Here's its summary of recommendations:
It's an interesting list -- many of the items could be reduced to asking for more money for programs or positions that ultimately benefit ETFO members. There's nothing innately wrong with that since ETFO is ETFO so it can advocate for its members. Readers here will already know I'm not often convinced by student-first veneers painted on federation tactics as really, a union's first job is to advocate for its memebrs, the people who after all pay the bills. There are some good suggestion in there however, which shouldn't just be dismissed because the federation is the one suggesting them.
- Establish a two-year moratorium on EQAO testing to allow for public consultations on the uses, value, and impact of the current provincial testing regime.
- Consider adopting a random sample model to measure the appropriateness of the curriculum and the effectiveness of teaching strategies.
- Place more emphasis on the role of ongoing teacher assessment of student progress.
- Establish more balance between literacy and numeracy and other subjects including science, social studies, the arts, and physical and health education.
- Increase the elementary foundation grant (EFG) to provide all elementary schools with specialist teachers in the arts, and health and physical education.
- Increase the EFG to provide all grade 7 and 8 students with access to design and technology programs.
- Increase the EFG to provide at least one qualified teacher-librarian per elementary school.
- Increase the EFG to provide at least one qualified guidance counsellor per elementary school.
- Reduce the number of prescribed student outcomes and identify, instead, a set of core learning goals.
- Provide all elementary classrooms with resources that support hands-on, experiential learning.
- Extend the benefits of smaller classes to grades 4 to 8.
- Reduce the average class size of the full-day early learning kindergarten program to align with other primary grades.
- Establish a process to better track class size and maintain class size targets throughout the school year.
- Base the special education grants on the educational needs of students.
- Increase the funding allocation for educational assistants, counsellors, and child and youth workers.
- Revise the English as a second language (ESL) grants to more accurately reflect the number of students who don’t speak English when they enrol at school.
- Revise the ESL grants to increase the capacity of schools to extend ESL programs to students who need the support beyond four years.
- Provide classroom resources to support the Equity and Inclusive Education Strategy.
- Provide professional learning that addresses discrimination and oppression of marginalized students.
- Provide specific compensatory grants for schools in disadvantaged communities to support additional learning materials, field trips, and in-school arts programs.
- Reaffirm the provincial plan to reduce child and family poverty by 25 percent by 2013.
- Mandate school boards to provide child care services before and after school and during school breaks.
- Where space is available, use schools to establish community hubs.
With party platforms still a few months away at best -- I wouldn't expect the first one to come out until the spring of 2011, so we can spend the summer getting tired of them -- I'm curious to see what the reaction to this document is. Will it land with a thud that no one hears? Should it?
ETFO also appears to be first out of the gate on this-- a quick scan of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers' Federation and the Ontario English Catholic Teachers' Association shows no similar document.