Scathing critique from former #OCSB principal of “Catholic” education . #ottnews

 

 

We are certainly no fan of Paul McGuire, recently retired principal of St Anthony’s school in Little Italy. He is one of those classic “St Joe’s parish” folks who is a “new agey” socialist.  He was involved with getting OCSB to go to El Salvador via Salvaide.ca

https://catholicintelligenceblog.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/ocsb-holy-trinity-and-their-radical-socialist-major/

 

http://www.catholic-legate.com/the-ocsb-smoking-gun/

 

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But interesting posts now that he is retired. He attacks non-listening Board admin, horrible math teaching, silly “6Cs”, funding for Catholic schools etc.
His “partner” Heather is a public school teacher.
All is NOT well with the OCSB! Not only is it spiritually dead, there are many other problems!!
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It is fair to ask all these questions. It is also true that the publically-funded Catholic system is siphoning off students from public schools. However, I don’t think it is because Catholic schools are any better than their public school counterparts. Many in Catholic school management would have you believe that and have said this for years, but it really comes down to the individual school, not the overall system. ….

I say that because it is really hard to define what a true Catholic is and why a Catholic is in any way ‘better’ at doing things than a non-Catholic. There is something very unsettling about holding such an opinion. It lacks any sort of critical analysis and tends to enter into the realm of myth – we are just better. 
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The system we have now have is governed by trustees who have little public accountability and in the Catholic system, church leaders who have absolutely no role to play in our children’s education. 
 
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Who Monitors Education in Ontario?
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The education corporation is in some ways worse – it likes to believe that it serves a higher purpose. This is especially true for Catholic school boards in Ontario where I live. Somehow saying that you are a Catholic school board gives license to all sorts of hypocritical actions… 
Unlike the business corporation, however, the education corporation does not answer to anyone. It could be said that there are public trustees who can call them to account, but at least in Ontario, trustees are underpaid officials who are totally captured by the senior staff that they depend on for information. They do not have the time or the resources to act as a counterbalance to superintendents and directors who really hold the power in the education corporation. 
 
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While we despair when we hear about poor and sometimes unethical management in our schools, nothing is ever done about these situations. We never ask the question – what do we really value in education? If we really asked this uncomfortable question would we continue to protect adults who clearly have no idea how to manage schools and the people in them?

There are a whole set of rules, conventions and practices that exist to protect individuals, especially those in privileged positions of power in the education system. A huge amount of energy is put into sustaining these rules and conventions.

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https://paulmcguire1.com/2017/11/15/move-like-a-cat-challenging-the-system-every-day/

Recently he wrote a biting critique of the 6C fad, 21st-century skills and the current belief that teaching collaboration beats out traditional content. I love the title – Can we add ‘move like a cat’ to the list of 21st century skills? 

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https://paulmcguire1.com/2017/09/10/can-ontario-fix-its-maths-curriculum-not-yet-response-to-greg-ashman/

Greg Ashman seems to be one of the few people writing in opposition to the ongoing disaster that is math instruction in Ontario. This week, he wrote another great article on what is not working with math in Ontario – Can Ontario fix its math curriculum.

Great article and really interesting comments. I agree that Ontario’s obsession with Michael Fullan is misplaced and he needs to move on. However, from what I have seen, Fullan is still the hero of the Ontario education scene and he can do no wrong. The solution to the problem of low scores in Ontario is just to train teachers harder in the inquiry-based system. You can get a good sense of this in this recent interview with Dr Mary Reid of OISE http://www.cbc.ca/player/play/1041393219874/

True enough, no one will listen to the critics as we have been marginalized and to speak out against Fullan and the dominant ideology in Ontario is a huge risk to your career in education…

The trend will continue to be to emphasise inquiry over explicit teaching and results will continue to go down. Senior administrators and ministry officials will continue to drink to constructivist kool-aid because there is little critical thinking going on and school boards demand conformity from their educators and conformity to some really bad thinking is actually the way to guarantee an advancing career for an administrator. 

============https://paulmcguire1.com/2017/08/07/stifling-dissent-through-blocking/

Once I retired, I began to write a series of articles that were critical of my former employers. The Catholic Board in Ottawa is a public entity, supported entirely by the tax payers of Ontario. I have come to believe that we no longer need separate schools in our province and that we could do a better job for students if we had a single, strong system that caters to all students in the province. 

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https://paulmcguire1.com/2017/06/18/from-cbcs-the-180-its-time-to-end-public-funding-for-catholic-schools/

I can understand this. Everytime I post on this topic, I get all sorts of negative comments and sometimes these attacks come from Catholic educators, some I worked with for years. I will get more negative comments after this post – mostly in the vein of not being ‘loyal’ or being naive about how the world works etc, etc. I will be unfollowed or blocked by more Catholic educators. So it goes.

To be clear, I worked in the Catholic system for 31 years the last six as a principal. Based on my experience, there is no logical reason for keeping this system in place. I was a committed Catholic educator for all these years, but to me fairness and equity are more important that propping up a system that is now an anachronism.

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https://paulmcguire1.com/2017/05/04/what-are-the-key-arguments-that-keep-ontario-catholic-schools-going/

There is an underlying bias within the Catholic school system that these schools are simply ‘better’. Somehow, the Catholic system was better managed. I don’t see this. I have been an administrator in the Catholic system and have seen many examples of very poor management. Both systems have their faults. To say that one is inherently better managed than the other shows an embarrassing bias and should not be part of this debate. 

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https://paulmcguire1.com/2017/05/02/the-silent-topic-time-to-merge-school-boards-in-ontario/

Originally in Ontario, all education was based on faith. There were Protestant and Catholic school systems. Over time, the Protestant system became public and non-denominational.  I would argue that the same process is happening in the Catholic system that is gradually losing its Catholic character.

Catholic schools now admit students of all faiths – something that I have seen as a very positive step. However, Catholic schools are still allowed to discriminate against teachers who must be Catholic to get a permanent job in this system……

In the last school I worked at as a principal, very few students were Catholic. We prided ourselves in being inclusive to all cultures and faiths. We worked hard to support families new to the country. At the same time, another school, also excellent in our neighbourhood supports the same population. Both schools are at approximately at 30% capacity. Why not bring the resources of both schools together to better serve the community? 

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