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Parents deserve evidence, not anecdotes on inclusive education reform

  • January 30, 2020
  • Published by NSTU1

On Tuesday, the Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Cathy Montreuil appeared at the Provincial standing committee on human resources to discuss inclusive education.

I won’t rehash her talking points, but it’s fair to say that many teachers and parents were less than “thrilled” with some of her comments. Their personal experience in our public education system is a far cry from Deputy Montreuil’s narrative.

Deputy Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Cathy Montreuil

While it’s good that the Deputy is enthusiastic about improving the inclusive education model, students and their families in urgent need of reform deserve more than government rhetoric and a couple of anecdotes.

The final report from the Commission on Inclusive Education is now almost two years old. The NSTU remains steadfastly in support of this transformative document and the potential it holds for our public education system. But for the plan to be effective, it needs to be fully implemented, and there is little indication this is happening.

In fact, to this point, it does not appear that the majority of the recommendations in the report have been adopted on time or at all.  When the NDP filed a freedom of information request for the government’s internal tacking document on inclusive education, the entire document (save for one line) was redacted.

Government says its doing an amazing job, just don’t ask them to prove it.

While I understand the desire of department officials to put a positive spin on their own performance, families struggling with the current model deserve transparency and the truth. They need to know when change is going to happen, and whether or not this change is successful. This requires concrete answers and evidence, not platitudes.

– Paul Wozney