The NDP are calling on the Ford government to “reign in” Ontario private schools after an CityNews report found a handful of GTA schools were faking grades in exchange for cash.
Alice Boyle, a recently retired public school teacher in York Region who brought her concerns to CityNews, said things such as falsifying report cards, inflating marks and faking attendance records have been going on for years and claims the Ministry of Education isn’t doing enough to stop it.
“There’s a credit mill around here, you just walk over, plunk down your $600-$800 and sometimes, depending the school, they may ask you what mark you need for what course and you don’t have to go to a class.” she said.
NDP education critic Marit Stiles is calling for the Ford government to act swiftly to protect the integrity of the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
“Private schools in Ontario are playing fast and loose with the rules while Doug Ford’s Minister of Education looks the other way,” Stiles said in a release on Thursday.
“These institutions are cashing-in on a ‘Wild West’ of lax oversight and students and families are paying the price. The Ford government and Minister Stephen Lecce should inspect these businesses, strengthen oversight, and take responsibility for protecting the integrity of the OSSD.”
Private schools operate independent of the Ministry of Education, but they still must pass provincial inspection before being given the green light to offer official Ontario Secondary School Diploma credits.
According to the Ministry’s website, more than 20 private secondary schools have had their credit-granting status revoked since 2013. Fifteen of those schools are located in the GTA. Of those 15 schools, 9 of them were located on a stretch of Yonge Street between North York and York Region. Many of those schools are in plazas and largely corporate buildings.
It’s no surprise these for-profit companies are circling Ontario’s public education sector just as Doug Ford is weakening our public schools with damaging cuts” Stiles said. “Ford needs to be up front with Ontarians and commit, unequivocally, that public dollars won’t be siphoned off to private schools, and private school students will be subject to the same rules as everyone else.”
The Ministry said private schools are inspected at least once every two years by six full-time inspectors and an undisclosed number of part-time inspection staff.