Media releases | November 20, 2006

EDMONTON—A new report by Public Interest Alberta shows that many Albertans have serious concerns about the current state of our K-12 education system.

The report is based on an online survey of over 4000 people from every corner of the province."It is time for the Government of Alberta to wake up and recognize that our education system is simply not developing the full potential of all Alberta students," says Bill Moore-Kilgannon, Executive Director of Public Interest Alberta.

"Representatives of the Alberta government have consistently told us that Alberta's education system is the 'best in the world'. However, according to the more than 4000 Albertans who completed the education survey, school and classroom realities paint a very different picture of education in this wealthy province."

The on-line survey was conducted by Burke and Associates between September 13th and October 29th. The survey was designed to hear from parents with children in the system, parents of children with special needs, people without children in the system and students. The survey revealed that the majority of respondents are seriously concerned about fundraising and school fees, educational outcomes, class sizes, lack of access to programs and resources, school maintenance and the need for more school infrastructure.

An overwhelming number of respondents expressed concern regarding the inadequacy of funding, with 80% of all respondents and 91% of parents with children with special needs indicating that current funding levels negatively impact the ability of the education system to support every student to achieve their full potential.

Respondents also concluded that the realities of Alberta's classrooms do not reflect the government's own vision and mission for education. For example, 70% of all respondents and 85% of parents with special needs do not believe that the Alberta education system makes the success of every student a priority.

"The leadership candidates for the Conservative party, school trustees and all provincial politicians would be wise to closely examine and act upon the comprehensive insights contained in the results of this survey, and in the passionate, eloquent comments from so many people about the reality of what is happening and what needs to happen in our schools and classrooms," says Moore-Kilgannon.

"After all, 90% of all respondents indicate that education issues will influence how they will vote in the next election."The highlights of the report findings and the full report can be viewed on Public Interest Alberta's website.