Class size is an issue that is an ongoing concern for us, in fact it was one of the first issues we organized around. Unfortunately, it is an issue that is still looking for leadership and solutions. We’ve written a letter to the Minister of Education proposing a targeted strategy in the spirit of the Own the Podium initiative.
November 21, 2018
Dear Honorable Minister of Education;
RE: Class Size Initiative
As you know, Support Our Students Alberta is a non-profit, volunteer run, public education advocacy organization. We formed in early 2015 around front line education issues like class sizes, transportation and under resourcing of schools.
The issues we formed around still exist today. One of the larger unaffected issues around education is large class sizes. As you are aware, no Alberta government has been able to affect positive change towards meeting the Alberta Commission on Learning recommendations of 2003.
The ACOL recommendations are as follows:
K-3 Recommended class size 17
4-6 Recommended class size 23
7-9 Recommended class size 25
10-12 Recommended class size 27
As you know we are nowhere near meeting these targets for Alberta students. As you are also aware, 3.3 billion dollars has been invested in class size initiatives, with no tangible success.
As a result, Support Our Students Alberta is suggesting the Alberta government implement initiatives that have proven successful in setting and meeting targets.
In 2004 in an attempt to improve Canada’s performance in winter Olympics a non-profit organization was formed to improve our nations results in the games. The result was a multidisciplinary organization, that set timelines and targets. Own the Podium has been by most measures wildly successful in identifying a need, and then working towards meeting goals.
SOS Alberta feels strongly that money, like the 3.3 billion dollars already put towards class size initiatives would be better served if it followed the Own The Podium model.
A multidisciplinary, and multi-level initiative that includes the Government of Alberta, school boards, municipalities, public education advocates (like SOS), the ATA, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Child Services to create timed targets (school builds, staff hires and progressive targets for class sizes) following the existing Own The Podium model would best serve this long standing issue.
If the province and nation can make and meet emissions targets and Olympic targets, we should be able to do the same for classroom targets. #OwnTheClassroom
We would love to meet with you, Honourable Minister David Eggen to further discuss this possibility at your earliest convenience.
Many kind thanks,
Carolyn Blasetti, Executive Director SOS
Barbara Silva, Communications Director SOS