In this file photo, Minister of Education Adriana LaGrange spoke at the Public School Boards Association of Alberta’s spring general assembly held in Red Deer in June. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Alberta government pauses field testing of new elementary school curriculum

EDMONTON — Alberta’s United Conservative government has paused tryouts of a new elementary school curriculum.

School boards were sent a letter with the announcement and it was confirmed by the Education Ministry.

The province says in a statement that it respects the effort put into the curriculum so far, but suggests that a review of the former NDP government’s work is needed.

It says a working group that was set up by the NDP is still in place and Education Minister Adriana LaGrange joined its meetings last week.

Prior to becoming premier, Jason Kenney promised to stop what he called an ideological rewrite of the curriculum and to reform education in the province to offer more practical options.

The NDP’s education critic, Sarah Hoffman, says the updated areas include financial literacy and study on residential schools.

“It also reflects advances in science and technology over the past 20 years, such as the internet and the reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet,” Hoffman said Monday.

“What did minister LaGrange see in the new curriculum that caused her to cancel field-testing? She needs to be candid with Albertans.”

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