In Ontario, it's getting wider and deeper. Education Minister Lisa Thompson announced this week that by increasing average class size in the province's high schools, students would be prepared "for the reality of post-secondary, as well as the world of work."
Remember, she was talking average class sizes. What that means is that lots of classes will be in the 35 to 40 student range. That's not alarmist. I taught back in the days when the average was 28. I routinely taught classes of 36 to 38 students.
The Minister has been smoking something funny. Kristi Rushowy writes:
Thompson’s comment drew the ire of educators, with one calling it “outlandish.”
“There is no evidence that larger class sizes increase resiliency,” said Harvey Bischof, president of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, adding that as class sizes have shrunk in recent years, student achievement and graduation rates have shot up.
The minister, he said, “hedges, obfuscates and spins” to avoid talking about the cuts being made to education, accusing the Ford government of being “willing to sacrifice quality” to save money.
Andrea Horvath understands what's going on:
NDP Leader Andrea Horwath accused the Ford government of cutting $1 billion from education, “cramming more students into crowded classrooms” and turning the system into the “Hunger Games.”
“I mean, if students are being told they’ve got to make it on their own, they’ve got to fight for (teacher) attention, the government is bringing the Hunger Games into our schools,” she said, referring to the popular books and movies about a dystopian society where youth are forced to fight one another to the death.
The government has estimated it will save about $250 million in the first year alone with the loss of teaching positions.
Like most modern conservatives, the Fordians know the cost of everything and the value of nothing. That's why, in Ontario, the stuff that comes out of the back end of a cow keeps getting wider and deeper.
Image: Organic Fertilizers