Alberta Education

Here is a table of contents for all the posts I have written about education in Alberta. These posts describe a wide variety of topics in Alberta Education such as standardized testing, poverty, politics, research and accountability.

Provincial Achievement Tests are gone! Now what? - there are a lot of ways the government could get these tests right and wrong.

Is Alberta changing their standardized tests? - there is no such thing as a standardized test that assesses competencies

Who should control teachers' professional learning? - The Calgary Board of Education is concerned that the proposed agreement gives individual teachers exclusive control over their professional learning.

Is the Alberta School Boards Association relevant?

Letter about teachers goes viral - This is an open letter written to the Alberta Government in defence of teachers.

Ranking and Ruining our Schools - here's why ranking schools ruins our schools.

I've changed my mind - Let's cut education - Need to save money? Here are a couple ideas.

Cutting Alberta's spending - Education is not an expense -- it's an investment.

Merit pay rears its ugly head again - more on merit pay.

Attack of the merit pay zombie - here's why merit pay is the bad idea that won't die

Merit Pay: the bad idea that won't die - Alberta's Education Minister  Jeff Johnson is talking about teacher merit pay.

Reading between the lines of lower test scores - we know what lower test scores tell us, right? Or do we?

What if school was more like this? - Alberta is looking at changing their curriculum. What if we made changes that reflected this?

Transformation without change in Alberta - The failure of province wide tripartite talks marks the beginning of the end for Inspiring Education and education transformation in Alberta.

Expiring Education in Alberta - As long as teachers remain on the farside of education reform by being the last to hear, the last to know and the last to speak, and the Alberta Government maintains their 19th century Command and Control politics, Inspiring Education will remain nothing more than an initiative.

Teachers, Contracts and Change - Time for Courage in Alberta - This was written by Stephen Murgatroyd about the state of education politics in October 2012.

Jeff Johnson and Teacher Workload in Alberta - Here are some recommendations for how the Alberta government could empower the teaching profession.

Standardized test scores are like a broken clock - Have you ever heard someone use standardized test scores to judge schools?

Andy Hargreaves on transforming education in Alberta - Celebrating success brings risks as well as opportunities

What do standardized test scores tell us? - Those in favor of ranking schools via their standardized test scores like to say that it provides parents with the information they need to choose a school for their children.

Thank God for standardized test scores - Because of the Fraser Report and standardized testing, I now know the name of the worst school in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, and third worst school in the entire province.

Pressuring children to write Provincial Achievement Tests - Whether a child writes the test or not, their score affects the school's performance report.

Withdrawing from Provincial Achievement Tests - An Edmonton father faces pressure from school administrators after he said he did not want his daughter to write the Provincial achievement test.

My interview on the Simi Sara Show about no zeroes - I was a guest on a radio talk show discussing assessment and "no zero" policies.

What a zero really says - A guest post by Cherra-Lynne Othof on assigning students zeros.

Here's what really happens when you give a zero - I find it sadly ironic that people who support assigning zeroes to children do so by claiming it's for the children it hurts the most.

My second interview with CBC Radion on giving kids zeroes

Zeroes for students and Suspensions for teachers - The threat of a zero is the equivalent to the threat of a suspension. These are instruments of control between the powerful and powerless.

My interview on CBC Radio on assigning kids zeroes

Giving a student a zero teaches them a lesson - Here is some of the common sense around giving kids zeroes that doesn't make a lot of sense and is far too common.

Another parent opts their daughter out of Alberta's Provincial Achievement Tests - this was written by Tracy Loewer who opted her daughter out.

Alberta's test score and drop out contradiction - I wonder what would happen to Alberta's test scores if more children stayed in school and graduated?

Funds spent on teachers good for real learning - This was written by Jonathan Teghtmeyer on the why it's important that a high percentage of education funding is spent on the people who work with children the most - teachers.

Alberta advertising underminin assessment - This kind of political advertising undermines the progressive assessment practices that the province of Alberta has been working on for years.

David King on Alberta's Education Act Part I - This was written by David King on Alberta's new Education Act.

David King on Alberta's Education Act Part II - This was written by David King on Alberta's new Education Act.

Leave Dueck where we left himHere is a response to an Edmonton Journal article by David Staples titled Spare the tests, spoil the school system, former deputy minister says.

A Clear and Present Danger - A Minister of Education - this was written by Stephen Murgatroyd on Alberta's x-Minister of Education, Thomas Lukaszuk.

Provincial Achievement Tests as final exams for the Report Card - Should teachers use the grade 3, 6 and 9 PATs as their final exam on the report card? Alberta government says no.

The Folly of Ranking Schools by Test Scores - this was written by Alfie Kohn about provincial achievement tests.

Tidy test scores not true indicators of real learning - The bane of reducing learning to a test score is that it inevitably overvalues whatever can be quantified and undervalues what cannot.

Provincial Achievement Tests are optional - To exercise your democratic right as an Albertan parent, you can opt out of Provincial Achievement Tests by simply writing a letter to your child's principal. As a parent, here is the letter I have drafted.

Misuse of Provincial Achievement Tests - Come to our school because we have good test scores which means we take academics seriously and you'll get a better education here.

Inspected by No. 24 - High-stakes standardized tests view education as an assembly line and treat students like boxes to be stuffed full of facts and figures.

Assessment and Provincial Achievement Tests - this was written by Don Wielinga who is an elementary principal in Alberta.

Kathy Olmstead on changing education in Alberta - Here is a quick summary of Kathy Olmstead's talk on curriculum and transformational change in Alberta education.

Why is the President of Alberta School Council's Association crediting standardized testing for Alberta's educational success?

Paradoxes of the Finland Phenomenon - Have you noticed there's a lot of hullabaloo about Finland's education system lately?

The Alberta-Finland Partnership - I was reading an article tittled Testing, Testing by Larry Booi and J.C Couture in albertaviews magazine where education in Alberta and Finland were compared and contrasted.

More on opting out of testing - Even in the face of the costs of standardized testing, some believe that testing can play a part of an education system.

Alberta teacher excuses their child from Provincial Achievement Tests - This is a guest post by an anonymous teacher in Alberta who has chosen to opt their child out of writing the Provincial Achievement Test.

Standardization in Alberta Schools - This post maybe of significant interest to Alberta teachers who are being asked by their school or school district to use common assignments or assessments with their students.

Changes to the Alberta Education Act

Alberta's new math curriculum - Alberta Education recently released its new Math Curriculum, and I want to highlight how progressive this new curriculum really is.

The fear of Provincial Achievement Testing - I know principals in Alberta who are scared to inform their school's parents that it is the choice of the parent to allow or not allow their child to take grade 3, 6 and 9 Provincial Achievement Tests.

The folly of Provincial Achievement Testing - When I watch this Alberta Government issued 10 minute streaming video that attempts to explain to parents why Provincial Achievement Tests are needed, I am disturbed by how misleading and inaccurate this piece of propaganda really is.

Exempting from Testing in Alberta - I've been researching the rights parents have to opt their children out of Alberta's Provincial Achievement Tests.

Alberta Provincial Achievement Test Taking Tips

Hollow Promises - Making students accountable for test scores works well on a bumper sticker and it allows many politicians to look good by saying that they will not tolerate failure. But it represents a hollow promise. Far from improving education, high- stakes testing marks a major retreat from fairness, from accuracy, from quality, and from equity.

Grade Level Achievement - Grade-level of achievement is an infinitely nebulous target that is far too abstract to serve any kind of real purpose in a classroom.

It's time to hold testsandgrades accountable - Remember that in order to reduce something as messy as learning to a number requires some underlying algorithms which are fallible.

Crisis or Opportunity - Before we know it, we've potentially gone from having standardized tests at three grade levels to all grade levels.

Alberta's Inspiring Education - On June 2, 2010, Alberta Education released their Inspiring Education Steering Committee Report.

Using Technology to Support Real Learning in AlbertaHere is a new research publication from the Alberta Teachers' Association.

Alberta Education: more scuttlebutt - There are some obvious growing pains to come of this progressive change.

Alberta moves away from standardized testing - On April 1, 2010, Alberta Education realigned some of the divisions responsible for carrying out education in Alberta.

Alberta axes written portion of PATs - The province of Alberta announced that they are cutting the written portions for the upcoming Grades 6 and 9 Social Studies and Grades 3, 6 and 9 Mathematics provincial achievement tests.

Teachers know best - One day, a student asked the teacher why they were writing these Provincial Achievement Tests.

Change within Alberta Education - Transformational change appears to be on the horizon for Alberta

Summary of Alfie Kohn's keynote in Calgary - Palliser Teachers'Convention was keynoted by Alfie Kohn at the Telus Convention Center in Calgary.


  1. This post maybe of significant interest to Alberta teachers who are being asked by their school or school district to use common assignments or assessments with their students. Any name of a person works as well

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