June 19th, 2024

School boards could be the last line of defence

By Letter to the Editor on August 27, 2021.

Dear Ms. LaGrange:
I am writing to you as a concerned Albertan, to register my disapproval of your actions as the Minister of Education.
I understand that the focus of many Albertans in the field of education has turned – with good reason – to pandemic protocols for the upcoming school year, but I am taking this opportunity to remind you that I, as a parent and as a teacher, see what you are doing.
I see your ham-fisted attempt to impose an abysmally poor curriculum on our students.

Your draft curriculum is every bit as unacceptable as it was on the day of its release, and no amount of editing or fake consultation can salvage it. The draft needs to be discarded and rewritten properly.
I see your cowardly avoidance of responsibility by giving local boards the “autonomy” to implement (or not implement) public health measures in schools.
If you truly trusted and valued the ability of local school board trustees to act in students’ best interests, you would not so easily dismiss their refusal to pilot your terrible curriculum.
I see your dishonesty and obfuscation when it comes to funding, another area in which you attempt to avoid accountability, conceal your incompetence, and smuggle your own agenda into our public education system under the guise of local school board autonomy.
I see your attempts to undermine local school boards with the hope of supplanting them with your own loyal candidates in the upcoming municipal elections.
I see you, and I won’t let you and your government take over our local school boards.
I will vote for the trustees that have spoken out against your curriculum and acted to mitigate the negative impacts of your poor leadership.
Our local school boards could very well be our last line of defence against your assault on education, and Albertans will not give them up without a fight.
Grant Bertamini

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I don’t think politicians are any good at anything but the only group of people I trust less to make up the education curriculum are teachers! Todays kids can’t do math, spell like a bunch of illiterates and have no problem solving skills at all. Most can’t think for themselves if their life depended on it and most of all, they take no responsibility as they have been trained to blame everything on everyone else. Great job teaching!

Mrs. Kidd (she/her)

If I were your teacher, I would ask you to proofread more carefully. For instance, “Todays kids” should read Today’s children (Today’s should be in the possessive form), and “problem solving” should be hyphenated as you have used it as a compound adjective to modify the noun “skills”. I would also suggest that you rely less on exclamation marks as they are often associated with an appeal to emotion as opposed to a logical and/or fact-based argument.
Turning to the core of your commentary, I will note first that none of your statements are substantiated, but for purposes of discussion let’s accept there is some merit in your assertions . What you fail to acknowledge (and perhaps don’t understand) is that educators are but one of many variables in the equation. Children are subject to many different influences, particularly family circumstances. For example, my parents provided my sisters and me with an intellectually-rich environment, instilled in us a love of music, literature and sport, taught us to respect others, including our teachers and mentors, take personal responsibility and give back, and gave us what I call “The Gift of Expectations” — but that was not case for many of my friends. Other influences include friends and peers, popular media, and society in general. In short, to suggest that teachers are solely responsible for the outcomes you describe — outcomes which I will state again are unsubstantiated — is simply nonsensical.