Online Learning No Answer


As published in the Ottawa Sun: January 31, 2020.

A recent Sun editorial focused entirely on teachers’ modest wage demands. This creates the impression that the Sun and Postmedia support Ford’s plan for mandatory online learning.

Ontario’s teachers are mainly concerned about the Ford government’s plans to force students to take at least one online course while increasing class sizes and cutting teaching staff through early retirement and other tactics.
While this sounds great from a short-term financial perspective; students, teachers and parents will eventually suffer under Ford’s simplistic scheme. Expanded online learning means fewer teachers and also frustrated parents solving more problems for students with learning and motivational challenges. It seems only the Ontario cabinet is permitted to do the same (or less) with more.

Since teachers are also seeking a modest wage increase, it’s worth remembering that the Ford government recently awarded a 14 per cent pay hike to 31 MPPs now categorized as parliamentary assistants. Regardless of the reasons for Ford’s sudden generosity with public funds, it is an ugly coincidence that will likely antagonize teachers.

Much of Ford’s education rhetoric is based on public misconceptions about teachers’ supposedly pampered existence. Worse still are the implications of Ford’s subtle appeal to selfish individualism and the notion of wealth as an indicator of moral superiority. Behind every attack on public education, health care and social welfare is the odd belief that economic freedom is the ultimate human achievement.

This bleak philosophy promotes the ugly notion of expensive private education for the deserving wealthy and a shabby, underfunded system for working people.


(So many thoughts … our focus on one issue does not mean we support other issues.)

"Editorial comment in brackets above typically inane."