Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Anniversary

It was one year ago today that we received the disturbing Croll and Lee report. It was also one year ago today that we became activists. Today's anniversary was marked on CBC--please see their report. It has been quite a year. I am going to blow out the candle on the pie.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Recent report from Minister Lamrock

Sorry no postings lately. Actually, I have enjoyed not being on the blogosphere. However, it was very clear that this article had to be added to the blog. Please also make sure that you read the comments following Times and Transcript article.

I will be very curious to see what French programs will be developed for children in English Prime K-2 for this winter. Hopefully we will hear about the plans soon. -- Matt

Aloma Jardine--Times and Transcript
French program changes going well: minister
Published Thursday September 11th, 2008

Click here for link

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Recent EFI articles, comments and letters in NB papers

August 19th
Bilingualism is a significant strength for New Brunswick--repeat of Dubé article from the Telegraph-Journal-- The Daily Gleaner
Too many unanswered questions, writes Johnson--Letter--Kings County Record
Liberals hurt integrity of political process in FSL debacle--Repeat of Miramichi Leader piece on August 18th--Kings County record

August 18th
French Immersion debacle reveals Liberal strategy--Miramichi Leader
No French for start of 2008--Letter--The Daily-Gleaner

August 16th
Francophone committee will make us better--Telegraph-Journal
Bilingualism, strength for our province--Telegraph-Journal
Questions remain about FSL--Letter--Telegraph-Journal

Friday, August 15, 2008

When Bad Research Leads to Bad Policy: The Case of New Brunswick

This opinion piece was in response to EFI policy development in NB. It was written by Philip Oreopolous who is an Associate Professor of Economics, University of British Columbia and a University of Toronto Research Fellow, Canadian Institute For Advanced Research. It was written just before the decision was announced on August 5th and unfortunately it was not printed. However, it is a great piece and it should see the light of day. I believe it is still relevant, particularly when we see what has recently been written in the Ottawa Citizen (see post below).

When Bad Research Leads to Bad Policy: The Case of New Brunswick

Governments in Canada pay a lot for research and commission reports regularly to help develop public policy. Recently, policy makers have been placing more emphasis on experimental approaches to research for determining whether social programs are worth maintaining, or whether better alternatives to current policies exist.

These methods, sometimes collectively referred to as ‘evidence based policy’, involve setting up pilot projects or using historical events that allow the comparison of groups of individuals that are eligible or engaged in a particular program against other groups of individuals that are not eligible for the program, or enrolled instead in an alternative program. The experimental approach leads to strong conclusions about the overall impact of one policy compared to another.

Most often, however, governments rely on non-experimental research to draw policy conclusions. Non-experimental reports often use surveys or interviews, without a comparison group to draw policy conclusions. This approach requires working with data that was never intended to answer the questions at hand.

Often these reports draw strong conclusions when they really should not. We are inundated with research and reports drawing strong conclusions, and it is virtually impossible to tell from reading an executive summary or listening to a sound bite whether a study should be taken seriously or not.

Taking a report’s conclusions or sound bites at face value, without initial skepticism about how the report came to these conclusions can sometimes lead to disastrous policy mistakes.

For example, take the case of French Immersion reform in New Brunswick, which I use in my Public Policy class as a case example of when bad research can lead to bad policy. ....

Click here to link to full opinion piece

More letters and comments on EFI this week

August 15th
Letters Language program another rushed decision--Telepgraph-Journal
Bilingualism and FSL are a strength for N.B.--Times and Transcript

August 14th
Immersion decision is a disgrace--Letter--Telegraph-Journal
Is everyone now happy?--Letter (little longer than the one above)--Times and Transcript

August 13th
It's not 'elitist' to want immersion program that works--Letter commenting on Margaret Norrie McCain's opinion--Times and Transcript
Parents reluctantly accept FI changes--The Sackville Tribune Post

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is the anti-EFI movement spreading to Ottawa?

July 10th
N.B. French immersion highly segregated, discriminatory: report--Ottawa Citizen

July 23rd
The real reason we send our kids to French immersion--Dan Gardner--Ottawa Citizen

August 12th
Let's talk about immersion--Elizabeth Payne member of the Ottawa Citizen Editorial Board

"... Ottawa school officials should be paying close attention to New Brunswick's stab at reform."

This is a very strange comment since the Ottawa Carleton Board of Education did conduct a very thorough study of FSL training in Ottawa. To use NB as an example at this time is rather odd isn't it?

EFI in NB papers--Monday and Tuesday

August 12th
Can a government learn?--Telegraph-Journal
N.B. on an untested path with immersion--Times and Transcript
No French until '09--Kings County Record
Local parent pleased with govt.'s compromise on French immersion--Northern Light
Hit the ground running--Kings County Record
NBers care don't you get it?--Kings County Record

August 11th
Province urged to ensure success of French program--Telegraph-Journal
Parents encouraged to keep fighting for better education--The Daily Gleaner
Local reaction to FSL revisions cautiously optimistic--Miramichi Leader