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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Do as I Say, "Stay in School" - Ralph Klein

The symposium on high school completion “Your Future Starts Here” is a wrap. Some 600 delegates came, some to "admire the problem" and some offered practical ideas on how to solve it. They also got to hear Ralph Klein outline why he used to be a bad role model for the staying in school message. From high school drop out to Premier is not the usual path and not a stress-free outcome in his experience in “the school of hard knocks.”

From a Learning Commission policy target of 90% completion and a track record of only 77% means something is amiss and has to be done. Suggestions ranged from adding more guidance counsellors, improved literacy programs and more librarians in schools. The feds have just announced a $13B surplus and that they are backing out of supporting fed-prov literacy programs. Many other social support programs are being cut by the Harper government as well. So it falls on Alberta to step up - and why not. Education is provincial jurisdiction after all. Check the PC Leadership Candidates websites and see what they say about this issue.

Do you think public education is important? Take some time and let the province know what you think are of our public education system. There is an on-line survey sponsored by Public Interest Alberta at http://www.schoolsurvey.ca/. I took it and think that is a great place to start to get the provincial ball rolling.