Patrick Murphy, Andrea Grebenc

“We should have approached [COVID-19] aggressively.”
“Now the scale has moved.”
“A target on our back.”
“Commodification and privatization.”
“A freight train that has already left the station.”
“They don’t know how the system works.”

These quotes, taken from a wide-ranging discussion with Andrea Grebenc, chair of Halton District School Board, and Patrick Murphy, Chair of Halton Catholic District School Board, in an episode recorded on April 8th, illustrate the frustration felt by schools boards as they face a provincial government that doesn’t listen, and doesn’t understand Ontario’s education system.

In a frank discussion, neither chair shied away from stating the failures in the provincial government’s COVID-19 response, its problematic view of teachers and the education system, and the apparent plans to use COVID-19 as a tool to make online learning a permanent feature of Ontario’s education.

When we recorded this episode, Stephen Lecce, minister of Education, was still insisting schools were safe and would remain open, despite the renewed lockdown. On April 11th, in an open letter sent to all parents in Ontario, he repeated the assertion that ‘more than 99 per cent of students and staff do not have an active case of COVID-19’, a statistic that hardly inspired confidence at any school with more than 100 students.

A day later, the province announced all schools were to close until further notice.

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The Quadrafonics: fantastic opening and closing tunes!

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