JOHN CHUCKMAN COMMENT: KATHLEEN WYNNE A DISASTER AS PREMIER – MCGUINTY REINCARNATED – BUYING TEACHER SUPPORT – WIPING OUT WORTHWHILE EFFORTS   Leave a comment

JOHN CHUCKMAN

AN EXTENSION OF COMMENTS POSTED TO AN ARTICLE IN TORONTO’S GLOBE AND MAIL

I am not a Conservative, but already it is apparent that Kathleen Wynne, the new Liberal leader, is a disaster as premier.

She has exactly Dalton McGuinty’s smarmy instincts and political ethics.

One of the only worthwhile things done in his decade as the most irresponsible and inept premier in memory was his reminding the teachers of the fact that they are employees of the public at a time of fiscal difficulty.

This woman has wiped out the effort entirely.

And just look at her other acts over so brief a time as premier.

The investigation she launched into the cancer-drug scandal was genuinely McGuintyesque, a way to delay and put-off while appearing to do something. Any good private investigator could have got to the bottom of the matter in 3 days.

Her recent initiative on wind farms represents virtually no change from McGuinty’s high-handed ways. In Britain, for example, the government is giving local municipalities a veto over them.

Wynne has done nothing of substance about McGuinty’s several scandals of mismanagement.

No changes at e-Health beyond McGuinty’s last appointment resigning and getting a Golden Handshake for solving nothing at the troubled agency.

No changes in our forgotten air-ambulance scandal.

Her recent change in teacher education requirements are leftover initiatives of McGuinty.

The cutting of places in education colleges was something which should have been done years ago. It’s just basic housekeeping never kept up with, not reform.

The new two-year requirement for graduates is backward. Many other jurisdictions have realized that “teachers’ colleges” are ineffective. Putting well-educated and motivated young people – or indeed, not-so-young – into class rooms is what we need. Learn-by-doing under, say, two years of mentoring by experienced teachers is the reform we need.

Teachers’ colleges are staffed by teachers who dropped out of the classroom, who promote unscientific, and even plainly silly, theories about how things are done, and who use language which calls a spade a manually-operated excavating machine. Any intelligent young person will learn how their skills best serve teaching during a couple of years practicing, not the 80 days now proposed for teachers’ colleges and certainly not the present standard of 40 days.

Hasn’t our government learned anything about education? The previous director of TDSB was hired by people who clearly did not know what they were doing. He was likely awarded his doctorate by an education faculty who also did not know what it was doing.

Ontario schools are by no measure outstanding. Our public education is a leader in nothing. We don’t even compare to the world’s most successful systems. The computer hasn’t yet been integrated with many teachers unable to use them and our schools not supplying them to all students, a longstanding practice in a number of jurisdictions.

But this government can tell young people if they just spend more time in education faculties and waste more resources, adding costs and debt, they’ll be able to do a better job. Nonsense.

If “found money” – money supposedly suddenly discovered in declining enrollments – went anywhere, except applied to the deficit where it genuinely belonged, it should have gone towards obtaining computers for our students, but then we still have many teachers who cannot use a computer. Many jurisdictions put lap-tops into each student’s hands, but not Ontario, bastion of teachers’ union interests and second-rate education.

I’m going to vote Conservative for the first time in my life at the next provincial election, and I’m not even attracted to the leader, Mr. Hudak. A decade of McGuinty was enough, and Wynne shows every promise of being even worse.

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