If Doug Ford is nervous about the back-to-school plan, it’s time to take a closer look
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Re-opening schools in September – many loaded questions

School Magazine  – 2020-07-18
In just over a month, roughly 2 million Ontario students may get ready to return to school after 6 months away from the classroom. But, in the light of COVID-19, it’s not at all clear how a safe return will work. There are a lot of factors in play, but the overriding one is money.

Does the Ford government really believe Black Lives Matter?

Dudley Paul  – 2020-07-08
“First, what we are dealing with, at root and fundamentally, is anti-Black racism... it is the Black community which is the focus. It is Blacks who are being shot, it is Black youth that is unemployed in successive numbers, it is Black students who are being inappropriately streamed in schools, it is Black kids who are disproportionately dropping out…Just as the soothing balm of ‘multiculturalism’ cannot mask racism, so racism cannot mask its primary target.” – Stephen Lewis 1992

Parkdale parents want answers about racist letter

Dudley Paul  – 2020-06-17
You'd think that the Toronto District School Board which claims pride in its multicultural perspective and touts its efforts to make education equitable, would respond better to a rally last Thursday just outside of Queen Victoria PS in Parkdale. Parents and community members were demanding answers to questions about a racist letter sent to their former vice-principal.

Parents at Queen Victoria Public School break silence about principal

Dudley Paul  – 2020-06-17
Parents, Debbie King, Tania Daley and Naomi Joseph say they have waited long enough. The three members of Queen Victoria Black Students Success Committee (QVBSS) told assembled media outside the school yesterday that they had followed the TDSB human rights process in submitting a list of 18 alleged incidents of anti-Black racism, but there have been no results.

Where to now? Education unions and community alliances

School Magazine  – 2020-06-16
Did education unions bail on the communities that supported them over recent contract agreements? Not exactly, but there’s work to do to maintain relationships and find the best way to defeat the Doug Ford government.

Staffing for a return to school- could mean big changes.

Doug Little  – 2020-06-04
Mainstream and social media are full of stories about a return to K12 education in June, September or even January but everybody knows this won’t be business as usual. Nations around the world are grappling with the necessary social distancing with staggered starts, alternate day programs, blended learning and face to face education. What is in store for Ontario students?

Educators too must work to upend the roots of racial violence

School Magazine  – 2020-06-01
The Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) is one of the most activist educator unions in America. Time and again, it shows how it understands that education is not something confined to schools; that educators work and live in the world they help to explain. Here is a statement the CTU sent out earlier today about education under racism.

School interview: Mike Schreiner leader of the Green Party of Ontario

School Magazine  – 2020-05-27
What's really important in education? School Magazine is trying to set up interviews with education leaders of Ontario political parties to get their answers to that question and others. Is education all about investments or is there more to it? Here is our interview with Green Party leader Mike Schreiner.

Public education beyond the pandemic

Dudley Paul  – 2020-05-20
Governments at all levels are trying to keep the medical, social and economic disaster of COVID-19 from getting much worse. But, after years of attacks on basic services, the question is: are we going to go back to the same old tired thing, or is there another way to look at the role of government? This applies to education, like everything else.

Secondary teachers’ tentative agreement: ratify or confront reality?

Rick Beer  – 2020-05-03
Details of the tentative agreement between Ontario Secondary Teachers Federation (OSSTF) and the provincial government are not yet available. Teachers still have to vote whether or not to accept it. But as secondary teacher Rick Beer argues, the deal is the same as the one the federation rejected in February. Here is an open letter to his colleagues in which he explains why he will vote against it.

Teachers’ unions and COVID-19: time to step up

Dudley Paul  – 2020-04-22
No question - we all need to take individual responsibility for getting through the COVID-19 pandemic. But let's not forget our collective responsibility as organizers and activists. Some education unions understand that their work only increases as times get harder. In Ontario, however, they could do better.

School interview: Marit Stiles

Dudley Paul  – 2020-04-15
What should education look like? School Magazine believes that proper funding, true democratic governance and teaching a curriculum that genuinely engages students ought to be front and centre in the way we consider what topics need attention and what articles get published. So, what are the issues on top of politicians minds as they look at our schools and what goes on in them? It's a reasonable question and over the next while we're going to ask them. Here's the first person we spoke with: NDP Education Critic, Marit Stiles.

Alberta Government turns hard to the right- making the most of a crisis

David DePoe  – 2020-04-10
Alberta Premier, Jason Kenney stands alone among his colleagues across Canada. While politicians at all levels scramble to "flatten the curve" of both the COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout that goes with it, Mr. Kenney has chosen to cut jobs, divert money from education and health services as he supports the failing oil industry.

COVID-19 Resources: Toronto-Ontario-Canada

School Magazine  – 2020-04-05
There are plenty of different places to look for information and support for students and families during this COVID-19 pandemic. We have links for many of them right here.

TDSB teachers and COVID-19

Nigel Barriffe  – 2020-03-29
Education is critical in providing some degree of normalcy and and connection during a time of "social distance" and exceptional measures by governments at all levels. The Ministry of Education and school boards need to take care to ensure they don't forget equity in their planning.

Education and COVID-19

School Magazine  – 2020-03-25
In an unprecedented crisis, here are some thoughts from School Magazine about the role of schools, educators and a watchful public in mitigating the "shock."

The math proficiency test: a solution looking for a problem

Dudley Paul  – 2020-03-25
Doug Ford has no teaching qualifications or background but thinks he know why grade 6 students might not be making the grade on the annual provincial math assessment. He's decided that aspiring teachers need to be tested in math because they might not know enough about it.

Canada’s high schools are underfunded and turning to international tuition to help

Lana Parker and Natalie Delia Deckard and Bonnie Stewart  – 2020-03-12
What do schools and school boards do when they are underfunded by the government but still need to provide basic programs and services for their students? They look at private sources of revenue.

It is the thin edge of the wedge, opening up public schools to fees and profit-making enterprises.

Negotiating from the podium – Stephen Lecce’s latest game

Dudley Paul  – 2020-03-06
Once again Education Minister Stephen Lecce has decided to make a bargaining offer over the heads of negotiators trying to come to an agreement to end the strike and job actions that have gone on for months. He says he's listening to parents, but that's just not going to fly.

Tory data on class size and e-learning – lost then found

School Magazine  – 2020-03-02
Here's what happens when you try to hide things: someone gets really interested and goes looking for them. The Tories are clearly desperate to make a case for bigger class sizes and mandatory e-learning. They just don't to deal with inconvenient truths that people don't like it. Here's our view of the Class Size Consultation Summary leaked today by the Ontario NDP.

Oil together now: who’s really playing politics in the classroom?

Erika Shaker and Simon Enoch  – 2020-02-26
To say that oil is central to Alberta politics is like saying Doug Ford can’t stand Toronto. With Alberta Premier Jason Kenny blaming the Liberals for Teck Resources’ withdrawal from the Frontier oilsands project, it’s easy to see how contentious things get. Don't mess with oil!

You can imagine what happens when Alberta teachers don’t follow that rule and questions on their tests run afoul of the Minister of Education.

Mystery politics – Vaughan Working Families

School Magazine  – 2020-02-05
Mystery advertisements appeared in Toronto newspapers last Saturday. They had a a lot to say about teachers' unions but nothing about the group or person who paid to them into the papers. Was this a grass roots organization or astroturf?

Why does the Ford government mandate e-learning?

Dudley Paul  – 2020-01-16
Why is the Ford government putting so much into e-learning? It makes no argument at all for requiring students take at least 2 online courses, but a document acquired by the Toronto Star suggests some of the real reasons behind the move.

There is no de-streaming without democracy and meaning

George Martell  – 2020-01-09
For the past year and a half School Magazine has concentrated on Doug Ford and the destruction brought about by his government on social services health, cities, transit, the environment, the legal system and – let’s not forget – education.

But there are other serious issues we need to keep our eye on. One of them is streaming kids into programs that limit their options. But is de-streaming, by itself the answer?

Autism treatment in Ontario: political stalemate- service in shambles – situation desperate

Janet Bojti  – 2019-10-01
The year 2019 has been a political tug-of-war between families with children on the autism spectrum and the Ontario government with neither side gaining advantage.  In the meantime the therapy service providers are laying off their staff and going under.  Families are left high and dry without treatment for their children and no clue as to what to do next.

Teaching the real stuff of the world: bears and learning together

George Martell and Elaine MacIntosh  – 2019-10-01
Here is an interview with elementary teacher Elaine MacIntosh from a 1989 issue of "Our Schools Our Selves". She talked to George Martell about using whole language and collective learning to engage her students with the world and each other.

FORDWATCH

Susan Atkins  – 2019-04-09
Our list of worrisome activities of the Doug Ford government since the end of June, 2018. It's updated regularly. The last addition was February 24, 2020.

If you have information you'd like to share with us about the comings and goings of the Ford government, please email us at eatomag.18@gmail.com