Minister of Education David Eggen was big on talking points and small on an actual strategy when he addressed the Auditor General’s scathing report on class size. (See story on page 3).
“We knew that there needed to be greater accountability. This is a step I obviously knew about with the Auditor General…,” he said.
Hang on. You knew about this problem, yet you have no plan in place? How is that possible?
This issue isn’t a new one and is something Alberta Teachers’ Association President Greg Jeffery said is something teachers have been pointing out for years. Yet, Eggen’s comments, or lack thereof, suggests it’s on the to-do list – but not a priority.
The downturn did no favours to education funding, but while the government figures out this long-standing issue, students are the ones who pay the price. Their learning struggles are slipping through the cracks as overworked teachers simply don’t have the time or energy to address each individual student’s needs. They are being left behind in a system set up to fail them.
Do school boards need to take some accountability? Absolutely. A recent Alberta School Boards Association report found superintendent base salaries rose by 10 per cent between 2015 and 2016, while teachers’ salaries remained flat. At the same time, public sector CEO wages were frozen. That’s a clear problem.
It’s time to tackle this issue. It’s time to put students first.
Minister Eggen, lets have less talk and more action, because your vague response was not good enough.