Teacher unions advocate for school choice – Lake Superior News
NORTH, ONTARIO ~~ October 20, 2021 (LSNews) Arguments for more choice of schools are most often presented by parents dissatisfied with the government-run school system, think tank researchers, and conservative and libertarian columnists. Yet advocacy for government policies that improve families’ access to alternatives to public schools sometimes comes from unexpected circles – in recent times, from public education bureaucrats and teacher unions.
Earlier this fall, the Peel District School Board released an “Empowering Modern Learners” booklet, which denounces the current system. He posits that “in Peel we have to recognize that society operates within white supremacist structures” and that “our system was built on colonial structures meant to support white supremacy. This power structure created barriers for marginalized learners.
The authors of the pamphlet may have wanted to increase support for public schools becoming more “awake” by infusing classrooms with more “social justice” ideologies. But most people, upon learning that the Peel Region public school system is apparently built on white supremacy, might conclude that families need better access to alternative education systems. They need, in other words, a greater choice of schools.
Meanwhile, in Alberta, the teachers’ union is also unwittingly advocating for more school choices. According to the Alberta Teachers’ Association, the provincial government’s new interim curriculum has “a variety of shortcomings”, “is not designed for use by teachers” and includes “narrowly defined content that does not reflect the development of knowledge, understanding and skills for the 21st century.
The program, the union said, has “developmentally inappropriate learning outcomes that lack high academic standards.” The union president said the program “is based on ideological and archaic ideas of what children should learn, by those who seem to have no teaching experience” in Canadian classrooms and would thus lead to children to failure.
So this is it. The government-run school system in Peel Region in Ontario is based on white supremacy and the government-run school system in Alberta will prepare children for failure by using a poor quality curriculum. Of course, while the government’s monopoly policies condemn many children in these jurisdictions to attend such schools, the same cannot be said of other establishments, such as grocery stores.
Because a white supremacist grocery store would be a nasty place to shop and face competition from other non-racist grocery stores, it would fail to attract customers and eventually close its doors. Likewise, a poorly run grocery store that does not provide good food at prices satisfactory to consumers would be unable to survive for long. The difference between schools and grocery stores is that families often do not have a choice of school but does have a choice of groceries.
Currently in Alberta, private schools must teach the government curriculum to be eligible for provincial funding. Granted, if the government’s curriculum is as poor as the Alberta Teachers’ Association describes it, it’s time to end this rule so families can afford private schools using alternative programs. In Ontario, monopoly policies prevent families from using their tax dollars to support private education. Surely it is time to change this policy too, so that children are not drawn into a racist school system.
After all, it is taxpayers’ money that is used to educate children. Better send it to schools that don’t prepare children for failure.
Associate researcher, Fraser Institute
Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, Ontario
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|The Fraser Institute is an independent, non-partisan research and educational organization based in Canada. We have offices in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Visit our website|