Where school boards and the Elementary Teachers Federation of Ontario (ETFO) differ is in ETFO’s definition of professionalism as complete autonomy on the part of teachers to decide how, when and even if they will engage in the professional responsibilities that are an integral part of their jobs. Producing final report cards with their professional input is but one example. This is a responsibility that is handled, as part of their jobs, by 76,000 elementary teachers each year. There is a system that teachers use to do this so that report cards can be sent to parents. ETFO has instructed their members to abandon this system and this responsibility and leave it to 3,000 principals who are already handling a range of extra work as a result of other tasks ETFO has instructed its members to abandon.
“The school board position is that professionalism includes accountability. School boards are accountable to students, parents and the Ontario public,” said OPSBA president Michael Barrett. “That accountability flows through the school system to the schools and to the teachers. It is a quality issue that directly impacts on student learning.”
No paid professional in Ontario is exempt from accountability and the union that represents the dedicated teachers in our schools should explain to the public why they are taking the position they have put forward, why they have deliberately created a situation that prevents parents sharing with their children the successes that are communicated on report cards.
For further information:
Jeff Sprang, OPSBA Communications, 416-340-2540