In September of 2020, the Ontario Conservatives pushed through legislation requiring teacher candidates to pass a Math Proficiency Test (MPT) in order to become accredited teachers in Ontario. Why is this significant?
1. Conservatives want better math teachers. Giving all teachers a math test on the tax payer's dollar is not going to make better math teachers.
2. The MPT tests teacher candidates on the OLD math curriculum, not the updated 2021 curriculum.
3. The MPT does not evaluate how a potential teacher actually teaches. A Francophone could certainly pass a French language test; does that automatically make them a qualified French language teacher?
4. The decision failed to recognized the impact on students enrolled in a teacher education program. The rules for becoming a teacher were changed on them midway through their program and these students had no say in this change.
5. The MPT that was offered to 2020 teacher candidates was not offered to every single candidate. Despite not being offered to every candidate, every candidate had to pass the test. This is fundamentally inequitable. To remedy this, graduating candidates were given temporary licenses, which expire August 31, 2021.
6. Teachers with temporary licenses are not eligible for permanent employment. Candidates graduating this year have no idea what their employment potential is as they do not know what will happen with their licenses.
7. There are not enough candidates graduating this year to fill the teaching vacancies in Ontario; moreover, many of Ontario's graduates will seek employment outside of the province. There are currently over 20,000 Ontario-licensed teachers working OUTSIDE of Ontario.
8. 82% of teacher candidates who took the limited MPT in 2020 passed; only 65% of French-speaking candidates passed. French-speaking candidates were offered subpar translations and experienced language-based discrimination.
Despite numerous attempts to communicate with the Minister of Education, Stephen Lecce, teacher candidates, faculties of education, and various teacher federations were ignored. Expert testimony during the legislative process was also ignored. Students were left with no other recourse except to take legal action.
The Ontario Teacher Candidates' Council, representing teacher candidates, and their Board of Directors, representing temporarily licensed teachers, have submitted a judicial review to the Superior Court of Ontario. The judicial review challenges the VALIDITY of the MPT itself.
What do we need?
The process is expensive. The bills are mounting and the province has access to more money than student teachers do. TOGETHER, we can make our own deep pockets. We have raised and paid $30,000 of our massive legal bill, which is over $60,000. While the paperwork has been submitted, the realities of COVID have delayed the court system. Once our case goes before a judge, we'll need our lawyer and our bills will continue mounting. If every teacher candidate donated $5.00, we'd resolve our current debt and have enough to be able to go to court. Please help.
WE KNOW that money is hard to come by. We also know that a degree that can't be used for its intended purpose is even worse. Donate today. We keep zero dollars of the donated funds. Every single penny goes to our legal bills. The OTCC operates on the finances of its own members.
The image below is our first legal bill. We paid a $5,000 retainer fee and then a further $25,000. We are still being billed; all invoices will be posted for transparency.
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