November 2019 Newsletter
Updated: Jan 22, 2020
Read about our progress since the beginning of November 2019.
November 28, 2019
We are Proud to Announce our Formation
After nearly 2 months of hard work, the OTCC have members from most Faculties of Education in Ontario. Our Executive Members were elected on November 19, 2019. These members are:
President - Brittney Vandersel (Trent University)
Vice President - Matt Walker (Trent University)
Vice President - Bella Lewkowicz (University of Ottawa)
Secretary-Treasurer - Sara Campitelli (Queens University)
Director of Political Operations - Patrick Morris (Western University)
Director of Communications - Johan Kromhout (Brock University)
We, as a council, will work diligently to advocate for teacher candidates across Ontario.
New Website and Social Links
Our team has been hard at work creating a website where all of our information and progress can be shown. Follow the link to see for yourself! www.otcc.ca. We are also on twitter and facebook at @OTCC19. Follow us for regular updates.
Support from Official Opposition party (NDP)
On Oct 28, 2019, there was a meeting between OTCC President Brittney Vandersel, Vice Presidents Bella Lewkowicz and Matthew Walker and MPP Marit Stiles in regard to the Math Proficiency Legislation. Marit shared her support and concern for the newly imposed legislation.
On November 8th, 2019, there was a meeting between MPP Chris Glover, OTCC President Brittney Vandersel, OTCC Vice President Matthew Walker, and Chris Glover's assistant. We discussed how best to approach the MPT issue on the floor at the assembly. Our supporting MPPs will be working together to see which is the best way to bring this to the assembly and when.
Email templates for letters to MPPs
The OTCC has created a set of short, yet succinct email templates for teacher candidates around the province to send to Mr. Lecce, Mr. Ford, Mr. Oosterhoff, local MPPs, and EQAO. These templates have one or two brief but compelling arguments against the test. Please join in our efforts to bring positive changes for our teacher candidates and to our provincial budget. Find the email templates on our website and social media links.
Support from the Ontario Civil Liberties Association
We at the OTCC have worked hard to find a path to eliminate the Math Proficiency test. One of the most obvious paths is the legal road. We have been in communication with a legal team at the OCLA and in their legal opinion, second-year candidates should be grandfathered in, as there is not a reasonable amount of time to develop the test, or prepare the students to succeed. We will be working to see if we have a strong legal case to fight this test in the courts.
Contact with the Ombudsman
Following many unanswered emails to the Ministry of Education, The Ombudsman was contacted to help us get some answers. In the opinion of the Ombudsman, the absence of a response from the Ministry of Education is "appalling" so they're addressing it. The Ombudsman has the power to hold the feet of the government to the fire regarding their lack of transparency and response to questions regarding the test and its development.
Lack of knowledge about the test from both EQAO and the Ministry of Education.
In a recent information session at a Faculty of Education, a Ministry of Education representative was heard saying, “There is no test.” This person talked about the $20 million math investment and the new curriculum coming into effect in 2020, however, this individual would not answer questions related to the math proficiency test. The Ministry representative stated, “There’s no test. I don’t know what to tell you because we have nothing. We’re not taking questions because we can’t even answer them.”
The EQAO typically takes three years to design a standardized test and as of November 8, 2019 nothing substantial is ready. Nor are any materials to help students to prepare.
On October 28th, 2019 a rally for education was held at Queen’s Park. After nearly 5 months in recess, the provincial legislature came back into session on this day to hundreds of people protesting various cuts to education. Of course, several of our OTCC members were in attendance. Many members of ETFO, OSSTF, OECTA and AEFO were there in addition to concerned parents and students.
New distributed Rallies are being planned so that Teacher Candidates and supporters can protest together in separate locations. We will be organizing events to protest at MPP offices near Faculties of Education. We plan to have a day where all students and supporters can be protesting at the same time but distributed across the province. Stay tuned to our Social and website for more details.
We are Looking for More Representatives
The OTCC is looking for representatives who are not in their final year to join the council. It is our intention for the Council to remain an organization which advocates for teacher candidates for years to come. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.