Standing Up for Students: New Initiative Calls for Alberta Ed to Get Back to Basics


EDMONTON, AB: Getting back to basics in Alberta’s classrooms is part one of common sense announcements Wildrose Shadow Education Minister Mark Smith unveiled (Tuesday) in a series called Standing Up for Students.

The initiative puts forward positive ideas and solutions to help the government once again make Alberta home to one of the world’s best education systems, provide safe spaces for students to learn and to put the interests of parents and families first.

Smith’s first announcement around Inspiring Education highlights education fads and experiments being imposed on classrooms which handcuff teachers.  With this initiative, Alberta Education has moved away from its role in establishing standards and developing curriculum into mandating how teachers will teach.

“The bureaucracy in Edmonton has become more obsessed with fads and experiments through Inspiring Education instead of properly preparing students with the skills they need to enter postsecondary schools and the work force,” Smith said. “As a teacher over three decades, I know that it’s time for our kids to get back to basics. Educators don’t know how to implement Inspiring Education and students continue to struggle with it.”

Concepts such as Inquiry Learning, Discovery Math, and curriculum redesign policies found in Inspiring Education specifically take away the professional autonomy of teachers and educational leaders to make decisions based on local student needs.

“Government bureaucrats used to provide teachers with guidelines and support for hitting those guidelines, but now they’ve moved into telling them how to teach,” Smith said. “The government has followed this path for too long. It’s time to put a stop to unproven fads in education, and get back to basics in the classroom.”