Education is surely one of the most important issues for Albertans. I felt that way long before I ran for public office, and what I have seen and heard over the last few years has only strengthened that belief.
We care deeply for our kids, about how and what they learn, about where they learn, and we want to make sure they are being prepared for what lies ahead in life.
For the last two years it was an honour for me to be the education critic (I prefer advocate) for the official opposition. I now have the great opportunity to apply all that I learned to the Government side to ensure that our education system is as strong as it possibly can be.
The Premier’s recent mandate letter to Education Minister Gordon Dirks explicitly calls for “grading practices that are coherent and acceptable to all Albertans.” It insists that “basics such as reading, writing, and arithmetic” remain enshrined as fundamental building blocks of our students’ education. These are fundamentals that I (along with many others) fought for and I’m thrilled to see the Premier standing up for these things.
It was a very exciting day for me when Premier Prentice placed me on a special committee tasked with investigating issues and topics in the education portfolio. I certainly appreciate the recognition for my passion on this matter, and it is gratifying to know that we share a vision for the importance of education for Albertans. My involvement on this committee means that I can work much more closely with the Minister of Education and lend my voice to the decision-making process. I am very excited to make the most of this opportunity to represent your views as well as those of key education stakeholders.
We are currently investigating a number of exciting avenues as we chart a course for education’s future in the province. A key part of this has been and will continue to be our consultations with key stakeholders and experts, from teaching associations to school boards to parent groups. Our constant goal is to keep education innovative while nurturing the fundamentals. Students and parents expect this, and this is our commitment.
I continue to meet with our local school board representatives and will always work with them to achieve the best result in the classroom. We have great teachers and administrators in our community, and as Government we have to do all we can to allow them to succeed.
If you have any questions on the education file or any other issue, please drop me a line at the office and I will do all I can to help.