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Ben Levin, Canada

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Ben Levin, Canada

  1. 1. An Ontario Perspective on Education Policy and Practice<br />Asia Society/CCSSO<br />Washington, April 2010<br />Ben Levin<br />OISE – University of Toronto<br />(with thanks to Michael Fullan)<br />
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  3. 3. Ontario <br />13 million people<br />2 million students<br />Very diverse – 25%+ foreign born<br />4,000 elementary. 900 secondary schools<br />72 local school districts from very small to very large<br />4 distinct, self-governing systems<br />120,000 teachers, fully unionized, 4 unions<br />5% enrolled in private schools<br />
  4. 4. Ontario in 2003<br />Stagnant student achievement in literacy and numeracy<br />Declining high school graduation rate<br />Much public conflict<br />Growing private school enrolment<br />Low morale of teachers and administrators<br />
  5. 5. Ontario — 2009<br />Literacy and numeracy achievement(including higher order skills) increased by 13 percentage points<br />Number of low performing schools cut by 75%<br />High school graduation rate increased from 68% to 79% - 20,000 more per year<br />Attrition rate of new teachers in the first four years of teaching has declined by two-thirds from 32% to 9%<br />Ownership, commitment and capacity to go deeper is strong<br />
  6. 6. Ontario Strategy<br />Unwavering commitment from the top<br />Three simple goals – better outcomes, greater equity, improved public confidence<br />Guiding Coalition monitoring implementation<br />Change in the Ministry of Education/ capacity to engage in implementation<br />Partnership with the sector<br />Focus on collective capacity building with link to results<br />Transparency of results and practices<br />Reduce distractors including establishing long-term (4-year) collective agreements<br />
  7. 7. The Content<br />Moral purpose with respect to raising the bar and closing the gap for the well being of children<br />Literacy<br />Numeracy<br />High school graduation<br />Early learning<br />(The above are deeply defined to include higher order skills and associated instructional innovation)<br />
  8. 8. Implementation Strategies<br />High standards<br />Clear, accessible data<br />*Collective capacity building<br />Transparent accountability (re results of practice)<br />*The most powerful strategy and typically the most underutilized<br />
  9. 9. The Reinforcers<br />Resolute leadership<br />Respect for the sector<br />Communication<br />Reduce the distractors<br />
  10. 10. Directional Solutions<br />Individual capacity is arithmetical;collective capacity is geometrical<br />Capacity without serious delivery = squandered reform<br />Delivery without capacity = superficial reform<br />Collective capacity + serious delivery = outstanding reform<br />Collective capacity is an investment in the long-term health of the system<br />Barber & Fullan, 2010<br />
  11. 11. Incentives That Work for Teachers<br />Reasonable salaries<br />Decent surroundings<br />Extensive professional learning<br />Opportunity to work with and learn from others<br />Supportive and even assertive leadership about the agenda<br />Getting helpful feedback<br />Reasonable class size<br />Long term collective agreements (4 years)<br />Realizable moral purpose<br /> Leithwood (2006)<br />
  12. 12. In Sum<br />Have a clear strategy<br />Ground it in evidence <br />Focus on doing it<br />Get lots of feedback and adjust<br />Respect and work with partners<br />

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