Minister Jeff Johnson’s Task Force Attacks Teaching Profession

Alberta Teachers’ Association President Mark Ramsankar is calling today’s report of the Task Force for Teaching Excellence an assault on teachers and is raising serious concerns about direct ministerial interference in the work of the task force.

From the beginning, Johnson’s task force has lacked transparency and legitimacy. The politically driven recommendations have the potential to seriously undermine the culture of education in Alberta, a global leader in education. This seriously undermines teachers’ trust in and relationship with this Progressive Conservative government.

-Mark Ramsankar, ATA President  

The ATA has identified changes that are offensive to teachers and will undermine the culture of education in Alberta, including recommendations that

  • strip teachers of fundamental employment protections,
  • force recertification every 5 years,
  • grant teaching certificates to individuals who do not have a teaching degree,
  • fail to recognize fundamental differences between policing conduct and reviewing teacher professional practice,
  • turn principals from collaborative school leaders into factory bosses, and
  • attempt to extort compliance from the Association by threatening to remove principals from membership and/or break it up.

Ramsankar says the Association has received information from many very well-placed sources that indicate that Minister Johnson and his bureaucrats have been very active in directing the work of the task force, including the drafting of recommendations.

Ramsankar is calling on Premier Hancock to immediately and clearly outline the position of the government on the task force recommendations attacking the profession.

The Alberta Teachers’ Association, as the professional organization of teachers, promotes and advances public education, safeguards standards of professional practice and serves as the advocate for its 35,000 members.