Teacher regulation report lacks critical analysis and scope, full engagement required

November 1, 2013
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

The Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation expressed its disappointment in the teacher regulation report, prepared by Dr. Dennis Kendel and contracted by the Ministry of Education.For the Sake of Students lacks critical analysis, consultation and scope.

“The Federation welcomed this review as an opportunity to share information with the minister, Dr. Kendel and the public,” said STF Executive Director Gwen Dueck. “We provided extensive resources about our processes and full transparency into our organization in the best interests of students.”

Based on the content of the report, Dr. Kendel’s consultation and review illustrates a limited scope and lacks critical analysis. The report focuses solely on the disciplinary processes of the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation despite the shared responsibility between the Federation, school divisions, the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents, and the Ministry of Education.

“By neglecting to explore all aspects of teacher regulatory processes, the report provides an incomplete examination of the teacher regulation system in our province,” said Dueck. “Also, when you finish reading the report, you are left wondering what the current processes really are, including the Federation’s processes.”

Despite these concerns, the Federation believes the review was beneficial in that it offered an opportunity for its own critical review of Federation regulatory processes. At the conclusion of this analysis, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation made a submission to Dr. Kendel and the minister of education entitled Teacher Professionalism in Saskatchewan: Strengthening Regulation.

“In our submission we proposed immediate administrative changes to our current regulatory process to address the conflict of interest between our disciplinary and advocacy roles,” said Dueck. “We are also committed to improving public awareness, participation, accessibility and reporting in our disciplinary proceedings and outcomes. Implementation of these changes has already begun.”

The submission also included a proposal for the government to conduct a comprehensive engagement process with students, parents and educational partners to assess the current regulatory system for Saskatchewan teachers as well as to plan and implement a strengthened and integrated regulatory environment (including disciplinary, licensing, certification and classification functions) for all teachers. The Federation recommends this system be based on principles of openness and transparency, administrative law and natural justice, and procedural fairness.

“We believe that in order to create a regulatory environment for teachers, engagement with all partners in education is required,” Dueck said. “We welcome the government’s response to Dr. Kendel’s report and look forward to the opportunity to fully participate and engage with students, parents and educational partners to develop regulatory processes for all teachers that are in the best interests of students.”