A few weeks ago, during the Chicago teachers’ strike, I had kind things to say about education reform in Ontario after the Liberals took power in 2002 (“How much do teacher strikes hurt kids?”). The piece drew on work by the OECD, part of an attempt to refute work by Washington Post boy blogger Dylan “Minipundit” Matthews.
After posting it, several emailers and commenters noted that things have changed in Ontario, as the Liberals have embraced U.S.-style austerity. Have they ever. The government has passed a monstrosity with a name that Rahm Emanuel couldn’t improve on: “the Putting Students First Act, that freezes teachers’ wages for two years and prevents them from striking.” Students are protesting the bill, as John Bonnar noted in Rabble.ca the other day (“Bramalea Secondary School students stage Queen’s Park protest against Bill 115”). And unions are suing. But clearly the Ontario Liberals have gone from a model school reform to one inspired by the colossus to the south.