Nation, I want to thank everyone for their contributions so far. This is a critically important time in our province's history, and these kinds of discussions need to be had in the public sphere for Albertans of ALL walks of life to read and contribute.
The fact that new posts are going up in this series should not stop you from continuing the conversations in previous posts. By all means, keep the conversation going!
The next stop on the "Perfecting Alberta Whistlestop Tour" is education, from Kindergarten up to an including Grade 12.
Albertan students routinely perform at or near the top in national examinations... so, by the most basic of measures, the argument can be made that our education system ain't broke - so why are we trying to fix it?
The reality is that this is the 2nd largest consumer of public funds in the province, after health care. There are places we should be spending more, there are doubtless places we should be spending less, and as far as test results go, I'm reminded of the old adage "Good enough, never is". The fact that we're above average shouldn't stop us from trying to do even better. Why settle for a B when hard work could get you the A?
From class sizes to pre-school, from charter schools to curriculum to splitting the ATA into 2 separate entities (union/certification body), from collective bargaining to results-based-pay, there's a lot to talk about when it comes to possible changes to our education system. One thing, though, is indisputable: Our educational system in this province is absolutely tied to our future as a place of economic and cultural and scientific strength. The lessons that our children learn in these classrooms determines the future for ALL of us who will live here in the future.
We can't afford to screw things up, making change for change's sake.
So, Nation, I put it to you: How would YOU shape our educational system for the next generation?
All legal options can be considered. (The constitution requires the maintaining of a Catholic school system, funded by the province, separate from the public system. Before anyone goes there.)