The Council of Ministers in the 1980s: Education Policy Innovator or Broken Cog?

John Allison

Abstract


Recent historical studies on the topic of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada looked mostly at the era of the 1960s and the 1970s. Some work has also been completed on the institution’s role in international education and its responsibilities during the economic crises of these decades. This paper proposes to take this research one step further and now look more specifically at the decade of the 1980s. This paper will argue that in this era the CMEC found its raison d’être in several fields. These included official languages, and oversight of the testing programs run by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). It also found its niche, to a lesser extent, through refining its connections to international education organizations. Finally, the decade saw the CMEC experimenting with a national agenda for education in conjunction with the provincial premiers and ministries of education.

Keywords


Education, Governance, Canada, Innovation, Policy

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