Manitoba students last in Canada in science and math, second last in reading | CBC News

Results show Manitoba doing worse in all three categories than in previous years

Kristin Annable · CBC News · Posted: Dec 03, 2019

The PISA 2018 assessment tests the capabilities of 15-year-olds in reading, math and science literacy through a two-hour computer-based test. (Chris Young/Canadian Press)

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/tests-manitoba-last-2018-1.5381388

Commentary

I know several teachers at different levels and experience, a few principals and many parents. They all agree there is not enough being spent on actually educating the kids and in the schools. They also disagree with the removal of class size limits especially when not enough teachers aids made available. Many feel the kids are less prepared when they arrive and when they move on to the next level than in the past.

Similar with integrating children with special needs for exclusiveness if there is not enough support for these children, teachers and schools.

Far too much is being spent on bloated bureaucracy at the school boards, divisions, in the education department and other areas of government, SOA’s etc… Many of the issues affecting children’s results for school start at home. Many parents stretched to the limits with both parents working full time and struggling to make ends meet. Some families facing much worse issues and there needs to be more support for these families and children in and out of school.

I have reviewed several independent studies and reports on education and several other areas of public services and they all point to the same things. Incompetence, bloated bureaucracy and inefficiencies. In several cases there is ethics concerns and allegations of misuse of funds or corruption. Once meaningful actions taken to clean this up there will be more than enough money at current taxation levels to improve education, social services and take preventative actions in many areas.

The PC majority government have made some good and poor decisions and have lots of room to improve but let’s put some things into perspective. They inherited a mess from the previous NDP governments including annual deficits of almost $1 Billion, $23 Billion in net debt, credit rating downgrades and rising interest rates. Add to that MPI, LLC and Hydro mismanagement with rates increasing many times inflation and Hydro debt that is expected to rise to over $25 Billion in the next few years.

The PC majority government have had to make many tough decisions to reign in this fiscal mismanagement, start to restore sustainability and maintain services. Decades of spending enourmous amounts without performance requirements and accountability was not working.

They reduced the very large number of labour bargaining units that were slowing down negotiations, adding to the costs and forcing unsustainable salary and benefit increases. They reduced the max amount school boards / divisions can spend on administrative costs, some boards / divisions with the worst bloated bureaucracies and many areas with lower income families ignored these and raised school property taxes instead. The government had to threaten to take from their provincial funding if they continued to due this. Now they phasing out funding via property taxes so they can help restore sustainability.

They have started a full review of education in MB and hopefully it is a truly independent review and they follow any meaningful recommendations and reforms.

The public must be involved in this process and it will take several years to bring up the performance levels. They need to look to the areas with better results and less spent per student.

The more that participate in public consultations, contact the Minister, their MLA and Councillor with their concerns, volunteer to help out at the school or else were in their communities the better.

Comments

Alberta has the highest average income of any province in Canada, and consistently scores among the highest academically in Canada. Manitoba has the highest child poverty rates in the country and consistently scores at the bottom. For decades educational research has indicated that is a strong correlation, not a coincidence. There is no teaching or education crisis, it is where and how the province is addressing quality of life that is the issue.

More comments here

https://facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10157871098114400&id=170300219399

…, the PC government continues to falsify the actual budget standing to give grounds to attack public services like Education, Health Care and others. They are currently strong arming education and the way they are doing it, is not even legal. Which Manitoba Teachers society is currently fighting in court. Here is one document as an example.

https://www.oag.mb.ca/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/2019-10-26-AuditOpinionNR.pdf

I agree the PC majority government has made mistakes, so does every government. Some more than others. This one has made far less financial reporting and other mistakes then the previous. They should have waited to remove WCB from the provinces financial statements until the planned changes to the WCB act. According to the AG the other reporting issue increased the deficit so net difference was $110M higher. If net defecit reported $1.1B higher it still a lot at $22 Billion. Add in Hydro debt growing rapidly and expected to be over $25 Billion due to poor decisions or worse.

You say attacking but is it actually reigning in unsustainable spending, wage and benefit increases and growing debt? Would you rather have more credit downgrades and higher interest rates and payments?

I agree more needs to be done to reduce bloated bureaucracies, inefficiencies and other fiscal mismanagnent. Myself and many others I have spoke too think reducing preventative care like physio at hospitals is going to have higher costs in the long run but consolidating ER’s to be inline with Canadian average per capita, educating the public on when to use urgent care vs. ER etc… and other sustainability changes are needed. Are they getting it all right no, but not trying or keeping staus quo by ignoring it or just throwing more money at it was not working.

The NDP and PC majority governments have failed to enforce the conditions of authority for photo and officer traffic enforcement in Winnipeg and have ignored the well documented trend against proper engineering, safety, justice and other public interests. They have done this in return for the Province getting a 50% cut of the $70 Million in “safety” revenue collected each year and the City getting 25% plus WPS getting 25% after paying 3rd party for profit PE partner. They refusing to collect proper and complete data or even properly review what data is available each year. Independent engineering and academic reviews have proven there has been no safety improvement and in many cases a decrease. In other jurisdictions where PE and officer traffic enforcement reviewed and operated fairly, lawfully and safely with engineering and education being the priority it clearly improves safety. Then PE loses money and the contracts terminated or not renewed. In many cases investigations, charges or convictions of bribery, breach of trust and corruption have led to sentences of up to ten years and hundreds of millions in penalties or forced refunds.

At least the Province is now promising to do a proper independent review.

Is there more room to improve and are we moving forward overall?

About Kevin Yaworski

I use my blog to write about things that I think are a matter of public interest or that I think others will be interested in
This entry was posted in Canada, Education, Financial, manitoba, News and politics, Sustainability, winnipeg and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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