May 16, 2008
Excellence in Education
• Educational excellence is something virtually every educator and school claim to aspire to.
• In Canada, there are many signs of this focus on educational excellence.
• At a time when the importance of spelling and grammar appears to be minimized in Canadian public schools, spelling bees have become increasingly popular.
• The recent CanWest CanSpell National Spelling Bee received a significant amount of media publicity.
• Science fairs are a long-standing tradition that gives students with a scientific bent the opportunity to explore a topic at a deeper level and present their findings to others.
• The Canadian Mathematical Society and the Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing sponsor several challenging mathematics competitions for junior high and high school students.
• Debate associations across the country hold provincial tournaments, and the top debaters have the opportunity to compete at the National Debate Seminar.
• Because these types of competitions encourage educational excellence, it is surprising public schools do not place a greater emphasis on the merits of competition in education.
• Our province’s apparent acceptance of mediocrity needs to change and to be replaced by a willingness to take risks and to challenge students to perform to the very best of their abilities.
direct the Centre’s Saskatchewan office from 2007 to 2011. He holds degrees in Electrical Engineering and Philosophy from the University of Auckland, where he also tutored Economics. In four years working for the Frontier Centre, David carried out extensive media work, presenting policy analysis through local and national television, newspapers, and radio. His policy columns have been published in newspapers in every province as well as the Globe and Mail and the National Post. David has produced policy research papers on telecommunications privatization, education, environmental policy, fiscal policy, poverty, and taxi deregulation. However, his major project with the Frontier Centre is the annual Local Government Performance Index (LGPI). The inaugural LGPI was released in November 2007 and comes at a time when municipal accounting standards in Canada must improve if the municipal government sector is to reach its potential as an economic growth engine for Canada. David is now a policy advisor in Wellington, New Zealand.