News Release

Bad Policies Do Not Put Students First

TORONTO, Aug. 28, 2012/CNW/ School boards in this province have serious concerns about the proposed legislation, Putting Students First. The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association feels strongly that the parents of Ontario expect school boards to protect the quality of education in the classroom and the future of the education system by making decisions that are not driven by political expediency but are focused squarely on what is in the best interest of students and teachers in the classroom.

School boards were optimistic that recent concessions demanded by the official opposition to address our concerns had been heeded by the government. We were pleased to learn that the government would remove segments of the legislation [section 19, subsection 1 (e)] that would

– Place restrictions on the system-wide use of diagnostic assessment data; and
– Introduce seniority as a key determining factor in the hiring of teachers.

Subsequent announcements from the government confirm that that the problematic provisions will in fact remain in the legislation but will only be imposed upon the Catholic and French systems while the public system will be exempt. These policies put everyone but students first.

“Yesterday students themselves expressed frustration with these provisions. The province’s official organization for student trustees indicated support for an amended Bill on the understanding that the objectionable provisions would be removed. It would be an affront to those students for the Minister of Education to proceed with this legislation as written, unchanged,” said Dr. Robert Murray, OCSTA’s Director of Legislative and Political Affairs.

Contrary to the goals of this province to operate a fair and equitable public school system, this legislation will create inequity in our system. OCSTA urgently calls on the government to amend the legislation to reflect the concerns raised by all of Ontario’s publicly funded school boards.

The Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association is the provincial voice for publicly funded Catholic education. Founded in 1930, OCSTA represents the interests of Catholic school boards that collectively educate approximately 600,000 students in Ontario, from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12.

For more information or to schedule an interview please contact:
Sharon McMillan, Mobile: 416-460-7937 Email: smcmillan@ocsta.on.ca
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