Frank views from Ontario Teachers (and parents) on sad state of Ontario schools. #ottnews #onpoli #pcpo @archtoronto

 

 

https://paulmcguire1.com/2018/07/23/where-to-go-now-education-in-ontario/

Some pretty frank views (many from active teachers)
eg:  I am a teacher in a Catholic Board and that is why I chose to send my twins to Kindergarten at a private school. Between the class size (18 students per class), the superior level of teachers, no union involvement, no fear of strikes or split grade classes it was an easy decision for my wife and I.
eg. I have just relocated back to Ontario after teaching in Finland for the last 16 years. I have been informed that I will have to start as a supply teacher and wait 6 or 7 years to get a permanent contract. Unfortunately, this is an insult to me as a professional and to my teaching experience. Although I have 2 master’s degrees I am now walking away from this profession. My colleagues in Finland can’t believe Regulation 274 was ever allowed. In Finland, teachers are viewed the same as doctors and lawyers, and are hired/respected the same way as well. I am going embarrassed that Ontario sees teachers as equivalent to factory workers.
eg.  Let’s start examining what works in Finland & Singapore? They hire the best teachers, there are no unions, teachers stay with the same group of students for several years, they pay teachers an excellent wage and treat them like professionals. There are countless suggestions and so much to be learned from countries that are doing it better than we are.
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Rescind Regulation 274 (2)
Eliminate Regulation 274
Put an end to Regulation 274 finish what Lisa MacLeod started!
Let teachers move boards without having to start over at the bottom of a seniority list.
Class size K-8 should be 20. Start hiring better teachers. End Union Rule!
Figure out the next collective agreement now instead of waiting for a strike next year! Pay teachers a cost of living bonus for living/teaching in the GTA – too expensive and teachers can’t move boards.
Class size, School Choice, Special Education, Teacher Quality, Merit based hiring.
Class size
Size of classes for K – 8
Merit based teacher hiring & flexibility for teachers to relocate
Stop Reg 274
End seniority based hiring
Class size – end split grades
Stop hiring teachers based on seniority
Class sizes capped at 20 – 22
Cut the union ties to teachers!
Let’s start hiring the best teachers. Let’s provide gym to students each and every day!
Make the funding for support teachers in school libraries, special education and guidance equitable in staffing and budget by school per student. Monitor this spending.
Hire really good teachers that really want to help kids learn math!
Give principals their power back to pick the teachers they want in the mid schools. Every single time I complain about a teacher I find out the principal didn’t pick the teacher and they were forced to hire them off a list or they transferred into the school. How can a principal manage staff that should’nt be there in the first place??
It’s a no brainer – one school system, lower class size, bring back the arts and get rid of Regulation 274!
Force parents to accept Section 23 or other BIP placements. If there is evidence of violence in the classroom the child should be placed and left in a classroom which ultimately affects the education and emotional well being of the rest of the students.
Let’s raise the bar by ending seniority based hiring for teachers. Teachers are vital to children’s academic success, as well as their social and emotional well being. There are far too many teachers just collecting a pay cheque. My children have been emotionally scarred by ineffective teachers. We have had to hire tutors during the years they were stuck with teachers that didn’t teach, and listen to crying and tears over “how mean and rude the teacher was” – we are not alone in this. We would’ve moved to the private school system, but with four kids in the GTA that was not an option. NOTHING is more important than teacher quality! We have been blessed with a few amazing teachers over the years, but seniority based hiring lowers the standards and accountability. Let principals exercise their professional judgement and hire the best teachers for their schools. If that’s not possible then offer School Choice so that parents can take their $12,000 to a private school where teachers are hired based on merit!
Private school on average costs $15,000- $17,000 – with class sizes of 12 20, up-to-date technology, the best teachers hired based on merit, exposure to the arts, a high level of parental involvement and great student success. Public/Catholic schools spend $12,000 per student for crumbling schools, lack of technology, mediocre teachers (on average), class sizes that are way too crowded, low parental involvement and kids falling through the cracks. Either offer school choice or fix the system. Hire the best teachers based on merit, merge the School boards and trim the fat at the top of the boards to free up billions to fix the schools. There is NO excuse for anything less, and being afraid of the unions isn’t an answer. IT IS FOR THE CHILDREN!!!
Cut out all of the fat paycheques at the board level! Private schools don’t have boards and the kids have more and are far more successful for it! Merge the boards and trim the bloat!
Why do all teachers across the province earn the same salary regardless of where they live and teach? A teacher has a MUCH higher quality of life in Ottawa versus Toronto. Is that fair? Shouldn’t teachers living in a unaffordable city earn more? Or be allowed to transfer to a more affordable city without having to start over at the bottom of a supply list?Teachers that work in Toronto are forced to pay extremely high rents and eventually purchase very expensive homes. How can we solve this? A “GTA housing stipend” of $1,000 a month? This problem has to be solved or Toronto will lose teachers.
Teacher mobility should be a top priority. In any profession the best professionals have options to relocate with a province, or country or globally. I have remained teaching here in Ontario while my husband was transferred to NYC for 3 years. I can’t afford (or mentally tolerate) losing my seniority or being forced to start over on a supply list. I am now a single mother to 3 kids 90% of the time because we aren’t treated like professionals! Who on earth thinks this makes for higher professional standards? Experience matter, qualifications matter, references matter, but seniority is for factory workers. Aren’t teachers more than that?
As a teacher I wish I had the flexibility to move from a private school to a public school that is closer to my home. I have been teaching for 19 years. I have a master’s degree and I am currently working on a PhD, but I am also a mother to 3 kids under 10 with another one on the way. This led to us relocating outside of Toronto due to the astronomical real estate market. Now I commute 3 hours a day. Crazy right? Teachers should be able to move schools, boards, cities etc. Experience & qualifications should matter more than seniority. I am not sure how this will work out once I have to return from my maternity leave or if we will be forced back closer to the city. Perhaps, I will leave teaching altogether for the sake of my family. It shouldn’t have to be a choice. I know I speak for thousands of teachers that are afraid to say anything. Something has to be done. Sooner rather than later please.
As a teacher I voted all 1’s across the board. These suggestions are right on target. We also need to eliminate the double dipping of retired teachers and make it more fair to the new younger teachers coming into the profession.
Where is the motivation or desire to be the best teacher possible when seniority is the only criteria used to hire and promote teachers in Ontario? My children have had far too many disengaged teachers over the years. This led to us moving to private school. Teachers are hired based on their ability and commitment. Ineffective teachers don’t keep their jobs at private schools either. As a tax payer I am furious that although I paid School taxes, I was forced to pay for private school due to the nature of teacher hiring within the public boards.
One board & increase the French instruction to 60 minutes a day. More 70% drop French by high school.
We should’ve had one school board 20 years ago. The current situation is archaic!
There are countless teachers stuck in an old fashioned Catholic School board. They can’t switch boards without losing their seniority. No one is willing to start over at the bottom of a supply list. Our experience and qualifications are of no consideration and so now our only hope is that Ford pushes through one school system.
Taught in Europe for 16 years before moving to Canada. Although I was approved to teach by OCT (3 university degrees) straight away, I had to wait 10 months to get on a supply list (earning no pay) then I was forced to supply day to day for close to 2 years (earning 1/2 the pay) before I could get on an LTO list. I have now been on an LTO list “waiting my turn” for 6 years! $120,000 in lost income and opportunities. I can’t imagine such a backwards hiring system in education is tolerated in Ontario? Why? I long to return to Europe where merit matters.
I taught for 11 years in the public system before moving to the private system. My move was motivated by smaller class sizes, a reduction in tuition for my own children, teacher professionalism/accountability, parent/teacher communication and a much improved culture in the school. I’ll never go back to a political system of mediocrity.
Trim the fat at the top of the boards – they are of no real assistance. They just bully their own policy and agenda from the top down. They don’t support parents, teachers or students and tax payers shouldn’t be paying for their fancy offices, expense accounts or expensive lunches!
If principals and unions were on the same side teachers wouldn’t be calling the union about their principal as much and Regulation 274 would be rescinded.
There are way too many classrooms across Ontario that don’t have enough textbooks, novels, access to technology or breakfast/snack programs for students that need them. There needs to be WAY MORE equity in education. It has become the schools that have versus the schools that don’t. Are we America? The Canadian philosophy working hard to help those that can’t help themselves. When did that change?
There is a group of parents and grandparents that have fought hard for the merit based hiring of teachers. They conducted research, contacted the media, begged MPP’s & Wynne to change Reg 274. Unfortunately, Wynne didn’t care. Let’s hope Ford does.
The senior or retired teachers like to shrug off Regulation 274 or believe we are “robots” when in fact we are THOUSANDS of teachers (under the age of 40). We are supply teachers and experienced teachers that are struggling with Regulation 274. We are stuck in boards we don’t want to be in, at schools we’d like to leave, or languishing on supply lists for 6 to 10 years, or leaving the profession altogether. This archaic hiring system only serves the most senior teacher within any given board. Seniority doesn’t even equal experience. Does seniority equal the most effective teacher? Nope. Not even close. Retired principals and active principals alike will all agree. Regulation 274 has got to go for the sake of education in Ontario. Let’s start by putting the best teacher in the classrooms. Let’s give principals back their power and let’s finish what Lisa MacLeod started. Let’s rescind Regulation 274.
Class size needs to be capped at 20 for Kindergarten to grade 8 for the mental health of the students and the teachers. This is not negotiable. Any more than 20 is putting everyone’s mental health at risk.
Less and less teachers want to become principals each year. Why? Two reasons. It’s not enough salary to work 12 hour days and Regulation 274 has made hiring teachers and maintaining a positive school culture impossibly arduous.
Allow charter schools and school choice. Eventually everyone will send their kids to private or charter schools and the unions will lose their power. There is no way to win against the unions. The next round of collective agreements (and striking teachers) is just around the corner. Most parents have lost all respect for the profession. They hire based on seniority and follow the union around like they are stuck in a bad relationship. Pathetic!
Kids need safe schools, adequate materials (books & technology), access to the arts, the BEST teachers and the skills to navigate the 21st Century (that includes mental health strategies)!
The power of the unions and Regulation are slowly destroying education in Ontario. Teachers are forced to pay thousands in union due for protection. Who is protecting the students? Parents that can afford it are fleeing to private schools and parents that can’t are stuck.
Let’s start examining what works in Finland & Singapore? They hire the best teachers, there are no unions, teachers stay with the same group of students for several years, they pay teachers an excellent wage and treat them like professionals. There are countless suggestions and so much to be learned from countries that are doing it better than we are.
Can we end the union control? Education has become a dictatorship with the unions in charge and fighting for the teachers. Who is in charge of fighting for the kids? Most parents don’t even realize the union power or that teachers are forced to belong to unions. It’s a disgrace! No on respects public school teachers anymore. Why? The unions. End of story.
Start looking at what is best for the kids in Ontario. Not the teachers or the unions or the school boards. Let’s start examining Education in Ontario through a filter of what is best for the students.
My wife and I just finished writing very large cheques to probate schools for our three children. This was a very bitter pill to swallow, but one that we had no choice in taking. Two of our children have learning disabilities and their needs were not being met in the Catholic school board. We were very frustrated that we had to spend money on a private school tuition on top of paying taxes. Why should we have to pay a to Wishon and school taxes? If the school system cannot meet our child’s needs we should be able to take that funding to private school with us. I believe it is time to start exploring the idea of school choice as Ontario public schools are not able to meet the demands of the students in the 21st-century. My wife and I really struggled with the teacher quality in Ontario, and had to meet with principles on several OK Asians. We came to realize that the principles did not really have control over the teachers in their school. We went above the principles head to the superintendence and realized they couldn’t do much either. It appears that teachers can keep their jobs regardless of how effective they are. This is a tragic state of affairs. Private schools should be able to receive provincial funding. Just look west as to how they do this and British Colombia. It cannot be this difficult. Is it time for a referendum in education? Maybe we should put this to a vote across Ontario. It saddens me that every child does not have access to a private education like my children do now. I am concerned about my own children, but I am also concerned about the many children across Ontario whose needs are not being met by the current public and Catholic school boards across Ontario. Let’s hope that Doug Ford starts looking at these problems as soon as possible. There is another eight weeks before students return to school. That is plenty of time to start making incremental and strategic changes to this current school system. Hopefully Doug Ford is paying attention and let’s hope the Minister of Education is as well.
Start looking at the success of private schools. They do a much better job at about the same cost. They are able to hire the best teachers and don’t have to deal with union interference.
I am a teacher in a Catholic Board and that is why I chose to send my twins to Kindergarten at a private school. Between the class size (18 students per class), the superior level of teachers, no union involvement, no fear of strikes or split grade classes it was an easy decision for my wife and I.
Not enough support in the public/Catholic schools for IEP students. The classes are too large for teachers to meet the needs of their students.
1 in 45 students is now diagnosed with ASD. The rates of learning disabilities and ADHD is climbing as well. No teacher in a classroom of more than 20 kids can help each child. If it’s all about money, then merge the boards, allow School choice (private school funding) and do what is right for the students. There is an opportunity to fix things, decrease spending and improve education provided Doug and Lisa are listening and willing to make some changes.
Reintroducing principal’s back into teachers unions would expedite the elimination of Regulation 274! Excellent idea!
Improve teacher quality and engagement. Provide more tools and training to teachers.
Get rid of the school boards entirely – one school system – English and French. Save billions and use it to educate the kids and pay the best teachers.
Most important suggestion? START TOMORROW!! Everyone has lost faith in the public system. Catholic boards are outdated and discriminatory. Most have lost respect for teachers and no one thinks the unions have any place in education in Ontario. This can’t wait. Children’s lives are at stake! The Ford Government needs to act now. Swiftly and strategically.
Kathleen Wynne slipped through whatever Education policies she wanted. Doug Ford should do the same to reverse the Liberal damage to education in Ontario. Put the education of children at the top of the list. Let’s hope the new Education Minister is ready to work and make changes.
I’ve been teaching for 27 years – the government needs to focus on – Class size, mental health, Autism and Special Education (learning disabilities). It’s not about teaching the “math” it’s about meeting student needs in crowded classrooms with 1/3 of the class needing differentiation, accommodations, modifications and one-on-one. Any politician that thinks a class size over 20 is fine should try it out for themselves!
Lisa Thompson is going to need to step away from the farm and start working 18 hour days on this 7 days a week. Summer is the time to implement strategic changes and set goals. Start by eliminating the road blocks to student learning and teacher instruction. The board and union involvement/micromanagement has reached intolerable levels. Support principals in hiring the best teachers and building safe, inclusive schools. Finally, the time of the Catholic Board has come to an end. 20 years ago it was determined unnecessary and detrimental. Time to fix it.
Any public servants that reside in the GTA should qualify for housing assistance, mortgage discount, or the ability to borrow from their pension for a down payment. It is officially TOO EXPENSIVE to live in Toronto. Most firefighters, police officers, educational workers, teachers and paramedics will end up relocating outside of the GTA (Ottawa, Kingston, St. Catherines etc.) where they can afford to live.
Make the Minister of Education and the Premier accountable to the students, parents, and educators
.
Listen to Tim Hudak and Rescind Regulation 274!
I think you’ve hit the big 4! I also think that we need to offer consistent “special education” services. Every year we are left wondering if what we have will be cut, or if we will receive some extra funding. Every year, we end out year with the right number of EAs for our school needs, and they are all declared surplus or LTOs end in June. The same children who needed them are there on day 1 in September, but now without support – sometimes for months before the money-bomb arrives again. Every year we are re-proving the need for more support. Can’t we just say, “This kid needs support and will get support until he moves out of your school. Then, he will get it in his new school…imeediately, not 3 months after school begins and he has hit rock bottom again.” My son has a diagnosed need for OT and PT support in school, but is on a 2 year waiting list. We can afford to pay out of pocket and with our benefits. Not all families can. The schools should be providing this for all students. All of them. The ones in rural Ontario, the ones of reserves, the ones on the city…all of them.
It is well past time for one school board. Our children attended Catholic School in the GTA even though we weren’t Catholic. Why? The school had better EQAO scores which we’ve come to realize mean ZIP! It’s all about the teachers, the climate of the school & the focus on mental health.
Completely ineffective teachers forced my wife and I to pull our two children out of the public system and enrol them in the private system. I still cringe each time I write a tuition check because I realize I am also paying public school taxes. Although my children are getting a superior education I am outraged that every child in Ontario is not getting a superior education. What can we do to fix this? How can we ensure that The best and most effective teachers are in the classrooms teaching our children. As adults, we can all think back to the teacher that didn’t help us, didn’t support us, squashed our dreams, humiliated us in front of the class or even made us feel stupid. There is no room for that in education anymore. Only the best teachers should be standing in front of our children. Why aren’t we hiring the best teachers?
As a teacher that just retired I can only say that we must and can do better for the students in Ontario. Personally, I would say class-size has been the greatest contributor to a negative environment in my classroom as far as student learning and progress is concerned. One of the reasons that I retired this year instead of two years from now is the issue of teacher mobility. My husband had an opportunity for a big promotion and that required us to relocate. After 28 years of teaching I was not about to start over as a supply teacher or even an LTO for that matter. We need far more technology in classrooms that is distributed equally among all schools. Teachers also need more financial support for the materials they need in their own individual classrooms. Far too many teachers are spending thousands of dollars out of their own pocket to supplement what is missing from their classrooms.
The issue of split grades is one that is rarely discussed. Split grades means that students do not to get the same level of instruction, or depth of knowledge into the curriculum. The teacher has to endure the arduous task of creating double the lesson plans. It is not beneficial for the students or the teacher and in no other country do we do this. This is something that needs to be examined. Far too many students spent year after year and split classes with the teachers simply cannot spend the time with the students that they wish they could. Split grade classes prohibit student success. This issue needs to be revisited and resolved.
Teachers need to hired, fired and treated like professionals! No more hanging onto or passing bad teachers around. The time of passing the lemons around is over. Considering the mental health issues and violence in the classrooms, we need the teachers that are the most trained and talented in the schools.
Time is up for the “union dictatorship” teachers should be able to opt out and eliminate the power of the union. The unions are destroying the profession of teaching and erasing the respect from the public.
As a new teacher, I have been supply teaching for the last six years. I have met many fantastic, talented and effective teachers. Unfortunately, I have also met way too many teachers that are simply collecting a paycheck, and you do not enjoy their job, nor do they seem to like children. They call the union frequently, complain about everything and are generally not liked by the students or parents. These same teachers are out of date with technology and 21st Century teaching and it’s just sad the negative impact they have on children’s lives. Please know I’ve met lots of phenomenal teachers, but negative ones shouldn’t even have the opportunity to destroy a child’s life/education. It astounds me when I hear teachers say things like “I hate that kid or I can’t stand those parents”. Can you believe that? So many teachers don’t realize what a privilege it is to be a part of a child’s life and have such a great responsibility. It is hard to wait my turn on a seniority list because I can see how teachers lose their motivation when teacher quality is not nearly as important as teacher seniority. I became so disillusioned with the system that I recently accepted a teaching job at a private school where ineffective teachers are simply fired. I’m proud I was selected for my new position and I hope that Ford fixes the public system.
Class size & more technology in classrooms.
Class size, class size, class size. – the cap should be 18 – 20 Maximum for ALL grades.
Regulation 274 has got to go
We can’t use a sex Ed curriculum from 20 years ago.
Allow charter schools in Ontario
School Choice. – voucher/credit system for parents to chose private school.
Time to hire the best teachers based on merit and stop double dipping of retired teachers.
One school system – it’s archaic to still have a Catholic School System. It discriminates against all other religions in Ontario. Fund all or none.
The Catholic board should not have government money to teach Catholic/bible teachings that don’t support LGTBQ or divorce.
Increase professional perception of teachers by putting student & teacher safety first.
Lower class sizes & hire the best teachers – not just ones that have tenure.
Class size needs to be capped and regulated.
School Choice should be an option for every student in Ontario.
Charter schools in Ontario should be permitted.
Principals should be able to attract and hire the best teachers – a healthy competition increases teacher quality and professionalism
Why do we only fund one religious board? Don’t the other faiths/religions matter??
Shame on Ontario for not fixing this sooner! Discrimination is deadly in today’s culture.
The unions have TOO MUCH POWER – and why do they fight for the teachers instead of the students, parents and taxpayers?
As a parent I am appalled that Regulation 274 has been allowed to continue. Principals have spoken out against it and parents are against it, but the government doesn’t seem to care what is best for kids. My children have literally suffered academically due to weak teachers that couldn’t cope with their individual needs. Thankfully we have been blessed with some amazing teachers. But sadly these teachers weren’t able to remain in the schools due to Regulation 274. In what other profession are professionals hired based on seniority? Seniority doesn’t even include experience when teachers relocate. HOW DOES THIS MAKE ANY SENSE?
I’m outraged that I’ve had to take on a second job to provide tutoring for all 4 of my children. They can’t succeed and flourish without it these days. Tutoring companies are popping up on every street corner to supplement education and fill in the gaps. Why? Schools aren’t meeting the needs of all the students. Should parents have to pay when the provincial schools fail our kids?
Teachers in the GTA should receive a housing stipend or be allowed to relocate without losing seniority. Our family can no longer afford to live in Toronto, but we my wife and I can’t move without losing our seniority. After 15 years of teaching neither one of us want to start over on a supply list, but we can’t afford a home? What do we do? Our friends in other professions don’t have that problem. Will someone fix this?
End the rediculous spending on heritage language schools. Either all children should have access to this on NO child should have access to this. This is public money being spent on a select few. Fair? Shouldn’t there be equity & equality?
I have just relocated back to Ontario after teaching in Finland for the last 16 years. I have been informed that I will have to start as a supply teacher and wait 6 or 7 years to get a permanent contract. Unfortunately, this is an insult to me as a professional and to my teaching experience. Although I have 2 master’s degrees I am now walking away from this profession. My colleagues in Finland can’t believe Regulation 274 was ever allowed. In Finland, teachers are viewed the same as doctors and lawyers, and are
hired/respected the same way as well. I am going embarrassed that Ontario sees teachers as equivalent to factory workers.
School Choice
Fund all religious schools
Class size should be 18 – 20 for elementary, middle and high school. Anything less is unacceptable. Where can we find the money? Merge the boards and eliminate the unions. Simple.
Give principals the ability to hire the best teachers for their schools.
It is time for school choice in Ontario.
One school board. Period.
Get rid of school boards. Waste of money!
Other (2)
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