With that in mind, there are two worrying findings in this year’s annual report: First, we have narrowed our definition of success in education so that it’s focused almost exclusively on test results in literacy and math. And second, we’re not giving all students equal access to the educational supports they need, or to the enrichment that is a vital component of a well-rounded education.
This year, for the first time, we compared data from our surveys with data from the Ministry of Education’s School Information Finder. We found that in schools with a high proportion of students who live below the low income cut-off (approximately $30,000 for a family of four), students are more likely to be on special education waiting lists, less likely to be receiving appropriate special education supports and the schools raise, on average, less than half the fundraising amounts raised in schools with more well-off student populations.
Our schools have the potential to change children’s lives. But to do that, all students must have access to the right kinds of supports, a wide range of programs, including thriving school libraries, and all the enrichment in the arts, technology and athletics that schools now fundraise for.
If our definition of success in education goes beyond test scores, as it should, and instead includes a range of competencies that will prepare students to be successful, happy and contributing citizens, then it is time that we come up with a broader vision for education with bigger goals and a more concrete description of the kinds of programs, resources and supports that all students should have access to, no matter where they live, how rich or poor their families, or what their learning needs…
Something to think about as the provincial election approaches.
Have a great summer!
Click here to read the report.
To discuss issues in the annual report, click here.
We couldn’t do this work without help from all the principals and school councils who filled out our surveys this year. Thank you.