The Red Deer Public School’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously against participating in piloting the new curriculum at their April 14 meeting.
Alberta’s Minister of Education, Adriana LaGrange, said the proposed revised k-6 curriculum takes “political bias” out of the curriculum to provide students an “objective” education in civics and world history. In 2018, Premier Jason Kenney accused the NDP of inserting their “socialist ideas” into the school curriculum.
The Red Deer Public School says that while the development of a new curriculum framework has been over a decade in the making, they need to ensure they take the time needed to get this right.
The board said given province-wide concerns with the new curriculum, they encourage Alberta Education to be flexible in piloting the new curriculum and request that they welcome and listen to feedback beyond pilot jurisdictions in order to improve the curriculum.
The K-6 draft curriculum has faced criticism from parents, teachers, and Indigenous groups. So far 24 school boards and the Treaty No. 6 Chiefs have said they won’t be involved.
Wolf Creek Public Schools says it won’t participate in the new curriculum.
“For the time being, our focus remains on student and staff well-being during a time where continuity of learning and recovery from the pandemic is paramount,” said Jayson Lovell, WCPS Superintendent. “When appropriate, WCPS staff will be supported and encouraged to participate in various in-district and provincial professional development opportunities to assist our teachers in preparing for the new curriculum in its final form.”
On Mar. 29, 2021, the United Conservative Party (UCP) released their draft school curriculum for grades K-6.
The draft was criticized for suggesting that children aged 5-11 memorize names, dates, monuments, and Bible verses, and its omission of content aligned with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action for education. The new curriculum has also been criticized for Christian, overtones.