Minister Releases Plan for Education
January 10, 2012
Education Act consultations lead to 10-point plan
Legislation will be introduced in spring; work on other projects begins shortly
Edmonton... Thousands of Albertans shared their ideas in recent consultations about education. Ideas raised in those sessions, as well as conversations with parent councils and education stakeholders, will form the basis for future legislation and prompted the development of a 10-point plan for Alberta's education system.
"Parents, teachers, students and others have given me two types of advice: philosophical approaches that are best addressed in legislation and practical solutions to the challenges students face every day. Legislation will come forward in the spring, and work on practical steps will begin immediately,” said Thomas Lukaszuk, Minister of Education.
Seven full-day community meetings between November 26 and December 9 were attended by 1,130 Albertans. Participants included students, parents, teachers and education assistants, aides or support staff. Five Speak Out student forums were also held. In addition to the meetings, Albertans told government about their priorities by phone, through a website, by e-mail and regular mail, and through social media.
"Our intent for the consultation was to hear from those who may not have had an opportunity to share their vision for the Alberta education system. I want to extend my appreciation and a personal thank you to everyone who participated,” said Lukaszuk. "The feedback from parents, students and teachers leaves me no doubt that this review was the right thing to do.”
All thoughts and suggestions Albertans provided are now being analyzed, and will be considered during the drafting of new legislation to govern Alberta's education system, which will be introduced in the Legislature in spring 2012.
"The quality of the input was remarkable and the ideas generated from this consultation will shape a revised bill that reflects the innovation and leadership Albertans expect from their education system,” said Lukaszuk.
The 10 new initiatives will be rolled out in the months ahead. Some are trial projects which may provide important lessons about efficiencies and better results and some may become longer term practices. Others will require formal policy consideration by government.
The 10-point plan for education includes:
- Reducing travel time for students who spend more than one hour on a bus and enabling students to better use technology when they travel.
- Creating more opportunities for students to earn credits in high school and post-secondary at the same time.
- Updating school design specifications to better support communities.
- Co-ordinating building playgrounds and new schools.
- Reducing the administrative burden for charter schools.
- Supporting First Nations students by working more closely with the federal government.
- Creating a stronger voice for parents in the education system.
- Providing better information to increase the transparency, clarity and accountability of the education system.
- Reviewing provincial achievement tests.
- Examining the operational requirements of full-day kindergarten.
"Albertans want the best possible learning opportunities and experiences for our students. Government's commitment to revised legislation and this 10-point plan will make a real difference for students today and into the future,” said Lukaszuk.
The following document has been posted to the Government of Alberta website to view this document online and/or additional information/backgrounder http://www.alberta.ca/acn/201201/31784C87E013F-07B2-09FF-E745E76F1B9DFC1F.html#backgrounder