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  #1  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2019, 6:51 PM
suburbia suburbia is offline
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Alberta education

There was a lot of conversation about education in the recent Alberta election, and I thought it worthy to put up a new thread on the topic.

Many people in Alberta do not realize that our systems and funding model are so different from most of Canada. I'll start by pointing out two anomalies:

1. Alberta accounts for 40% of all home-schooled children in Canada. On a net basis, we have 50% more home-schooled children in our province than has Ontario.

While categorical observations are unfair, what we do know is that:
  • Home-schooled children have a greater issue becoming integrated parts of broader society and they are not exposed to the full diversity of peoples in their younger years.
  • A higher proportion end up becoming part of disease outbreaks, directly as a result of a higher proportion of home-schooling families being anti-vax extremists.
  • Akin to the anti-vax observation above, home-schooled children have a higher chance of becoming a member of extremist groups, particularly alt-right and white supremacist extremist organizations.

2. Alberta has the highest skew of provincial tax dollars going to the non-public system of any province in Canada. The public system here includes the public school boards as well as charter schools, but does not include the publicly funded separate (Catholic) school board, other non-public boards, home-schooling, and private schools (who surprisingly net millions from public funds).

A massive issue here is the deterioration over time of the public system, as in older areas of cities, efficiency of operations takes a massive toll, with often half empty public schools being within a couple blocks of private or religious schools. Embracing a formula similar to one in British Columbia or even in Ontario would save several hundred million dollars annually, and certainly billions over the period of a decade.
The issue of a working integrated society free of extremism is an important theme in the above, because under the guise of diversity of education, the Provincial education policies may actually be enabling closed views. Recent articles and reports highlight this "Alberta Phenomenon":

Extremist groups in Alberta detailed in first-of-its-kind report
https://calgaryherald.com/news/local...s-kind-report/

‘Citizens don’t feel safe’ as hate fills Edmonton’s streets
https://www.thestar.com/edmonton/201...s-streets.html
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  #2  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2019, 8:43 PM
Corndogger Corndogger is offline
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Originally Posted by suburbia View Post
There was a lot of conversation about education in the recent Alberta election, and I thought it worthy to put up a new thread on the topic.

Many people in Alberta do not realize that our systems and funding model are so different from most of Canada. I'll start by pointing out two anomalies:

1. Alberta accounts for 40% of all home-schooled children in Canada. On a net basis, we have 50% more home-schooled children in our province than has Ontario.

While categorical observations are unfair, what we do know is that:
  • Home-schooled children have a greater issue becoming integrated parts of broader society and they are not exposed to the full diversity of peoples in their younger years.
  • A higher proportion end up becoming part of disease outbreaks, directly as a result of a higher proportion of home-schooling families being anti-vax extremists.
  • Akin to the anti-vax observation above, home-schooled children have a higher chance of becoming a member of extremist groups, particularly alt-right and white supremacist extremist organizations.

2. Alberta has the highest skew of provincial tax dollars going to the non-public system of any province in Canada. The public system here includes the public school boards as well as charter schools, but does not include the publicly funded separate (Catholic) school board, other non-public boards, home-schooling, and private schools (who surprisingly net millions from public funds).

A massive issue here is the deterioration over time of the public system, as in older areas of cities, efficiency of operations takes a massive toll, with often half empty public schools being within a couple blocks of private or religious schools. Embracing a formula similar to one in British Columbia or even in Ontario would save several hundred million dollars annually, and certainly billions over the period of a decade.
The issue of a working integrated society free of extremism is an important theme in the above, because under the guise of diversity of education, the Provincial education policies may actually be enabling closed views. Recent articles and reports highlight this "Alberta Phenomenon":

Extremist groups in Alberta detailed in first-of-its-kind report
https://calgaryherald.com/news/local...s-kind-report/

‘Citizens don’t feel safe’ as hate fills Edmonton’s streets
https://www.thestar.com/edmonton/201...s-streets.html
One lie after another and your post is 100% political. There's no need for another thread.
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Old Posted Apr 23, 2019, 8:52 PM
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One lie after another and your post is 100% political. There's no need for another thread.
If Suburbia went past the headline, he would know that the article focuses on Islamic Extremists, which does not fit his narrative
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Old Posted Apr 23, 2019, 10:14 PM
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Do you have citations for these numbers?
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  #5  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2019, 10:23 PM
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Statement 2 asserts that Catholic school boards are considered as non-public. Does it do the same for other provinces? This article reeks of Progress Alberta
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 1:48 AM
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I just remembered a spending cut I can fully get behind - get rid of Catholic schools RFN. Kenney, being a true blue blooded conservative should support that right? Right?
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 1:59 AM
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I just remembered a spending cut I can fully get behind - get rid of Catholic schools RFN. Kenney, being a true blue blooded conservative should support that right? Right?
Catholic education is a Charter right. That may or may not mean separate boards. The same goes for French language education.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 2:05 AM
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Apparently we used have racially segregated schools in Canada too. I guess they decided that law was old fashioned at some point, as we should today.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 3:03 AM
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I just remembered a spending cut I can fully get behind - get rid of Catholic schools RFN. Kenney, being a true blue blooded conservative should support that right? Right?
A lot of people would support such an idea. The curriculum could be changed to include religious classes where needed. My personal preference would be that if people want a religious slant on education that they send their kids to charter or private schools that focus on Catholic education.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 3:49 AM
suburbia suburbia is offline
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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
If Suburbia went past the headline, he would know that the article focuses on Islamic Extremists, which does not fit his narrative
Not sure what article you're reading exactly.

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Originally Posted by Doug View Post
Statement 2 asserts that Catholic school boards are considered as non-public. Does it do the same for other provinces? This article reeks of Progress Alberta
In Alberta, public funds support Catholic school board operations on a per student basis at about the same level they do for public school boards. In BC, they are supported at 50% or 35% depending on if the school operates at the same per student cost as the public system or not. In effect, a Catholic school in BC is akin to a private school, and the formula means that normalized by population, the number of Catholic schools in BC is wayyyy lower than in Alberta. Ontario has a different formula, but again, they are treated like private schools.

I do feel the Alberta model puts the public school boards at a relative disadvantage comparing with other provinces. It makes no sense from a fiscal conservative sense.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 3:51 AM
suburbia suburbia is offline
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My personal preference would be that if people want a religious slant on education that they send their kids to charter or private schools that focus on Catholic education.
Fully agree with you and milomilo on this. That's how the other provinces do it.

My other beef is actually with the home schooling piece. There are really not enough controls in place, and the result can be devastating for a child.
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  #12  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 4:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Corndogger View Post
A lot of people would support such an idea. The curriculum could be changed to include religious classes where needed. My personal preference would be that if people want a religious slant on education that they send their kids to charter or private schools that focus on Catholic education.
A lot of people would support it. Sadly, a lot of people wouldn't too, including Mr Kenney who would likely see it as an affront to humanity. I'm sure he publically believes all religions are equal, just one is more equal than the others.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 4:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Xelebes View Post
Do you have citations for these numbers?
There are a variety of references, so it depends on what you're looking for. For example, most of the home schooling data is from this report, which is a couple years old and uses data a couple years older than that:
https://www.fraserinstitute.org/blog...tinues-to-grow

In 2015, there were 26,646 children officially registered as being home schooled in Canada. Of that number, almost 10,000 were from Alberta (approximately 40%), followed by Ontario with about 6,500. Using the raw numbers, Alberta had 50% more than #2 Ontario, which of course has a much, much larger population.

Regarding health concerns relating from the anti-vax crowd, there is a lot of data pointing to some of Canada's biggest pockets being in rural Alberta, with some correlation to home-schooling parents (who often have a very overt extremist'ism religious belief). This recent article about the issue nationally goes on to list all of the outbreaks specifically in Alberta:
https://globalnews.ca/news/5110251/u...-rates-canada/

Quote:
A horseshoe-shaped area around Lethbridge, Alta., has seen 12 different outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. They include a rubella outbreak in 1996; measles outbreaks in 1997, 1999, 2013; a mumps outbreak in 2017; and six outbreaks of pertussis/whooping cough between 1999 and 2017.
Quote:
Dr. Suttorp says the reasons why immunization rates are low in the region are complex. Religious and cultural beliefs play a role, but across Canada, this community is not unique. Health officials have identified a number of other places across the country that are vulnerable to outbreaks because they are largely unprotected.

According to a 2014 Alberta Health Services presentation, those communities included Norwich (Oxford County), St. Catharines and Brantford in Ontario; the Lower Fraser Valley, Smithers and Vanderhoof in B.C.; and the Lacombe, Rimbey, Red Deer and Lethbridge-areas in Alberta.

Since then, surveillance data suggest vaccination coverage rates has dropped even further areas in some areas. According to Alberta Health, within the county of Lethbridge, 68.5 per cent of children had received the MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) vaccine in 2014, and by 2017 that rate had fallen to 64.5 per cent.

Data from the BC Centre for Disease Control suggests a similar trend. Within the Northern Health region (which contains the communities of Smithers and Vanderhoof), 65 per cent of children were considered up-to-date with their vaccinations in 2014. By 2017 that number had fallen to 63 per cent.
Regarding home schooling correlation with anti-vax families, there are numerous articles one could pick from. Do a search on Google and you'll see many dozen relevant ones. Many of these families are the same extremist types that a.) don't want their kids exposed to the ills of society, and b.) know that there are more closely watched regulations and vaccination regiments at schools (particularly public schools) so see home schooling as a legit option.

If you think of very well known cases of extremism, such as Bountiful, BC or the kid who had meningitis but wasn't taken to a hospital and ended up dying when the parents focused solely on homeopathy, home schooling was there. Think his name was Ezekiel Stephan.

https://nationalpost.com/news/canada...zekiel-stephan
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The extended Stephan clan sprawls across a stretch of Southern Alberta known for rolling hills and cattle pastures, about three hours’ drive south of Calgary in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. It’s home to quaint towns like Cardston, Magrath and Raymond; Hutterites, Dutch Calvinists and Mormons historically settled the area after fleeing government persecution. People here hew to an earthy conservatism that’s touched with individualism and a healthy distrust of authority. The region is dotted with billboards that read “More Alberta, less Ottawa.”

Some of the groups here subscribe to old-fashioned dress codes, home or community schooling and a distrust of modern medicine. There is a notoriously low co-operation with vaccination schedules, and outbreaks of whooping cough and measles are becoming more common.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 4:17 AM
suburbia suburbia is offline
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I should add -

This topic is interesting because it is at the intersection of a number of threads that are normally looked at within separate silos. This intersection is of 1.) Extremism, 2.) Public Health (anti-vax), 3.) Education (limited over-sight with home schooling), and 4.) Fiscal prudence (or lack there of).

I get that there is a political bent to some of this, but it doesn't lessen the importance of these matters. These issues are systemic and are hidden under layers. Sometimes their defense is labeled supporting diversity of education (which is ironic, because it supports extremist forms to fester and indoctrinate the next generation). The impact on health is massive, because if 90% of kids were in public schools, the vaccination gaps would be minuscule.
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Old Posted Apr 24, 2019, 4:36 AM
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https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/...ols-in-alberta
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If Catholic schools received the same level of subsidy as all other religious schools in Alberta, Albertans would save $530 million annually to redirect towards the provincial deficit or hire 5,300 more teachers for the public school system. To use another comparator, if Alberta funded its Catholic schools at 50 per cent of per-pupil funding — the same level as in British Columbia — Alberta taxpayers would save a staggering $880 million annually.
Regarding comments about the constitution and the Alberta Act of 1905, if Alberta wanted to make the change, the Feds would not disagree, and it could be done. The amount of dollars and inequality we are talking about warrant pursuing.
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2019, 7:34 PM
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Catholic schools in Alberta do act as public schools. They follow the Alberta Curriculum, Take students regardless of creed (but must agree not to fight the catholic nature of the school), ability or means. And they, along with alternative programs within public boards, tend to produce equally good outcomes for their students; and isn't that what education should be all about?

By all means don't spend public money to build duplicate facilities in new neighbourhoods, but in the cities and larger towns where those schools exist and are in demand and continue to meet the requirements of the Alberta curriculum proposals for de-funding appears to be vindictive on the part of activists and empire-building when espoused by public school boards - if the point of public education is education then there's no basis for denying instructional funding to any child in any school that meets the curriculum.
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2019, 7:44 PM
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If there are specific issues that need to be addressed, like vaccinations, they can be addressed directly, perhaps by making conformance on those issues a condition to receive funding. Homeschooling I believe does need more regulation, more conformance to specific educational goals.

But I know of homeschool families who do so because they have special needs, or because they are remote from schools that would work for them. To withdraw support will only increase distrust of the government (and progressives who support such things), and increase costs to the public system when they return.
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Old Posted Apr 25, 2019, 7:58 PM
Mikemike Mikemike is online now
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Originally Posted by suburbia View Post
I should add -

This topic is interesting because it is at the intersection of a number of threads that are normally looked at within separate silos. This intersection is of 1.) Extremism, 2.) Public Health (anti-vax), 3.) Education (limited over-sight with home schooling), and 4.) Fiscal prudence (or lack there of).

I get that there is a political bent to some of this, but it doesn't lessen the importance of these matters. These issues are systemic and are hidden under layers. Sometimes their defense is labeled supporting diversity of education (which is ironic, because it supports extremist forms to fester and indoctrinate the next generation). The impact on health is massive, because if 90% of kids were in public schools, the vaccination gaps would be minuscule.
It's different for homeschool, but catholic schools and the vast majority of independent schools do support vaccination just as public schools do, besides some hesitance toward vaccines for things like HPV that are not contagious in the same way that measles is.

Extremism can spread in any type of school (wasn't Jim Keegstra in a public school?). Hate should be stopped and expunged, most definitely, but targeting all non-public schools in order to do so is as over-broad and hits as many innocent by-standers as does targeting all muslims "because Islamic terror".
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Old Posted Apr 26, 2019, 6:32 AM
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Extremism can spread in any type of school
Yes, it "can" spread anywhere, but for all of the reasons that we've already discussed and backed with data, we know that it festers the most in home school environments.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/progre...shackled-beds/
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Old Posted Apr 27, 2019, 6:09 PM
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Editorial: Fight extremism
https://edmontonjournal.com/opinion/...ight-extremism

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The province has a history of producing more than its share of zealots. In 1930, the Ku Klux Klan had 50 chapters in Alberta with up to 8,000 members.
Quote:
It didn’t help that federal politicians such as Andrew Scheer and Maxime Bernier gave speeches in February to a travelling yellow-vest protest where pipeline advocacy was tainted with anti-immigrant rhetoric and calls for violence.
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As the report notes, Alberta lacks sufficient awareness, training and the capacity to fight extremist views. Agencies and programs that combat hate need more educational resources, training and co-ordination.
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