TORONTO, ON – Sep 11 2017 — The Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO) is urging the Ontario government to reconsider its intention to destream grade 9 courses as a strategy to promote equity in the province’s schools. The possibility that academic streaming could be discontinued was raised in the Ministry of Education’s Equity Action Plan, released last week.
“OSSTF/FEESO is a strong supporter of initiatives that promote equity and help all students achieve their full potential,” said OSSTF/FEESO President Harvey Bischof. “But we’ve seen no supporting research or evidence-based rationale for the introduction of destreaming as a strategy for student success. On the contrary, our relatively recent experience shows that destreaming had serious negative effects on the learning environment and was abandoned in 1999 for that reason.”
“Destreaming would constitute a radical departure from current practice, and is now being considered in the absence of any discussion of its potential effects on instructional quality. OSSTF/FEESO is always ready to participate in meaningful dialogue, but the Ministry is promoting this idea without any consultation with frontline education workers. In the end, pedagogy, not politics, should drive significant changes in the education system,” concluded Bischof.
OSSTF/FEESO, founded in 1919, has 60,000 members across Ontario. They include public high school teachers, occasional teachers, educational assistants, continuing education teachers and instructors, early childhood educators, psychologists, secretaries, speech-language pathologists, social workers, plant support personnel, university support staff, and many others in education.