Province Announces Launch of Online Teacher Registry – DiscoverAirdrie.com
The province has announced a new online registry that will display information about teachers and teacher leaders dating back to 1954. It will launch September 1.
The registry will include their name, the type of certificate they hold and whether it is still valid, and the date they received their certification. The log will also show disciplinary decisions that resulted in the suspension or cancellation of a certificate for unprofessional conduct or professional incompetence dating back to 1990.
The register will contain information on approximately 162,000 current and former teachers and teacher leaders, with the number increasing as more people earn a certificate. Requests for exemption from the online registry are considered on a case-by-case basis. According to the province, the registry sends a clear message that the government and teachers care deeply about safe learning environments for students and the professionalism of teachers.
Education Minister Adriana LaGrange stressed that the vast majority of the teaching profession maintains high standards.
“We all have this for those who care for our children every day. We will balance teachers’ rights to privacy and procedural fairness with the public’s right to know when a teacher has been disciplined, resulting in suspension or cancellation of a teaching certificate.”
However, NDP education critic Sarah Hoffman said the education minister is trying to distract Albertans.
“Rather than focusing on supporting pupils, staff and families as children return to school, the Minister for Education is clearly seeking to deflect attention from the catalog of damage she has inflicted on our education system,” an NDP press release said. “She should work to replace the 1,000 teachers she has taken out of the system by deliberately withholding the schools’ education budget.”
Hoffman also stressed that the priority for the province should be the expansion of communities that do not have a sufficient number of schools within a reasonable distance.
“Minister LaGrange should ensure that growing Alberta communities have the schools they need so that students don’t have to travel 45 minutes each way to get to their designated school.
Mary Jane James, CEO of the Sexual Assault Center in Edmonton, said that in the rare circumstances where a teacher or teacher leader chooses to abuse their power and has been disciplined as a result, the public has a right to know.
In a news release, the province noted that an online searchable registry aligns with practices in other Canadian jurisdictions, such as British Columbia, Ontario and Saskatchewan, which share similar information on the status of teaching certificates and disciplinary matters.
“The registry is also similar to registries for members of other professions in Alberta, such as nurses, doctors, lawyers and engineers. Alberta’s registry includes relevant information about serious disciplinary matters while protecting the privacy of colleagues, students and others who may be subject to disciplinary action.
Previously, on December 15, 2021, part of the Students First Act became law requiring the Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) to notify the Registrar of all complaints received. In September 2022, the rest of the Students First Act becomes law to address what the province calls “gaps, problems and inconsistencies in Alberta’s system of oversight and discipline for teachers and teacher leaders.”
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