Alberta launches new standards for teachers, principals and superintendents

The province announced an overhaul of its code of standards for teachers, principals and superintendents on Wednesday that Education Minister David Eggen says will improve the quality of teaching in Alberta.

Code overhaul will help improve quality of teaching, says education minister

Alberta Education Minister David Eggen, middle, shows off the new Professional Practice Standards. He is flanked by Michael Hauptman, left, vice-president of the College of Alberta School Superintendents, and Greg Jeffery, right, president of the Alberta Teachers’ Association. (CBC)

The province announced an overhaul of its code of standards for teachers, principals and superintendents on Wednesday that Education Minister David Eggen says will improve the quality of teaching in Alberta.

Eggen signed three ministerial orders Wednesday morning in Calgary, flanked by representatives from the Alberta Teachers' Association and the College of Alberta School Superintendents.

One of the orders updates the existing teaching quality standard — a document that outlines expectations for certification.

The other two are new leadership excellence standards for principals and superintendents that will ultimately lead to a new certification process for those positions.

The three sets of standards are designed to be interconnected in order to foster the embracing of the diverse strengths and needs of all students, the province said in a release.

"These standards set a common vision for what it takes to deliver high-quality education in Alberta's classrooms," Eggen said.

The new standards also reflect a renewed focus on First Nations, Metis and Inuit education, with new, dedicated competencies added to each standard, Eggen added.

The changes, which will take effect Sept. 1, 2019, will affect about 50,000 teachers, principals and education system leaders across Alberta.

Alberta was the first province to introduce a Teaching Quality Standard in 1997, and this is the first update of that standard in 20 years, the province says.

"Alberta's education system is continually recognized as one of the best education systems in the entire world and the strength of our teaching profession is often noted as the key to our success," Eggen said.

Greg Jeffery, president of the Alberta Teachers' Association, praised the province for consulting with teachers as the new standards were developed.

Michael Hauptman, vice-president of the College of Alberta School Superintendents, says the new standards represent a big step forward for Alberta.

"We are not aware of anywhere else in the world where there are standards for superintendents," he said.

"We now have a roadmap that we can support people in looking at what kind of standards they can attain to what type of development they may need during their career path."