Nova Scotians overspend for the education their children receive. Nova Scotia educational spending is up 25% while enrollment has dropped 17% over ten years; that adds up to a spending increase of over 40% per student. Yet we rank mediocre to poor in reading, science and math outcomes (see above). Clearly more spending is not the answer. We need to change our educational paradigm.
The Atlantica Party’s Solution? Imitate the systems that work best!
For example Finland. Finland overhauled their educational system starting forty years ago. Today they consistently rank as the number one (!) educational system in the world.
- Raise the educational standards for teachers (at least a master’s degree) akin to other professions like engineers of doctors.
- Eliminate standardized testing except for an exit exam.
- De-emphasize homework.
- Lessen banding.
- Reduce high salaried non-front line administration and oversight (as per our Atlantica Budget 2017).
- Eliminate school boards.
- Free the teachers. Teachers need to be trusted to do whatever it takes to turn young lives around. If one method fails, teachers consult with colleagues to try something else.
- Allow a voucher system for private schools to give parents and teachers a choice.
- Empower teachers and principals by giving them autonomy and budgetary control of schools. Also grant schools the right to draw students from anywhere in the district. Give school staff the means of doing what it takes to attract students, to keep them, and to graduate them at higher levels of academic achievement.
- Leave front line education spending as is.
Education needs to change to allow students to reach their potential (whatever that may be), equip students to learn how to learn, encourage a sense of cultural identity and to help students find their place in the future economy while giving more autonomy and freedom to teachers to try new ideas.