ATA Calls New Alberta Education Parent and Teacher Advisory Councils ‘Useless’
Alberta Education says it is looking for teachers and parents to join two new advisory councils to help strengthen the province’s education system – but the province’s teachers’ union is skeptical.
In a written statement released Friday, the province said the Education Minister’s Parent Advisory Council and Teacher Advisory Council are two new initiatives intended to provide a new way to voice Alberta Education’s comments on issues. key questions.
But the Alberta Teachers’ Association is not impressed.
“We see this committee as unnecessary,” said ATA chairman Jason Schilling.
Schilling said the government had continually heard from teachers and parents on topics such as curriculum, COVID-19, class size and funding – but no one listened.
“The formation of two committees, one for parents and one for teachers, tells me that they ignore the comments that the teachers’ association and the association of school boards are giving to the government. They just ignore it,” he said. Schilling said.
The province said these two initiatives will be similar to the minister’s youth council, which “regularly meets and shares ideas with the minister on various education initiatives.”
Parents and teachers interested in being a part of the boards can apply online.
“Board members will share diverse perspectives that are representative of communities across the province,” wrote a spokesperson for Alberta Education.
“Members will be selected through an open application process and details on the screening process and selection conditions are posted on the Alberta Education website.
Those selected will serve a 10-month term, meeting with the Minister four times during the term.
The province said members must sign a confidentiality agreement, prohibiting any public comment on their involvement with the board, unless they have written permission from the education minister.
“There is no way of knowing after the fact what advice or comments they provide to the minister will be listened to, followed, considered or reflected in any kind of future policy decisions that are made,” said Schilling.
“This is a concern for me, because when you talk about transparency of the process, if you want to hear from individuals, why impose a gag order on them? “
The province said Alberta Education Minister Adriana LaGrange was unavailable for an interview.