PCE Education Survey-Alberta 2015 Party Responses

 
Parents for Choice in Education (PCE) sent out an education candidate survey to each candidate in each individual riding, where email listings permitted. While individual candidates did not respond, PCE has received party responses from the Wildrose, the Progressive Conservatives, and the Alberta Party, and two individual candidate responses from the NDP. Please find each party’s responses below, in the order they were received. We hope this assists all of you in your final decision at the ballot box May.5, 2015.
Parents for Choice in Education is a non-partisan, non-profit, citizens’ organization that advocates for quality education through maximum parent choice.  As you may know, Alberta Education is introducing a new approach to education under the name “Inspiring Education.”  Thousands of parents have expressed concern about this initiative, and how it impacts specific subjects such as mathematics.  Many have expressed concern about parental choice being diminished in Alberta.  Please let us know the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statements below.  Your responses will be posted at www.parentchoice.ca.
 
WILDROSE
 
Thanks for contacting me. I am pleased to offer the Wildrose position on your concerns. Below are my comments to go along with the “bold” selections.
Ron Bain, Lethbridge West; Wildrose

 


  1. Alberta’s education laws should respect Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”.

 
1/ Wildrose strongly agrees that the kind of Education their child receives should be that of the parent.
Strongly disagree disagree undecided/no response agree      strongly agree
 

  1. The Alberta Government should enhance parental choice in education by supporting the full diversity of differing schools and programs, and by rejecting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum, teaching methods, school culture and other aspects of education.

 
2/Wildrose believes that the teacher should have the flexibility to teach in the way that works best for his/her classroom. Adequate supports need to be provided to allow for this. Strongly agree
Strongly disagree disagree undecided/no response agree      strongly agree
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should continue to respect the right of parents to educate their own children at home, using resources and curriculum of their choosing, to meet the standards set out in the current Home Education Regulations. Homeschooled students should have the same access as all other Alberta students to enrolment in career and technology, dual credit post-secondary, and other education enhancement options (such as sport and second language courses).

 
3/ Wildrose has this in their policy. Strongly agree
Strongly disagree  disagree  undecided/ no response  agree     strongly agree
 

  1. The Alberta government should provide equitable funding for a wide range of educational choices, including public, Catholic, independent, charter schools, alternative schools, online and aligned homeschools within the public system, and traditional independent homeschooling.  Education dollars should follow each student into which ever school setting parents may choose.

 
4/This too is a Wildrose policy and something they feel strongly about. Strongly agree
Strongly disagree disagree undecided/no response agree      strongly agree
 

  1. ‘Inspiring Education’ will reduce genuine school choice by mandating a homogenous enquiry (“discovery learning”) model on all schools, and reduce the quality of education, as ‘Inspiring Education’ has the stated intention of redesigning curriculum to greatly reduce the number of knowledge outcomes in core subject areas.  The Alberta Government should therefore reconsider its plan to impose ‘Inspiring Education’ on all Alberta schools by 2016.

 
5/This one is a little tougher to answer. Wildrose believes in “more traditional” teaching but depending on the subject area, there can be some advantage to “inspired learning.” I would say that the Wildrose position on this would be closest to “agree.”
Strongly disagree disagree undecided/no response   agree      strongly agree
 

  1. Schools should not have to use or follow ‘Inspiring Education’.  Instead, schools should have the freedom and autonomy to use their limited education dollars on alternative curricular models and educational enhancements (e.g. sport, the arts, foreign language, etc.), so long as education outcomes are met by the students.

 
6/This would go back to our thought of allowing teachers and school boards to best determine what is working and if its working well, support that. “Agree.”
Strongly disagree disagree undecided/no response   agree      strongly agree
 

  1. Standardized assessments (Provincial Achievement Tests) and grade 12 Diploma Exams help to maintain consistent standards between schools, and provide a level playing field for post-secondary entry and the awarding of scholarships.  The Alberta Government should reconsider its decision to abolish Provincial Achievement Tests.

 
7/We think grades are important. “Agree.”
Strongly disagree disagree undecided/no response agree      strongly   agree
 

  1. The Alberta government should respect the local autonomy of each school to decide on and implement the best way(s) to achieve a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.  For cultural, health, safety and other reasons, parents should have the right to be fully involved in the development and implementation of proposed student activities and clubs at the schools attended by their children.

 
8/As long as the opinions of the parents doesn’t interfere with the Canadian Charter of rights and Freedoms. I would put us in “undecided” only because of the possible unknowns that could arise to some groups wanting to influence groups that may have Charter protection.
Strongly disagree disagree  undecided/no response agree      strongly agree
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should allow parents to work cooperatively with teachers and principals to determine the culture, behaviour expectations, and learning environment of the schools attended by their children.  Controversial political, social, religious or cultural organizations should not be permitted to create or run student groups inside Alberta schools without the prior knowledge and consent of parents.

 
9/Undecided. I see the pro’s and con’s. Parents need to be involved but again, the Charter rules
Strongly disagree  disagree  undecided/no response   agree      strongly agree
 
PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE
 

  1. Alberta’s education laws should respect Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                  agree      strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta Government should enhance parental choice in education by supporting the full diversity of differing schools and programs, and by rejecting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum, teaching methods, school culture and other aspects of education.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                 agree       strongly agree
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should continue to respect the right of parents to educate their own children at home, using resources and curriculum of their choosing, to meet the standards set out in the current Home Education Regulations. Homeschooled students should have the same access as all other Alberta students to enrolment in career and technology, dual credit post-secondary, and other education enhancement options (such as sport and second language courses).

 
Strongly disagree             disagree              undecided/ no response             agree    strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta government should provide equitable funding for a wide range of educational choices, including public, Catholic, independent, charter schools, alternative schools, online and aligned homeschools within the public system, and traditional independent homeschooling. Education dollars should follow each student into which ever school setting parents may choose.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                  agree      strongly agree
 
 

  1. ‘Inspiring Education’ will reduce genuine school choice by mandating a homogenous enquiry (“discovery learning”) model on all schools, and reduce the quality of education, as ‘Inspiring Education’ has the stated intention of redesigning curriculum to greatly reduce the number of knowledge outcomes in core subject areas. The Alberta Government should therefore reconsider its plan to impose ‘Inspiring Education’ on all Alberta schools by 2016.

 
 
Strongly disagree          disagree               undecided/no response                  agree      strongly agree
 
 

  1. Schools should not have to use or follow ‘Inspiring Education’. Instead, schools should have the freedom and autonomy to use their limited education dollars on alternative curricular models and educational enhancements (e.g. sport, the arts, foreign language, etc.), so long as education outcomes are met by the students.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response               agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. Standardized assessments (Provincial Achievement Tests) and grade 12 Diploma Exams help to maintain consistent standards between schools, and provide a level playing field for post-secondary entry and the awarding of scholarships. The Alberta Government should reconsider its decision to abolish Provincial Achievement Tests.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                               agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta government should respect the local autonomy of each school to decide on and implement the best way(s) to achieve a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment. For cultural, health, safety and other reasons, parents should have the right to be fully involved in the development and implementation of proposed student activities and clubs at the schools attended by their children.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                               agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should allow parents to work cooperatively with teachers and principals to determine the culture, behaviour expectations, and learning environment of the schools attended by their children. Controversial political, social, religious or cultural organizations should not be permitted to create or run student groups inside Alberta schools without the prior knowledge and consent of parents.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                               agree         strongly agree
* While the Progressive Conservatives have not offered any response to the PCE Education Survey, we did receive a party statement. I post the exact PC Statement below:
Thank you very much for your questions regarding the PC Party’s position on parental choice in education.
The PC party believes supporting education is crucial to the continued success of our province. That is why Alberta is such a strong supporter of education and why our results are so strong.
Key in the education of our children and the continued development of our education system is parents, who need to be recognized as the most important contributor to these efforts. This is why the right of parents to make informed decisions respecting the education of their children is enshrined in the Alberta Bill of Rights.
Recognizing that there are a variety of views on how education should be delivered, we would continue to offer the wide variety of educational choices to Alberta students, which include public, separate and private schools as well as home school and online learning options.
With regards to school funding, we would continue to provide the vast majority of education funding directly to school boards, so that locally elected school representatives can continue to determine how best to allocate these resources based on the individual needs of their communities. This includes determining staffing, resources as well as class sizes.
A PC government would continue to support the Inspiring Education Initiative, which was introduced after extensive consultation with Albertans. It is an initiatives that is designed to expand on current teaching methods and align with today’s technology.
We would also remain committed to Student Learning Assessments, which allow parents and teachers to focus on specific areas of needed learning with an aim to improving overall student performance. These assessments would continue to serve as a reference point to throughout the school year and can be compared to provincial standards in order to track progress.
Thank you again for your questions. We believe that working collaboratively with parents and school boards on current and future education initiatives will ensure Alberta’s system continues to reflect the diversity of our province as well as its common values.
Sincerely,
PC Alberta

 
 
NDP
 

  1. Alberta’s education laws should respect Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response           agree      strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta Government should enhance parental choice in education by supporting the full diversity of differing schools and programs, and by rejecting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum, teaching methods, school culture and other aspects of education.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response        agree         strongly agree
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should continue to respect the right of parents to educate their own children at home, using resources and curriculum of their choosing, to meet the standards set out in the current Home Education Regulations. Homeschooled students should have the same access as all other Alberta students to enrolment in career and technology, dual credit post-secondary, and other education enhancement options (such as sport and second language courses).

 
Strongly disagree             disagree              undecided/ no response             agree    strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta government should provide equitable funding for a wide range of educational choices, including public, Catholic, independent, charter schools, alternative schools, online and aligned homeschools within the public system, and traditional independent homeschooling. Education dollars should follow each student into which ever school setting parents may choose.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response        agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. ‘Inspiring Education’ will reduce genuine school choice by mandating a homogenous enquiry (“discovery learning”) model on all schools, and reduce the quality of education, as ‘Inspiring Education’ has the stated intention of redesigning curriculum to greatly reduce the number of knowledge outcomes in core subject areas. The Alberta Government should therefore reconsider its plan to impose ‘Inspiring Education’ on all Alberta schools by 2016.

 
 
Strongly disagree          disagree               undecided/no response               agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. Schools should not have to use or follow ‘Inspiring Education’. Instead, schools should have the freedom and autonomy to use their limited education dollars on alternative curricular models and educational enhancements (e.g. sport, the arts, foreign language, etc.), so long as education outcomes are met by the students.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response        agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. Standardized assessments (Provincial Achievement Tests) and grade 12 Diploma Exams help to maintain consistent standards between schools, and provide a level playing field for post-secondary entry and the awarding of scholarships. The Alberta Government should reconsider its decision to abolish Provincial Achievement Tests.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response        agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta government should respect the local autonomy of each school to decide on and implement the best way(s) to achieve a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment. For cultural, health, safety and other reasons, parents should have the right to be fully involved in the development and implementation of proposed student activities and clubs at the schools attended by their children.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response                               agree         strongly agree
 
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should allow parents to work cooperatively with teachers and principals to determine the culture, behaviour expectations, and learning environment of the schools attended by their children. Controversial political, social, religious or cultural organizations should not be permitted to create or run student groups inside Alberta schools without the prior knowledge and consent of parents.

 
Strongly disagree             disagree               undecided/no response        agree         strongly agree
* While the NDP has not offered any direct response to the PCE Education Survey nor a party response, we did receive several individual statements. I post these letters below:
Thank you for your email. A central plank of the NDP platform is to reverse the Conservative cuts to education and to provide stable, reliable funding for five years. These policies will help ensure all students have the resources they need. The Alberta NDP respects the rights of parents to make choices about the programs or modes of teaching employed for their children. We believe that all venues and programs, at home or in the school, must abide by the Alberta curriculum, including its sections on respect, tolerance and inclusion.
Thank you for reaching out to my campaign,
Christina Gray
NDP Candidate in Edmonton-Mill Woods

The Alberta NDP not only wants to maintain funding to education but to increase it. I have put a lot of thought into this issue. Educators and the NDP recognize that come September twelve thousand new students will be entering the education system in Alberta and some will be home schooled children. There must be funding for all of them. Educators and the NDP are in agreement that there must be a balance between the parents right of choice, the right of children to receive a quality education and the abilities of the parents to provide that education with the resources available.
A central plank of the NDP platform is to reverse the Conservative cuts to education and to provide stable, reliable funding for five years. These policies will help ensure all students have the resources they need. The Alberta NDP respects the rights of parents to make choices about the programs or modes of teaching employed for their children. We believe that all venues and programs, at home or in the school, must abide by the Alberta curriculum, including its sections on respect, tolerance and inclusion.
Thank you, for bringing this issue to my attention,.I hope this answers your questions sufficiently
Please contact me if you have anymore questions
Sincerely

Todd Russell
NDP candidate
GP/Smoky district

 
 
 
ALBERTA PARTY 

  1. Alberta’s education laws should respect Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that “Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children”.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
 
We also believe that there should be a base curriculum that should be taught to all students. Please see our Education Platform at albertaparty.ca.

  1. The Alberta Government should enhance parental choice in education by supporting the full diversity of differing schools and programs, and by rejecting a “one-size-fits-all” approach to curriculum, teaching methods, school culture and other aspects of education.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should continue to respect the right of parents to educate their own children at home, using resources and curriculum of their choosing, to meet the standards set out in the current Home Education Regulations. Homeschooled students should have the same access as all other Alberta students to enrollment in career and technology, dual credit post-secondary, and other education enhancement options (such as sport and second language courses).

 
Strongly disagree        disagree         undecided/ no response        agree   strongly agree
 
 

  1. The Alberta government should provide equitable funding for a wide range of educational choices, including public, Catholic, independent, charter schools, alternative schools, online and aligned homeschools within the public system, and traditional independent homeschooling. Education dollars should follow each student into which ever school setting parents may choose.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
The Alberta Party supports funding for schools in the public system, including public, catholic and charter schools.  We also support reducing taxpayer subsidies to private schools that do not serve the public interest. An example of the public interest would be a school that provides a service not available in the public system, such as a school for deaf children.
 

  1. ‘Inspiring Education’ will reduce genuine school choice by mandating a homogeneous enquiry (“discovery learning”) model on all schools, and reduce the quality of education, as ‘Inspiring Education’ has the stated intention of redesigning curriculum to greatly reduce the number of knowledge outcomes in core subject areas. The Alberta Government should therefore reconsider its plan to impose ‘Inspiring Education’ on all Alberta schools by 2016.

 
 
Strongly disagree      disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
 We disagree with the description of Inspiring Education above.
 

  1. Schools should not have to use or follow ‘Inspiring Education’. Instead, schools should have the freedom and autonomy to use their limited education dollars on alternative curricular models and educational enhancements (e.g. sport, the arts, foreign language, etc.), so long as education outcomes are met by the students.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
We disagree with the description of Inspiring Education above.
 
 

  1. Standardized assessments (Provincial Achievement Tests) and grade 12 Diploma Exams help to maintain consistent standards between schools, and provide a level playing field for post-secondary entry and the awarding of scholarships. The Alberta Government should reconsider its decision to abolish Provincial Achievement Tests.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
We are interested in exploring different ways of assessing student learner to meet the needs of individual students.
 

  1. The Alberta government should respect the local autonomy of each school to decide on and implement the best way(s) to achieve a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment. For cultural, health, safety and other reasons, parents should have the right to be fully involved in the development and implementation of proposed student activities and clubs at the schools attended by their children.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
We support parent involvement in the development of student activities and clubs, however we also support the right of students to form Gay-Straight Alliances or other clubs that are focused on making our schools safe for all kids.
 

  1. Alberta’s laws should allow parents to work cooperatively with teachers and principals to determine the culture, behaviour expectations, and learning environment of the schools attended by their children. Controversial political, social, religious or cultural organizations should not be permitted to create or run student groups inside Alberta schools without the prior knowledge and consent of parents.

 
Strongly disagree        disagree          undecided/no response          agree        strongly agree
We support parent involvement in the development of student activities and clubs, however we also support the right of students to form Gay-Straight Alliances or other clubs that are focused on making our schools safe for all kids.
 

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