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Articles on Public education

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A U.S. Federal Marshal escorts Gail Etienne to her first day of school on Nov. 14, 1960. Underwood Archives/Getty Images

A New Orleans community center rises from its ugly history as a segregated school

In the early 1960s, the McDonogh 19 school was the site of fierce opposition to racial integration. The building is now owned by one of the Black girls who first integrated the school.
The Ontario government is partnering with Menkes Development to build the Lower Yonge Precinct Elementary School in a new mixed-use condominium. (Shutterstock)

‘Vertical school’ in a Toronto condo raises questions about public-private education partnerships

When private contractors build schools they don’t necessarily meet the needs of communities for a lower cost than what governments can provide, and there’s less public accountability.
The solution to better education in Canada isn’t a national department. Here, children sit at St. Barnabas Catholic School in Scarborough, Ont., on Oct. 27, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)

COVID-19 shows the cracks in public education – here’s how to repair them

Statistics Canada could help provinces and territories design and implement interventions to improve schooling quality, and governments should better engage with the public.
Teacher activism in the U.S. has helped pushed the Democratic party towards renewed investment in public education. Children listen as former president Barack Obama campaigns for Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden, Oct. 21, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/ Matt Slocum)

How teachers’ union activism helped shift the U.S. election debate on education

The push to expand charter schools in the U.S. contributed to a robust movement of teachers’ unions and allies demanding a well-resourced public school system.
Signs direct the flow of student traffic at Kensington Community School amid the COVID-19 pandemic on Sept. 1, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio

‘Pandemic pods’ may undermine promises of public education

The turn to private funding of education reduces the responsibility of governments to adequately fund schools and to ensure all children have access to high-quality education programming.
Beginning in September in Alberta, an individual can apply directly to the provincial government when seeking to establish a new charter school. Here, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, March 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson

Charter schools: What you need to know about their anticipated growth in Alberta

First, the United Conservative Party lifted the cap on charter schools, and now new legislation has cut school boards out of the process to establish a charter school.
Many parents feel compelled to pay school fees, even while they feel they shouldn’t have to. (Shutterstock)

School fees undermine public education’s commitment to equity

Some parents in Québec are being reimbursed after a ruling that they were overcharged school fees. If taxes cover public schools, should parents have to pay at all?
Lead-based paint is being found in roughly half of schools that do inspections, a federal report reveals. Carlos Osario/AP

Lead-based paint found in half of all inspected schools

A federal report reveals that most school districts are failing to inspect their buildings for lead-based paint hazards and, when they do, often fail to tell parents about what they found.
Students at the Parana Federal University in Curitiba, Brazil, protest planned cuts to federal spending on higher education planned by President Jair Bolsonaro’s right-wing government, May 30, 2019. The banner reads ‘In defense of education.’ Reuters/Rodolfo Buhrer

Brazilian universities fear Bolsonaro plan to eliminate humanities and slash public education budgets

Brazil’s new president was elected on promises to radically restructure Brazil. But proposed education spending cuts and curricular changes have students and teachers marching in the streets.
Many provinces are focused on constraining the growth of teaching and staffing costs in education. Here, Ontario Premier Doug Ford with United Conservative Party leader Jason Kenney, in Calgary, Oct. 5, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh

Alberta election shows the threat to public education in Canada

In calls for dramatic action to overhaul education in the name of improvement and efficiencies, we see the impact of global trends in privatization.
Many classroom assessment strategies have a positive impact on student learning but, because they are not standardized, can also contribute to the problem of grade inflation. (Shutterstock)

Educators must commit now to tackle grade inflation

Recent news that at least one Ontario university adjusts for grade inflation during the undergraduate application process is a call to action – for long-term educational change.

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