Alberta government appoints panel to provide advice on future curriculum development

Curriculum Advisory Panel chair Angus McBeath, left, and vice-chair Jen Panteluk along with Education Minister Adriana LaGrange meet with students at St. Teresa of Calcutta Elementary School in Edmonton. Contributed photo

A Red Deer College employee will be part of an independent panel that will provide advice on the development of future curriculum.

Paulette Hanna, RDC associate vice-president academic and the former superintendent of Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools, was announced as part of the government-appointed 12-member panel Thursday.

The panel will draft an updated ministerial order on student learning, with an emphasis on the knowledge, skills and competencies students should have when they finish high school. This work will be a starting point for public dialogue in early 2020.

Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange, Red Deer-North MLA, said she is “proud to move forward on two important commitments this government made to Albertans to strengthen our education system.”

“One is to broaden consultation on the curriculum review so that we are certain we get our future curriculum right. And the other is to replace the current ministerial order on student learning with one that ensures children have a strong foundation of essential skills and knowledge – something we heard loud and clear from parents,” said LaGrange.

“We respect the hard work done thus far on Alberta’s K-12 curriculum, and we want to make sure we are taking the right approach for the right reasons for our children. Members of the curriculum advisory panel come to the table with diverse backgrounds and experiences that I believe will enhance the vision and direction for student learning in Alberta.”

Jason Schilling, Alberta Teachers’ Association president, expressed concern about the “uncertainty” this panel will bring to the content and timelines of an already established process.

“It is unclear, however, just what the extent of the advisory panel’s authority is, how its recommendations will inform the process, and what sort of delay this will entail,” said Schilling.

The curriculum advisory panel includes representatives from the kindergarten to Grade 12 education system, post-secondary education system, education advocates, and career and training organizations, such as Careers: Next Generation.

The panel will be chaired by Angus McBeath, a former superintendent for Edmonton Public Schools. The panel’s vice chair is Jen Panteluk, the former CEO of Junior Achievement of Northern Alberta and Northwest Territories.

Allison Pike, president, Alberta School Councils’ Association president, said the group is “grateful” the curriculum review is moving ahead.

“We are optimistic that the work of this panel will enhance what has been started. Parents on school councils, in collaboration with teachers, principals and trustees, look forward to the upcoming consultations that can ensure students are well prepared for the future,” said Pike.

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