Education Minister Dismisses Parent Concerns as Curriculum Review Launched: Wildrose

EDMONTON, AB: Education Minister David Eggen must explain why he’s dismissing the concerns of parents and education advocates at a time when he’s planning yet another comprehensive review of Alberta’s education curriculum, the Wildrose Official Opposition said.

One day before he promised a curriculum overhaul “unlike any seen in Alberta,” Eggen wrote education advocate Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies and said “we [the NDP government] consider the matter of how mathematics is taught at individual schools closed,” and “teaching standards remain within the purview of the ministry.”

The former government already launched a curriculum review in 2014 at a cost of $30 million per year to taxpayers, as it faced criticism over “discovery math” – a controversial education method that alienated and frustrated many parents and students.

“For years now, parent groups have objected to discovery learning, and concerns have been raised over a new trend of declining test scores,” Wildrose Education Shadow Minister Mark Smith said. “Minister Eggen’s language makes it sound like despite all the work that has already been done, there will be no changes to address these concerns, and that upcoming changes may further alienate parents while elevating the role of bureaucrats in the classroom.”

Smith also said Eggen must resist calls to remove standardized testing, if he insists on moving forward with another curriculum review.

“Provincial Achievement Tests continue to show issues in areas of math and science,” Smith said. “The NDP must resist all pressure to do away with these tests as they are an important mechanism to monitor our students’ progress and ensure their future success.”