Lesson about education
Re: Students should come first, Letters, May 6
As a teacher and doctoral student in education, I feel compelled to provide Rob Janssen a learning experience.
Nearly every claim he makes is factually incorrect. Taxpayers do pay billions, which works out to about $ 13,000 per pupil per year. A school year is 194 six-hour days, which works out to about $ 11 per hour per child. That pays for every teacher, youth counselor, educational assistant, early childhood educator, social worker, psychologist, secretary, caretaker, principal, superintendent, computer, textbook, school building and bus service.
For the money, we get an education system that is among the best in the world. For the 2018 PISA cycle, Canada was 6th out of 76 nations in reading, and 8th in science. We had similar results in previous cycles. Moreover, our system is unusual in that a child’s socioeconomic status is largely irrelevant. Unlike other countries where the achievement gap between rich and poor is wide, our education system provides children with an excellent education, regardless of circumstances.
As for evaluations and job protections, the law requires new teachers to be evaluated twice in their first year. Experienced teachers are evaluated at least once every five years. Should a principal have concerns, they have a great deal of power to document and take any necessary action, up to and including initiating the process for a teacher to have their teaching certificate revoked.
Mr. Janssen should be pleased taxpayers get such value for their money.
A good major steps down
Re: Walter Sendzik hanging up chain of office, May 10
We’re losing another fine major in St. Catharines. Walter Sendzik, who has finished eight years of service to our city and is stepping down.
When you have a man of his caliber there are many opportunities for him to explore. I wish him well.
Mayor Walter succeeded a very good mayor, now we’ll have the responsibility of choosing his replacement. I hope we choose the right person.
Elder who must change
Re: Ontario must move away from institutionalized long-term care, May 11
Your two OpEds on May 11 were spot on.
Our elder care model must change. The switch from the current institutional model to home care and community based supports are transformational. This new model is affordable and it meets people’s wishes and needs.
Why wouldn’t we implement such a change?
Social assistance rates in Ontario leave people deep in poverty with no escape. This is disgraceful in a well-to-do society like ours.
I hope you keep these issues in mind when speaking to and voting for the next round of politicians.
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