And there is no turning back.
The Northwest Territories have been using Alberta's curriculum for 40 years, maybe longer. But now they've lost trust in the Alberta Education system's ability to provide relevant curriculum.
The office of the Education Minister, Adriana LaGrange downplays it, saying that she understands why the Northwest Territories would move to BC, because they have a finalized updated curriculum, and the much criticized draft curriculum in Alberta is in its "early stages".
They seem to be under the impression that once her rag of a curriculum is complete, Northwest Territories will come back. They are absolutely wrong.
The Northwest Territories were not just shopping for a curriculum, they were also shopping for a curriculum development process. While what they saw coming out of Alberta's Education system was regressive, Eurocentric, and pedagogically and developmentally inappropriate, even more damning is the absolute sham of a curriculum development process. Alberta's curriculum has been proven to be at the mercy and whim of whatever government happens to be in charge. That Alberta had the same government for over 40 years was a source of stability, but now the curriculum is being used as a political chess piece, a tool. Even more, the professionals who should be trusted to develop the curriculum are being vilified by LaGrange's office.
Our students are political tools. Our teachers are being disrespected and slandered. And the Northwest Territories sees Alberta Education treating students like tools and teachers like garbage. And they have firmly rebuked that lack of moral compass.
They have been very clear that the curriculum they wanted was designed with Indigenous knowledge as a fundamental component, not an after-the-fact tack-on. They have been very clear that they wanted their curriculum to be student-centric, designed in sound educational pedagogy. Not only have they seen in Alberta's draft document that is not the case, they also cannot trust that it will ever be the case.
Even after LaGrange announced that it is walking back many subject areas that were in the draft leaving only the still-flawed English Language Arts, Mathematics, and Physical Education and Wellness to be launched in September of 2022, that still wasn't enough to stem the bleeding.
It would have been easier and cheaper for the territory to stick to Alberta's curriculum. Apparently it is so bad here that even an underfunded government in one of the most expensive areas of the country still chose to dump it for a more expensive option.
Northwest Territories will not come back to Alberta's curriculum. Not until it sees politicians out of curriculum development. Not until it sees curriculum development placed beyond an arm's length from politicians and firmly in the purview of educational professionals.
That's what Alberta's teachers have been asking for over the past 2 years. There is no rational reason for politicians to be steering the ship. There is no rational reason for anyone who is not an educational professional to be steering the ship. Yet that is all that we have seen happen since LaGrange took office.