Ontario Student's Voices Go Unheard
TORONTO, Aug. 31, 2012 /CNW/ -
Dear Members of Provincial Parliament,
The Ontario Student Trustees' Association - l'Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l'Ontario (OSTA-AECO) appreciates the efforts being taken by the government to ensure sustainable public education and responsible public financing in Ontario. However, our first priority is to ensure that the classroom experience in Ontario continues to improve and that our students continue to be successful.
Prior to our press release at Queen's Park on the 27th of August, we felt strongly against Section 19, Subsection 1 (c) of the legislation with regards to the restriction of system-wide diagnostic assessment data and the use of seniority as a key determining factor in the hiring process. After an in-person meeting with the Minister of Education, we thought our concerns had been addressed. However, we later discovered that these changes were not made, and that the voices of students had gone in vain. We urge MPPs to remove Section 19, Subsection 1 (c) from the legislation, for ALL publicly funded schools in Ontario.
It is the responsibility of school boards and school administration to track students and intervene based upon need. To give teachers greater autonomy in the area of diagnostic assessment would create discrepancies in the collection of long-term data, ultimately making it difficult to track student success, hence working to the detriment of students.
In our 2011 Student Survey, 97% of students indicated the great value and appreciation for a teacher's contributions outside of the classroom. If hiring criteria is based upon seniority, this removes much incentive for young teachers to provide after school extra-curricular activities, and would restrict principals and boards from hiring the best teacher. If this legislation harms the holistic classroom experience, students across the province will speak out. We should not compromise on the quality afterschool education that teachers have been providing to our students for the past 9 years under this government.
It is important to us that schools open on time this September 4th and we feel that at this time, non-monetary issues should not hold priority and be cast aside. Even more so, what is concerning is that these provisions would be inequitable as they only affect the French and Catholic school boards. OSTA-AECO has always believed in creating a wholesome, united system of education, and this legislation would do exactly the opposite.
Please heed our voices and ensure that the government is truly "Putting Students First".
SOURCE: Ontario Student Trustees' AssociationFor further information: