The Power of the Logic Model in Coordinating the Work of Policymakers and Local Programs (Part 2)

Internal Contradictions and the Displacement of Learner-Centred Programming A close reading of the LBS logic model reveals internal contradictions about who the system is designed to support. It also reveals statements that displace the traditional philosophical approach of LBS: learner-centred programming. First, the contradiction. One of the main findings from the LBS evaluation—a lack of… Read More

Force-fitting LBS into the Employment Ontario system and chasing after a bogus standard (Part 2)

What is essentially seen by learners as an educational access program is force-fit into an employment service system. Then, an impossible testing standard is established for the system using a falsified threshold level from international literacy testing. Ontario’s LBS system is made accountable for fulfilling the employment goals that most learners don’t have and for… Read More

Force-fitting LBS into an employment system and chasing after a bogus standard (Part 1)

Situating the Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program within the Employment Ontario (EO) system is a force-fit. LBS, primarily a learning program for those with educational and personal learning goals is integrated into an employment services and support program designed to “connect people looking for work with employers looking for work.” Most adults who enroll… Read More

(Over)managing learning: The “administrative burden” consumes staff time and priorities in a community literacy program

A program coordinator in a community-based Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program took some time from her work to walk me through the systems and processes she has developed to fulfill mandated ministry reporting and organize a learning program.* Patti (a pseudonym) works full-time at an urban community-centre, which hosts the LBS program. Her paid… Read More

A mapping of the “administrative burden” in LBS programs

This will be the first of a few posts focused on particular findings, conclusions and recommendations in the recent Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) evaluation report. I hope to highlight and synthesize identified issues, providing both policy analysts and LBS support organizations the in-depth knowledge and understandings needed to make important decisions moving forward. The… Read More

Now we have something real to talk about: From 50% to 15% of the population with literacy challenges

There’s a lot happening in Ontario’s Literacy and Basic Skills (LBS) program these days. On April 12 a long-awaited and very critical evaluation report was released. Then, on April 28 an influx of new funding was announced in the Ontario Budget. This year, LBS will receive an additional 20 million dollars, a 20% increase, with… Read More

The LBS evaluation report and distinction between design and implementation problems

On April 12, Ontario’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development (MAESD) released a report detailing the findings of a program evaluation completed November 2016. The report is here, and here is an accompanying executive summary. The findings are hard-hitting. Those in the field will finally see their concerns acknowledged, and meticulously documented in a… Read More