Questions By Members, 25 June 2015
Source: Legislative Assembly of PEI

Progress monitoring and student learning

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you very much, Mr. Speaker.

A question to the Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture: Could the minister please explain the importance of progress monitoring in improving student learning?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Mr. Perry: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Progress monitoring is a vital role within the school system. It’s a system that we do value and we continue to have that in our system, even though there is talk that it’s going to be taken away.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his first supplementary.

Progress monitoring removal

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Indeed I was talking with a teacher this morning who’s responsible for that who’s deadly scared and quite convinced it is, indeed, going to be taken away.

A great deal of attention has been paid to cuts in teaching positions and with good cause because it’s of course, critically important to student achievement. However, this change that will perhaps have a far more serious and long-term implication for our education system has been largely overlooked, this moving of the curriculum from the board to your department.

The government recently announced that it will be moving this curriculum delivery team which implements, amongst other things, progress monitoring from the English Language School Board to the department.

On the surface that might seem like a pretty harmless thing, but I’ve received a lot of emails, and I’ve had several discussions with teachers involved in that process, who are very concerned that this will undermine progress monitoring and the benefits that this brings to our students.

The programs of the curriculum delivery team are implemented at the school level so it makes much more sense to me, and to those people involved, that these programs be administered at the school board rather than at the department.

Could the minister explain why, after investing time, money and expertise in this modern advancement to our education system on Prince Edward Island, that the government has decided to undermine progress monitoring by removing it from the school board, and what actions his department will take to ensure that this critical tool for teachers is not lost?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Mr. Perry: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

Progress monitoring, as it is, will not be taken out of the school system. This alignment is going to help us focus on priorities that are crucial to the success of our Island students.

Speaker: The hon. Leader of the Third Party for his second supplementary question.

Progress monitoring removal and school board

Dr. Bevan-Baker: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

The discussions that I have had with the individuals involved, they are less than convinced that that is indeed going to be the case. I think the public of Prince Edward Island needs to know the value of progress monitoring. It’s almost like an academic health record that can be passed from class to class, from teacher to teacher, from school to school, very individualized to each personal student, so that their progress can be monitored from year to year and their individual needs met.

The English Language School Board’s 10-year strategic plan is under pinned throughout by progress monitoring. By removing this curriculum delivery team and progress monitoring from the school board, the government has effectively scrapped this board’s long-term plan. I’m assuming that this decision was done in collaboration with the school board.

A question to the minister: Does the school board agree with this decision?

Speaker: The hon. Minister of Education, Early Learning and Culture.

Mr. Perry: Thank you, Mr. Speaker.

I cannot speak on behalf of the school board, but I can tell you that we do have discussions that are taking place. We are going to make this transition as easy and smooth as possible. Our focus is on our school and on our students.

 

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