Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pascal report, and coverage galore

As someone who has been asking when the heck Dr. Charles Pascal's report on early learning would be issued for some time know, it was sheer circumstance (Murphy's Law?) that it would come out at the exact time I was 41,000 feet above solid land on a flight home. It's old news by this point the report was released at Queen's Park Monday morning, then spoken to by Premier Dalton McGuinty later the same day whilst he was touring an elementary school.
There was plenty of coverage to be found wherever you looked:
Of course there was also reaction, from the various stakeholder groups who would feel the impact of government action on early learning. Perhaps the most bone-headed was the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario's who, of course, don't want anyone except teachers "teaching" in schools. Typical union, looking out for its members and only its members first. Thousands of parents would disagree with its perspective their children learned less from early childhood educators in their childcare centres. Teachers already work together with plenty of other people who help them educate children, ECEs would simply be one more group.
I'm sure ETFO's opposed to the recommended early learning additional qualification course requirement that's in the report too-- presupposing everyone with a B.Ed. knows how to deal with preschoolers. ECEs are (now) professionally accredited in Ontario, and have studied and concentrated on this specific age group in most cases. Why not use their talents in the highest and best use?
Personally, I enjoyed reading the report and hope many if not all of its recommendations see the light of day. The report would bring around the kind of change first envisioned by the Best Start program several years ago-- the program canned by Ontario after the feds pulled out of the joint children's services agreement to give parents of those under six a measly tax credit.
This shouldn't be a pissing match between the various sectors currently involved in providing childcare and early learning options for families. It's about moving forward to a goal of providing as many useful and relevant options as possible in the most logical manner.
Organizing early learning under one roof, centering it in schools that act as hubs and whose tentacles reach all students eventually anyway is an idea that has long passed its time to be implemented.


Anonymous said...

Typical union (ETFO), looking out for its members and only its members first.
I disagree. ETFO doesn't look out for its membership, but looks for ways to increase their number of members.

Education Reporter said...

Good point.