013
When it comes to student discipline, schools often veer into one of two extremes: implementing draconian zero-tolerance policies or bending over backwards to accommodate troublemakers. Students have the right to a safe and orderly learning environment.
Media Release - Common Sense Education I – January 15, 2013
The Frontier Centre for Public Policy, in conjunction with the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies, today released the first video in a new series on education reform. The series, Common Sense Education, gives parents, teachers and students a direct window into the foolish fads that afflict our public education system.
The End of Detention – January 8, 2013
Disciplinary business has changed dramatically at the St. John's, N.L., independent K-12 school since September, when Greg O'Leary became principal and joined with other teachers in a new "relational culture" at the school that feeds into a new curricular approach - one that aims to make students more accountable for their actions and helps them think about how their behaviour affects themselves and others.
Make School Day Work Smarter, Not Longer – December 15, 2012
Education reformers, particularly in the United States, say increasing the time students spend in school is necessary to prepare them for success. Proposed reforms are implemented too often without the sufficient evidence that they will be effective, and they can cost significant amounts of money.
Universities need more Accountability, not more Money – December 1, 2012
Over the last two decades the tuition fees at Canadian universities have increased substantially. Universities have not reported the costs of educating students by faculties and schools. Indeed, a considerable amount of money is siphoned away for funding glitz and administrative bloat.
Teachers Should Not be Allowed to Strike. Period – December 1, 2012
The current dispute between the Ontario government and the province’s teachers’ unions is harmful to students. A massive $15 million deficit made the government realize the need to reign in its spending, after generously meeting the unions’ demands for nine years. The government is not without fault, as it backtracked on previously negotiated pay increases instead of following the recommendations of a commissioned economist to cancel costly initiatives such as full day kindergarten and class size restrictions.
Can’t Pick and Choose Free Speech – November 12, 2012
A barometer on university campus freedom of expression gave the University of Manitoba a bad grade, albeit not the worse, which means Manitoba missed out on an opportunity to lead on university free speech.
Failed Education Fads Should be Buried, not Resurrected – October 8, 2012
Schools in Western Canada have been designed by an architecture firm specializing in open concept schools, which go hand-in-hand with the constructivism approach. The constructive approach holds that teachers should help students construct their own understanding of the world around them.
We Can Get Better Teachers – October 3, 2012
Marcus Winters reviews the research literature on effective teachers and presents a way for school divisions to retain the most effective teachers.
What If They Ran The NFL Like The Chicago Teachers Union? – September 13, 2012
In the last week, two of America’s favorite pastimes have relaunched for fall. One is football, the other is politically-focused adults grabbing for more government money in the name of “the children.”