Paul Martin’s Indigenous Education Project Sees Results
Career Path : Education News
Five years ago, in 2010, the provincial reading and writing results of students from Ontario reservation schools were worrisomely low. Paul Martin spoke out about the poor education on First Nation reserves and unrolled a new literacy program shortly after.
Now, 4 years later, the grade 3 and 6 students at Walpole Island and Kettle and Stony Point First Nations exceeded the provincial standards in reading and writing. Paul Martin believes the success of this program shows that it should be rolled out across all of Canada—especially for schools who have struggled with meeting national literacy standards.
The students at these two First Nation reserves saw their performance on standardized tests improve from 13% back in 2010, to 67% (the provincial standard) in 2014.
The program was created by UofT’s Julia O’Sullivan, Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education—and was not funded by the government, but rather by sponsored organizations. One of these organizations includes Paul Martin’s Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative.
“Every penny that we spend on education is a dollar saved later in incarceration costs, in lost productivity. I can’t think of a higher return on investment,” says Paul Martin when discussing the potential for this program to become widespread across the country.
The program has even fostered better relationships between children and their parents, with parents being invited to literacy nights, and hearing daily about the success of their children in this program.