Tuesday, December 8, 2015

People For Education News

Board contemplates new model for French language

Ottawa DSB proposing bilingual kindergarten for all students

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has proposed major changes to its French language programs. Under the proposed new policy:
  • All students would start taking French in Junior Kindergarten, with the time divided into 50% English and 50% French.
  • Early French Immersion students would take English and Mathematics in English starting in grade 1 (2 hours per day).
The board says that the change would address issues of equity of access to programs, and would give all students a foundation in both languages to prepare them to continue in either Immersion or Core French.
The board undertook extensive consultations on the new policy, and will conduct further consultations this fall.
To read the board's proposal, click here.

School repair and renewal falling behind

100,000 Ontario students in portables

Ontario's Auditor General says that Ontario needs more overall coordination and clearer criteria for spending on infrastructure. In her 2015 annual report, the Auditor also found that despite Ministry of Education estimates that $1.4 Billion per year is needed to maintain schools in “a state of good repair,” actual funding over the last five years has averaged approximately $250 million annually.
Among the Auditor's concerns: the government plans to allocate two-thirds of its infrastructure spending on new construction and one-third on repairs and maintenance, despite the fact that its own analysis shows that those proportions should be reversed.
To read more, click here.

New report shows public wants higher spending on education

Parents and public surveyed on testing, funding, confidence in public education

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education has released its 19th annual report on Public Attitudes Toward Education. Among the findings in the report:
  • 70% of parents are very or somewhat satisfied with the job schools are doing; 
  • 77% of parents are very or somewhat satisfied with the job teachers are doing, compared to 69% of the public;
  • 40% of parents are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the job schools are doing contributing to students' physical development; and
  • 61% of survey participants think spending on kindergarten to grade 12 education should increase greatly or somewhat.
To read the report, click here.

Social media this week

What people are talking about...

"This is way more difficult than rocket science, ladies and gentleman." In this podcast People for Education conference participants react to new ideas about citizenship
Moderate amounts of screen time may be good for kids, according to a new study.
An article in the Guardian, says new brain research shows more pathways are created in the brain when learning engages all the senses.
A new report says the TDSB needs a supervisor to change the culture of fear." Read coverage in the Globe and Mail, or read the full report from Barbara Hall.
"There is no more urgent issue in Canada than Indigenous people and their relationship to the larger culture in Canada". Jesse Wente talks about racist comments on social media.
A Toronto Star columnist says, "Don't fear the cyber-bullying kids, fear the so-called grown-ups."

To keep up to date on all the latest social media news, check out our Facebook page or follow us on twitter: @peoplefored, @anniekidder, @jacquistrachan.

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