Statement by Education Minister on the Toronto District School Board
Today, Liz Sandals, Minister of Education, issued the following statement:
"To ensure that staff and trustees have the tools and supports they need to help students succeed, I asked Margaret Wilson to conduct a review of the ongoing operational and governance issues of the TDSB. Margaret's observations were troubling and confirmed the need for our government to take action. Upon receiving the report, I directed the TDSB to comply with thirteen directions to act on Margaret's recommendations.
I am encouraged to see that progress has been made by the TDSB on a number of the directions. The trustees and senior staff appear to have worked together in meeting the directions regarding senior executive compensation, trustee discretionary expenses and the integrity of the audit committee in particular. I'm also glad to see that this process has ignited a discussion around the importance of the role of trustees and the value of schools as community hubs.
However, it is clear that more work is needed. The response I received from the board raises some concerns. For example, hiring practices for vice principals, principals and superintendents continue to be subject to trustee approval, the Director of Education retains a high degree of control over her own performance appraisal; and, despite the high number of schools in a critical state of disrepair, the board has not provided criteria for prioritizing badly needed fixes.
I am not appointing an investigator at this time. However, in light of these concerns, and the board's long history of struggling with these issues, I am not ruling out that it may be a necessary measure. I have decided to monitor the TDSB's compliance with the directions on an ongoing basis and am asking the board and Ministry officials to meet as soon as possible to ensure that there is follow through on a number of these directions and meaningful improvement on others.
I am optimistic that these steps will help to restore public confidence in Canada's largest and most diverse school board. I look forward to continuing our work with the TDSB to ensure that they continue to focus on the achievement and well-being of our students."