New campaign brings parents and teachers together to ensure no student is left behind
The government’s reckless changes to public education are putting our children’s future at risk.
That’s the message coming out of a new campaign launched this week by the Alberta Teachers’ Association.
|A new public relations campaign produced by the ATA in partnership with the Alberta School Councils’ Association aims to put pressure on government to make decisions that support public education.
The campaign is designed to respond to a number of threats facing Alberta’s world-class public education system, from the problematic draft curriculum, to larger class sizes, to funding cuts. Produced in partnership with the Alberta School Councils’ Association (ASCA), the campaign is intended to build awareness and support for education by building an alliance of parents and teachers who will stand up and fight back for Alberta’s children and their futures.
“These changes cannot stand,” says ATA president Jason Schilling. “As teachers, we know funding cuts, class sizes and these changes to the curriculum can be dangerous.”
Schilling says the consequences can be severe: students will experience learning gaps in important subjects while receiving an overload of irrelevant and inappropriate information. Funding and classroom issues mean a lack of individual time with teachers, the loss of special education supports and reduced access to programs.
As a parent, ASCA president Brandi Rai is also concerned.
“These children are the future leaders of our province — the decisions we make about public education now will affect all of us.”
The ATA’s new campaign highlights these issues and encourages supporters to take action.
The campaign launched with a video that focuses on children’s experiences through the challenges of these attacks on education. The impactful spot features metaphors grounded in truth — school hallway lights dramatically turning off, books slamming shut as students try to read them — to convey the message of children being left behind. The video ends with a rallying call for the viewer to join parents, teachers and school boards to stand up for public education.
In addition to this ad, the ATA will also be producing a series of videos featuring personal and poignant interviews from teachers and parents. These videos focus on their lived experiences and reflect the importance of public education and the impact these drastic changes will have.
Each video focuses on a different side of the story: students’ futures in jeopardy, teachers not being consulted in the curriculum drafting process and the impact on the future of Alberta.
“This campaign is the first step toward our goal of building pressure for government decisions that are pro-public education,” says Schilling. “We are fighting to ensure the government understands that this is a big issue for Albertans.”
Schilling says the campaign will turn up the pressure on MLAs and encourage them to push back against the draft curriculum, funding cuts and increasing class sizes. He hopes they might begin speaking up in their caucus and the legislature in support of public education.
“Teachers and parents will always put kids first,” Schilling says. “Through the pandemic, we have been working together to ensure students continue to have the best opportunities to learn and be safe doing so. Now we are coming together once again to fight for their education, their opportunities and their futures.” ❚
WHERE WILL I SEE IT?
The campaign will include
- Television ads
- Preroll video for streaming services and online
- Radio ads
- Ads on Google, Facebook and other social media sites
- Documentary videos
For how long?
- The campaign will run from Oct. 11 to Nov. 15.
- Additional media messages will run again in January.
- Advocacy and social media initiatives will run throughout the school year.
HOW TO STAND UP: Sign the open letter at StandForEducation.ca.