The NDP is calling on Conservatives to explain the abysmal math and reading scores on standardized tests from on-reserve schools in Ontario.


“These results expose the complete failure of the Conservative government to help these children. No matter which way you slice the data, results like this should not be acceptable in Canada” said Charlie Angus. “As a former school-board trustee, I can tell you that if any school district in Canada was failing this badly there would be outrage, heads would roll.”


According to the Departmental Performance Report from the Department of Aboriginal Affairs published last week, the literacy score for boys was 21% while the score for girls was 32%. The numeracy scores were even worse, 18% for boys and 20% for girls. The review also reveals $86 million dollars that were allocated for First Nations education infrastructure went unspent last year. The department announced an internal audit that had been planned to examine elementary and secondary schools will now be postponed.


“What’s at stake here is the future of a whole generation of First Nations children” said NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic Jean Crowder (Nanaimo-Cowichan). “Yet day after day, the government refuses to provide equal funding to First Nations schools, and do the work necessary to reach agreements with First Nations on education reform.”