In about a month, I will be travelling to Beijing and Hanghzou China with Jonathan So to participate in the 3rd Annual China Elementary Education International Conference.
Jonathan and I were invited by Ann Lieberman through our involvement with the Teacher Learning and Leadership Program. We are very grateful to have been selected and we hope to represent Ontario educators well.
Jonathan and I are guests that represent Ontario Education. I have been wondering, what makes Ontario’s education system so great? Why do other countries want to know what we are up to?
Education in Ontario is Pretty Great
Did you know that our school system here in Ontario is one of the best in the world?
Did you know that our province has seen a 15% increase in graduation rates and 17% increase in achievement of provincial standards in grade 3 and 6 over the last 10 years? Also, we have closed the achievement gaps between English Language Learners and those students for whom English is their first language.
Not bad. We still have a lot of work to do, but this is good improvement.
And, we are striving to get even better
For ten years, our education system in Ontario has been improving at a steady rate. What’s next?
Three words: Inspire, innovate, transform.
In April 2014, the Ministry of Education released Achieving Excellence: A Renewed Vision for Education in Ontario.
The overall mission is to see success and well-being for every learner from early child care through to adult. Schools should build “knowledge, skills, characteristics” to help learners become “personally successful, economically productive and actively engaged citizens.”
The province of Ontario has 4 clear goals:
- achieving excellence
- ensuring equity
- promoting well-being
- enhancing public confidence
There is a big emphasis on technology for actualizing these goals, especially when it comes to the achieving excellence goal. Below you can see the very first point in the action plan for achieving excellence is to invest in technology.
Ontario has a renewed vision for education. These goals will be measured and yes, EQAO data is part of the picture. I am cheerful to see from the Achieving Excellence document that there will be a broader focus on gathering data beyond reading, writing and math (through EQAO). There is a a fresh feeling of change and think I see that the government will be looking at broader indicators of success.
Inspire. Innovate. Transform. Focus on excellence, equity, wellness and engaging parents and the broader community.