Opposition to the new curriculum draft for elementary schools is growing fast.
Membership on the Facebook page — Albertans Against the New Curriculum Draft — which was started on Monday, quickly reached 15,500 by Wednesday afternoon.
“I’m glad to see that people are speaking up and people aren’t just going to roll over and let this happen,” said Taylor Schroeter, an administrator with the page.
“This draft needs a massive overhaul before any of us are comfortable with our children using it. I would be more happy with my children using the outdated curriculum that’s in place to give them more time to develop this appropriately,” said Schroeter, of Beaumont.
Corinne Anderton, a Red Deer grandmother of five in the school system, said the draft is biased towards colonialism, capitalism and Christianity.
“We are an increasingly diverse community both locally, provincially, in the country and we all deserve a place at the table,” said Anderton, who calls herself a Christian.
She said two of her grandchildren are in Grade 2 and teaching them about the Roman Emperor Charlemagne at that age just doesn’t make sense.
The UCP are out of touch with all but their own, Anderton said.
“Is it true that of all of the Canadian jazz musicians that could be featured, the one they’ve chosen is Jason Kenney’s grandfather?”
Schroeter said the draft would have her seven-year-old son compare the Black Death and Spanish flu to COVID-19.
“He is already scared of COVID-19. While it may be a valid comparison, and it maybe something worth learning for older children, but that’s something that will terrify my child and it’s not something he needs to be studying at seven years old.”
Choosing to teach the history of Genghis Khan and ancient Greece are other poor choices, she said.
“I think it’s important for children to be able to relate to the content, start small and build on their knowledge from there. Not start with the broadest topics you can find.”
She said the errors run very deep in the draft. Changing the wording is not good enough.
“The very first line of the very first page I read included a lie about our current curriculum. Right off the bat it was a very bad first impression, and it’s tumbled from there.”
She said according to the draft, there were no works of literature being studied in the current curriculum, which is lie.
“My children are in Grade 2 and Grade 3 and I have seen them study at least three separate novels in the last two years.”
She said the draft has come at a time when parents are more familiar with the current curriculum after helping their children with at-home learning during the pandemic. Parents are determined that their concerns be heard.
“This (draft) could be in place for my grandchildren and I’m not okay with that,” Schroeter said.
Justin Marshall, press secretary for the Ministry of Education, said parents have been clear that they expect Alberta’s education system to provide their children with a strong foundation of essential skills and knowledge.
He said the draft equips students with foundational reading, writing and math skills which parents have told us are vital to ensuring their children’s future success.
“While we are focused on literacy, numeracy, citizenship and practical skills in the curriculum, we think parents will appreciate the curriculum’s emphasis on learning about financial well-being, developing social and emotional learning skills that support mental well-being and consent,” Marshall said in a statement.
“Alberta’s government is committed to a transparent review process and are pleased Albertans are reviewing and discussing the draft curriculum. We appreciate parents’ interest in the draft K-6 curriculum and encourage an open dialogue. We are looking forward to hearing their feedback through the survey at Alberta.ca/curriculum.”