A little bit of division in Ford’s math test debate

A little bit of division in Ford’s math test debate

As published in the Toronto Star / Ottawa Citizen / MSN.com: Aug. 30, 2019 & Ottawa Sun: Sept. 10, 2019.

Ontario teachers will have to score at least 70 per cent on math tests, online, Aug. 27

Perhaps Premier Doug Ford and Ontario MPP’s ought to voluntarily join new teachers for those controversial math tests. I wonder how the politicians’ grades might compare with new educators’ scores. This testing regime is merely another “tough on unions” ploy taken straight from the Mike Harris playbook. Such tactics appeal to those who accept the enduring myth that teachers enjoy a pampered existence.

Teachers receive decent pay and benefits for the stressful job of imparting subject matter while managing overcrowded classrooms. While answerable to students, parents, principals, superintendents and politicians, teachers are expected to provide equal attention to the gifted, the variously challenged and even violent individuals. In spite of this reality, teaching still attracts dedicated individuals committed to keeping students on the path to personal fulfilment and financial prosperity.

Current teacher-testing and performance-measurement policy in Ontario is a stifling and inefficient practice that involves the figurative stuffing of squares into round holes for the benefit of politicians and education bureaucrats.
Rather than waste time on more unnecessary and expensive “testing,” perhaps we ought to emulate the excellent examples of countries like Finland and Norway who spend most of their education budgets keeping class sizes as low as possible. That’s good math in any country.