Thursday, September 15, 2011

Dalton McGuinty leadership on education praised in The Economist

Great article in The Economist about education reform and progress around the world, and Ontario is right at the top:

“Ontario really is impressive,” enthuses Sir Michael Barber, former head of global education practice at McKinsey (now at Pearson). The Canadian province has a high proportion of immigrants, many without English as a first language, yet it now has one of the world’s best-performing schools systems, after bringing in what one of its architects calls “reform without rancour”.

When Dalton McGuinty was elected Ontario’s premier in 2003, he embraced “whole-system reform”. Instead of directing reforms from the centre, the government encouraged schools to set their own targets and sent experienced teams to help them get there. Schools with large numbers of immigrant children could apply for special help, and could choose whether to extend the school day to do this, or work longer with the slower pupils.

With continued investment in education for families, from full day kindergarten to tuition cuts, Ontario's education system is on the right track.

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