With technology today we have a few sources of information available on the internet. The Education, Equality and Accountability Office EQAO provides results from standardized tests across the Province which test reading, writing and math. The Frasier Institute provides school ‘report cards’ which show how well schools perform over a number of years. In conjunction with this information a buyer may visit a school of interest for a personal tour.
We could argue all day about the merits of standardized testing. One of my favourite indicators is class size. You can put the best teacher with a max class size and watch their effectiveness drop. I’m not at liberty to comment on what the ideal class size should be in our schools but too many students can effect your child’s education. What I do believe, is that our children should be participating in one hour of physical education every day…no questions.
School should be about math, languages and science but we shouldn’t disregard some life long skills such as physical fitness, health and nutrition.
We spend too much money as a country on fixing things once they break, when we should be investing in our future with preventative and proactive programs for our children and their collective well-being.
I think one of the most eye-opening videos of our time given by Sir Ken Robinson at TED in 2006 provides a totally different view on education. See it here
I don’t think we should diminish skilled trades and talents outside of the box of our current school system. My experience through public school, private school and University was very rewarding however, I have to say that some of the skills I learned working in construction during the summer months were equally valuable. There’s an intrinsic value in building or fixing something that is more than just a learned skill. These tasks are a foundation for future growth and confidence. Tackling more difficult tasks in the future or at very least having the confidence to give an effort in an area where you may have no experience at all builds strength.
Grades and school rankings may be important but perhaps helping our children find their talent, skill or passion in life is even more important.