Ask the Teacher: Windsor parents discuss education concerns

Ask the Teacher: Windsor parents discuss education concerns

Parents and teachers in the Windsor region are on the same page when it comes to concerns over class sizes, school safety and standardized testing, according to issues discussed at a public meeting Wednesday.

Parents met with officials from Greater Essex Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario at the Ciociaro Club for a special event called Ask the Teacher.

ETFO local president Adelina Cecchin said parental concerns echo a lot of the concerns teachers have, such as large class sizes.

"We're looking at the re-integration of our special needs kids into these classrooms and many times these special needs kids don't have the supports they need," she said.

Cecchin cited census data in the U.S. and figures from Statistics Canada show Ontario is ranked 45th out of 61 state and provincial jurisdictions in North America when it comes to per pupil spending.

Teachers are also not in favour of standardized testing, but trustee Alan Halberstadt, who attended the meeting with board chairperson Kim McKinley and trustee Cheryl Lovell, wants to know what it would be replaced with.

"If there's no measuring stick, then how do we really know, other than: Trust us, that they're learning the basics of language, mathematics and writing and reading," said Halberstadt.

Parent Brianne Earish came to learn more about the issues in the schools.

"It's really enlightening. Being able to sit at a table and really hear what the teachers have to say and they're listening to what we have to say," she said.