Saturday, September 22, 2007

Education - Another broken promise

The Liberal War Room's clever manipulation of the media to remain focussed on the Faith-Based funding brouhaha has detracted from the real issue - How well are our public schools performing?

Some advocates for improving the quality of education in the Ontario public school system want to redirect attention back to performance, and to the latest release of provincial tests showing that another key 2003 election promise by Dalton McGuinty has been broken - specifically, that they would get "75% of all Grade 6 students meeting or exceeding the standard in provincial reading, writing and math tests by the end of their first mandate."

In press release by the Society for Quality Education, Doretta Wilson states:

The Society for Quality Education (SQE) is not surprised that Ontario students did not come close to meeting the 75% target set out by the province. With only 64% of the province’s grade 6 students passing their reading test, an average class of 25 students would yield only 16 students who can read well enough for the work of the next grade. The results are even worse in writing, with only 61% of students passing, and math, with only 59% of students passing – down 2% from last year.

Generous increases to the amount of taxpayers’ money spent on various initiatives haven’t translated into improvement,” said Doretta Wilson, executive director. “Test results have flat-lined compared to last year and, in some cases, the results are actually worse.

Once again we find that the Liberal ploys of appeasing unions and throwing money at a problem do not necessarily lead to positive results.

There is even some controversy surrounding the possibility that these standardized tests have been "dumbed-down" in an attempt to improve the results and thereby make the current Liberal government appear successful.

As one of my readers recently commented, instead of being known as the Education Premier, we should start referring to Dalton the "Teachers' Union Premier".

Because as Sandy so aptly notes:

Yes, while Dalton McGuinty was breaking his promises to the people of Ontario, he was keeping them to the teachers’ unions.

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Related - Check out a few more reasons why you shouldn't vote Liberal (if you really need them):

Officially Screwed
- Trade-offs. I will take Tory's Faith-Based Funding over the Liberal's Lawyer and Crony Based Funding Anyday.

Joan Tintor - McGuinty loses debate: Ads go more negative.

Steve Janke - From the Ontario Liberals to the ALF-CIO to the Working Families Coalition.

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Sunday Update: Another reason not to vote for McGuinty - Heartbreaking story about an Ottawa cancer patient via Step to the Right.

Toronto Star's Christina Blizzard - Dalton Stumbles, Bumbles Along.

Interesting mention about Working Families in Blizzard's column:

Trust me, the Liberals know all about attack ads. Remember the "Not this time, Ernie" campaign the so-called "Working Families" coalition ran in 2003? Sure, the party claimed not to be involved, apart from sharing their desire to defeat the Tories.

The series of TV and billboard ads portrayed former premier Eves in a very derogatory light. Talk about demonizing him. They were close-up, black-and-white pictures that showed every pore of his skin and portrayed the guy as some kind of lounge lizard.

And while Working Families is a largely union-led coalition, the person behind those ads was Marcel Wieder, a well-known Liberal "dirty ops" specialist.

So please, let's have no Liberal finger-wagging on negativity

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Tuesday Update: Good site here on Catholic Education - Tomorrows Trust. Lots of great links.


Anonymous said...

Ha! No wonder the "education" premier is harping on faith-based schools so much. It's because it's a diversion from the fact that even with a dumbing down of the tests our kids still ARE NOT LEARNING THE BASICS.

I'm beginning to think that with all of the money and 4 year teacher deals that the answer to improved student achievement isn't something money can buy.

At what point do you suppose the government educrats(the folks at the MOE who claim to be experts in education) will admit that whole language disguised as balanced literacy, and fuzzy math will NOT cut it?

I'm betting we'll continue to waste taxpayers money on things like "team reading" and "balanced school days" with little to show for it.

The Lemming Left usually chime in right about now and try to convince us that maintaining skills and standards doesn't matter, it's all about self-esteem don't'ya know.

Anonymous said...

Someone told me to check out your blogspot Joanne. It's really great!

In my region of the province(London)
boards are gearing up to enter into school accommodation reviews, which will involved drastic changes and YES, school closures. The Thames Valley Board hired consultants who advised them to close over 30 schools.

The handy thing for the Liberals is that the "new" process for these will not begin in earnest until AFTER the election. Coincidence or deliberate? You be the judge. How would it have looked during the campaign to have parents, and communities fired up about closing schools under the "education"(oops) make that "teacher union Premier".

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Someone told me to check out your blogspot Joanne. It's really great!

Thanks so much. I'm glad you decided to join the discussion.

The handy thing for the Liberals is that the "new" process for these will not begin in earnest until AFTER the election. Coincidence or deliberate?

Yes, I've heard rumours to that end as well. I certainly wouldn't be surprised at all to discover that this was some kind of strategy.

Anonymous said...

Teacher's pet.

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Hi Joanne,

Totally off-topic, but in my never-ending effort to win you over to the Vote for MMP side in the referendum (LOL), I just wanted to let you know about Andrew Coyne's recent column on this, in case you haven't seen it.


Joanne (True Blue) said...

LKO - You guys are persistent, that's for sure! I was asked the same thing in previous thread by Greg.

Yes, I'm giving it due consideration and plan to address that over the next few days. Thanks.

Joanne (True Blue) said...

BTW, LKO. Check out Conservative Christian's latest post.

Anonymous said...

Students don't deserve another 4 years of the education premier Joanne.

I'm hearing more and more that McGuinty's moving to one system. Going to invite the Catholics in under one big umbrella..odd in that isn't that what John Tory's doing with the fb schools?

Joanne (True Blue) said...

Anon, yes I've heard those rumours too. Dalton denies them, but do you really trust that man?

Anonymous said...

In our area there have been several new schools built. But there was recent announcement that one of the high schools is set to be closed. Are we seeing a pattern here?
-Close hospitals and sink billions into the building of new ones...without improving 'health care provision'.
-Close schools and build extravagant new ones, without improving the quality of education provision.
Can you say "Smoke Screen"?