Teachers Call for Stop to Curriculum Implementation

Release Date 2021 04 15

The Alberta Teachers’ Association is calling for the Government of Alberta to stop all work on the piloting and implementation of the draft curriculum until an independent, open and full review and rewrite can occur.

The Association is publishing full-page ads in daily newspapers across Alberta tomorrow to issue the call for a moratorium and to show support for school boards and teachers that decide not to participate in piloting.

“Alberta’s students and teachers require an appropriate and workable curriculum. The government is being told loudly and clearly that this curriculum is unacceptable. We now need the government to announce a stop to their implementation plans and to spell out a new way forward.”

Jason Schilling, ATA president

ATA president Jason Schilling says the Association supports school boards that have decided not to pilot this draft curriculum, and he calls on all school authorities to refrain from directing their teachers to participate in piloting.

“Teachers who believe this curriculum is unsound and potentially damaging to student learning have the professional responsibility and moral right to refuse to participate in voluntary piloting. The government and school boards must respect the decision of individual teachers to not participate in piloting.”

Jason Schilling, ATA president

Although the teaching profession is frustrated by being left out of the curriculum development process, Schilling says teachers are more than willing to assist the government with a rewrite that reflects their extensive expertise and knowledge.

“We are committed to supporting the development of a high-quality curriculum, and the ATA is prepared to work constructively in partnership with the Government of Alberta toward that end. It is the only workable path forward. We just need to be invited.”

Jason Schilling, ATA president

The call follows the release of preliminary survey results showing that 91 per cent of teachers and school administrators are unhappy with the draft curriculum, with three in four teachers stating that they are “very unhappy.” The survey also showed that 90 per cent of elementary school teachers feel uncomfortable about teaching the new K–6 curriculum, and 95 per cent of principals feel uncomfortable about supporting the curriculum in their school and community.

The ATA is directing parents and the public who are concerned about the draft curriculum to pledge support for the moratorium and review by visiting curriculum.thelearningteam.ca.

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 46,000 members.

View the text of the Association’s advertisements and call for a moratorium in English and French.