Class sizes have no effect in student learning
Hey, Yael coming at you from the classroom. This might be my feeble Ontario education talking, but I am utterly dismayed that someone would use fear mongering instead of calm deliberation to try and make her point. Repeatedly Ms. Jackson tells us, “I’m scared.” Really? (Re: April 5 Letter to the Editor.)
Can someone please tell me where the notion of classroom sizes being pushed up to 42 students came from? In articles from CTV News, CBC, and The Globe and Mail, the consensus is that the classes increase from 22 to 28 students. I have on my own realized I must source my information. Here’s a fact, Dr. Nina Bascia from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, led a study on the effect of class sizes on students. She proved there was no difference in the learning capabilities of children from varied class sizes. CBC issued an article, which interviewed former teacher Paul Bennett, who agreed class sizes have no effect in student learning, saying “But the massive reductions in class size from 2003 to the present haven’t really produced the gains in student achievement that most had hoped.” Bennett cited a 2012 report by former TD Bank chief economist Don Drummond, which pulled data from several educational research studies measuring the positive and negative impact of class size. It found that 72 per cent of results showed that class size wasn’t a significant factor, writing, “small class sizes are not a key determinant of educational outcomes.”
Holy mackerel, Ms. Jackson is scared of online teachers not being qualified, she is scared of students not being disciplined enough to learn online and scared about students not being able to afford computers and on and on. What is she suggesting here, a system with absolutely no oversight? The truth of the matter is there will arise special needs in every system and accommodations made for them.
A 2018 Globe and Mail article shows that Grade 8 math scores have improved over a six-year period except for Ontario. This same article also states decreasing literacy skills in Ontario. Something has to change. Going back to basics sounds like a reasonable option. All my math teachers insist everyone should pay for a tutor since math is “so hard.” Guess what, not everyone can afford tutors. Hey, I don’t know, but maybe teachers can do their jobs and adequately teach their students without always saying, “Get a tutor.” I mean, it’s your job!
For 15 years, a Liberal Ontario government has caved to the funding and salary demands of the teachers’ union in exchange for that union buying expensive ads aligning with that government’s agenda.
Doesn’t this recent provincial election represent the grade that taxpayers have given teachers for the way their money has been spent? And what did their lobbying activity lead to? From first hand experience I can say the classroom is not an open forum for discussion. There are plenty of political discussions in class but they are slanted. Real opinion or thought diversity is not allowed. If a teacher says something, kids are not equipped or taught to question it. “All in all, you’re just another brick in the wall.” Ontario teachers have successfully concealed from my generation the need to pursue truth. It amounts to indoctrination of children into their ideology. Case in point, letting children walk out of class as long as they protest for the teacher’s agenda. It was sickening to see children used as tools for propagandizing. I have not met anybody around this area that doesn’t think that teachers are more than adequately compensated for the job they do. Surely teachers have an inkling of one significant reason why the parents of the children they currently teach cede to their every demand. Don’t you think when you hold the academic destiny of us children in your hands it is exploitative to tell our parents to come out and protest for you? “Hey, teacher! Leave them kids alone.”