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Letter of Transmittal 1

1. Introduction 2

2. Key Areas of Success in Restructuring 4

3. What Needs Work 7

4. A Provincial Framework for Accountability 11

5. The Road Ahead 32

6. Conclusion and Summary of Recommendations 37

Appendices 40
Letter of Transmittal
April 13,2000

Dear Minister,

The Education Improvement Commission is pleased to present The Road Ahead – IV: A Report on Improving Schools Through Greater

The Commission recently completed a progress review of Ontario’s new district school boards. Our purpose in this report is to summarize
our progress review and to provide direction for the road ahead,which we believe will lead to the ongoing improvement of boards.
In three interim reports, we described the review process; reported on our general obser vations;identified trends in boards across the
province;and made recommendations for the consideration of school boards,the Ministry of Education,and other partners in education.

This report contains 15 recommendations directed to school boards,to the Education Quality and Accountability Office,and to you and
your ministry.The recommendations cover a range of topics,including:
   • the need for accurate and rele vant province-by-province information about student performance and education funding
   • the need for the ministry to provide for an appropriate increase in the compensation levels of school board employees;and the
     need for boards and employee groups to recognize their responsibilities to ensure that the education system operates effectively,
     and that students have full access to instructional and extracurricular programs
   • the development and implementation of a comprehensive accountability framework for the education system
   • the empowerment of an independent agency to conduct ongoing r eviews of school boards.

In the report, we outline a comprehensive accountability framework that would define “who does what.” We believe such a framework
would contribute greatly to the improvement of the education system and student achievement.

We commend this report to you and look forward to continuing to work with you.

Dave Cooke                    Ann Vanstone
Co-chair                      Co-chair

Peter Cameron                 Rémi Lessard                   Betty Moseley-Williams         Arlene Wright
Commissioner                  Commissioner                   Commissioner                   Commissioner
                                      1. Introduction
                                      In this report, we outline the progress the    The Minister asked us to focus our         employees,parents, and other participants
                                      Education Improvement Commission               review on:                                 from across the province,as well as some
                                      (EIC) saw in its recent r eview of Ontario’s                                              suggestions for improvement.
                                                                                     • the major restructuring activities
                                      72 new district school boards.
                                                                                       undertaken by boards to reduce their
                                                                                                                                While our progress review focused
                                                                                       administrative and support structures
                                      In our three previous Road Ahead                                                          primarily on the restructuring of school
                                      reports, we used the analogy of a road         • innovative and cost-effective ways       boards,it was not possible to isolate
                                      map.We believe the analogy is appropriate        of delivering non-teaching services      restructuring from other aspects of
                                      for this report as well.Our progress             (including cooperatives,consortia,       education reform.Therefore,many of
                                      review demonstrated that boards have             partnerships,and joint labour-           our observations and recommendations
                                      made significant progress toward                 management initiatives)                  reflected the impact of other education
                                      achieving a common vision of the                                                          reform initiatives that took place simulta -
                                                                                     • forward-looking practices that have
                                      restructured education system,though                                                      neously with restructuring.
                                                                                       helped boards implement education
                                      there are still some roadblocks to be
                                      overcome in the ongoing journey of                                                        The objective of education reform must
                                      improvement.                                   • opportunities to increase the            be to improve the quality of education for
                                                                                       effectiveness and efficiency of board    our students.Recent reforms in Ontario
                                      The EIC was established by the Ontario           operations                               have focused on increasing student
                                      government in 1997 to oversee the                                                         learning,creating greater equity among
                                                                                     • methods that boards use to communi -
                                      transition to the province’s new system of                                                students,developing greater accountability,
                                                                                       cate with their communities
                                      educational governance.The Commission’s                                                   and ensuring more ef ficient use of
 the turmoil that characterizes the
                                      main responsibility is to ensure that          • the role of school councils in boards’   resources.These reforms have included
assive changes in education, it is
                                      Ontario’s new district school boards ar e        decision-making processes,and the        six initiatives:
  uable to have an experienced,
  d-party view of what needs to       established in an organized and appropri-        feasibility of increasing parental
                                                                                                                                • curriculum reform
  addressed.                          ate manner. In February 1999,the then            involvement in educational governance.
                                      Minister of Education and Training asked                                                  • testing and reporting on student
 – Principal, Central Ontario
                                      the EIC to undertake a systematic              We are pleased to report that each board     achievement
                                      progress review of the new boards.             in the province was reviewed in 1999.
                                                                                                                                • funding reform
                                      We were pleased to accept this project,        The EIC has published 72 individual
                                      because we believed the review would           reports,one on each board,as well as       • the restructuring of school boards
                                      encourage boards to build on the               three interim reports on the review
                                                                                                                                • ongoing professional accreditation of
                                      improvements that have already been            process.We have also completed an
                                      made.                                          evaluation of the review process.The
                                                                                     evaluation generated very positive         • the development of a new role for
                                                                                     comments from administration,trustees,       principals.
Our purpose in this report is to summarize      to more clearly define the responsibilities
our progress review of Ontario’s school         and obligations of both the ministry and
boards and to provide direction for the         school boards.
road ahead,which we believe will lead
to the ongoing improvement of boards.           In fact,in our view, no factor would
The review process has highlighted the          contribute more to the impr ovement
significant progress boards are making          of our education system and of student
in the face of unprecedented levels of          achievement than the development and
change.While some storm clouds on the           implementation of a comprehensive
horizon signal issues that will need to be      accountability framework that defines
resolved,our review has affirmed the            “who does what.” In this report we
commitment of school boards to fulfilling       outline such a framework,and provide
their responsibilities to Ontario’s students.   recommendations for its implementation.
                                                We also describe some strategies that
The Ministry of Education is accountable        would encourage the continuing improve-
to the people of Ontario for standards in       ment of school boards.
student achievement and for the ef fective
and efficient use of public funds.It is         Additionally, we present highlights of our
responsible for articulating a vision of        evaluation of the review process, and note
education for the province,and providing        some of the exemplary practices that
sufficient and equitable funding to school      we discuss in more detail in our Progress
boards to achieve this vision.In turn,each      Review of Ontario’s New District
school board is responsible for ensuring        School Boards:Best of Effective Practices
that it promotes a high level of student        (April 2000).

Under the new system of educational                                                           The EIC’s review process promoted
governance,the Ministry of Education                                                          accountability, both within the
                                                                                              organization and to the public.
has assumed full responsibility for the
funding of education.As a result,there                                                           – Principal, Southwestern
has been a significant change in the                                                               Ontario
relationship between the ministry and the
new district school boards.School boards
must now meet all the needs within their
jurisdictions through the funding the y
receive from the ministr y.These changes
mean that the decisions made by the
ministry, school boards,and schools will
come under increasing scrutiny.A stronger
accountability framework is needed,
                                   2. Key Areas of Success
                                      in Restructuring
                                   Our review was designed to measur e
                                   progress,through the use of checklists,
                                                                                  We congratulate board trustees and staf f,
                                                                                  who have worked very hard to ensure
                                                                                                                                Most of the new district school boards
                                   surveys,and guided discussion,in the           that the administrative restructuring of
                                                                                                                                are developing a strong identity.This
                                   following six areas of school boar d           school boards has been smooth. We saw
                                                                                                                                process includes developing a vision
                                   operations:                                    significant progress in all the areas of
                                                                                                                                statement in consultation with the
                                                                                  board operations we reviewed.To help
                                   • Finance, facilities,and transportation                                                     board’s staff, students,and community,
                                                                                  boards with their restructuring ef forts,
                                                                                                                                and adopting policies to put the vision
                                   • Communication and community                  the highly effective practices we observed
                                                                                                                                into practice.
                                     relations                                    during our review are being published
                                                                                  separately in the document Best of
                                   • Human resources                                                                            Many boards across the province have
                                                                                  Effective Practices.The progress that
                                                                                                                                made progress in redefining the role of
                                   • Student support services                     boards have made in restructuring,as
                                   • Governance                                   well as some of the challenges that still
                                                                                  need to be resolved,are discussed in our      Some boards are making ef forts to hold
                                   • Board administration.                        three interim reports and the 72 individual   the director (and,through the director,
                                                                                  board reports.These documents are posted      senior staff) more accountable both for
                                   In addition,the review was intended to         on our website (    student achievement and for the overall
                                   examine the role of school councils in
                                                                                                                                performance of the administration.
                                   boards’decision-making processes,and to        This chapter will highlight some of the key
e review process was important:                                                                                                 However, we believe much more work
                                   study the feasibility of increasing parental   areas of success in restructuring. For a
meone needed to determine                                                                                                       needs to be done in this area,and will
                                   involvement in educational governance.         more detailed analysis of our obser vations
hether amalgamation was                                                                                                         outline our recommendations for
orking.                                                                           and recommendations on these topics,
                                   In our opinion,the restructuring process                                                     improvement later in this report.
                                                                                  please visit our website.
 – Trustee, Southeastern Ontario   has been successful but is still incomplete.
                                                                                                                                All boards reported that they would have
                                   We believe restructuring is a process that
                                                                                                                                student trustees in place by September
                                   takes time.The education system has
                                                                                                                                1999.In our Third Interim Report
                                   undergone major changes, and we believe a
                                                                                                                                (January 2000), we recommended that
                                   period of stability is needed to consolidate
                                                                                                                                boards help students to learn about the
                                   the gains that have been made.
                                                                                                                                democratic process by providing for the
                                                                                                                                election of student trustees by their peers,
                                                                                                                                and by supporting the inclusion of
                                                                                                                                student opinion in board deliberations.
We strongly believe that all boards
should implement the structures
                                               A clear example of this ef fort to achieve
                                               savings is the reduction in the number
                                                                                             New Financial
needed to ensure that student trustees         of supervisory of ficers.In 1997,Ontario’s    Systems
are elected by their peers, and that           school boards had 707 supervisor y            One of the areas in which we have seen
student trustees’ views are widely             officers.This number fell to 515 in 1998,     the greatest progress in restructuring is
reported.                                      saving an estimated $26.2 million. (See our   finance.Because financial operations are
                                               Third Interim Report for an explanation       crucial to their o verall operation,boards
                                               of how these savings are calculated.          moved quickly in this area.In many cases,

Administrative                                 Appendix B lists the changes in the           financial restructuring has improved the
                                                                                             flow and accuracy of financial informa -
                                               number of supervisory officers
Restructuring                                  employed by each board.)                      tion,and in the long term should reduce
All school boards have made efforts to                                                       costs and workload.Most boards restruc-
increase the efficiency of their administra-                                                 tured their financial operations with a
                                               In addition,boards have developed
tions.This restructuring was, for the most                                                   reduced number of finance staf f.
                                               innovative business practices that require
part,completed quickly and effectively.
                                               fewer employees to support the system
                                               (see the section “New Ways of Doing           Boards are striving to make their financial
To assist with the reduction in size of                                                      services more efficient through the use of
                                               Business,” below, for more details).
board administration,the Ministry of                                                         technology.The Ministry of Education
Education provided boards with restruc-                                                      provided significant restructuring funds
                                               Administrative staffs experienced
turing funds so they could offer their                                                       to help boards achieve this goal,and we
                                               significantly higher workloads during the
non-instructional staff incentives for early                                                 have noted many innovations across the
                                               transition,and many administrators
departure.In addition,temporary changes                                                      province.
                                               assumed more responsibilities.We
were made to pension plan rules,allowing
                                               commend their efforts to ensure that
many administrators and support staff to                                                     We anticipate that financial restructuring
                                               students’needs were met throughout the
retire earlier than under previous                                                           will enable boards to be more ef fective
                                               transition process.                                                                         The review gave the board a sense
regulations.Boards took advantage of                                                         and efficient.In addition,the application     of what it had achieved and showed
these initiatives to make savings by:                                                        of new technology will improve their          what it still needs to achieve. I believe
• reducing staff                                                                             access to cur rent,accurate financial         that in future years it will make a
                                                                                             information.This will allow boards to         difference.
• amalgamating departments                                                                   report their finances more clearly to the        – Student trustee, Northwestern
• reducing the layers of administration                                                      public, resulting in a more open and               Ontario
  between the schools and the director                                                       accountable system.

• closing and/or selling surplus facilities.
                                   New Ways of                                  The Role of School
                                   Doing Business                               Councils
                                   Throughout Ontario,boards have               The Minister of Education asked us, as part
                                   developed new, more collaborative and        of our progress review of school boards,
                                   efficient ways of doing business.In our      to examine the role of school councils in
                                   Second Interim Report (September 1999),      board decision-making processes, and the
                                   we gave examples of these initiatives        feasibility of increasing parental involve-
                                   under the following headings: outsourcing,   ment in educational governance.During
                                   including partnerships,consortia,and         our review, we had the opportunity to
                                   cooperatives;technology;purchasing           meet with school council representatives
                                   arrangements;and multi-use facilities.       in every board.Review teams learned a
                                   We believe much more can still be            great deal about the restructuring process
                                   achieved in this area.Collaboration to       through these meetings.They also heard
                                   reduce duplication, reduce costs,and         strong,continuing support for the findings
                                   provide a full range of high-quality         of our report The Road Ahead – III:
                                   services must become the norm.To help        A Report on the Role of School Councils
                                   boards share their best ideas with each      (November 1998).
                                   other, our document Best of Effective
                                   Practices presents exemplary collaborative   Mandated school councils are relatively
                                   practices of boards across the province.     new to Ontario,and school boards vary in
                                   It includes contact names and links to       the degree to which they ha ve embraced
                                   board websites,and has been placed on        the councils’ role.Some boards provide
                                   our website to allow for wide access.        significant support to school councils,
                                                                                while other boards need to do a great
                                   Boards have made good use of ministry        deal more work.We believe school
e board review was a real          restructuring funds,improving the            councils should have an ef fective voice in
  ning experience for me. As a     technologies available for both teaching     the development of school improvement
 ent I was able to contribute to   and administration.Many boards with          plans and board policies.It is also
e larger process of education.     geographically large jurisdictions use       important that school councils develop
 – Parent, Central Ontario         video and/or teleconferencing to help        strategies to ensure the voice of all
                                   them conduct business.                       parents is reflected in deliberations at the
                                                                                school level.

                                                                                Later in this report, we will describe
                                                                                initiatives the EIC will undertake this
                                                                                spring to support the role of school
3. What Needs Work
As we have indicated in our previous
reports,the restructuring process takes
                                              The New Funding                             Many factors contribute to the differences
                                                                                          in funding allocations.They include the
time and effort.Much progress has             Formula                                     number of special education students;the
already been made. To build on this                                                       number of students whose first language
progress,continued action will be needed      Background to the                           is not English or F rench;the size of the
from all education partners,including the     Funding Formula                             board;the location of the board;and the
Ministry of Education and related             Among the changes that have had the         language of instruction.The funding
agencies,trustees,senior school board         greatest effect on school boards in the     model takes these factors into account
administration,principals,teachers,and        past two years is the implementation        through special purpose grants for the
school councils.In addition,as we             of the ministry’s new funding for mula.     following areas:
indicated in our Third Interim Report,        The new model was developed over            • special education
officials at all le vels of government must   many years.Successive provincial
determine which services should be            governments,led by three different          • language
delivered and paid for by school boards,      parties,struggled to ensure that any        • geographic factors and school
and which by municipalities,provincial        new funding model would create greater        authorities
ministries,and federal departments.In         equity in boards’ ability to meet their
this chapter we discuss several issues that                                               • learning opportunities
                                              students’needs.There was particular
remain outstanding.In order to resolve        concern that any new model should           • continuing education
these issues,each of the partners must        recognize and respect the constitutional
help facilitate,within the scope of its                                                   • teacher compensation
                                              rights of Catholic and French-speaking
mandate,ongoing improvement in our            citizens in Ontario to govern their own     • early learning
schools.                                      education.
                                                                                          • transportation
                                                                                                                                        It was good to see exemplary
                                              The new funding formula has succeeded       • school board administration and             practices highlighted – board
                                                                                                                                        reviews should continue.
                                              in achieving greater equity for students      governance.
                                              across the province.Rather than provid-                                                      – Principal, Central Ontario
                                              ing each board with an equal amount of      As we indicated in our second and third
                                              money per student,the formula provides      interim reports,the structure of the new
                                              funding to each board on the basis of the   funding formula is basically sound.That is,
                                              needs of its students (see our Third        the formula covers all the relevant areas
                                              Interim Report for examples).               of school and board operations.
                                                                                          Nonetheless,as might be expected when
                                                                                          such a significant change is introduced,
                                                                                          we believe some adjustments are needed
                                                                                          to ensure that the for mula meets the
                                                                                          needs of all students.
                                    Components of the                              accountable for education spending,           Most collective agreements for education
                                                                                   comparisons are needed with the               employees expire in August 2000,and
                                    Funding Formula That                           education funding of other pr ovinces and     many boards believe the next round of
                                    Need Attention                                 territories,as well as with that of other     bargaining will be very difficult.Several
                                    Some boards are still not working within       countries.                                    boards told us they will be unable to
                                    their funding allocations. For example,                                                      sustain current salaries and working
                                    some boards spend more in areas such as        Recommendation 1                              conditions once mitigation funding and
                                    administration or repairs and maintenance                                                    operating reserves are no longer available
                                                                                   That the Minister of Education
                                    than they receive from the ministry for                                                      (mitigation funds provide temporary
                                                                                   continue to work within the
                                    these purposes.We believe it is important                                                    funding to reduce the impact of a drop in
                                                                                   Council of Ministers of Education,
                                    that each board work within its funding                                                      general funding).
                                                                                   Canada to ensure that accurate
                                    allocation.However, the ministry needs to
                                                                                   and relevant information concern-
                                    ensure that the specific components of                                                       Moreover, as a result of the Social
                                                                                   ing student performance and
                                    the funding formula meet the needs of                                                        Contract Act, 1993, staff in the education
                                                                                   education funding be made
                                    students.In our interim reports, we                                                          sector have not received significant salar y
                                                                                   available on a province-by-province
                                    recommended that the ministry review                                                         increases since the early 1990s.The current
                                                                                   basis, and to ensure that this data
                                    and,where appropriate,enrich the formula                                                     growth in our economy and recent
                                                                                   permits valid comparisons of
                                    as it relates to English as a second                                                         settlements in other sectors will lead to
                                                                                   student performance and per-pupil
                                    language; French first language;learning                                                     an expectation on the part of education
                                                                                   expenditures of different
                                    opportunities; First Nations students;                                                       employees that they should make gains
                                                                                   provinces and international
                                    special education;pupil accommodation;                                                       in the next round of negotiations.The
                                    the small school factor for boards with                                                      ministry provides school boards with
                                    many small,isolated schools;and board                                                        funding for salaries and benefits based on
                                    administration for very small boards.The                                                     employees’ workload,qualifications,and
was helpful for us to see how our   Minister has recently announced                Negotiations                                  experience (and,in the case of teachers,
                                    enhancements to the funding for mula as        One of the most fundamental changes to
malgamation was going from an                                                                                                    factors such as class size).Many boards
 tside perspective, and how we      it applies to special education that will      the funding of education in Ontario is that
                                                                                                                                 have been unable to fund teacher salaries
  e doing in relation to other      provide additional support for students        a board’s overall budget is now established
                                                                                                                                 and benefits within the ministry’s
 ards.                                                                             by the province.School boards have some
                                    with special needs.                                                                          allocation because of the teacher
                                                                                   flexibility to move funds among the
 – Director, Southeastern                                                                                                        workload provisions negotiated into
                                    In The Road Ahead – II:A Report on the         various envelopes in the funding for mula,
   Ontario                                                                                                                       collective agreements. For example,
                                    Role of School Boards and Trustees             for example from the non-classroom
                                                                                                                                 collective agreements outline the amount
                                    (December 1997), we stated our belief          envelope to the classroom envelope.
                                                                                                                                 of time secondary teachers must spend
                                    that the ministry is responsible for           However, they cannot spend in total more
                                                                                                                                 instructing students and the amount of
                                    providing sufficient and equitable funding     than the formula provides,and cannot
                                                                                                                                 time they have to prepare for their
                                    to school boards, and that it is accountable   move money from the classroom envelope
                                                                                                                                 classes.In order to fund these provisions,
                                    to the people of Ontario for the “effective    into the non-classroom envelope.This
                                                                                                                                 some boards have transferred funding
                                    and efficient use of public funding            change is likely to have a significant
                                                                                                                                 from the envelope designated for textbooks
                                    allocated for education.”We believe that,      impact on the next round of collective
                                                                                                                                 and classroom supplies.Others have
                                    in order for the ministry to be truly          bargaining between boards and education
                                                                                                                                 transferred savings from non-classroom
                                                                                                                                 envelopes such as administration and
school operations,or have drawn on
reserves or mitigation funds. In the future,
                                               Students also expressed concern that
                                               extracurricular activities have been
if boards negotiate collective agreements      disrupted by labour disputes between          Practices and
that cost them more than the relevant          boards and their teachers.In two cases,       Communications
funding envelope provides,they will            teachers have withdrawn all support for       During our review, we had the opportuni-
continue to have to transfer funds from        extracurricular programs,despite the          ty to talk with people at all levels within
other envelopes of the funding formula         existence of a collective agreement.          school boards,as well as with community
to support these settlements.                  Students believe extracurricular              partners. We believe the operation of
                                               activities are an essential part of their     many boards would be improved if the
The situation is made more complex b y         school program, and the EIC agrees.           individuals and groups affected by
the fact that,as mentioned in earlier                                                        decisions had more and better opportuni-
reports,several school boards are              All these pressures point to the need for a   ties to provide input before decisions are
encountering shortages of teaching and         careful reexamination of the base funding     made.It is also essential that people who
other professional staff.As a result,some      levels in the provincial funding formula.     have given input receive feedback on
boards,particularly those in the north,        Although collective agreements are            how their comments ha ve been incorpo-
have provided salaries above the provincial    negotiated by boards and employee             rated in the final decision.
average to attract and retain principals,      groups,the province now determines the
teachers, and some special education staff.    foundation on which these negotiations        Communication among the partners in
                                               are built.                                    education must improve in order to
Many boards have saved money by                                                              involve community members more
reducing library and guidance classes,and      Recommendation 2                              meaningfully in education.These partners
by including in collective a greements the                                                   include principals,teachers,caretakers,
                                               That the Ministry of Education
provision for “on-call”teachers to replace                                                   central office and professional support
                                               anticipate in the 2000–2001
teachers who are absent ( on-call teachers                                                   staff, students,and parents.Effective two-
                                               funding formula the need for
are teachers who are in the school but are                                                   way communication is essential at all
                                               an appropriate increase in the
not teaching a class during a particular                                                     levels of board systems,as is communica-
                                               compensation levels of school
period.) Many of the students we spoke                                                       tion from the Ministry of Education and       The review allowed parents to get
                                               board employees; and that
to were concerned that on-call teachers                                                      its related agencies and commissions.         involved in the consultation process,
                                               boards and employee groups                                                                  which is essential to give direction
are often not qualified to teach the subject
                                               recognize their responsibility to                                                           to future activities.
of the class they are supervising – so                                                       As noted earlier in this report, we
                                               ensure that our education system
students in effect have a supervised study                                                   consider it particularly important that          – Parent, Northeastern Ontario
                                               operates effectively, and that
period rather than a class taught by a                                                       boards develop mechanisms to ensure
                                               students have full access to
teacher.                                                                                     that school councils have an effective
                                               instructional and extracurricular
                                                                                             voice in policy development.
                                   Clarification of                               Development of                             Recommendation 3
                                   the Roles of                                   an Accountability                          That the Ministry of Education
                                                                                                                             develop and implement a com-
                                   Employees                                      Framework                                  prehensive accountability frame-
                                   The restructuring process has shifted          We believe the development and
                                                                                                                             work for the publicly funded
                                   roles and responsibilities within board        implementation of a comprehensive
                                                                                                                             education sector no later than the
                                   systems.With fewer administrators in           accountability framework is the single
                                                                                                                             2001–2002 school year; and that
                                   board offices,concern has been                 factor that would have the greatest
                                                                                                                             the framework focus on a com-
                                   expressed about the downloading of             impact in improving our education
                                                                                                                             mitment to the ongoing improve-
                                   administrative responsibilities to princi-     system and student achievement.Such a
                                                                                                                             ment of student performance,
                                   pals,vice-principals,and school secre-         framework should respect the constitu -
                                                                                                                             standards of professional prac-
                                   taries. For accountability to be ef fective,   tional rights of Catholic and French-
                                                                                                                             tice, the effectiveness of school
                                   the role of each individual within the         speaking citizens,and would include
                                                                                                                             boards and their allocation of
                                   board must be clear. Only when roles are       strategies for accountability regarding
                                                                                                                             available funding, and the ade-
                                   clearly defined can we state who is            such issues as:
                                                                                                                             quacy of funding and other
                                   responsible for what,and how each
                                                                                  • student performance                      support from the Ministry of
                                   person is to be held accountable for his
                                                                                  • standards of professional practice
                                   or her responsibilities. We believe the
                                   process of clarifying roles is most
                                                                                  • the effectiveness of school boards       We believe accountability is a vitall y
                                   successful when it is approached in a
                                                                                                                             important topic.The next chapter
                                   systematic way.While some boards have          • school boards’ financial operations
                                                                                                                             describes what a comprehensive account -
                                   made good progress in this area,the            • the leadership of the Ministry of        ability framework would look like.
                                   clarification of roles should receive wider      Education,particularly regarding
                                   consideration.We will discuss this issue in      curriculum renewal and the adequacy
                                   more detail in chapter 5.                        of funding.
e best feature of the review
ocess was the accountability
                                                                                  In a comprehensive accountability model,
 tor – everyone works harder
hen they feel they are account -
                                                                                  all these areas must be assessed,and the
le.                                                                               findings reported to the public in an
                                                                                  accessible and easily understood form.
 – Parent, Central Ontario
4. A Provincial Framework for
Improving Boards                                               Accountability means exactly
                                                               that:Who accounts to the public
                                                                                                                   The EIC believes the public has the right
                                                                                                                   to know the following:
by Strengthening                                               for what happens in schools?
                                                                                                                   • how schools and boards perform on
Accountability                                                 Equally, it could be called respon -
                                                                                                                     key indicators of success*
                                                               sibility:Who is responsible for the
What Does                                                      performance of our schools? How                     • how schools and boards plan to
Accountability Mean?                                           do we know what we are entitled
                                                               to expect from schools? How do
The trust,support,and understanding of                                                                             • how schools and boards respond to
                                                               we know whether schools are
parents and the community are essential                                                                              provincial and local priorities
                                                               delivering on this entitlement?
to a successful education system.Such                                                                              • how boards allocate resources to
                                                               Whom do we hold to account –
community support is earned when                                                                                     contribute to student success
                                                               who is responsible – if we are not
boards produce good results and pr ovide
                                                               satisfied with the answers we get?                  • how the provincial education system
good value for taxpayers’dollars. It requires
that the public be well informed and                                                                                 performs on key indicators
                                                               Accountability in the education
engaged in the education process,and                                                                               • the province’s priorities for education
                                                               system, then, means that informa -
that the education system be clearl y
                                                               tion has to be a vailable to the                    • the province’s plans for improvement
accountable to the public.Accountability
                                                               public, to taxpayers, and to parents,
promotes ongoing improvements in the                                                                               • whether the resources provided by           The EIC’s review has made a difference
                                                               in a form that allows them to
system, open dialogue about the objectives                                                                           the province are appropriate.               to our board – many areas identified
                                                               have reasonable expectations of the
of education,and the ability to move                                                                                                                             for improvement in the report are
                                                               system, to make reasonable                                                                        showing up on the board’s agenda.
ahead with necessary changes.                                                                                      Here in Ontario,the Ministry of Education
                                                               judgements about how well the
                                                               system has performed, and to                        has responded to public demand by                – Union representative, Central
The call for increased accountability in                                                                           introducing new, standard report cards             Ontario
                                                               know who is responsible if they
education is not new. But the meaning of                                                                           that report individual student achievement.
                                                               are not satisfied. (IV: 137)
accountability has often been unclear.                                                                             But what about schools,school boards,
                                                                                                                   and others who are responsible for
The Royal Commission on Learning                                                                                   ensuring that our students’education is
concluded the following in its report,                                                                             successful? How do we ensure their
For the Love of Learning (1994):                                                                                   accountability?

* Indicators are factors that research shows are related to student performance.Examples are student attendance,
  students’destinations on leaving school,and gender differences in achievement.
                                    Our Progress Review of                         public funds in ways that best suppor t     • the need for board staff to receiv e
                                                                                   student learning.Independent reviews          positive reinforcement and acknowl-
                                    District School Boards                         also:                                         edgement of their hard work
                                    One such accountability mechanism is the
                                    EIC’s recent review of the progress school     • provide information that helps            • the need for a third-party perspective
                                    boards have made since restructuring             trustees,staff, and other education         on what is going well and which
                                    took place in January 1998.It is the first       partners to focus more clearly on           issues need to be addressed.
                                    time an independent review of school             improving student performance
                                    boards has taken place in Ontario.Indeed,                                                  Our evaluation also showed how future
                                                                                   • encourage the development of
                                    British Columbia is the only Canadian                                                      reviews could be improved.Many
                                                                                     partnerships among boards,schools,
                                    jurisdiction with a comprehensive,ongoing                                                  participants told us they would have
                                                                                     and school communities
                                    mandatory accreditation system for all                                                     liked more time to express their views to
                                    publicly funded schools.                       • encourage the sharing of “best            members of the review teams.We heard
                                                                                     practices”among boards                    that some people found it hard to give
                                    Nonetheless,accreditation programs such                                                    input because of the g reat distances they
                                                                                   • stimulate debate.
                                    as independent reviews are certainly not                                                   had to travel to take part,and because the
                                    new elsewhere in the world.Britain’s                                                       development of teleconference facilities
                                                                                   At the end of our review of school
                                    Office for Standards in Education (OFSTED)                                                 is still in its early sta ges.We believe that
                                                                                   boards,the EIC conducted an evaluation
                                    is a non-ministerial government department                                                 once teleconference facilities are more
                                                                                   of the review process.We distributed
                                    set up in 1992 to improve standards of                                                     widely used,it will be easier to ensure
                                                                                   surveys to everyone who took part in the
                                    achievement and quality of education                                                       the participation of people throughout
                                                                                   reviews,asked provincial associations and
                                    through independent inspection,public                                                      boards that are spread across lar ge areas.
                                                                                   unions for their feedback,and analyzed
                                    reporting,and informed independent             correspondence and media coverage.The
                                    advice.Many education departments in                                                       The most significant and common
                                                                                   evaluation was designed to determine the
                                    the United States have developed similar                                                   concern was that the scope of the
                                                                                   strengths and weaknesses of the process,
                                    review structures.                                                                         reviews was too narrow. Many partici-
                                                                                   to assess how the r eview has affected
                                                                                                                               pants said the reviews failed to deal
 e review team only discussed                                                      school board practices,and to help in the
                                    We believe independent reviews,such                                                        adequately with the central mandate of
malgamation issues. I would have                                                   design of any future reviews.
                                    as the one we ha ve just completed,                                                        schools and school boards – that is,the
 ed to look at all the changes in
 ucation.                           contribute to the overall accountability,                                                  programs and services of fered to
                                                                                   In general, respondents strongly support-
                                    performance,and improvement of school                                                      students.We acknowledge this concern.
  – Parent, Southeastern Ontario                                                   ed regular, ongoing reviews of school
                                    boards.While it is true that board members                                                 Our reviews focused on boards’business
                                                                                   boards.Their reasons included:
                                    are already accountable to their electorate,                                               and administrative practices,because this
                                                                                   • the need for boards to be held            area has been the central mandate of EIC.
                                    independent reviews provide the public
                                    with more information,allowing them to
                                    make more informed decisions and to            • the need for staff, students,parents,
                                    hold their elected trustees to a higher          and the community to ha ve the
                                    level of accountability. Reviews help            opportunity to reflect on their board’s
                                    ensure, for example,that boards spend            practices,achievements,and problems
Ongoing Independent                            the standard would receive a set of              The EQAO was established by the
                                               recommendations for improvement,and              Education Quality and Accountability
Board Reviews                                  would be re-reviewed after one or tw o           Act, 1996.The office has seven objects,
We believe that future independent             years to ensure that progress was being          including:
reviews of school boards should address        made.
all aspects of board responsibility. Such                                                       • to evaluate the public accountability
reviews should not only include,but                                                               of boards and to collect information
                                               In the unlikely event of a board still
should focus on, the programs and services                                                        on strategies for improving that
                                               failing to meet the expected standar d
offered to students and the results that                                                          accountability
                                               after a re-review, the Ministry of Education
students achieve.They should centre on         would need to prescribe a set of actions to      • to report to the public and to the
the question: “How successful is this          ensure speedy improvement.This would               Minister of Education on the results of
board in promoting a high level of             be a rare event, as it is, for example, in the     tests and generally on the quality and
student achievement?”                          process for accrediting hospitals.                 effectiveness of elementary and
                                                                                                  secondary school education and on
Such reviews should be conducted on a          We reiterate that the proposed review              the public accountability of boards.
three- or five-year cycle,with each board      process is intended to focus on and
being reviewed once in that period.            ensure improvement,and to strengthen,            While these objects do not confor m
Reports on the reviews should be               rather than to usurp,the role of school          precisely to the parameters of the review
directed to the Minister of Education,         boards in providing educational services.        process we are proposing,the EQAO
and should always be public documents.                                                          does currently have a mandate to review
                                               The EIC has demonstrated that an                 some aspects of board operations.
A process of ongoing independent reviews       independent agency can effectively               Additionally, its status as an independent
would not diminish the rights of school        review the operations of school boards.          agency would give the r eview process
boards to operate under the overall            While we believe an independent a gency          credibility.Therefore we believe the
framework of the Education Act – in fact,      should be authorized to conduct ongoing          proposed review process could be assigned
as noted above, reviews have great potential   reviews,the EIC is not the agency to             to an expanded and restructured EQAO.         The review was a “one-shot”
to strengthen boards. We acknowledge           conduct them,since our mandate to                                                              discussion. It would be interesting
that a review process must be de veloped       oversee the transition to the new district       The disadvantage of this approach is that     to meet with the EIC again to look
in such a way that it not interfere with       school boards ends in December 2000.If           the EQAO would be conducting both             at progress.
the constitutional rights of Catholic or       board reviews are to continue,another            student testing and board reviews.This           – Principal, Northeastern
French-speaking communities.                   agency must be authorized to conduct             situation could lead to a perceived                Ontario
                                               them.We have identified two options the          conflict of interest. For example,if a
Because the proposed review process            Minister of Education could consider for         board were concerned about any aspect
would focus on fostering ongoing               this purpose:she can request that the            of the testing process or the results its
improvement,it would be necessary to           Education Quality and Accountability             students had achieved,it would be
develop a standard of performance              Office (EQAO) undertake reviews,or she           difficult for the board to ha ve confidence
against which a board’s operations could       can establish a new independent a gency.         in a board review process conducted by
be measured.Boards that exceeded the           Either option could work,but in our view         the same agency that had tested the
standard would be reviewed again in the        the second option is preferable.                 students.
normal cycle.Those that did not reach
                                    A second option would be to create a
                                    new agency to conduct board reviews.
                                                                                  Improving the                                 Boards do of course know their students’
                                                                                                                                EQAO results for mathematics and
                                    This agency would report directly to the      Performance of                                language in Grades 3 and 6 – but otherwise
                                    legislature,and its mandate would be to       Students                                      they know very little about their students’
                                    improve student performance by                                                              overall performance levels.Very few boards
                                    facilitating improvements in school           Increasing the                                have developed comprehensive,public
                                    boards.The agency would use the EQAO’s        Availability of                               processes for monitoring performance.
                                    student achievement results as a starting                                                   Trustees,senior staff, and community
                                    point for its reviews.In addition to
                                                                                  Performance Data                              members are often not familiar with even
                                    providing recommendations to individual       While the main focus of our review of         such fundamental information as the
                                    boards,the agency could create “report        Ontario’s 72 district school boards was       percentage of students that earn graduating
                                    cards” for the province as a whole.It         on the restructuring that has occurred        diplomas.
                                    could also conduct research to determine      since 1998,one of the mandates we
                                    what effective boards do to improve           received from the Minister was to             In most cases,basic performance data
                                    student performance.                          examine the methods school boards are         about individual schools and the board as
                                                                                  using to report to their communities.         a whole – other than EQAO results – is
                                    In summary, we believe that responsibility                                                  simply not available to the trustees or the
                                    to the public is fundamental to the ongoing   In response to this mandate, we asked, for    public.We recognize the value of the
                                    accountability and improvement of the         example, about the ways boards inform         EQAO’s assessment of student achievement,
                                    education system.A process of ongoing         the community about their financial           and support the continuation of its work.
                                    school board reviews conducted by an          operations; about publications that           Nonetheless,more data is needed about
                                    independent agency would increase             explain the board’s finances and spending     student performance,and we believe
                                    public accountability.While the proposed      plans;and about processes for encourag-       boards should assess their students to
                                    reviews could be conducted successfully       ing input into the budget-setting process.    provide this data.
                                    by the EQAO or by a new independent
                                                                                  When we asked,“How well is the board          Not all useful data requires additional
ard reviews should be done on a     agency that reported to the legislature, we
 urring basis every three to five                                                 doing financially?”,the vast majority of      student testing. For example,boards
                                    believe the second option is preferable.
ars. School boards should know                                                    trustees,senior staff, principals,union and   should publish figures on issues that
at follow-up is essential.                                                        non-union staff representatives,and,in
                                    Recommendation 4                                                                            affect performance,such as attendance,
                                                                                  many cases,parents and community              the number of students who move
 – Community member, Central
                                    That the Minister of Education                members,could speak from an informed
   Ontario                                                                                                                      frequently from school to school,and the
                                    empower an independent agency                 position.They knew the issues and             rate at which secondary students gain
                                    to conduct reviews of school                  pressures;they understood the funding         credits.Nor does improvement in
                                    boards, focused on the question,              formula and its impact.                       performance necessarily depend on the
                                    “How successful is this board in
                                                                                                                                collection of new data.In some cases,
                                    promoting a high level of student             However, when we asked the obvious
                                                                                                                                more consistent collection and presenta -
                                    achievement?”; and that an                    and more central question,“How well are
                                                                                                                                tion of data could reveal ways to make
                                    appropriate budget be provided                your students performing?”, we were
                                    to the agency to conduct the                  disappointed to learn that most boards,
                                    reviews.                                      with a few notable exceptions,did not
                                                                                  know the answer.
To this end, we believe schools and boards   The EQAO is currently developing a           For example,improving scores in
should use a standard,province-wide          provincial program to identify indicators    mathematics,language,or other key
format to publish data on key indicators     of student performance and to collect        curriculum areas would obviously benefit
of student performance. We call these        data on those indicators.                    students.Additionally, research presented
proposed documents school and board                                                       in our earlier Road Ahead reports
report cards.We recommended in our           Given the diversity of this province,        supports the widespread belief that an
report The Road Ahead – III that the         it is essential that each school and board   important relationship exists between
Ministry of Education de velop standard      respond to the needs of its local commu-     student success and issues such as
report cards,and our review of school        nity.Therefore,in addition to the uniform    attendance, credit accumulation,
boards reinforced our belief in the need     elements,the report cards should include     graduation rates, and parental and
for these documents.The discussion that      space for information on issues unique to    community involvement in education.
follows reflects the de velopment of our     each school or board.
thinking on this issue.                                                                   Our main concern in proposing the
                                             Many other provinces,including Alberta,      development of report cards that report
School and board report cards,like the       Manitoba,Saskatchewan,and the Atlantic       on school and board performance is that
current student report cards, must include   provinces,have already developed             boards be as familiar with the issues that
certain uniform elements that allow the      comprehensive indicator programs,and         affect student performance as they are
collection of consistent,up-to-date          similar programs exist in many jurisdic-     with issues that relate to education
information on all schools and boards.       tions in the United States and Europe.       funding.While some boards are excep-
This should include data on key indicators   However, many provinces’indicator            tional in their attention to collecting and
of student performance,such as:              programs are simply statistical summaries    reporting student performance data,they
                                             that do not focus on school improvement.     are a minority at present.We would like
• student achievement,including EQAO
                                             In our opinion,the main purpose of           to see a situation in which all boards are
  test results
                                             publishing data on key indicators of         equally attentive to the crucial process of
• student attendance                         student performance is to bring about        collecting and publishing data on indicators
                                             improvement at the school level.We are       of student performance,as part of their        The best feature of the review was
• credit accumulation and graduation
                                             encouraged by the EQAO’s present work        overall commitment to accountability and       its “report card” dimension, which
  rates                                                                                                                                  gives us an opportunity to take
                                             in developing a provincial indicator         improved student learning.
• students’destinations on leaving                                                                                                       stock and move forward.
                                             program for Ontario,and urge the EQAO
  school                                     to focus on those indicators that are most   To assure the public of the accuracy of           – Principal, Southwestern
                                             clearly tied to student achievement.         the report cards,a verification process             Ontario
• gender differences in achievement
                                                                                          would need to be de veloped.Additionally,
• school safety.                             In choosing which indicators of student      the ministry would need to ensure that
                                             performance we should concentrate on,        boards made the reports available to
                                             perhaps the most important question is:      parents.
                                             “Would an improvement in this
                                             indicator of performance benefit
                                     Recommendation 5                      Recommendation 6                              recommended in our report The Road
                                                                                                                         Ahead – III the development of annual
                                     That the Ministry of Education        That a verification process be                school and board improvement plans.
                                     collect examples currently in use     developed to assure the public of             Our review of school boards reinforced
                                     in the province of excellent report   the accuracy of school and board              our belief in the need for improvement
                                     cards that report on school and       report cards.                                 plans,and the recommendations that
                                     board performance, to aid the                                                       follow restate that belief.
                                     development of a standard report      Samples showing possible formats for
                                     card for all schools and boards in    elementary and secondary school report
                                                                                                                         We believe school improvement plans
                                     Ontario; that the ministry require    cards are provided at the end of this
                                                                                                                         should be developed in consultation with
                                     (1) all principals, in consultation   chapter.
                                                                                                                         school councils,and should be public
                                     with their school councils, and (2)                                                 documents.In our opinion,schools would
                                     all school boards, through their      Planning for                                  become more effective and would enjoy
                                     directors of education, to publish    Improvement                                   stronger public support if mechanisms
                                     and distribute annual report cards                                                  were established to ensure such consulta-
                                                                           As stated above,the main purpose of
                                     that report on the performance                                                      tion.Though we have seen many fine
                                                                           collecting and publishing accurate,
                                     of their students; that the report                                                  examples of school improvement plans,
                                                                           relevant data about student performance
                                     cards include consistent data on                                                    we have seen few whose development
                                                                           is to aid planning for impr ovement.
                                     the following:                                                                      included a meaningful role for school
                                     • student achievement, including      Many, but by no means all,boards              councils.To help schools and boards plan
                                       the results of Education Quality    currently have policies that ensure           such a process,the EIC intends to work
                                       and Accountability Office tests,    regular planning for school improvement.      in cooperation with a small number of
                                       board-administered tests, and       Many principals and staff engage in           schools and boards to develop a model
                                       any national or international       regular improvement planning,whether          for school improvement planning that
                                       tests                               or not it is required by their board.In       includes a meaningful role for school
                                     • student attendance                  addition,as part of its work in testing       councils.We will publish the results of
 ward council meetings, I see that                                         students in Grades 3 and 6,the EQAO has       this project later this year.
e board is trying to implement the   • graduation rates of secondary
                                                                           asked boards to develop and submit
 s recommendations.                    students
                                                                           action plans in response to their students’   Recommendation 7
 – School council chair, Central
                                     • student destinations after
                                                                           EQAO achievement results.
                                       graduation                                                                        That the Ministry of Education
                                                                                                                         collect and publish examples of
                                     • gender differences and other        In the document Best of Effective
                                                                                                                         excellent school and board
                                       differences in achievement          Practices, we describe some of the most
                                                                                                                         improvement plans currently in
                                     • school safety                       effective approaches to school improve-
                                                                                                                         use in the province, to help
                                                                           ment planning across the pr ovince.Every
                                     • any other relevant areas;                                                         school boards to develop their
                                                                           school can bring about improvements,
                                                                                                                         own improvement plans; that the
                                     and that the report card provide      whatever its current levels of student
                                                                                                                         ministry require (1) all principals,
                                     adequate space for the reporting      performance.To ensure that all schools
                                                                                                                         in consultation with their school
                                     of progress in locally determined     and boards plan for improvement, we
                                                                                                                         councils, and (2) all school boards,
through their directors of educa-            If, as we proposed abo ve,schools and           students.As noted earlier, we believe
tion, to develop and monitor                 boards are required to publish a set of         school report cards and impr ovement
annual improvement plans; and                key student performance indicators and          plans should include sections that address
that the plans:                              be accountable for improvement in those         local priorities.Additionally, we believe
• be publicly available documents            areas,then the Ministry of Education            school profiles should be published to
                                             should have a similar responsibility for        help parents and other community
• be based on the analysis of
                                             province-wide performance.                      members understand the features that
  school and board report cards
                                                                                             make each school unique.
• reflect the academic and other             Recommendation 8
  expectations established by the                                                            It is important that school profiles be
                                             That the Education Quality and
  ministry and the boards                                                                    used to help parents interpret repor t
                                             Accountability Office publish an
• be informed by the improve-                annual provincial report card that
                                                                                             cards and to help schools develop
  ment goals of their boards and             includes a provincial summary of
                                                                                             improvement plans – not to excuse a lack
  vice versa                                 the data published in individual
                                                                                             of improvement in student performance.
• include a formal process for                                                               We need to have high expectations for
                                             school and board report cards;
  monitoring and reporting                                                                   all our students,while recognizing that
                                             and that the focus of this report
  progress toward improvement                                                                students and schools face varying
                                             be information about student
  goals.                                                                                     challenges in striving toward these
                                                                                             expectations.To ensure that student
                                                                                             performance data is read in context,and
Ensuring Provincial                          Recommendation 9
                                                                                             that planning for improvement takes into
Accountability                               That the Ministry of Education                  account local factors, we propose that
The Ministry of Education is accountable     develop and publish an annual                   school profiles be developed using the
to the people of Ontario for standards in    provincial improvement plan that                following categories:
student achievement and for the ef fective   outlines its role in helping boards
                                                                                             • student demographics
and efficient use of public funds.The role   make improvements at the local
of the ministry is to:                       level; and that this plan be based              • enrolment trends                           Accountability is needed to ensur e
                                             on an analysis of the provincial                                                             the responsible and efficient use of
• articulate a vision of education for the                                                   • languages spoken in the home
                                             report card published annually by                                                            scarce resources, whether at the
  province                                                                                                                                classroom, board, or ministry level.
                                             the Education Quality and                       • mission statement
• set province-wide direction,including      Accountability Office.                                                                          – Parent, Central Ontario
                                                                                             • program priorities
  establishing a curriculum that specifies
  what students should know at each level    Providing a Local                               • programs and services of fered

• provide sufficient and equitable           Context                                           (e.g.,guidance and library services)

  funding to school boards                   Schools across Ontario vary widely in           • facilities

• ensure that boards allocate their          their location, their size, and the languages
                                                                                             • class sizes
  resources according to the ministry’s      their students speak at home,among
                                             other factors.Schools also vary in the          • the number of students who move
                                             programs they offer. For example,they             frequently from school to school
                                             offer a broad range of special education        • other relevant information.
                                             programs to meet the needs of all
                                    Similarly, board profiles should be            information to help parents and                 We recognize that Ontario’s schools and
                                    published to provide a local context for       others interpret school and board               boards already gather much data.But the
                                    the interpretation of board report cards.      report cards; that the ministry                 data collected is inconsistent and, for many
                                    The structure of board profiles would be       define what types of contextual                 schools and boards,certain important data
                                    similar to that of school profiles.A profile   data should be common to all                    is not available.Much of the data that is
                                    would include information on, for              profiles; and that the ministry                 available is not easily accessible for
                                    example,a board’s characteristics,budget,      collect and publish examples of                 members of the public. The EIC believes
                                    and priorities for improvement,as well as      excellent profiles currently in use             that key information on factors related
                                    an explanation of how parents and other        in the province, to help schools and            to student achievement must become
                                    community partners are in volved in            boards design their own profiles.               more readily available to parents and
                                    board activities.                                                                              other community members.
                                                                                   A sample showing a possible format for
                                    Many schools already publish school            school profiles is provided at the end of       For example, we believe that students’
                                    profiles,and many – but by no means all        this chapter.                                   destinations on leaving the school system
                                    – boards prescribe a common format for                                                         are a key indicator of schools’performance
                                    school profiles. In some boards,each school    Implications of a                               in preparing them for the workplace,
                                    publishes student achievement results for      New Accountability                              training programs,and postsecondary
                                    the EQAO’s Grade 3 and 6 language and                                                          education.Yet,despite the focus on
                                    mathematics tests,accompanied by a
                                                                                   Framework                                       preparing students for the world beyond
                                    school profile that gives basic student        We have stated that student performance         school,there is little reliable data that
                                    demographic data and other rele vant           data,in order to be useful, must be             shows our students’destinations on a
                                    information about the school.                  consistent from school to school and            school-by-school or board-by-board basis.
                                                                                   from board to board.The data collection         The development of a province-wide
                                    Such exemplary practices inform parents        process must be seamless,allowing data          “student number” system, which
                                    about their children’s school and the          to flow from schools to boards,and then         would allow students to be tracked as
 e review made boards take a        performance of its students,and thereby        to the EQAO. Such a process would allow         they progressed through their
 od, hard look at themselves – at   increase accountability.We would like to       for statistical evaluation and review at a      education, would support the
hat they have done and what they    see the practices currently employed by        number of levels.To set up a data collection    collection of such data. (Care would be
an to do in the future.                                                            system to support this process would be
                                    the most progressive schools and boards                                                        needed to ensure the privacy of individual
 – Non-union staff, Southwestern    extended to all schools and boards in the      a considerable undertaking.                     students.)
   Ontario                          province.
                                                                                   There is a major role here for the Ministry     The consistent collection and publication
                                    Recommendation 10                              of Education,which must take the lead in        of key student performance data would
                                                                                   deciding what student performance data          require a comprehensive technological
                                    That the Ministry of Education                 should be collected and published.The           strategy, including a standard student
                                    require all principals, in consulta-           ministry must also de velop appropriate         information system and a common
                                    tion with their school councils,               standard definitions to ensure that data is     process by which schools entered data.
                                    and all school boards, through                 consistent.The EQAO should be responsible       At present, every school keeps track of,
                                    their directors of education, to               for the collection, analysis, and publication   for example, individual student attendance
                                    publish school and board profiles;             of the data.                                    – but not every school has the capacity
                                    that the profiles contain contextual
to track total student attendance,other       Recommendation 11                           Secondly, quality is ensured by school
than manually, since many schools,                                                        boards.Boards must,and do,establish and
especially those in the elementary panel,
                                              That the Ministry of Education, in          implement evaluation processes that
lack electronic student information
                                              consultation with the Education             provide teachers with professional advice
systems.(However, it should be noted
                                              Quality and Accountability Office           and direction,as well as policies that
that many boards are cur rently installing
                                              and school boards, develop an               ensure effective and ethical practice.
more comprehensive and flexible student
                                              information technology plan to              Additionally, boards provide teachers with
information systems.This trend should
                                              support the development of                  training opportunities to help them adjust
greatly ease the task of collecting and
                                              consistent and accurate school,             to change in areas such as cur riculum,
publishing consistent, reliable student
                                              board, and ministry report cards            procedures,assessment processes,and
performance data.)
                                              and profiles; that the plan be              technology. Boards also establish and
                                              based on the goal of implement-             enforce disciplinary procedures.
Even where school- and board-wide             ing standard report cards and
performance data is collected,it is likely    profiles by the 2002–2003 school            Thirdly, quality is ensured by the Ontario
that definitions and reporting var y. For     year; that the plan provide for             College of Teachers,which was established
data to be consistent,all partners must       appropriate support and funding             by the Ontario College of Teachers Act,
agree on the definitions.Take, for example,   to school boards and the EQAO;              1996.The objects of the college are as
the question of defining a high school        and that the plan contain stan-             follows:
graduate. For schools and boards to report    dard definitions of data to be
                                              used by the ministry, schools, and          1. To regulate the profession of teaching
consistently and comparably on the
                                              boards in developing report cards              and to govern its members.
percentage of students who g raduate, a
common,province-wide definition of the        and profiles.                               2. To develop,establish and maintain
term would be needed.                                                                        qualifications for membership in the
                                              Ensuring Quality in the                        College.
As the preceding paragraphs show, to          Teaching Profession                         3. To accredit professional teacher
create a province-wide framework for          The commitment to quality in the                                                         The review report gave a snapshot
                                                                                             education programs offered by post-
consistent data collection and reporting,                                                                                              of the progress of amalgamation,
                                              teaching profession has three major            secondary educational institutions.
based on a set of key indicators of                                                                                                    and provided our board with
                                                                                          4. To accredit ongoing education programs    excellent public relations.
student performance, would be a
significant challenge in terms of techno -    The commitment to quality comes                for teachers offered by post-secondary       – Senior administration,
logical infrastructure,school practice,       first and most fundamentally from the          educational institutions and other             Eastern Ontario
collection,and definition of terms.           individual teacher. As professionals           bodies.
Additionally, we appreciate that establish-   working in the important community          5. To issue, renew, amend,suspend,cancel,
ing the proposed framework would              endeavour of public education,teachers         revoke and reinstate certificates of
require some additional resources.The         must – and the o verwhelming majority          qualification and registration.
Ministry of Education would ha ve to          do – take responsibility for the standard
accept the responsibility for providing       of their own work.                          6. To provide for the ongoing education
appropriate funding.                                                                         of members of the College.

                                                                                          7. To establish and enforce professional
                                                                                             standards and ethical standards
                                                                                             applicable to members of the College.
                                  8. To receive and investigate complaints      We are confident that the great majority
                                     against members of the College and         of teachers are committed to maintaining
                                     to deal with discipline and fitness to     professional standards,and so a process
                                     practise issues.                           of reaccreditation would not require a
                                                                                dramatic change to the current practice
                                  9. To develop,provide and accredit
                                                                                of these teachers.
                                     educational programs leading to
                                     certificates of qualification additional
                                     to the certificate required for member-
                                     ship,including but not limited to
                                     certificates of qualification as a
                                     supervisory officer, and to issue,
                                     renew, amend,suspend,cancel, revoke
                                     and reinstate such additional certifi-

                                  10. To communicate with the public on
                                      behalf of the members of the College.

                                  11. To perform such additional functions
                                      as are prescribed by the regulations.

                                  We support the College of Teachers in its
                                  role of regulating the profession,and urge
                                  it to develop processes to ensure that
                                  teachers’credentials are kept up to date.
e review definitely made a        We endorse the notion of a process of
 ference to us: the board is
                                  teacher reaccreditation proposed in the
 w focused on the issues noted,
                                  Royal Commission’s report For the Love
hile still being proud of the
complishments it has made.        of Learning:

 – Principal, Northwestern          That mandatory professional develop-
   Ontario                          ment be required for all educators in
                                    the publicly funded school system,
                                    with continuing certification e very
                                    five years,dependent on both
                                    satisfactory performance and
                                    participation in professional develop-
                                    ment recognized by the College of
Possible Formats for School
Report Cards and Profiles
The following samples show possible formats for school report cards and school profiles, and
          include notes on the type of information that principals should include.
                                  5. The Road Ahead
                                  In this chapter, we discuss some strategies     In particular, we have formed a clear           There is a striking variation in the quality
                                  for ensuring the ongoing improvement of         perspective on what makes boards                of boards’communications strategies.
                                  education in Ontario.                           effective. In some of the boards we visited,    Some boards have excellent communica-
                                                                                  all members of the education community          tions policies and practices,while many
                                                                                  praised the achievements of the board           acknowledge that they struggle in this
                                  What Do Effective                               and its staff. In other boards,almost all the   area.Equally, boards vary widely in their
                                  School Boards                                   review participants expressed frustration.
                                                                                  What makes the dif ference? Our reviews
                                                                                                                                  commitment to ensuring that all members
                                                                                                                                  of the education community ha ve
                                  Have in Common?                                 tell us that effective boards:                  meaningful input into their deliberations.
                                  Over the last year, the EIC has had a
                                                                                                                                  Without question,the boards that are
                                  unique opportunity to look closely at the       • develop vision and mission statements,
                                                                                                                                  perceived as successfully serving their
                                  operations of every school board in the           which they use to guide the establish-
                                                                                                                                  communities are those that have excellent
                                  province.Our review teams have spoken             ment of policies
                                                                                                                                  communications and that consistently
                                  to trustees;senior staff and other staff;       • set goals for student achievement,and         seek diverse input.These boards also
                                  representatives of unions, federations,and        work toward realizing these goals             provide feedback to their communities on
                                  associations;students;parents;and other
                                                                                  • allocate resources in ways that support       how their input has been taken into
                                  community members.While our reviews
                                                                                    student learning                              account in the board’s decision-making
                                  did not cover all areas of board responsi -
                                  bility, they addressed six key areas of board   • set in place structures to ensure fiscal
e review provided an external     operations in a consistent, focused,and           responsibility                                We believe that schools,boards,school
d objective set of eyes to        thorough way.Through our reviews and
mplement our own reflections.                                                     • encourage input from all education            councils,and the provincial government
                                  other consultations, we have developed a                                                        can all learn from this conclusion,and
e are already implementing the                                                      partners,and ensure that this input has
 ommendations and celebrating     very clear understanding of the current                                                         that there is room for improved commu-
                                                                                    an impact on policy de velopment and
r successes!                      operations of Ontario’s school boards.                                                          nication and inclusiveness at all le vels of
                                                                                    other decision-making processes
 – Superintendent, Southwestern                                                                                                   the education system.
                                                                                  • have excellent political and administra-
                                                                                    tive leadership

                                                                                  • regularly monitor progress in meeting

                                                                                  • ensure that progress is communicated
                                                                                    to all education partners in a clear,
                                                                                    consistent,and timely way.
                                              We reiterate that we believe the establish-   constitutional rights of boards or their
How Can We                                    ment of such a framework is key to the        employees or students. We note, for
Ensure That                                   ongoing improvement of the education          example,that while many boards operate
Improvement                                   system.                                       purchasing cooperatives,this arrangement
                                                                                            has rarely led to the esta blishment of a
                                              Redirecting Funds to the                      joint purchasing department serving two

We believe considerable work remains to       Classroom                                     or more boards.Boards that do operate
                                                                                            joint purchasing departments say the
be done to improve the effectiveness of       In our reviews of school boards, we
                                                                                            system works well and cuts their
publicly funded education.This task should    commented extensively on boards’
                                                                                            purchasing costs.It also reduces the costs
be approached more cooperatively than in      strategies for directing as much money as
                                                                                            of salaries,because combined purchasing
the past,and should include all partners      possible to the classroom.While a great
                                                                                            departments require fewer staff than are
in the education system:board and school      deal has been accomplished in this area,
                                                                                            needed in separate departments.
administration,staff, students,parents,and    greater savings could be made if boards
other members of the community. In this       cooperated more in transportation,
                                                                                            We encourage the Ministry of Education
section, we outline the work that still       purchasing, facilities,and numerous other
                                                                                            to develop strategies to encourage
needs to be done, and present collaborative   areas of operation. We believe boards
                                                                                            cooperation among boards. For example,
ways in which it can be accomplished.         must move ahead with plans to share
                                                                                            the establishment a searchable province-
                                              more services so they can apply more of
                                                                                            wide database of board policies would
Increasing                                    their budgets to classroom instruction.
                                                                                            help boards to cooperative in their
Accountability                                                                              ongoing task of policy de velopment.
                                              The Ministry of Education stimulated
In the previous chapter, we outlined a
                                              considerable cooperation among boards,
comprehensive accountability framework                                                      The ministry should also develop
                                              particularly in the area of information
for Ontario’s education system,and made                                                     processes that enable boards to lear n
                                              technology, through the targeted direc-
a series of recommendations for the                                                         from research and work done by other
                                              tion of restructuring funds (restructuring
Minister to consider.We proposed that:                                                      boards in Ontario,as well as by boards in
                                              funds were one-time funds provided in
                                                                                            other jurisdictions.Lew Platt,CEO of
• all schools and boards publish repor t      1998 to help boards implement special
                                                                                            Hewlett Packard,is reported to have once      I would recommend that a network
  cards and profiles, the formats of which    projects in areas such as human resources,                                                  be established to share boards’ best
                                                                                            said,“I wish we knew what we know at
  are consistent across the province          finance,information technology, and the                                                     practices.
                                                                                            HP.” By this he meant that within the
                                              development of consortia).An example
• schools and boards develop and                                                            organization is a largely untapped store of      – Trustee, Central Ontario
                                              is the impressive degree of cooperation
  publish annual improvement plans                                                          knowledge and excellent practice that,if
                                              among the 12 French-language boards.
                                                                                            drawn upon,could substantially reduce
• a similar report card,profile,and           Additionally, impressive cooperation
                                                                                            costs and improve performance.The same
  improvement plan be published for           exists between school boards and other
                                                                                            is true of school boards:costs would fall
  the province as a whole                     partners,both private and public.
                                                                                            and performance would improve if many
• an independent review of school                                                           more boards adopted the province’s most
                                              Nonetheless,boards should share more
  boards be undertaken on a three- or                                                       successful practices.
                                              services.Cooperation could increase in
  five-year cycle,with each board being
                                              such areas as transportation,payroll,and
  reviewed once in this period.
                                              purchasing without infringing on the
                                 We believe our document Best of Effective      Improving                                    We are encouraged,therefore,that while
                                 Practices is a first step in this direction.                                                these two areas of board operations need
                                 However, our report is limited to those
                                                                                Communications                               a great deal of work, excellent examples
                                 aspects of board operations that fell          In our discussions with staf f, students,    exist across the province to provide
                                 within the scope of our progress review.       parents,and the broader community, we        direction.
                                 Moreover, to be useful on an ongoing           heard many times that school boards
                                 basis,a tool for sharing effective practices   need to improve their communication          Recommendation 13
                                 must be a “living document, with regular
                                                                ”               with these groups.We also heard a clear
                                                                                demand from all groups that they be          That school boards seek ways to
                                 updates.In addition,such a tool should
                                                                                given a more meaningful role in board        improve communication among
                                 serve to encourage dialogue among
                                                                                decision making and policy de velopment.     boards, schools, staff, students,
                                 boards,and should be in the shared
                                                                                These groups do not want to make             parents, and other partners; and
                                 ownership of all educational partners.
                                                                                decisions for the board,but they do want     that they develop more inclusive
                                 The EIC intends to take the lead in
                                                                                to be heard,and to be consulted on major     practices to involve all partners
                                 encouraging cooperation in the area
                                                                                board decisions.                             in the development of policies
                                 of purchasing. In partnership with
                                                                                                                             and in other school and board
                                 boards and other organizations, we
                                                                                It is gratifying to see the deep interest    decisions.
                                 will study ways in which boards
                                 could reduce purchasing costs. The             of board staff, students,parents,and other
                                                                                community members in decisions that          On May 29 and 30, 2000, the EIC, in
                                 results of this study will be published                                                     conjunction with Queen’s University,
                                 later this year.                               affect their schools,their community, and
                                                                                their province.We view their concern         will sponsor the conference Shifting
                                                                                about boards’communication practices         the Balance: Shared Decision Making
                                 Recommendation 12                                                                           in School Boards. The aim of the
                                                                                as a very positive sign.
                                 That the Ministry of Education:                                                             conference, which will take place in
                                 a) work with boards and provin-                Some of the boards we visited in our         Toronto, is to help boards improve
                                    cial associations to develop and            progress review have exemplary commu-        communication and increase
                                    maintain mechanisms through                 nications practices,and community            parental and community involve -
 quite amazed at how much was       which boards can identify and               members had only positive comments           ment in education. We intend to
nthesized in the EIC’s report.      share effective practices; and              about the quality and timeliness of board    invite trustees, board staff, union
                                                                                communications.Other boards go to            representatives, students, parents,
  CEO, community agency,         b) develop a process that will
                                                                                great lengths to include all partners in     and other community members to a
  Southwestern Ontario              lead to greater cooperation
                                                                                their decisions,and community members        discussion with experts in these two
                                    and sharing of services among
                                                                                praised their board’s efforts to share its   fields and with representatives of
                                    school boards, so boards can
                                                                                power. Not surprisingly, these two sets of   boards that have developed some of
                                    redirect more money to the
                                                                                practices are often found in the same        the best practices in the province.
                                                                                board:boards that have the most inclu-       We also hope the conference will
                                                                                sive decision-making processes also have     encourage greater sharing of the
                                                                                the most open and ef fective communica-      many excellent practices found in
                                                                                tions practices.                             our school boards.
Who...                        Does What...                                     Accountable to... For...

At the provincial level
Ministry of                   • articulates vision of education for Ontario    • the people of         • excellence in student
Education                     • sets province-wide direction,including what      Ontario                 achievement
                                students will know at each grade level                                 • effective and efficient use
                              • provides sufficient and equitable funding to                             of public funding allocated
                                school boards                                                            for education
Education Quality and         • measures and communicates the achieve-         • the people of         • effective monitoring and
Accountability Office           ments of students,schools,and school             Ontario,through its     reporting of student
                                boards                                           board of directors      achievement and indicator s
Ontario College of Teachers   • establishes and implements standards for       • the people of         • ensuring excellence in the
                                certification,teaching practice, and profes-     Ontario,through its     teaching profession in
                                sional development                               governing council       Ontario
                              • accredits faculties of education

At the school board level
Trustees                      • articulate board’s vision for education        • the people of their   • excellence in student
                              • develop policies based on vision and             community               achievement
                                provincial policy                              • the people of         • effective and efficient use
                              • set budgets and goals;monitor policy and         Ontario (through        of allocated funding
                                student achievement                              the Ministry of
                              • provide equity of program for all students       Education)
                                throughout board
Directors of education        • implement board policies                       • the board of          • achievement of goals set b y
                              • hold schools accountable for the achieve-        trustees                board and ministry
                                ment of students                                                                                        The review was very valuable, but I
                              • provide support and direction to schools                                                                would have liked more time to listen
                              • manage school board organization                                                                        to the team members and to express
                                                                                                                                        my views in greater detail.
At the local school community level                                                                                                        – Co-chair, system-wide school
School principals             • act as educational leader s                    • the director of       • academic achievements of            council, Central Ontario
                              • lead and manage schools                          education               their students
                              • ensure effective programs are in place                                 • implementing board
                                                                                                         policies in their schools
School councils               • at present,advise their school principal       • local school          • advice that reflects
                                and,if requested,their school board              community               community
                                                                                   The role of the principal is changing
                                   Clarifying Roles
                                                                                   significantly. For instance, principals are
                                   Education in Ontario is a partnership
                                                                                   no longer members of teacher federations.
                                   between the province,the school board,
                                                                                   More significantly, they work in boards
                                   and the school. We believe strongly in the
                                                                                   with fewer central administrative staff and
                                   importance of this partnership. In our report
                                                                                   supervisory of ficers.As a result,in some
                                   The Road Ahead – II, we noted the many
                                                                                   jurisdictions,boards have delegated
                                   changes that have occurred in the roles
                                                                                   responsibilities to principals, giving them
                                   and responsibilities of the various partners,
                                                                                   much more autonomy in school-based
                                   and pointed out the need for clarity about
                                                                                   decision making. In other boards,
                                   these new roles and responsibilities.
                                                                                   reduced central administration has had
                                                                                   the opposite effect, leading to more
                                   In our progress review of school boards,
                                                                                   centralized decision making without
                                   we learned that, above all, much work still
                                                                                   the traditional input by principals.
                                   needs to be done to clarify the roles of
                                   school councils and principals.
                                                                                   In many boards,principals are torn
                                                                                   between their responsibility to their
                                   School council representatives told us
                                                                                   schools and their wish to play a system-
                                   that there is still a considerable lack of
                                                                                   wide leadership role,which is taking
                                   understanding about their role,both
                                                                                   them away from their schools more often
                                   among school council members and
                                                                                   than they would like.Principals are in a
                                   among the education community as a
                                                                                   difficult position,and a province-wide
                                   whole.We discussed this topic in detail
                                                                                   review of their role is needed.The foremost
                                   in The Road Ahead – III, and made 43
                                                                                   responsibility of the principal is to be the
                                   recommendations that we strongly
                                                                                   educational leader of his or her school.
                                   believe would strengthen and clarify the
e review made us step back and                                                     This role must be protected,while at the
aluate what we had achieved. The   role of school councils.The acceptance
                                                                                   same time it should be recognized that
 ult allowed us to focus on the    of school councils and their role varies
                                                                                   principals want to,and should,provide
 ure.                              enormously across the province,and a
                                                                                   board-wide advice and leadership.
                                   clear statement of support,in the form of
– Director, Northwestern
                                   legislation or regulation that clarifies and
  Ontario                                                                          Recommendation 15
                                   describes their role,is long overdue.
                                                                                   That the Ministry of Education
                                   Recommendation 14                               initiate a province-wide consulta-
                                                                                   tion on the role of the principal,
                                   That the Ministry of Education act
                                                                                   involving the ministry, provincial
                                   on the recommendations of the
                                                                                   principals’ councils, trustees
                                   EIC concerning school councils, as
                                                                                   through their associations,
                                   outlined in The Road Ahead – III.
                                                                                   supervisory officers and directors
                                                                                   through their associations, parents,
                                                                                   and senior students.
6. Conclusion and Summary
   of Recommendations
This report summarizes the observations      In our reviews we were impressed with         school board employees;and that boards
we made during our progress review of        the dedication of trustees,administration,    and employee groups recognize their
Ontario’s 72 new district school boards.     principals,teachers,support staff, and        responsibility to ensure that our education
While boards have made good progress,        other members of the education commu-         system operates effectively, and that
the restructuring process is not yet         nity to providing high quality educational    students have full access to instructional
complete.We believe restructuring is a       programs to our students.Our reviews          and extracurricular programs.
process that takes time,and that a period    supported our belief in the important
of stability is now needed to consolidate    role of school boards in meeting the          Recommendation 3: That the Ministry
the gains that have been made.               educational needs of their students and       of Education develop and implement a
                                             communities.                                  comprehensive accountability framework
In our view, the development and                                                           for the publicly funded education sector
implementation of a comprehensive            We thank all the participants in our          no later than the 2001–2002 school year;
accountability framework is the single       progress review for their cooperation.        and that the framework focus on a
factor that would have the greatest impact   Their preparation,support of the process,     commitment to the ongoing improvement
in improving our education system and        and willingness to share ideas and            of student performance,standards of
student achievement.The accountability       suggestions made this project a success.      professional practice,the effectiveness
process must focus on the impr ovement                                                     of school boards and their allocation of
of student achievement.All the feedback      Recommendation 1: That the Minister           available funding,and the adequacy of
we have received supports an ongoing,        of Education continue to work within the      funding and other support from the
cyclical process of school board reviews,    Council of Ministers of Education,Canada      Ministry of Education.
similar to the reviews we recently           to ensure that accurate and rele vant
completed,as a fundamental component         information concerning student perfor-        Recommendation 4: That the Minister
of the accountability process.               mance and education funding be made           of Education empower an independent
                                             available on a province-by-province basis,    agency to conduct reviews of school
In this report, we have outlined what we     and to ensure that this data permits valid    boards, focused on the question,“How
believe a comprehensive accountability       comparisons of student performance and        successful is this board in promoting a
framework should include;have suggest-       per-pupil expenditures of different           high level of student achievement”;and
ed formats for school and board profiles     provinces and international jurisdictions.    that an appropriate budget be pr ovided
and report cards;and have made 15                                                          to the agency to conduct the reviews.
recommendations for consideration by         Recommendation 2: That the Ministry
the Minister of Education,the Ministry of    of Education anticipate in the 2000–2001      Recommendation 5: That the Ministr y
Education,and school boards.                 funding formula the need for an appropriate   of Education collect examples cur rently
                                             increase in the compensation le vels of       in use in the province of excellent report
                                                                                           cards that report on school and board
performance,to aid the development of        Recommendation 6: That a verification        Recommendation 8: That the Education
a standard report card for all schools and   process be developed to assure the           Quality and Accountability Office publish
boards in Ontario;that the ministry          public of the accuracy of school and         an annual provincial report card that
require (1) all principals,in consultation   board report cards.                          includes a provincial summary of the data
with their school councils,and (2) all                                                    published in individual school and boar d
school boards,through their directors        Recommendation 7: That the Ministry of       report cards;and that the focus of this
of education,to publish and distribute       Education collect and publish examples of    report be information about student
annual report cards that report on the       excellent school and board improvement       performance.
performance of their students;that the       plans currently in use in the pr ovince,to
report cards include consistent data on      help school boards to develop their own      Recommendation 9: That the Ministry
the following:                               improvement plans;that the ministry          of Education develop and publish an
                                             require (1) all principals,in consultation   annual provincial improvement plan
• student achievement,including the
                                             with their school councils,and (2) all       that outlines its role in helping boards
  results of Education Quality and
                                             school boards,through their directors of     make improvements at the local le vel;and
  Accountability Office tests,board-
                                             education,to develop and monitor annual      that this plan be based on an analysis of
  administered tests,and any national or
                                             improvement plans;and that the plans:        the provincial report card published
  international tests
                                                                                          annually by the Education Quality and
                                             • be publicly available documents
• student attendance                                                                      Accountability Office.
                                             • be based on the analysis of school and
• graduation rates of secondary students
                                               board report cards                         Recommendation 10: That the Ministry
• student destinations after graduation                                                   of Education require all principals,in
                                             • reflect the academic and other
                                                                                          consultation with their school councils,
• gender differences and other dif fer-        expectations established by the
                                                                                          and all school boards,through their
  ences in achievement                         ministry and the boards
                                                                                          directors of education,to publish school
• school safety                              • be informed by the impr ovement goals      and board profiles; that the profiles
                                               of their boards and vice versa             contain contextual information to help
• any other relevant areas;
                                             • include a formal process for monitor-      parents and others interpret school and
and that the report card provide adequate      ing and reporting progress toward          board report cards;that the ministry
space for the reporting of progress in         improvement goals.                         define what types of contextual data
locally determined priorities.                                                            should be common to all profiles;and
                                                                                          that the ministry collect and publish
                                                                                          examples of excellent profiles currently
                                                                                          in use in the province,to help schools
                                                                                          and boards design their own profiles.
Recommendation 11: That the Ministry         Recommendation 13: That school
of Education,in consultation with the        boards seek ways to improve communi-
Education Quality and Accountability         cation among boards,schools,staff,
Office and school boards,develop an          students,parents,and other partners;and
information technology plan to suppor t      that they develop more inclusive
the development of consistent and            practices to involve all partners in the
accurate school,board,and ministry           development of policies and in other
report cards and profiles;that the plan      school and board decisions.
be based on the goal of implementing
standard report cards and profiles by the    Recommendation 14: That the Ministry
2002–2003 school year;that the plan          of Education act on the recommendations
provide for appropriate support and          of the EIC concerning school councils,
funding to school boards and the EQAO;       as outlined in The Road Ahead – III.
and that the plan contain standard
definitions of data to be used by the        Recommendation 15: That the Ministry
ministry, schools,and boards in develop-     of Education initiate a province-wide
ing report cards and profiles.               consultation on the role of the principal,
                                             involving the ministr y, provincial
Recommendation 12: That the Ministry         principals’councils,trustees through
of Education:                                their associations,supervisory officers
a) work with boards and provincial           and directors through their associations,
associations to develop and maintain         parents,and senior students.
mechanisms through which boards can
identify and share effective practices;and
b) develop a process that will lead to
greater cooperation among school
boards,so boards can redirect more
money to the classroom.
Appendix A: Changes in the
Number of Supervisory Officers
(SOs) Employed by Boards*
                                                               19971                                                 Current
Board                                     Number            Number of       Ratio of SOs          Number            Number of      Ratio of SOs
                                           of SOs         students as of    to students2           of SOs         students as of   to students2
                                                            Sept. 1997                                              Oct. 19983
Algoma                                      11.5               15,788          1:1,662               5.5               15,479        1:4,423
Algonquin and
Lakeshore Catholic                            6                13,250          1:3,313                6                12,423        1:3,106
Avon Maitland                                 7                20,384           1:4,077               6                20,288        1:5,072
Bluewater                                    11                25,675           1:2,853              10                24,425        1:3,053
Norfolk Catholic                              4                 8,894           1:4,447               5                  9,157       1:3,052
Bruce-Grey Catholic                           4                 4,377           1:2,189               2                 4,297           **
Catholic DSB of
Eastern Ontario                              10                12,609           1:1,576               4                13,475        1:6,738
Catholique des
Aurores boréales                             1.5                    570            **                 1                      564        **
Catholique du Centre-Est
de l’Ontario                                  9                15,331           1:2,190               6                15,526        1:3,882
Catholique Centre-Sud                        10                 9,696          1:1,212                4                10,022        1:5,011
Catholique de                              data
l’Est ontarien                          unavailable            14,818              **                 5                14,179        1:4,726
1   1997 data reflects totals of predecessor boards and sections.
2   Formula is (number of supervisory officers minus 2) :(elementary plus secondary enrolment).
3   Enrolment numbers for October 1998 reflect the reductions that occurred when students transferred to the newly created
    French-language boards.

* Incorporating data from board reports published to January 2000
** Ratios for these boards cannot be calculated because of the small number of supervisory officers.
                                            19971                                   Current
Board                         Number      Number of      Ratio of SOs   Number      Number of      Ratio of SOs
                               of SOs   students as of   to students2    of SOs   students as of   to students2
                                          Sept. 1997                                Oct. 19983
Franco-Nord                     2            3,120            **           3           4,022         1:4,022
Catholique des
Grandes Rivières                11          10,951         1:1,217         6          10,529         1:2,632
Catholique du
Nouvel-Ontario                  9            9,805         1:1,401         5           9,251         1:3,084
Centre Sud-Ouest                7            5,417         1:1,083         4           5,736         1:2,868
Dufferin-Peel Catholic          15         74,761          1:5,751        14          74,730         1:6,228
Durham                          11         58,218          1:6,469        11          61,886         1:6,876
Durham Catholic                 9           23,691         1:3,384         8          24,233         1:4,039
Écoles catholiques
du Sud-Ouest                    7            6,313         1:1,263         5           6,248         1:2,083
CSD 59
(Est de l’Ontario)              4            7,995         1:3,998         3           8,340         1:8,340
Grand Erie                      13         32,379          1:2,944         9          32,005         1:4,572
Grand Nord de l’Ontario         3            2,465         1:2,465         2           2,526            **
Greater Essex County            13         36,137          1:3,285         9          35,683         1:5,098
Halton                          8          41,511          1:6,919         9          41,577         1:5,940
Halton Catholic                 7          20,258          1:4,052         7          20,823         1:4,165
Hamilton-Wentworth              16          55,968         1:3,998        12          55,977         1:5,598
Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic     7          25,987          1:5,197         7          26,787         1:5,357
Hastings and Prince Ed ward     9          20,879          1:2,983         7          20,610         1:4,122
Huron Perth Catholic            4            4,750         1:2,375         4           4,796         1:2,398
Huron-Superior Catholic         7            7,426         1:1,485         3           7,338         1:7,338
Kawartha Pine Ridge             13          40,442         1:3,677        10          40,641         1:5,080
Keewatin-Patricia               7            7,750         1:1,550         5           7,614         1:2,538
Kenora Catholic                 1            1,090            **           1           1,097            **
Lakehead                        6           15,398         1:3,850         5          15,002         1:5,001
Lambton Kent                    10         31,174          1:3,897         8          30,265         1:5,044
Limestone                       6           23,413         1:5,853         6          23,249         1:5,812
                                         19971                                   Current
Board                      Number      Number of      Ratio of SOs   Number      Number of      Ratio of SOs
                            of SOs   students as of   to students2    of SOs   students as of   to students2
                                       Sept. 1997                                Oct. 19983
DSB 38
(London Catholic)            14          20,979         1:1,748         7          21,069         1:4,214
Near North                   9          14,845          1:2,121         7          14,673         1:2,935
Niagara                      13         44,268          1:4,024        11          44,993         1:4,999
Niagara Catholic             9          22,608          1:3,230         6          23,368         1:5,842
Sound Catholic               3            4,246         1:4,246        2.5          3,898            **
Nord-Est de l’Ontario        1            1,011            **           1             964            **
Northeastern Catholic        2            3,635            **           2           3,112            **
Northwest Catholic           3            1,382         1:1,382         1           1,385            **
Ontario North East           10          11,757         1:1,470         5          11,308         1:3,769
Ottawa-Carleton              15         70,537          1:5,426        12          73,008         1:7,301
Ottawa-Carleton Catholic     15         34,797          1:2,677        10          35,687         1:4,461
Peel                         21          98,420         1:5,180        18         100,937         1:6,309
Peterborough Victoria
Northumberland and
Clarington Catholic          4          11,779          1:5,890         4          12,625         1:6,313
Rainbow                      11         20,250          1:2,250         5          17,887         1:5,962
Rainy River                  3            3,565         1:3,565         2           3,543            **
Renfrew County               7           12,696         1:2,539         4          12,521         1:6,261
Renfrew County Catholic      4            5,797         1:2,899         3           5,206         1:5,206
Simcoe County                11          49,158         1:5,462        10          53,158         1:6,645
Simcoe Muskoka Catholic      6           18,201         1:4,550         7          18,380         1:3,676
St.Clair Catholic            9           12,943         1:1,849         6          12,871         1:3,218
Sudbury Catholic             4            7,890         1:3,945         5           7,929         1:2,643
Superior-Greenstone          4            3,716         1:1,858         3           3,556         1:3,556
Superior North Catholic      1            1,363            **           1             985            **
Thames Valley                21         81,389          1:4,284        16          81,800         1:5,843
Thunder Bay Catholic         5            8,093         1:2,698         4           8,042         1:4,021
Toronto                      98        271,522          1:2,828        46         273,252         1:6,210
                                       19971                                   Current
Board                    Number      Number of      Ratio of SOs   Number      Number of      Ratio of SOs
                          of SOs   students as of   to students2    of SOs   students as of   to students2
                                     Sept. 1997                                Oct. 19983
Toronto Catholic           21          97,349         1:5,124        20          96,642         1:5,369
Trillium Lakelands         11          20,877         1:2,320         6          20,162         1:5,041
Upper Canada               15          37,435         1:2,880        10          37,355         1:4,669
Upper Grand                11          32,061         1:3,562         7          33,831         1:6,766
Waterloo Catholic          10          22,279         1:2,785         7          22,134         1:4,427
Waterloo Region            12          57,063         1:5,706        12          56,937         1:5,694
Wellington Catholic        5            6,864         1:2,288         2           7,027            **
Windsor-Essex Catholic     9           26,385         1:3,769         7          26,521         1:5,304
York Catholic              13          39,948         1:3,632        10          41,547         1:5,193
York Region                18          76,741         1:4,796        18          80,938         1:5,059
Appendix B: Summary of
Recommendations from the
EIC’s Interim Reports*
                                             Recommendation 4: That the                 Recommendation 7: That the Ministry
Recommendations                              Government of Ontario esta blish a panel   of Education:
from the Second                              with broad representation to:              a) establish a program review process to
Interim Report                               a) develop a common vision for the use     assist boards in evaluating their identifica-
(September 1999)                             of new technologies that supports the      tion and program delivery models for
                                             public and private sectors across the      students with special needs,and
Recommendation 1: That the Ministry          province,and                               b) establish student achievement
of Education direct all school boards to     b) develop recommendations for the         standards for students with special needs.
limit their private deliberations to those   implementation of this vision.
                                                                                        Recommendation 8: That the Ministry
subjects described in section 207(2) of
                                             Recommendation 5: That the Ministry        of Education review aspects of the
the Education Act.
                                             of Education review the interrelated       education funding formula to examine
Recommendation 2: That the Ministry          legislation that af fects how boards       the following:
of Education,in consultation with            operate within the pupil accommodation     a) the pupil accommodation for mula as it
relevant partners,develop clear expecta-     funding formula.                           relates to the renewal of school facilities,
tions for the role of principals and vice-                                              the capacity calculations for new pupil
                                             Recommendation 6: That the Ministry        place grants in widespread jurisdictions,
                                             of Education develop a process and a       the provision for expenditures for
Recommendation 3: That the Ministr y         funding mechanism to encourage district    extraordinary emergencies,and the
of Education take whatever steps are         school boards to form regional consortia   timing of new pupil place grants
necessary to ensure that all boards report   for transportation services.               b) the design and adequacy of the
their financial expenditures in a compara-                                              formula for special education
ble and consistent manner.                                                              c) the adequacy of the small school factor
                                                                                        in meeting the needs of boards with
                                                                                        many small,isolated schools,and
                                                                                        d) the adequacy of board administration
                                                                                        funding for very small boards.

* There were no recommendations in the First Interim Report
                                              Recommendation 5: That the Ministry           Recommendation 9: That the Ontario
Recommendations                               of Education:                                 College of Teachers,the Ministry of
from the Third                                a) take a lead role in developing high-       Education,the province’s faculties of
Interim Report                                quality programs that have as their goal      education,and representatives of district
(January 2000)                                the success of First Nations students in      school boards work together to develop
                                              the province’s schools,and                    and publicly report on strategies to
Recommendation 1: That school boards          b) re-examine the adequacy and design of      ensure that Ontario’s schools are staf fed
develop processes that lead to the            those sections of the funding for mula that   with appropriately qualified teachers.
election of student trustees by their peers   support the needs of First Nations
and that support the inclusion of student     students attending district school boards
opinion in board deliberations.               whose education is not supported by
                                              tuition agreements.
Recommendation 2: That the Ministry
of Education review the needs of F rench-     Recommendation 6: That the Ministry
language boards and the resources             of Education and the Ministry of Finance
available to them to ensure that the costs    take appropriate steps to ensure that
of providing materials and services in a      municipalities transfer boards’share of
minority-language setting are adequately      tax revenue to the boards on a monthly
recognized.                                   basis.

Recommendation 3: That the Ministr y          Recommendation 7: That the Ministry
of Education re-examine the English-as-a-     of Education and the Ministry of Finance
second-language grant,particularly the        work with boards in northern Ontario to
factors used to determine need and level      find an efficient and cost-effective way to
of support.                                   levy and collect education taxes in
                                              unorganized territories and distribute
Recommendation 4: That the Ministry           them to the boards that are entitled to
of Education enrich the learning opportu-     receive them.
nities grant,and re-examine the factors
used to determine need and level of           Recommendation 8: That the Ministr y
support under this g rant.                    of Education work collaboratively with
                                              boards that collect taxes from a large
                                              number of municipalities to ensure that
                                              these boards receive their share of
                                              municipal taxes on a monthly basis.

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