Do You Know What Your Kids Are Learning In School?
Do you know what your kids are learning in school?
You might think you do - especially if you’ve looked at the official Alberta Curriculum, which is publicly available to all parents.
But did you know that the Alberta Curriculum is just a small part of what is taught in schools, and that the rest of what's taught doesn't have to be made available to parents at all?
This is because school boards, principals, and even individual teachers are allowed to bring in all sorts of extra content into classrooms that fall outside of the official curriculum.
So, while you won't find anything too controversial in the Alberta Curriculum itself, the same cannot be said of the materials coming in from outside the curriculum.
In fact, almost every time we receive a complaint from a parent about some content in the curriculum that's being taught in their kid's class, the content actually isn't in the curriculum at all.
Rather, many teachers import full, pre-built lesson plans into their classrooms, that don't have to have their content disclosed to parents at all.
Here are a few examples:
- The Alberta Teachers’ Association's library has a wide range of resources for teachers that are informed by Critical Race Theory.
- Saint Albert Public Schools quietly introduced a “2SLGBTQIA+ course” without consulting parents.
- LesPlan - a company that sells pre-built lesson plans - provides material that tells Alberta kids that there are health and environmental benefits of eating crickets and that puts an ideological spin on the events at the United States Capitol Building on January 6th, 2021.
- Teachers Pay Teachers - an online educator marketplace - has an entire section dedicated to “Social Emotional Learning”, and touches on every hot-button political issue.
- The ATA also developed the PRISM toolkit, which gives specific lesson plans to teach about human sexuality while evading the requirement to inform parents under Alberta law.
- Many principals require teachers to include a climate action emphasis week for all classes in their school, sometimes without the parents ever being aware.
None of the above classroom content is approved to be in the Alberta Curriculum, but none of it is explicitly banned either.
Rather, it's left to individual school boards, principals, and teachers to decide what to teach.
And, crucially, this type of content almost always comes into classrooms without the parents’ knowledge.
We think this is a problem.
We think parents are the real experts in their own kids.
We think parents have the best sense of what is age-appropriate for their kids.
So, we think parents need to know what their kids are learning in class.
After all, we expect transparency from every other service that caters primarily to children, and every other order of government.
So, why is the order of government that caters primarily to children the sole exception?
The Alberta Curriculum will probably never contain a list of every single piece of content that is approved to be taught in schools, and maybe it shouldn't - that would be incredibly bureaucratic.
But at an absolute minimum, school boards should be required to disclose all supplementary materials being used in their schools above and beyond the curriculum.
Parents should be able to find out what is being taught in their kids' classrooms.
If you agree, please join the Alberta Parents' Union today.
By joining, you will help make our voices that much stronger.
Plus, you will automatically receive a phone call from our Executive Director, Jeff, who will listen to your concerns about what your child is learning at school and walk you through our plans.
Thank you for helping us keep Alberta’s K-12 education system focused on the children it’s meant to educate, rather than the adults it employs.
- Jeff and the Alberta Parents’ Union Team
P.S. If you want to see us be able to mount an effective campaign on this cause, and maybe even produce resources to help lawmakers take action to help fix this problem, please consider making a donation today.