How about Jason Kenney’s idea to disenfranchise some taxpayers and let the constituents who are currently policed by the RCMP vote on whether to keep the RCMP?
By that logic, only parents would have a say on whether to proceed with the 2021 draft curriculum. Instead, Education Minister Adriana LaGrange is trying to silence and disenfranchise the Parents.
LaGrange has announced she is accepting applications for a new Parent Advisory Council. The definition, from the government’s web page, is: “The Minister’s Parent Advisory Council is the voice of parents in Alberta.”
The voice of parents in Alberta? Alarm bells are ringing in all the other groups who thought they were the voice of at least some of the parents in Alberta.
The Alberta School Councils Association (ASCA) has democratically elected leadership representing over 1,300 school councils in Alberta. Their policy positions have been communicated to the Minister, but there has been no response.
It appears the minister is replacing a democratically elected body with one of 40 hand-picked, well-vetted members, whose input will be limited to responding as individuals three to four times a year during Zoom meetings. The education minister has had a massive amount of feedback already. She just hasn’t listened to it.
The government has used the valid criticisms of the curriculum to formulate rebuttals instead of committing to the needed changes. The government is still insisting the draft curriculum, as is, is age appropriate. At a recent “Have Your Say” information session, parents were told that age-appropriateness was, in fact, “top of mind” during curriculum development.
Let’s look at the social studies curriculum for Grade 2 – think seven-year olds, and about 120 instructional minutes per week – explain belief systems associated with Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Create a timeline for the rise and fall of the Roman Empire. Distinguish between Roman and Greek contributions to modern life. Explain the significance of Charlemagne’s rule in the medieval era. Explain the changes in the law in medieval England.
Minister LaGrange, you don’t need another Parent Advisory Council. You need to listen to the parents who have already spoken, including the democratically elected leadership of ASCA. “Protect quality education” as you promised to do in your published election platform.
Promise made, promise broken.