Manitoba parents and teachers: Have your say by giving input to the MB Commission on K-12 Education

Dear WISE Math subscribers and supporters:

The province of Manitoba has initiated a new commission on K-12 education in 2019 which will hear presentations from the public and various stakeholders about the state of, and future of, education in our province.  Have your voice heard by participating in one or more of the planned consultation processes.  Here are your options:

  1. Fill out an online survey.
    1. Parent/public survey
    2. Teacher survey
    3. Privacy notice
  2. Take part in an interactive public Workshop when the commission comes to your area.
    Interactive Public Workshop Schedule
    Date Time Location Registration
    April 24, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Caboto Centre
    1055 Wilkes Avenue, Winnipeg
    Register Now
    April 25, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Westwood School
    46 Mallard Crescent, Thompson
    Register Now
    April 27, 2019 9:00 am to 11:30 am Canad Inns Destination Centre Club Regent
    1415 Regent Avenue West, Winnipeg
    Register Now
    April 27, 2019 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm Canad Inns Destination Centre Club Regent
    1415 Regent Avenue West, Winnipeg

    This meeting will be facilitated in French.
    (Language interpretation available)

    Register Now
    May 6, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Wescana Inn
    439 Fischer Avenue, The Pas
    Register Now
    May 9, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Clarion Hotel & Suites
    3130 Victoria Avenue, Brandon

    (Language interpretation available)

    Register Now
    May 11, 2019 9:00 am to 11:30 am Aspen Lodge
    200 1st Street SE, Dauphin
    Register Now
    May 13, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Carman Collegiate
    121 4th Avenue SE, Carman
    Register Now
    May 14, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Pat Porter Active Living Centre
    10 Chrysler Gate, Steinbach
    Register Now
    May 15, 2019 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm Caboto Centre
    1055 Wilkes Avenue, Winnipeg
    Register Now
  3. Provide a written submission by the deadline of May 30, 2019 at the address below.  (Be sure to include your name and contact information. If you are submitting on behalf of an organization, please include appropriate information.)Email:
    Fax: 204-945-0221

    Manitoba’s Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education
    470 – 800 Portage Avenue
    Winnipeg, MB R3G 0N4

  4. Attend or submit/present a formal brief at one of the public hearings (Date/Place TBA).  Individuals and organizations may submit only one brief, and they are to be submitted in advance to the above address.
  5. Current and retired teachers are invited to share their knowledge, experience and evidence of “exemplary practices”.  To participate, follow this link.

Here is the Ministry site where you can find the above links together with all relevant information including two discussion papers giving background and discussing the goals of the commission.

Our interest, of course, is in seeing parents and teachers address the issues that matter to them concerning mathematics education, and there should be plenty of opportunity for this, as the commission will be looking at curriculum, content, teacher training and pedagogy (how teaching is carried out in the classroom), all of which touches on math education, and concerning all of which we’ve been hearing from parents and teachers.

Those wishing to review a brief summary of our concerns we recommend Anna Stokke’s C.D. Howe report, What to Do about Canada’s Declining Math Scores.  The 2008 NMAP report, linked on our main page, gives a summary of research findings about and recommendations for changes in math education in the U.S. and of course these things still apply very much in our context and provide an excellent way to organize your own thoughts, assuming the things in that report resonate with you.

We at WISE Math will also be participating in the consultations, and we look forward to ongoing discussion about this with all and sundry.

We remind those eager to participate that if you hope to have an influence on our childrens’ education in Manitoba, it is imperative that you make yourself heard in a manner respectful to all.  We understand that many are angry and frustrated with the state of Math Education in our province, and we share many of those feelings.  Venting the feelings may lead to a personal feeling of catharsis, but let us be mindful that it is essential that all sides have a voice in these discussions, and being inappropriately combative will not help forward a constructive agenda.  Don’t allow your manner of presentation provide justification for your voice to be excluded or dismissed.  Let’s all contribute positively to restoring excellence to math education in Manitoba!

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Attention Ontario residents!

Screen Shot 2017-11-02 at 2.25.00 PMTeresa Murray requests that Ontario residents consider completing the  survey. This survey takes about 2 minutes to complete and is confidential. If you have hired a math tutor/ learning centre to teach your child(ren) and/or have had to teach math to your own child(ren), you can indicate the costs, financial and time spent, you have incurred.

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Teachers and Parents in Ontario (& elsewhere): Join us at ResearchED Toronto

By now I hope everyone is aware that the first ResearchED conference in Canada is about to take place in Toronto (Nov 10th & 11th). I won’t say much here about the ResearchED movement, which was started in the UK by teachers who got tired of the nonsense educationists kept pushing about what “research shows” and decided to push back. You can read about it here

While the target audience is teachers, the conference is open to the general public; you are all welcome, and the organizers tell me that there remains room for more to register.

While the conference is about more than just Math Education there will be a session (a series of talks) devoted to this subject, which may interest this audience. But actively engaged parents and teachers seeking refreshingly different PD will certainly be interested in most of what goes on at ResearchED.

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The Toronto event has for some reason raised a lot of fuss among the educationist crowd in Ontario, some of whom will be in attendance and some of whom will also be speaking. This hopefully presages an event in which there is meaningful, civil, dialogue about issues that matter to parents and teachers in Math Education.

Note also all three of the Provincial Math Ed Petition Writers who have become associated with our initiative will be in attendance:
Medical doctor Dr Nhung-Tran Davies (Alberta)
Parent Tara Houle (British Columbia)
and retired teacher Teresa Murray (Ontario)

Also speaking at this meeting:
John Mighton, developer of JUMP Math
Michael Zwaagstra, Winnipeg author, teacher and advocate for common sense reform

The meeting is being organized by a committee headed by
Paul Bennett, independent educational consulting at SchoolHouse Consulting, whom some of you already know through his blogging at EduChatter, his activity on Twitter or his public education advocacy across Eastern Canada

If this is something which interests you, register to attend now and join us in 2 weeks!

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British Columbia: Upcoming Math Education Forum

Announcement from Tara Houle, coordinator of WISE Math BC:

Many thanks for your continued support behind our math initiative. We are having a math forum in partnership with EQSC (Educational Quality Society of Canada) in Richmond, BC, on May 25. This will be a FREE event and is open to anyone to attend. We hope to see you there and you can register here. Feel free to email me for more information.

Feel free to share my latest opinion editorial, featured in the Vancouver Sun 2 weeks ago.

Many thanks for all your support, and if you would like more information on our initiative, visit the WISE Math BC facebook site.

All the best.

Tara L. Houle
(Sign our BC Math Education Petition if you haven’t already!)

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News items from Ontario

Ontario Liberals aim to boost math achievement scores with $60-million investment, Globe and Mail

Math, John Mighton on CBC Metro Morning

Robyn Urback: Rather than fix its broken curriculum, Ontario will just teach the existing one even more, National Post

The solution to Ontario’s math solution needs work, Anna Stokke for the Globe and Mail

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Calgary Association of Parents and School Councils to host Math Excellence Forum


Thursday, January 28th
7 PM | Tickets $7
Performing Arts Centre
Webber Academy | 1515-93 Street SW

Great math education is a major topic of interest for Calgary parents. There is much discussion in the media, on the playground, and in homes about what is happening in math, and how to ensure every child is set up for success.

Parents are curious about how schools are achieving strong results in math. CAPSC is pleased to present our Math Excellence Night on behalf of Calgary parents. Through this event, education stakeholders can get a glimpse of some best practices, and hopefully continue the dialogue in their own community afterward.


STUART WACHOWICZ | Confucius Institute, Edmonton
Stuart Wachowicz, B.Ed, B.Sc, M.Ed, is an educator with 44 years of experience. He taught for 25 years in Alberta, where he primarily taught mathematics and served as a school administrator. In 1997 he became Director of Curriculum for Edmonton Public Schools. He is one of the key architects of the education system that shot Alberta to the top of the world education rankings in the early 2000s. Upon retirement in 2009, Mr. Wachowicz became Director of the Confucius Institute in Edmonton, of which he is presently Chairman of the Board of Directors and Advisory Board. Mr. Wachowicz will be including a discussion on how strong math results were achieved in schools with a high English as a Second Language population.

NEIL WEBBER & JAY NIVEN | Webber Academy, Calgary
Neil Webber, President/Head of School at Webber Academy, has a PhD in Mathematics Curriculum. Jay Niven, Senior High School Mathematics Instructor, holds a B.Ed and Masters degree in Mathematics teaching. Webber Academy is a non-denominational, co-educational, university preparatory private school offering Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. There is an environment of high expectations for student achievement and behaviour. After 18 years of operation, Webber Academy has become an international school with students from many different backgrounds, cultures and religions.

AARON RENERT | The Renert School, Calgary
Aaron Renert, M.Sc, LL.B, is a mathematics educator and the founder of Renert Education, a Calgary-based company that has been offering academic services to over 80,000 students since 1992. The company is known for its unwavering commitment to excellence in teaching. In its 26-year history, Renert has been an educational innovator and the first to offer diploma examination review courses, on-demand tutoring centres. Aaron is the curriculum lead and developer of Bright Minds – a revolutionary mathematics enrichment program that groomed dozens of math competition winners Aaron’s techniques and methods have helped thousands of students to overcome their fear of math and to thrive in the field. Renert’s latest project is The Renert School at Royal Vista, a K-12 private school which opened in September 2013. The school offers a new model of education dedicated to nurturing.

ANNA STOKKE | University of Winnipeg
Anna Stokke is Associate Professor of Mathematics at the University of Winnipeg. She received a Ph.D in mathematics from the University of Alberta in 2003, an M.Sc (Math) from the University of Manitoba and a B.Sc (Math) from Brandon University. She is the President of Archimedes Math Schools, which is a non-profit organization that was founded by math professors in Winnipeg who recognize the need for a low cost after-school math program for elementary school children. Anna is a math education advocate and a cofounder of the Western Initiative for Strengthening Education in Math (WISE Math). She received a 2015-2016 YWCA/YMCA Women of Distinction Award in the Community Activism and Social Enterprise category for her work in math education. She also received the University of Winnipeg’s Clarence Atchison Award for Excellence in Community Service in October, 2015.

We look forward to seeing you at this event focused on best practices in mathematics education.

Register for the Math Excellence Forum

Please share this post with your school council and other interested parents.

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Raising awareness in Manitoba

WISE Math will be working to raise awareness about education issues in Manitoba prior to the Manitoba provincial election. We need a team of volunteers to help behind the scenes. Can you help?  Please contact us for more information.

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Manitoba Association of Parent Councils hosts parent information forum

This Saturday, Nov. 14, 9 AM – 12:30 PM
Riel School Division, 900 St Mary’s Rd
Free event open to all Manitoba parents

MAPC has arranged what they assure us will be a balanced discussion of math education in Manitoba and how parents can support their child at home.  They also assure us that the event is not by invitation only and that any Manitoba parent can attend, regardless of their views on math education and the Manitoba math curriculum.

This may be an excellent opportunity for concerned parents to become better informed by hearing directly from those who have shaped their child’s education in math and had a hand in the design of the WNCP math curriculum.

Speakers include three important education ministry officials, two of whom were instrumental in the design of the WNCP curriculum, and three education professors who are involved in the training of teachers.  These folks should be well-equipped to address the questions of concerned parents.

Register today by emailing

See also the MAPC announcement for the event

We encourage parents to attend, and send me an email to let us know what you think!
Robert Craigen, WISE Math

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Alberta Education adds standard algorithms to math curriculum

Alberta Education is to be commended for adding standard algorithms to the Alberta math curriculum. Congratulations to Dr. Nhung Tran Davies and her team and to the mathematicians in Alberta who advocated for this!

Link to Nhung Tran-Davies’ petition

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Manitoba government: K-8 teachers now required to complete two math courses in university for certification

The Manitoba government announced yesterday that K-8 teachers will be required to complete two math content courses in university to obtain teacher certification.

Manitoba Education News Release, September 8, 2015.

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