Calgary

Experts, parents demand province 'go back to the drawing board' following ATA curriculum report

Experts and parents alike are showing their support for the Alberta Teachers' Association report released Wednesday, demanding the province act immediately to end the draft K-6 curriculum pilot and restart the curriculum rewrite process. 

Over 6,000 teachers surveyed and 95% said draft K-6 curriculum not appropriate

Carla Peck, left, professor in the faculty of education at the University of Alberta, and Taylor Schroeter, mother of two elementary students, right. They say Education Minister Adriana LaGrange should end the draft curriculum pilot immediately. (CBC)

Experts and parents alike are showing support for the Alberta Teachers' Association report released Wednesday. They're demanding the province act immediately to end the draft K to 6 curriculum pilot and restart the curriculum rewrite process. 

The ATA's report found that Alberta teachers overwhelmingly feel the K-6 draft curriculum being piloted by thousands of students in the province is illogical and fails to meet standards — which has experts wondering why it was ever made public. 

'How did it pass the sniff test?'

"That's the million-dollar question: How did it pass the sniff test? This draft should never have been released to the public given that it's so flawed when it comes to the fundamentals," said Carla Peck, a faculty of education professor at the University of Alberta..

"Why the minister released a draft that was so poorly written, I don't understand. And frankly, she should be embarrassed that anybody laid eyes on this before it was properly constructed and properly reviewed."

Peck says this was made clear in the feedback provided by the more than 6,000 Alberta teachers who provided reaction to the ATA about the draft curriculum.

"The fact that they they found that the draft curriculum did not meet even Alberta Education's own standards, whether it's the guiding framework for curriculum development, whether it's the ministerial order on student learning," she said.

"There were lots of examples of how this draft curriculum did not meet what was said in those official documents that are supposed to guide policy development."

'Go back to the drawing board' 

Taylor Schroeter is the mom of two elementary students and a member of the group Albertans Reject Curriculum Draft. 

She says the education minister cannot continue to ignore teachers, parents and experts who are calling for this curriculum to be canned.

"At the end of the day, the education minister is a minister by title only. She does not have experience in education … and she has no place writing a curriculum to this extent without taking the feedback and advice of the professionals who do this on a daily basis," she said.

"It took the minister's office over five months to send me a form email response to my personal email, and yet they feel they've completed this draft in less than eight months. A complete draft for seven grades. It needs to go back to the drawing board and she needs to consult professionals."

Alberta Education said it has received the ATA's report and it will be carefully considered. 

"Teachers have and will continue to be involved in every step of the way as we continue the year-long review process," said spokesperson Nicole Sparrow.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lucie Edwardson

Journalist

Lucie Edwardson is a reporter with CBC Calgary. Follow her on Twitter @LucieEdwardson or reach her by email at lucie.edwardson@cbc.ca

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