Higher Student Achievement Focus of New Report

    McGuinty Government Receives Report On School Board Governance

    TORONTO, April 22 /CNW/ -


    School boards should have a clearly defined responsibility for student
achievement in Ontario.
    That is just one of a series of recommendations made in a new report
received and released by the province today, School Board Governance: A Focus
On Student
    In November 2008, the minister asked the Governance Review Committee to
consult broadly with the education sector and report on how the governance
system could be modernized. Some recommendations from the committee include:

    -   Clarifying the roles of individual trustees, board chairs and
        directors of education, and
    -   Good governance practices, including establishing audit committees
        and adopting a provincial Code of Conduct for trustees.

    The government will review the report and consider appropriate action on
the recommendations.


    "I'd like to thank the committee members for their time, effort and
valuable advice. Their work will help to strengthen school boards across the
    - Kathleen Wynne, Minister of Education

    "We were impressed by the genuine interest and quality of participation
of those who contributed to this review. The input from participants at the
regional consultations and the thoughtful submissions from various stakeholder
groups nourished our discussions and guided our recommendations, which we
believe will strengthen and modernize school board governance in Ontario."
    - Madeleine Chevalier, Governance Review Committee Chair


    -   Over six months, the committee met with representatives of 70 school
        boards, including 137 trustees, 54 directors of education and 71
        parent group representatives. It received 148 written responses.

    -   Sixty-five per cent of Grade 3 and Grade 6 students are achieving at
        or above the provincial standard in reading, writing and math skills
        - an 11 percentage point increase since 2003.

    -   Since 2003-04, 36,000 additional students have obtained their high
        school diploma. The province remains committed to achieving an 85 per
        cent graduation rate by 2010-11.


    -   Learn about the Governance Review Committee's members
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/grc/members.html), and background
        and mandate

    -   Read the Governance Review Committee's consultation paper
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/grc/grc.pdf) and full
        report (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/grc/review.html).

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    The Governance Review Committee
(http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/grc/) presented its report to the
Ministry of Education which included 25 recommendations on governance reform
in Ontario. Here is some reaction from the education sector to the committee's
report (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/policyfunding/grc/):
    "I congratulate the committee for crafting a set of recommendations that
reflect best practices and calls for the highest levels of integrity and
accountability while also recognizing political, cultural, ideological and
geographic differences across school districts. This report is nuanced in the
way it balances the needs for clarity and consistency with our critical need
for flexibility, innovation and responsiveness."
    - Patricia Bradshaw, PhD, Associate Professor, Organizational Behaviour,
Schulich School of Business, York University

    "The Governance Review Committee has made a number of recommendations
that will put a focus on student achievement at the core of every school board
in Ontario. I am impressed by the recommendations to clarify the role of
trustees, chairs and directors and to increase accountability in the education
    - Dave Cooke, former Ontario Minister of Education and former co-chair,
Education Improvement Commission

    "The Governance Review Committee has made recommendations that should
help boards of trustees and directors of education channel their energies into
creating environments for student success and growth. The Provincial Interest
Regulations, with their emphasis on both boards' rates of progress and actual
results across wide metrics, have the potential to offer differentiated
interventions and sustainable strategies for "moving and improving" based on
local needs."
    - Joan M. Green, former Chief Executive Officer, Education Quality and
Accountability Officer; former Director of Education and Chief Executive
Officer, Toronto Board of Education; Co-author, Cain-Green Report

    "Over the last decade there has been a massive amount of education
reform. This report takes the important step of clarifying the role of school
boards. The report also recognizes that the province should have an interest
in not just the financial matters of school boards but in their education
matters as well."
    - Annie Kidder, Executive Director, People For Education

    "We are very pleased to see this report make recommendations that will
better define the role of trustees and school boards. The Ontario Catholic
School Trustees' Association would welcome the opportunity to work
cooperatively with the ministry to provide trustees in all regions of the
province with enhanced professional development."
    - Nancy Kirby, Vice President, Ontario Catholic School Trustees'

    "Getting school board governance right is essential for strengthening of
public education in Canada. Trustees must balance the political imperatives of
elected office while acting on the public imperative of improving achievement
for all students. This report makes recommendations that will advance this
    - Carole Olsen, Chair, Canadian Education Association and Superintendent,
Halifax Regional School Board

    "French-language Catholic school boards will be able to find themselves
in this report. It reflects trustees' comments on the duties and
responsibilities of the boards, the role of the chairs and the members, and
their needs in terms of professional development, while always respecting
their autonomy and the specificities of their mandate."
    - Robert Tremblay, President, Association franco-ontarienne des conseils
scolaires catholiques

    "I am pleased to see the Governance Review Committee recommend that
school boards have greater accountability for student performance. This is a
significant change and in keeping with recommendations stemming from the
Education Improvement Commission. I am delighted to see this coming one step
closer to fruition."
    - Ann Vanstone, former Co-chair, Education Improvement Commission, former
Chair, Metropolitan Toronto School Board

    "We are pleased that the governance review committee has acknowledged the
need to clarify the unique circumstances faced by student trustees, and look
forward to a thorough dialogue with ministry staff about the proper rights and
responsibilities for student trustees."
    - Cody Welton, President, Ontario Student Trustees' Association

                                                      Disponible en français

For further information:

For further information: Michelle Despault, Minister's Office, (416)
212-3747; Patricia MacNeil, Communications Branch, (416) 325-2676; Public
Inquiries, (416) 325-2929 or 1-800-387-5514, TTY 1-800-263-2892

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