A talk by Angus McBeath
Superintendent, Edmonton Public Schools
July 11 – 9:30-10:30
Through the generous support of the Society for the Advancement of
Excellence in Education AIMS was able to offer this event free of charge.
Edmonton has revolutionized the public schools system. Every school is now an education enterprise led by a strong principal with the power to implement change and the power to acquire the services and resources the students need when they need them. Throughout North America, Edmonton is being held up as the example of what the public schools can and should be. School choice is a central feature of Edmonton’s success: the school district offers open enrolment and more kinds of school than any other district in the continent. These options have resulted in almost half of all students attending schools outside of their neighbourhoods and achievement scores rising across the board. With their entrepreneurial spirit, Edmonton’s public school system has been putting the competition out of business; unlike most major cities, the number of students in private schools in Edmonton has been declining.
As Superintendent of Schools, Mr. McBeath leads the ongoing effort of Edmonton Public Schools to improve student achievement. The district is in the second year of its Focus on Supporting Teaching and Learning, in which each school develops an instructional focus that applies to every student in every classroom. As part of the initiative, the district has enhanced opportunities for collaboration among staff, facilitated the use of research-based best practices in the classroom, and involved stakeholders in supporting the crucial work of teaching and learning. Mr. McBeath has also introduced a number of targets for improving both high school completion rates and the achievement of students in Grades 1 to 12.
An educator for 30 years, Angus McBeath began his teaching career in 1972 in Prince Edward Island.. He is in demand across North America as a dynamic speaker with a truly remarkable story to tell about how public schools can reinvent themselves to meet the needs of a modern, diverse and demanding society where educational achievement is the key to success.
Angus McBeath, a native Maritimer, recounted how his adopted city found the formula to revive the spirit, energy, and commitment of people to public education. Edmonton has proven that choice, accountability and performance are *not* incompatible with the Canadian public school system, but rather are the key to its renewal and improvement.