A Successful Reform


by Jennifer Craw

 

In 2006 Ontario, Canada realized that in nearly a fifth of the elementary schools in the province, more than half of students scored below the provincial standard in math, reading and writing. In response, the province invested in a program called Ontario Focused Intervention Partnership. This program took a capacity building route. Rather than closing down schools, replacing school leaders, sanctioning schools or mandating specific changes, Ontario designed a whole-school approach to building the professional capacity of educators to meet student learning needs, based on the assumption that each school’s very own educators are the force for change. As a result, ten years later the number of under-performing elementary schools had dropped from nearly 800 to only 63. For more on how Ontario and other Canadian provinces have built world-class education systems, see CIEB’s Canada profile.