Guilt or extortion on the overpaid, heavily unionised teachers’ parts?
In a change of plans, the Toronto District School Board revealed Tuesday it is using a variety of staff to help input grades and get report cards out to its 170,000 elementary students by mail by mid-July. “To ensure that all students and parents receive marks in an equitable and timely manner, the TDSB is deploying teams comprised of senior staff and business/operational staff to schools that require additional assistance,” Donna Quan, the board’s director, stated in a letter sent to parents.
“A summary of marks for students in Grades 1 to 8, which will also contain information with regards to attendance and grade placement for the upcoming school year, will be mailed to parents/guardians during the week of July 13.”
Kindergarten students, who don’t normally get grades on their report cards anyhow, will simply get letters confirming their placement for the upcoming school year.
Frustration over report cards has been mounting since the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) decided not to enter electronic marks to protest the intentions of school boards to increase class sizes. The work-to-rule action is permitted because teachers are in a legal strike position.
Although teachers provided marks to principals, larger school boards such as York, Peel and Toronto have decided the cost of having administrators enter the data would be too high. Instead, students in those boards were expected to receive placement letters indicating which class they will be in when school resumes.
The decision has sparked protests by students in several elementary schools, and principals have been overwhelmed by phone calls from upset parents.