School Boards' Top Priority is Now Student Achievement
McGuinty Government's Legislation Will Strengthen School Boards, Student Success
Student achievement is now the top priority for school boards.
Passed by the legislature last night, the government's Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act amends the Education Act. These amendments clarify what is expected from school boards, trustees, board chairs and directors of education to support improved student achievement. More clarity will allow Ontario's education partners to work more effectively together, helping more students succeed.
The amendments also promote good governance practices and sound financial management by establishing audit committees and enable boards to establish a provincial code of conduct for trustees.The legislation addresses many of the recommendations made by the Governance Review Committee in its April 2009 report.
- Previously, boards did not have an explicit mandate or duty, according to the act, to improve student achievement.
- Across Ontario, 67 per cent of Grade 3 and Grade 6 students are achieving at or above the provincial standard in reading, writing and math skills - up 13 percentage points compared to 2002-03.
- Last year, 77 per cent of Ontario students graduated with a high school diploma, an increase of nine percentage points compared to 2003-04.
- Since 2003-04, increases in the graduation rate have meant that 36,000 more students earned a high school diploma.
“Consultations with our education partners have strengthened this legislation with amendments that reflect their input, demonstrating our respectful and collaborative approach. It reflects our government's goal to have everyone aligned - parents, teachers, principals, trustees and board staff - and focused on student achievement and well-being.”
“This progressive legislation is essential to our kids succeeding. It formalizes what the government and school boards have been doing to improve student achievement across the province. The actions following the passage of this bill will enable us to go even deeper in getting results in all 72 districts and their 4,900 schools, and in competing successfully with the top education systems in the world.”
“The legislation's most important amendment to the Education Act is that it focuses the attention of school board trustees on appropriate education of all students and therefore, on the achievement and well-being of all our young people.”
“We have moved quickly on the recommendations from the school board governance report. By working closely with our colleagues, we have developed more effective, elected governance - and our students will reap the rewards.”