Thursday, June 4, 2009

We all hate the SIF: PFE

People for Education sent out an e-mail to its contacts Wednesday, proudly proclaiming a 'unanimous verdict' on the Ministry of Education's School Information Finder. The list (below) includes 21 education-sector stakeholders, all of whom have agreed the SIF is the devil reincarnated. A new letter has been sent to Premier Dalton McGuinty and Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne as a result, with two requests and a question:
1. The group requests that promised consultations on the site begin immediately and that they include all stakeholders and allow for broad discussion.
2. The group requests the site be removed while the consultation takes place.
3. The group wonders who is supporting the site? They note that the Premier and the Minister have said there is support for the site. Given the agreement among all the recognized education stakeholders, they are surprised by this and have requested the Premier and theMinister provide information as to the identity of the supporters.
I'm not alone in blogging about the SIF, the reaction to it and the now-infamous "school bag" function and even the alternate site setup to provide the comparative feature removed from the original SIF site soon after its launch.
The site should continue to stay active, and as to PFE's question-- gee, lemme think about that. The site couldn't handle the traffic when it was launched. A $5 FOI request on the site's web data would no doubt show just how popular it is.
Move on, PFE. School boards are all staring at precarious budget situations, where in many boards the cuts won't avoid the classroom. Pump out more of your reports that provide valued information and commentary on what's happening in K-12 schools in this province. Keep focused on that and not the SIF.

The list of stakeholders:
Association des conseils scolaires des écoles publiques de l'Ontario
Association des directions et directions adjointes des écoles franco-ontariennesAssociation des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens
Association franco-ontarienne des conseils scolaires catholiques
Catholic Principals’ Council of Ontario
Council of Ontario Directors of Education
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario
Ontario Association of Deans of Education
Ontario Association of Parents in Catholic Education
Ontario Catholic School Trustees’ Association
Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association
Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association
Ontario Federation of Home and School Associations
Ontario Principals’ Council
Ontario Public School Boards’ Association
Ontario Public Supervisory Officials’ Association
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation
Ontario Student Trustees’ Association
Ontario Teachers’ Federation
People for Education
Parents partenaires en éducation


educ8m said...

Notice who the "partners" are and that several education groups have been shut out of the discussion. People for Education do not speak for all parents in this province. They have already been referred to as apologists for the teachers' unions by one of our national newspapers.

Parents love the site--I think the "partners" should just get over it and start doing something about acheivement.

I think it would be great if there was more information provided==programs, teaching methods used, etc. Let parents choose.

Anonymous said...

Technically, a majority government doesn't have to list to anyone, or consult.

Parents I know really like the new School Finder feature.

All these groups listed prove is how out of touch they've become.

Given that we're spending more money on educating children in this province, the public wants to see just how our kids are doing based on fact.

Take a good look at the school boards in crisis around the province right now. Whether it be Bluewater over a board and admin. out of touch with community, or Thames Valley's accommodation puzzle, or the Toronto Catholic board's lack of leadership....
I'd say that none of the organizations on the list gets a vote of confidence from me.

I guess this is what they pay dues for?