Alberta Premier Jason Kenney wants to “bring common sense to education.” He has insinuated teachers are not already accountable to their students and suggested that “failed teaching fads” including “inquiry learning” are responsible for the decline in student scores measured by the Program for International Student Assessment, better known as PISA.
Both Kenney’s diagnosis and his prescriptions are misguided, even harmful: the main problems plaguing Alberta students’ performance isn’t the way math is taught but inequality and huge classes.
I am an associate professor of education at St. Mary’s University specializing in curriculum and instruction, and a Calgarian with kids of my own. I help educate future elementary teachers, and I’ve taught in California when the use of standardized testing was accelerated. I also research