This morning Stephen Lecce, the Minister of Education, finally released a revised Health and Physical Education curriculum. The Ford government repealed Ontario’s 2015 Health and Physical Education curriculum over a year ago and reverted to an outdated curriculum from 1998.
The release of a new curriculum that largely mirrors the 2015 Health and Physical Education curriculum makes it clear that this process was never really about the curriculum or about what is good for Ontario’s students. This began as a political stunt by Doug Ford to attract social conservative support.
Nothing about the changes in the new curriculum required the wholesale repeal of the 2015 curriculum and imposition of a curriculum that was over twenty years old. It most certainly did not necessitate many students going without access to a modern, evidence-based, high-quality curriculum for an entire year.
Moreover, today’s announcement further demonstrates there was absolutely no excuse for Premier Ford to threaten educators by creating a snitch line -- educators whose sole interest was in making sure that students were presented information that they needed for their safety and well-being.
The Ford government should listen to the advice of experts in the field. Today’s announcement is a stark example of exactly how not to implement education policy changes in Ontario. OSSTF/FEESO remains committed to ensuring that any and all curriculum changes be done in a manner that is in the best interest of students, and in a way that reflects evidence-based decision making.
Harvey Bischof, President
Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation