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Education

School of Creative Arts has some great things in store for June

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Here’s a look at some of the upcoming June Events at RDC’s School of Creative Arts

Red Deer College invites central Albertans to join us as the School of Creative Arts brings creativity to life throughout an exciting season of diverse performances, concerts, screenings and exhibitions. RDC’s talented students, instructors, staff and special guests will present the following events in June:

Film Works

June 1 & 2 | Welikoklad Event Centre | 7:00 p.m. | Admission by donation at the door | Not rated – Violence and Language Warning
Join us as we celebrate the best films of the year by our recent graduating RDC student actors, directors, cinematographers and filmmakers.

Movies Worth Watching Series
Top Gun (1986)
June 14 & 15 | Welikoklad Event Centre Cinema | 7:00 p.m. | $5 | PG, Coarse Language | 110 min

Movies Worth Watching brings a variety of classic films that are best viewed on the BIG screen. Join us to see the best that Hollywood has to offer. Every screening is preceded by a Motion Picture Arts (MPA) student film that we know you will love.

For complete details on RDC’s 2017-18 School of Creative Arts season, please visit: School of Creative Arts Showtime.

About RDC: For 54 years, RDC has been proudly serving our learners and our communities. RDC offers more than 100 different programs (including full degrees, certificates, diplomas and skilled trades programs) to 7,500 full- and part-time credit students and more than 36,000 youth and adult learners in the School of Continuing Education each year. Named by Alberta Venture magazine as one of Alberta’s most innovative organizations for the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing, RDC is a key location for applied and industry-led research. Our main campus is strategically situated on 290 acres of Alberta’s natural landscape along Queen Elizabeth II Highway. We have also expanded our learning and performing arts space into the heart of downtown Red Deer through our Welikoklad Event Centre and the Donald School of Business.

Education

Schools shouldn’t sacrifice student performance to vague notions of ‘equity’

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From the Fraser Institute

By Derek J. Allison

According to a new study published by the Fraser Institute, if Canada wants to remain competitive with emerging economies around the world, we must increase our math, science and reading scores—and not simply pursue high levels of “equity and inclusion” as the primary goal for our schools.

Indeed, highly equitable and inclusive schools—with declining PISA scores, as is currently the case in Canada—do a disservice to students and society at large.

Why? Because higher test scores translate into greater “knowledge capital”—that is, the full body of knowledge available to an economy—and boost economic growth (and, incidentally, the tax revenues that fund our schools).

Indeed, the goal should be equitable access to a quality education. And the most realistic and meaningful way to measure student progress is through PISA tests, which every three years assess the performance of 15-year-olds worldwide in core subjects of math, science and reading rather than the limited curriculum objectives used in provincial testing, which can only show progress or decline within individual school systems. In today’s world, where competition is truly global, we must know how our students and schools perform compared to their peers in other countries, especially the “Asian Tigers” of Hong Kong, Korea, Singapore and Tiawan whose rapidly growing economies have been driven by rising PISA scores.

Obviously, countries with higher test scores can teach other countries how to improve—although there are limits and some traps here. Attempting to cut and paste Singapore’s or Korea’s much more meritocratic systems of highly competitive student assessment and selection would be impractical and impolitic in Canada. Even so, policymakers should consider reinstating more meaningful meritocratic norms in Canadian schools to encourage and recognize academic achievement. Nothing succeeds like success, except recognized and rewarded success.

Closer to home, other provinces could benefit from considering why Quebec is such a stellar performer in math and why Alberta has the highest overall PISA test score average of all provinces.

But fair warning, recent attempts at school improvement in Canada show that top-down one-size-fits-all changes—including extending compulsory attendance, reducing average class size and tinkering with course content—have had little positive effect on student performance, although they may please teacher unions. If policymakers want to achieve more equitable success for more students, they should introduce more flexibility, school autonomy and choice into our top-heavy centrally regulated school systems. In this respect it may be no accident that the three highest performing, mid-spending provincial K-12 education systems (Alberta, Quebec and Ontario) offer relatively high levels of school choice, although of quite different kinds.

Equity and inclusion are noble goals, but they shouldn’t interfere with student progress. There’s too much at stake, for students and the country.

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Red Deer

Expelled member of Red Deer Catholic School Board will have judicial reviews heard May 1-3

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News release from The Democracy Fund

TDF and James Kitchen Defend School Board Trustee Monique LaGrange

Briefs were filed in Monique LaGrange’s case on the week of April 8, 2024.


RED DEER: The Democracy Fund (TDF) has partnered with lawyer James Kitchen to represent former school board trustee Monique LaGrange as she takes The Board of Trustees of Red Deer Catholic Separate School Division to court for kicking her off the Board because they took offence to one of Ms. LaGrange’s social media posts.

Mr. Kitchen filed two applications for judicial review in December 2023, challenging the Board’s decisions to penalize Mrs. LaGrange and disqualify her from sitting on the Board. Mr. Kitchen has now filed his briefs, which lay out in detail how the Board’s decisions are procedurally unfair and unreasonable and should be overturned by the Court of King’s Bench of Alberta.

The two judicial reviews will be heard virtually by a Red Deer judge over the course of a three-day hearing on May 1-3, 2024, starting at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, May 1. Members of the public are encouraged to attend by accessing this link.

In Alberta, judicial reviews are heard on the basis of a record of documents compiled and submitted to the Court by the decision-maker, which is supposed to include everything presented to the decision-maker at the time the decision was made. In this case, Mrs. LaGrange had submitted to the Board 33 pages of emails and letters from Albertans who supported her. At first, the Board failed to provide these supportive emails and letters to the Court, but that changed when Mr. Kitchen filed an application to compel the Board to do so. Redacted versions of these emails and letters, which are also quoted at length in the briefs, can be viewed here, starting at page 113 of 169.

Mrs. LaGrange was democratically elected to the Board in 2021. Despite this, the Board expelled her because she allegedly failed to comply with sanctions imposed on her by the Board in September 2023 for posting a meme to her Facebook account that some people found offensive. The impugned meme depicted two side-by-side photographs, one of children holding swastika flags and the other of children holding pride progress flags. The meme, which drew much support but also some disapprobation from the community, included a caption stating, “Brainwashing is brainwashing.”

The Board asked Mrs. LaGrange to apologize for the meme, which she declined to do because she believed she had done nothing wrong. In speaking to the Western Standard, Mrs. LaGrange stated, “I was elected to stand up and protect our children, and that is what I am doing.” Among other things, the Board, on September 26, 2023, ordered LaGrange to undergo sensitivity training at her own expense for allegedly breaching their code of conduct by posting the meme and to refrain from making public comments about sexual minorities in her official capacity as a Trustee.

The Board subsequently alleged Mrs. LaGrange had breached some of these sanctions and voted to disqualify Mrs. LaGrange as a trustee.

TDF and lawyer James Kitchen have chosen to defend Mrs. LaGrange to defend the free speech rights of all Canadians, especially in the context of statements made by democratically elected representatives.

To support Mrs. LaGrange, please consider making a tax-deductible donation on this page.

About The Democracy Fund:

Founded in 2021, The Democracy Fund (TDF) is a Canadian charity dedicated to constitutional rights, advancing education, and relieving poverty. TDF promotes constitutional rights through litigation and public education and supports access to justice initiatives for Canadians whose civil liberties have been infringed by government lockdowns and other public policy responses to the pandemic.

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