On Education Doug Ford Will Respect Parents and Get Back to Basics

Published on May 08, 2018

Will replace Kathleen Wynne’s ideological ‘discovery math’ and sex-ed curricula, fix standardized testing and protect free speech on university campuses

Toronto - Ontario PC Leader Doug Ford today shared details of his education plan which includes replacing Kathleen Wynne’s ideological sex-ed and ‘Discovery Math’ curricula as well as protecting free speech on university campuses.

“I want an education system that respects parents and focuses on the fundamentals,” said Ford, “unfortunately, under Kathleen Wynne, our schools have been turned into social laboratories and our kids into test subjects for whatever special interests and so-called experts that have captured Kathleen Wynne’s ear.”

Ford announced that an Ontario PC Government will get rid of Kathleen Wynne’s failed ideological ’Discovery Math’ curriculum, and instead focus on teaching kids the fundamentals of mathematics. Ontario is currently the only province in Canada where math test scores are not improving.

“Our kids are failing their tests because Kathleen Wynne has failed our kids,” said Ford, who also announced that a PC government would make math mandatory in teachers college while overhauling EQAO standardized testing. “It’s time to focus on the fundamentals and that includes proven methods of teaching.”

Ford also repeated his longstanding commitment to restore Ontario’s previous sex-ed curriculum until we can install a new one that is age appropriate and based on real consultation with parents.

“The most important teachers will always be parents,” said Ford. “That’s why parents must be respected, and we must always ensure that moms and dads have a say.”

Finally, Ford committed that an Ontario PC Government would protect free speech on university campuses by tying future post-secondary funding decisions to the willingness of university administrators to protect free speech for all students and faculty.

“If you disagree with someone else’s free speech, you don’t hide behind the rules or try to have their speech silenced,” said Ford. “Instead all of us share a responsibility to use our free speech with civility while respecting the free speech of others.” 

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Backgrounder

Getting Back to Basics

  • The Liberals introduced ‘discovery math’ into Ontario’s elementary schools, and province-wide math scores indicate this teaching method is ineffective.
  • For example, in 2016, only 50% of the province’s Grade 6 students met Ontario’s math standards, down 7 percentage points from 2013.
  • A new report highlights that Grade 8 students’ math scores improved in all provinces except Ontario between 2010 and 2016.[1] Every other province has improved students’ math scores; Ontario’s scores stayed the same.
  • Government officials are now speculating that, in the face of stagnating scores, Kathleen Wynne may try to axe parts of standardizing testing in Ontario.[2]

 
How We Will Fix It:

  • A Doug Ford Ontario PC Government will scrap ‘discovery math’ and inquiry-based learning in our classrooms, and restore proven methods of teaching.
  • The Ontario PCs will return the education system back to basics, teach students the fundamentals of mathematics, and move toward improving math scores among Ontario’s students. This will include making mathematics mandatory in Ontario’s teachers college programs.
  • We will also reform the current, failing EQAO testing model, and instead introduce a standardized testing model that more directly tests fundamental math skills.

 
Respecting Parents

  • The Wynne Liberals have shown no respect for the parents of Ontario’s elementary school children.
  • Parents were not properly consulted before Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals decided to implement a sex-ed curriculum in Ontario schools that is age-inappropriate.[3]
  • The Wynne Liberals only surveyed one parent for every elementary school in the province.[4] What Kathleen doesn’t tell you is that the government only received 1,638 responses – less than half of those ‘consulted,’ and representative of 0.001% of the elementary school student population. The Liberals have been disingenuous, and clearly don’t care to hear the views of parents.[5]
  • Kathleen Wynne’s desire to pursue an ideological agenda has resulted in a lack of parental consultation and ignores the fact that parents are the most important teachers in a child’s life.

 
How We Will Fix It:

  • An Ontario PC Government will restore Ontario’s previous sex-ed curriculum until we can install a new one that is age appropriate and based on real consultation with parents.

 
Protecting Free Speech

  • Under the watch of Kathleen Wynne and the Liberals, freedom of speech has come under attack on Ontario’s university campuses.
  • Universities are supposed to be environments that encourage freedom of thought and lively debate, but there are numerous examples of individuals in Ontario being reprimanded for engaging in free speech.[6]
  • These publicly-funded universities should not be filled with intolerance. They should encourage and embrace a wide-range of political, social, and religious viewpoints.


How We Will Fix It:

  • An Ontario PC Government will protect free speech on publicly-funded Ontario university campuses.
  • To do this, Doug Ford and the Ontario PCs will expand the mandate for the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) to include a complaints and investigations process to evaluate violations of free speech.
  • Post-secondary funding decisions will be tied to the results of the HEQCO’s investigations and, thereby, the willingness of university administrators to protect free speech for all students and faculty.


[1] https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2018/04/30/grade-8-math-scores-climb-across-canada-except-ontario-report-finds.html

[2] http://torontosun.com/opinion/columnists/wallace-liberals-plan-to-scrap-grade-3-and-literacy-testing

[3] https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2018/03/19/should-ontarios-sex-ed-curriculum-be-changed-yes-writes-scott-masson.html

[4] http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/ontario-sexual-education-curriculum-election-1.4624512

[5] http://torontosun.com/2015/09/05/sex-ed-consultation-a-joke-documents-reveal/wcm/d4a685c6-fc4e-47a7-8d43-6115391f4612

[6] https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/article-documents-reveal-new-details-in-lindsay-shepherd-wilfrid-laurier/, and https://thevarsity.ca/2018/02/28/court-rules-in-favour-of-utmsu-in-lawsuit-with-anti-abortion-student-group/