Independent Education Tag

30 Sep 2016 Alberta’s sex-ed curriculum and “the human face of ‘no’”

Written by: David MacKenzie When Pastor Brian Coldwell, of the New Testament Baptist Church of Spruce Grove, Alberta, says “No”, he means it.  And I admire him for it. “Yes-men” don’t get it. Indeed, political sycophants find such resolve offensive. But the difference between them and Brian Coldwell, is that the latter actually appreciates concrete principle— especially Biblical principle— more than the shifting sands of political pragmatism. Brian knows there’s little to be gained, outside of eternity, for standing on Biblical principles. He’s aware that, at any point, things could go very badly for both him and the Christian schools with which his congregation is associated.
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26 Jun 2015 Public Education: Cultural Genocide?

By Kent Dykstra One of the most controversial aspects of the recently-released Truth and Reconciliation Commission report was the use of the term “cultural genocide” to describe the practice of residential schooling that took place during the 1800s and 1900s in Canada. It is defined as “the destruction of those structures and practices that allow a group to continue as a group… Specifically, families are disrupted to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next.” Much of the printed reaction to the report was a combination of self-condemnation and hand-wringing that characterizes much of the discourse on this topic. But as I read more about it, I wondered whether cultural genocide, as defined above, continues in Canada even today. Provincial governments, especially in Quebec, Ontario, Manitoba, and recently also Alberta have been increasingly undermining parental rights in education by enforcing a view of secularism and sexuality that is at odds with the beliefs of a significant number of parents. This is done under the guise of human rights, but at its core is an assumption that the moral/cultural beliefs of the enlightened majority should be forced onto the minority. For example, over the past few years the province of Quebec went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada in its efforts to force every school, including religious schools, to teach courses about religion and culture from a secular perspective. In other words, the state demanded that the religion and consciences of the parents and their children be squashed by the secular humanist beliefs of the majority. This is precisely the same assumption that gave rise to the residential schooling system.
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19 Mar 2015 Loyola Supreme Court Decision: Parental rights and religious freedom upheld

After 12 months of deliberation, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision this morning in Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General), upholding religious freedom first for the Loyola Jesuit school but also more broadly for all who seek to apply their faith to the education of their children. This is a case that every independent Christian school across the country has been watching closely. At stake in this case was the religious freedom of parents and institutions to educate children according to a worldview that might be different than that of the State education bureaucracy. Thankfully, the Court was unanimous in finding that religious communities can teach their own faith to their children from their own perspective. As you may remember, ARPA Canada led a coalition of 313 independent Christian schools and 11 post-secondary institutions to intervene in the case. The coalition was called the Association of Christian Educators and Schools (ACES) and we argued that confessional schools must be accommodated as an alternative to State-run schools. André Schutten, Legal Counsel for ARPA Canada, was in the counsel lock-down this morning and had opportunity to review the decision before it was made public. He noted the following in a press release to the media: “Our hope was that the Supreme Court would affirm hundreds of years of legal precedent that parents are the first decision-makers for their children, and that religious freedom includes the right to train children within a particular worldview. This morning, the Supreme Court has delivered.” He also said, “With this decision, the Court stood up for liberty and for parental rights. While the Court could have been stronger in some places, this is still a welcome decision.” In light of this case, ARPA Canada will be encouraging our elected leaders in Ontario, Manitoba and Alberta to rethink their one-size-fits-all approach to religion, ethics and secularism. Over the past two years, these provinces have imposed a particular religious – that is, secular – worldview on all schools through Bill 13 (Ontario, 2013), Bill 18 (Manitoba, 2014) and Bill 10 (Alberta, 2015), while ignoring or suppressing the freedom of religious institutions and families. Parents ought to have the first and final say on the religious and moral instruction of their children. While the State may assist parents in educating children, they may not override parental decisions relating to ethical and religious instruction. There has been a trend towards Statism in education in Canada. This decision gives hope to parents in stopping that slide.
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19 Mar 2015 Loyola Supreme Court Decision: Religious Freedom upheld

Today, the Supreme Court of Canada released its decision in Loyola High School v. Quebec (Attorney General), upholding religious freedom for the Loyola community to teach the Catholic faith from a Catholic perspective.  At stake in this case was the religious freedom of parents and institutions to raise children according to a worldview that might be different than that of the State education bureaucracy. Thankfully, the Court was unanimous in finding that religious communities can teach their own faith to their children from their own perspective. The Association for Reformed...

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19 Mar 2015 Media Advisory: ARPA Canada available for comment on Loyola case concerning freedom of religion in independent schools

For immediate release from the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada March 18, 2015  ARPA CANADA AVAILABLE FOR COMMENT ON LOYOLA CASE CONCERNING FREEDOM OF RELIGION IN INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OTTAWA – The Supreme Court of Canada will release its decision in the Loyola case tomorrow morning at 9:45 a.m. The Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada intervened in the case to defend Christian education and parental rights from the continual encroachment of the State. At stake in this case is parental authority itself. Provincial governments are increasingly taking...

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16 Sep 2014 Clearing up confusion: who pays for private schools

"Taxpayers subsidize private schools" - I can imagine if you were to tell this to someone in our Reformed community, especially in provinces where a school receives zero funding (such as Ontario or Atlantic Canada), you would likely be met with a blank stare and probably stand corrected. However, many taxpayers, especially it would seem those who do not send their children to independent schools, believe this myth and we would do well to debunk it. Thankfully the folks at the Fraser Institute have done their research and have submitted...

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10 Sep 2014 Myths and Realities of First Nations Education

  The Fraser Institute has published a research paper titled "Myths and Realities of First Nations Education" and as can be seen by the graphic to the left, there is a visible distinction between First Nations and public schools, and not for the right reasons. The report looks at the per student cost of educating children in public schools compared with reserve schools and the standards required (or not) by both systems. The authors state that "simply increasing government funding for education does not result in a better education...

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06 Sep 2014 The climate on Ontario’s private schools – a report from Cardus

Cardus has released a new report on the climate of private education in Ontario, written by Dr. Derek J. Allison. Ontario has experienced a somewhat "chilly climate" towards private education and Dr. Allison's report explores the need for a serious policy review. The report, which argues to politicians, bureaucrats, and fellow citizens that both private and public education foster a stable, orderly, and integrated society. To read the report, download a copy from the Cardus website....

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25 Aug 2014 Understanding our Educational Freedom

The following article, "Understanding, appreciating, protecting & using our Educational Freedom" was originally published in the Reformed Perspective magazine. It has been included here as a reference item for our readers. You can download a PDF of the updated version, linked at the bottom of the text if you wish to print a copy. Understanding, appreciating, protecting & using our EDUCATIONAL FREEDOM By André Schutten In most of the Western world we are free to educate our children as we wish. We can raise them up to know the ways of the Lord. Do we understand how blessed we are because of this reality? Let's consider, then, this blessing and examine how our Reformed schools, teachers, and parents are crucial in defending this freedom. Recent legal challenges on the education front should serve as reminders that we need to stay vigilant and jealously guard the freedom we have to raise up our children to know and serve the Lord.
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