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Overwhelming opposition to discovery math can't be ignored: McAllister

EDMONTON, AB (May 6, 2014):The PC government should immediately address concerns about math instruction in Alberta, after a petition calling for changes with more than 14,000 signatures was tabled in the Legislature today, Wildrose Education Critic Bruce McAllister said.

The “Back to Basics” petition was created by Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies, a mother and doctor from Calmar who is concerned Alberta Education’s discovery math focus is confusing Alberta children and contributing to lower international test scores. Since then, a flurry of parents, teachers and math experts have joined Tran-Davies calling on the government to stop the fuzzy math in our schools.

“If they gain mastery of the fundamentals, they [children] will have confidence in their ability and have a solid foundation from which to build innovative and creative ideas,Tran-Davies said.

McAllister tabled the petition this afternoon. He called the numbers in it “staggering.”

“These numbers should be impossible for this government to ignore,” he said. “This petition is a strong statement from Albertans and it’s time Education Minister Jeff Johnson starts listening.”

McAllister said he was disheartened to learn Johnson has refused to meet with Dr. Tran-Davies, given all her hard work on the issue.

“It doesn’t matter what they say. In practice, it’s always the same party and the same government,” McAllister said. “Just last Thursday, Premier Hancock apologized for taking Albertans for granted and not listening. Meanwhile, Johnson, one of his top ministers, continues to reduce this important issue to petty politics when everyone else involved just wants what’s best for Alberta students.”

Rather than bureaucratic lip service, McAllister wants reasonable, concrete changes made to focus Alberta’s math curriculum around proven, fundamental methods and practices in time for the next academic year.