Monday, June 15, 2015

EDUCATION NEWS - AG SAYS TEACHER TRAINING TIME NEED IMPROVEMENT & LIBERSL QUESTION MATH PERFORMANCE

CBC NEWS     

June 9, 2015                HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY PROCEEDINGS                Vol. XLVII No. 28

Exchange between Acting Education Minister Dalley and Liberal Education Critic Dale Kirby.



MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's North.

MR. KIRBY: Mr. Speaker, this government's indifference to the ongoing math performance crisis was demonstrated by the Acting Minister of Education last week.  In response to questions about the math review announced in this year's Budget, the minister talked about funding for a math strategy that was announced in 2008 – seven years ago.

I will ask the minister again: What is the plan for this year?  Exactly how much new funding has been set aside in Budget 2015 for your so-called math performance review? 

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Acting Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DALLEY: Mr. Speaker, with respect to our math review, I have acknowledged in the House that there are lots of comments and concerns around the Province with math.  Now I did comment that we will provide the funding through the department, through curriculum, through our Excellence in Math Strategy.  I have also indicated if we need to find money, we will find it within the department because of the importance of the issue.

Now, Mr. Speaker, I did not say – I was a little bit misquoted in some of the media in that I am looking and acknowledging there are problems with the curriculum.  What we need do, to be clear, is take a look at math as a whole.  It is not just curriculum. 

We need to look at how it is being delivered, how teachers are learning and how kids are learning, what is the role of parents, and what is the role of our post-secondary institutions.  That is the conversation we want to have and I invite the member opposite to provide some suggestions. 

MR. SPEAKER: Order, please!

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Member for St. John's North.

MR. KIRBY: Mr. Speaker, the fact is government has long failed students by dismissing educators' concerns, by blaming teachers, and by not taking declining math scores seriously enough.  In the end, it is children who suffer along with their parents who often feel helpless and just plain frustrated. 

I ask the minister: If he serious about correcting government's failed record on mathematics, when will the math performance review announced well over a month ago start its work?

MR. SPEAKER: The hon. the Acting Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

MR. DALLEY: Mr. Speaker, some of the latest results are indicating that we are seeing improvements in math performance, particularly at the academic and honours levels in the high schools.  We know the importance of math in graduation. 

We are seeing higher graduations rates, Mr. Speaker.  We are seeing our dropout rates have improved dramatically.  We are now seeing that more and more students are graduating from high school with an academic or honours completion, Mr. Speaker, an increase of over 10 per cent in the past ten years. 

There are a lot of good things happening.  Again, to acknowledge particularly in math, there is a brand new curriculum that has been implemented and a curriculum that is being used across the country in many provinces.  We want to have a look at that, we want to invite people to have the conversation about math, and let's see if we cannot even improve the success that we have had so far.

SOME HON. MEMBERS: Hear, hear!

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