Thursday, October 18, 2007

Good opinions at the Calgary Herald

As Scott Hennig showed me, the October 18 editorial page of the Calgary Herald was fantastic. The lead editorial, Full Speed Ahead on Human Rights, says Aboriginals should have full access to human rights ASAP. (No kidding!)

Persistance does pay off tells the heartwarming story of Bert Brown, elected to our Senate after 24 years of activism for Senate Reform. Taxpayer advocates take note:

Politics sometimes does yield a story of how persistence in a good cause may be rewarded, and when Prime Minister Stephen Harper marched Brown into the Senate Chamber to be sworn in, all Canadians could see that this was one for the history books.

More particularly, it is one for the school textbooks. When this country has an elected Senate, and surely one day it must, it will be because ordinary Albertans gathered in an Alberta farmhouse decided it should, and believed it strongly enough to do the work it took, for 24 years. The lesson: If you think you're right, never give up.

Finally, in "More chice makes for better equality," Preston Manning tells us why the Alberta education system is outperforming other provinces and how it relates to the recent Ontario election.
The debate in Ontario is narrowly focused on whether to publicly fund religious schools. The bigger issue is how to expand freedom of choice for all Ontario parents, while improving the performance of both public and private schools and ensuring their adherence to provincial standards.

The following recommendations address this larger issue. They are relevant to all provinces:

Fully embrace the principles of freedom of choice and accountability for results in K-12 education.

Provide a voucher worth 50 per cent of the total per-student cost of public education to parents opting for independent education.

Support children with special needs, whose parents choose alternative education, by providing those parents with a voucher worth 75 per cent of the cost of their child's education in the public system.

Compile and publish annual report cards on all K-12 schools, holding them publicly accountable for results and adherence to provincial standards.

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