Results without Rancor or Ranking Ontario's Success Story: Successful Large-Scale Change Doesn't Require Punitive Forms of Accountability and Teacher-Proof Curricula. Ontario Is Showing That Positive Partnerships between Educators and Policy Makers Can Be the Best Strategy

By Levin, Ben; Glaze, Avis et al. | Phi Delta Kappan, December 2008 | Go to article overview

Results without Rancor or Ranking Ontario's Success Story: Successful Large-Scale Change Doesn't Require Punitive Forms of Accountability and Teacher-Proof Curricula. Ontario Is Showing That Positive Partnerships between Educators and Policy Makers Can Be the Best Strategy


Levin, Ben, Glaze, Avis, Fullan, Michael, Phi Delta Kappan


In many parts of the world, education change might have the right goals--better outcomes for students, including students from groups that had previously lagged behind average achievement levels. But many of these efforts have used wrongheaded approaches or failed to pay enough attention to what we are learning about effective large-scale change. In particular, many strategies place too much emphasis on test results as the main way to drive improvement.

In contrast, Ontario's education change strategy embodies vital principles, grounded in research, that are associated with meaningful and sustainable change. Changes are respectful of professional knowledge and practice, and their main elements are coherent and aligned at the provincial, district, and school levels. Key partners--the provincial Ministry of Education, school boards, schools, and provincial and local organizations of teachers, principals, and others--work together. Change strategies are comprehensive and emphasize building capacity for improvement through professional learning, strong leadership, necessary resources, and effective engagement of parents and the broader community. Great emphasis is placed on public communication so that people know what is happening and support the schools. Most of all, there has been a relentless focus over several years on the same basic strategy. We believe this is an example of large-scale change that is effective and sustainable.

Ontario has about 2 million children in its public education system. The provincial government provides essentially 100% of the funds for all four sets of locally elected school boards, reflecting Canada's constitutional requirement for public support of minority-language and Catholic schools. School boards (the equivalent of a school district in the U.S.) range in size from a few hundred students to about 250,000 in the Toronto District School Board. The province has nearly 5,000 schools extending across 400,000 square miles--the size of the eight southeastern states put together. The average elementary school has about 350 students; the average secondary school, fewer than 1,000. Ontario also has a very diverse enrollment, with 27% of the population born outside of Canada and 20% visible minorities. Ontario's 120,000 or so teachers and most of its support staff are unionized. There is a mandatory provincial curriculum.

Thus, education in Ontario has all the challenges one might anticipate--large urban areas and very remote rural areas, significant urban and rural poverty levels, high levels of population diversity, areas with sharply dropping enrollment and others with rapid growth.

During the 1990s, Ontario education was troubled. The province had significant labor disruption, lots of public dissatisfaction, increasing private school enrollment, and poor morale leading to high teacher turnover. However, in 2003, a new government was elected with the renewal of public education as one of its highest priorities. A premier with a deep commitment to education and talented ministers brought strong political leadership to bear. The Ontario education strategy that began in 2003 has two main components:

* A commitment to improve elementary school literacy and numeracy outcomes, and

* A commitment to increase high school graduation rates.

These priorities were chosen because public confidence in and support for education depend on demonstrated achievement of good outcomes for students. These core goals are supported by a large-scale strategy based substantially on Michael Fullan's work. (1)

The core strategies are also complemented by a range of other initiatives. Some of these initiatives, such as strengthening school leadership or renewing curricula, are necessary to support the key goals. Of particular importance was a commitment to reduce class sizes in the primary grades. Other initiatives, including provincial support for negotiating four-year collective agreements with all Ontario teachers in 2005, were necessary so that all parties could focus on improving student outcomes instead of being distracted by labor issues. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Results without Rancor or Ranking Ontario's Success Story: Successful Large-Scale Change Doesn't Require Punitive Forms of Accountability and Teacher-Proof Curricula. Ontario Is Showing That Positive Partnerships between Educators and Policy Makers Can Be the Best Strategy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.