Last week, we marked the first year anniversary of voicEd.ca and in celebration of a successful first year we are pleased to announce the start of At Issue, a new podcast initiative designed allow us to hear the voices of those who are helping us to think deeply about current topics, issues and trends affecting Canadian Education. We begin our series by featuring a conversation that voiced.ca had recently with Sébastien Després, a fellow in the 2012/13 Action Canada initiative. An artist, an academic and an award winning educator, Sébastien was part of the Action Canada Task Force that chose to look at the issue of standardized testing in the province of Ontario. But, as you’ll hear, although the group’s report Real Accountability or an Illusion of Success begins with a look at standardized testing, it is really a call for all Canadians to take a much deeper look at the goals of public education. Do our current measures of accountability provide an authentic picture of how our systems of education are progressing towards the broad and compelling vision that we have for our schools, and for our children? How can we make our accountability systems more…well…accountable? How do we make them more intelligent? Who should be involved in the conversation?
Conversations about standardized testing is often polarized and polarizing. But an interesting thing happens when people retreat to their respective positions and turn their back on real conversation: the ground between opposite becomes less populated, affording the opportunity to explore, imagine and envision.
We hope that you find the podcast conversation with Sébastien Després engaging and thought-provoking enough to become involved in the conversation—here at voicEd.ca, in your own blog space, at your local school, around your dinner table, with your local and provincial representatives. Let’s use this issue to explore that space in-between!
Enjoy this conversation—and we’ll look forward to your input and insights. Let us know how you choose to respond, and we’ll feature it here.