This is a legacy provincial website of the ATA. Visit our new website here.

Education a top issue at UCP convention

May 15, 2018 Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor

Education was a central theme of the first policy convention held by the United Conservative Party on May 4 to 6.

Out of approximately 140 policy resolutions that passed, at least 24 related to education, including one calling for the government to split the Alberta Teachers’ Association into separate union and professional bodies.

ATA president Greg Jeffery said he intends to reach out to UCP leader Jason Kenney in an attempt to learn the leader’s intention regarding this policy.

“He backed off on the parental notification issue, so I’m curious what he has to say about splitting us up,” Jeffery said.

The most publicized policy that was adopted calls for the reinstatement of parental consent for subjects and extracurricular activities of a sexual nature. This has largely been interpreted as a requirement for teachers to “out” students who join gay–straight alliances. Kenney quickly distanced himself from the policy by saying that, as leader, he will decide the party’s platform heading into next year’s election.

Several policies were adopted that reinforce the party’s commitment to parents’ right to direct their children’s education and choose the education setting that best suits them, including public, separate, charter, independent, alternative and home education programs.

Two policies called for more transparent curriculum development, with one calling for the review that’s currently underway to be halted so basic literacy and numeracy can be emphasized and “all political indoctrination” can be eliminated from the curriculum.

Support for standardized testing and encouraging the expansion of charter schools were among other approved resolutions.

Jeffery said the ATA is well aware of all the policies the UCP has adopted and is prepared to work with the party in its role as opposition or if it ever becomes the government.

“We’re non-partisan and will work with all political parties to ensure that their members understand our point of view on education matters,” Jeffery said.

A poll commissioned by CBC in late April revealed that 53 per cent of decided voters say they would vote for the UCP in the next election, which would translate into “an overwhelming majority of seats,” said pollster Janet Brown, who conducted the poll for CBC News.


Resolution 31            

The United Conservative Party believes that the Government of Alberta should…

halt the implementation of the new curriculum and review it in order to increase emphasis on basic essentials such as literacy and numeracy, increase the focus on Albertan and Canadian life in terms of geography, the economy, and historical accuracy, increase the focus on the development of a work ethic, increase a focus on debate, critical thinking, and respect for dissenting views, and eliminate all political indoctrination from the curriculum.

Resolution 32

The United Conservative Party believes that the Government of Alberta should…

benchmark the Alberta education system against leading global jurisdictions, on a continuous basis, on a wide set of educational outcomes, skills, and competencies demanded in the modern workplace.

Resolution 33

The United Conservative Party believes that the Government of Alberta should…

divide the two main arms of the Alberta Teachers Association, union and professional body, into two separate and independent organisations.

Also In This Issue