classroomOn Monday, People for Education – an independent non-profit organization – called on the province to convene a Partnership Table to provide advice, input and expertise on next steps for Ontario’s students, educators, and school boards.

The organization notes that the Minister of Education has asked for feedback on Ontario’s Framework for Continued Learning – the province’s outline of the plan to keep students safe and learning, and to re-open schools responsibly. While public feedback is important, People for Education says it is equally important that the Minister and policy-makers work together and on an ongoing basis with experts and practitioners.

People for Education says that the new advisory group should meet together regularly, provide input and response to government policy ideas before they are implemented and, where possible, develop consensus around priorities and plans for education in the coming months. By meeting together as a partnership table, the government, policy-makers and education stakeholders can hear multiple viewpoints with unique expertise, and build an understanding of each other’s perspectives in designing the best plans for students. The group says that it is urgent that the table is constituted as soon as possible, and that it meet regularly together.

The table should have representatives from all major stakeholder groups, including:

· The Council of Directors of Education (CODE)
· Teachers’ federations
· Deans of education
· Unions representing support staff unions (E.g. CUPE)
· Principals’ Councils
· Trustees’ associations
· Student organizations
· School Mental Health Ontario
· Public Health
· Provincially recognized parent organizations
· Education NGOs
· First Nations, Metis and Inuit orgs
· Chiefs of Ontario
· Supervisory officers’ Associations

“We applaud the province on having met with many smaller working tables that are looking at individual issues,” says Annie Kidder, People for Education’s Executive Director. “But coherence is key here. Ontario’s students and educators need to know that there is an overall, comprehensive plan, based on evidence, expertise and experience. One-off meetings and small working tables will not accomplish that.”

source: media release, People for Education


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