Concerns raised after Alberta Education announces new pilot draft curriculum
Concerns raised after Alberta Education announces new pilot draft curriculum
Alberta schools boards can choose to pilot three more subjects in the new K-6 draft curriculum this fall, which is drawing criticism from some parents and student advocates.
The first subjects will be science for kindergarten through Grade 6 students, French first language and literature, and the language arts and literature subject in French immersion programs.
The pilot program is optional.
Education Minister Adriana Lagrange unveiled the subjects and scope of pilot program on Tuesday.
"We have had the most extensive engagement process that I would say Alberta or any other province has ever seen on seen on curriculum development, where anyone and everyone has had the opportunity to share their feedback," she said.
Feedback is also being collected from the public through to spring 2023
However some Alberta parents are concerned Alberta Education officials haven't heard from a diverse perspective to incorporate into the draft curriculum.
"The main thing for me, is it doesn't incorporate the call the Truth and Reconciliation, calls to action 62 through 65, which are related to education," said Kim Thorsen, a Edmonton parent of a young student.
"That seems like such an obvious no-brainer. Those are already prepared for you, just incorporate those in the curriculum, (but) they were ignored."
Other parents say they are not keen for any further changes to the children's course load as the pandemic has already caused learning delays, with frequent shifts to online learning since March 2020.
“My fears with this new curriculum is that everything that they're going to try to push through all those kids that have been losing things in the past two years are going to get even further behind," said Cathy Reitz, whose son is in Grade 3 at a Calgary public elementary school.
Advocacy group Support Our Students (SOS) says it wants more transparency from the province regarding the draft curriculum revision process.
"We're really hoping to hear the government was going to release the results of the consultations," said executive director Medeana Moussa.
"(The province) got overwhelming engagement because parents, teachers, school boards, are very concerned about how this curriculum was developed in the first place."
FRENCH BOARD APPROVAL
Four Francophone school boards initially refused to implement early draft versions of some subjects and officials said Tuesday they accept changes regarding the French language subjects included in the next phase of the pilot.
"All four Francophone boards, teachers and educational advisors provide feedback that was that was reflected in this new draft," said Tanya Saumure, president Fédération des conseils scolaires francophones de l’Alberta.
"We will continue to work with Alberta education to provide feedback and to ensure that the new first French and new French first language and literature program meets the needs of francophone students across Alberta."
The president of the Federation des Parents Francophone de l'Alberta also expressed support.
"My expectation is that they will have rectified what was missing and made certain that the new draft meets the needs of the francophone students in our province," said Nadine Morton.
Morton adds that parents in the francophone community are still awaiting draft changes for social studies and music.
Leaders with the NDP opposition say if elected to government, they would go back to the drawing board.
“We would welcome teachers back to the table and we would make sure that we create a long term curriculum that can be successful for future generations," said Education Critic Sarah Hoffman.
Alberta's teachers' union says time is tight, and its members are challenged with ongoing pandemic concerns, including shortages due to sick leave, and the lifting of all public health restrictions in March.
“We're talking about the fall in September, that's only a couple of months away. We're in mid-May," said Jason Schilling, president of the Alberta Teachers' Association.
"There's a point in time where the government sort of needs to recognize we're too late to implement this in the fall, we are asking too much of our education system to do this next year. We need to scale this back."
Schilling says 97 per cent of teacher's have previously stated they lack confidence in the draft curriculum.
School boards have until June 6 to express interest of participating in the pilot.
Of the $59 million allocated for the curriculum overhaul program, the province will spend $6.5 million to support piloting program and feedback sessions.
Feedback has been collected over a 12-month period starting in March 2021 through online surveys and engagement sessions.
Alberta Education is expected to release the final draft of the curriculum in spring 2023 to be implemented that September.
The new curriculum will be implemented province-wide for the 2023-2024 school year.
Calgary Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Hospitals overwhelmed by the pandemic’s onslaught are still facing a number of challenges, causing unprecedented wait times in emergency rooms across the country.
CTVNews.ca asked Canadians to share their travel horror stories as cancelled flights, delays and lost luggage throw a wrench in Canadians' summer travel plans, due in part to staffing shortages at Canadian airports. Some report sleeping at airports and others say it took days to get to or from a destination.
Twin brothers in their early 20s were responsible for the shooting that injured numerous police officers at a bank in Saanich, B.C., earlier this week, RCMP alleged Saturday.
A new report from TD says Canadian home sales could fall by nearly one-quarter on average this year and remain low into 2023.
Researchers in British Columbia say the province's endangered southern resident orcas have not been getting enough food for years, with some of the worst bouts of hunger occurring since 2018.
It's been said no one's success is complete without failure, but a new international exhibit in Calgary is proving that even some of the most talented innovators had some of the worst ideas for consumers.
Animal rescue groups are criticizing a new policy by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that will ban the import of dogs from more than 100 countries.
The Canada Day long weekend saw gas prices plummet in parts of the country, but the relief at the pumps may not stay for very long, analysts say. The decreases come after crude oil prices slid in June following the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes, sparking fears of a recession.
A law outlawing any dealings with the Taliban, which charities complain is impeding their ability to help needy Afghans, could be adjusted by the federal government to give more flexibility to aid agencies.
A 13-year-old girl from Edmonton who had been missing for more than a week was safely located in Oregon, where a man, 41, is in police custody and facing charges.
The best five-pin bowlers in the country were in Edmonton to compete at the Canadian Master Bowlers Nationals tournament.
Some animal rescue groups fear countless dogs will die of starvation or be killed if they are not allowed entry into Canada as a result of a recently announced policy.
The provincial housing agency is keeping tight-lipped in the wake of troubling questions around whether some of the most vulnerable people in British Columbia are unauthorized to use cooling systems already installed in their homes.
An Instagram account belonging to one of the two gunmen killed in a shootout at a bank in Saanich, B.C., this week paints a picture of a young man who believed gun ownership was a necessary response to government "tyranny."
A 50-year-old New Brunswick woman is facing an impaired driving charge following a head-on collision with a fully marked RCMP vehicle in the village of Tracadie.
A 32-year-old man has been arrested after he allegedly drove into an RCMP vehicle before fleeing from police.
Staffing shortages, hospital closures to blame for long wait times at Maritime emergency departments
Longer than usual wait times are being felt at emergency departments across the Maritimes this long weekend.
An online fundraiser to benefit police officers injured during the shootout at a Saanich, B.C. bank earlier this week has raised more than $75,000 in less than two days.
This man arrived from Calgary 16 days ago. He is still looking for his bags at Toronto Pearson airport
As unclaimed luggage continue to pile up at Pearson International Airport, one local resident has been looking for his bags for 16 days after arriving in Toronto.
Ontario is not yet allowing most adults under the age of 60 to get a fourth COVID-19 vaccine shot, prompting one doctor to prepare legal action to get the province to widen eligibility.
The pedestrian who was struck and killed by an alleged drunk driver in downtown Toronto on Canada Day has been identified by his family, remembering him as someone with a great sense of humour and a “huge heart.”
The number of Quebec households without a roof over their heads after July 1 moving day is currently 600. That number "could continue to rise in the coming days," warned Véronique Laflamme, spokesperson for the Quebec housing advocacy group - FRAPRU, at a news conference in Montreal on Saturday.
With COVID-19 numbers once again on the rise in Quebec, some doctors fear a serious crunch could be right around the corner.
The hunt for affordable housing is becoming increasingly challenging in Montreal, and advocates say this is especially true for pet owners.
Mayor Jim Watson says the city of Ottawa and Ottawa police were better prepared and had more resources to police the capital for the Canada Day long weekend, as a sense of normalcy returned to downtown Ottawa and the Parliamentary Precinct after Canada's 155th birthday.
A shortage of lifeguards means some beaches in the national capital region will be unsupervised this summer and swimming classes are being cancelled.
Ottawa police say residents and visitors will continue to see an enhanced police presence in downtown Ottawa today, as the cleanup begins from Canada's 155th birthday party.
A man is facing charges after he set off fireworks early Saturday morning in Waterloo. "He was holding the fireworks in his hand and then projecting them at businesses and pedestrians," said police.
Hundreds of drivers are hoping to crash their way to the top prize at the Billy Bash Demolition Derby in Burford this weekend.
Tre Ford, the former University of Waterloo football star, made history at the Edmonton Elks game on Friday night.
After two years without a full-scale event, the Saskatchewan Jazz Festival is officially underway and artists are looking forward to performing live again.
The Regina Farmers’ Market at Victoria Square had an atmosphere like no other Saturday morning with folk music blaring from the main stage.
As Canadians are feeling the urge to spend on summer fun, one financial advisor recommends being realistic and cautious this year.
A unique scavenger hunt in Sudbury aims to get people out exploring nature and enjoying the outdoors. The event includes an educational element about Indigenous traditions and teachings, in particular the Seven Grandfather Teachings.
A Toronto man is getting set to become the first disabled athlete to cross Lake Superior on a paddleboard. Mike Shoreman, who made a stop in Sault Ste. Marie Friday, has already crossed Lake Erie, and most recently crossed Lake Huron. He is raising money for youth mental wellness.
All lanes of Highway 11 at Micro Tower Rd in the Pagwa area near Calstock, between Kapuskasing and Longlac, have reopened follwing a tractor trailer collision.
A man from Shamattawa First Nation is being treated for serious injuries after an RCMP officer-involved shooting Saturday afternoon.
Longstanding staff shortages in rural emergency rooms are continuing to create problems, with some being forced to close or cut their hours.
Winnipeg police confirmed that one man was stabbed and another was sprayed with bear mace during an incident at The Forks on Friday night.