Your letters for April 20

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Public won’t support any more for arena

Re: Budget discrepancy stops work on city’s $550M arena project, April 15

The Green Line has shrunk from 46 km to 20 km and the price has more than doubled. The new Event Centre was touted to cost $550 million for construction, 50 per cent of which is paid by the taxpayers. That deal was shoved down our throats and City Council was determined to make sure we had no say in it. CSEC now demands $70 million more, so where does the budget bleeding stop?

Rogers Place in Edmonton cost about $500 million to build six to seven years ago. How does anyone believe that a project as grand as the Event Centre could be built for the same cost a decade later (even without COVID)?  The old saying still rings true – “Suckers and their money will soon be parted.”

Council should put this issue to a plebiscite in the October election. But they won’t, because they fear what the public would actually say “no” just the same as the Olympic plebiscite.

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Randall Burke, Calgary

If curriculum so bad, why do Alberta students score so high?

Re: Knowledge or Skills Form Battle Lines in K-6 Draft Curriculum, Opinion, April 16

How ironic that in her rebuttal to the well-deserved criticism of the K-6 Draft Curriculum,  with content largely borrowed from her unfinished reading of an American source and riddled with faulty use of terminology and spurious reasoning, Licia Corbella is doing exactly that of which the UCP draft curriculum is guilty.

However, buried in her 15th paragraph is one nugget of profound importance. Alberta students perform extremely well in international comparisons of academic achievement. The 2018 PISA results ranked Alberta 3rd in reading, 3rd in science and 8th in math compared to 78 other countries; 1st in reading, 1st  in science and 4th in math compared to other Canadian provinces.

The revisions to the Program of Studies, which had been worked on for several years and was ready to be piloted in 2019 before being discarded by the UCP government, had balanced skills, knowledge, and deep conceptual understanding in what would have offered even more impressive results.

Carol Berndt, Calgary

Teachers skeptical of science

Re: Corbella: Many teachers need to brush up on anti-bullying training, Opinion, April 17

It’s a fact that [using] the teacher-supported current curriculum, Alberta’s international scholastic ranking and numeracy dropped dramatically. The government took the time to research scientific studies and picked the curriculum that studies showed to have the best results. The teachers, who were teaching as our grades dropped, say they know better than the scientists.

There are many courses to pilot, yet the only one the teachers talk about is social studies. That is because it is the only one that is hard to measure scientifically. They want to throw out all the courses because they don’t like one. Teachers have joined the anti-vaxers, climate skeptics, and anti-maskers as a group that is skeptical of scientists.

Bob Wilson, Calgary

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