Wednesday, April 9, 2008

It's like the PM wants everybody to learn hockey, but nobody can skate until Grade 5

Education two U de M and 21 UNB professors bash croll-Lee report
NATHAN WHITETelegraph-Journal
Published Tuesday April 8th, 2008
Appeared on page a1

MONCTON - A pair of Université de Moncton professors are challenging the education minister to subject the French second-language program to an expert review, just as 21 UNB professors finish addressing a letter to Ombudsman Bernard Richard, complaining the supporting data analysis of the program is incorrect.

The report could “affect the credibility of all social research,” said Jimmy Bourque, director of the Centre for Research and Development in Education on Monday. “It’s amazing. These are their statistics … yet they say the late-immersion program is clearly better than the early-immersion program,”Bourque said. He said the government may argue that more late-immersion students hit a “target” level of proficiency, but that target is lower than the one for early immersion.

“It’s like comparing two hockey leagues: the NHL and a peewee league,’’ Bourque said. “The performance level in peewee might be skating five strideswithout falling, and in the NHL it’s skating around the rink in so many seconds. “If the peewees obtain their objective more often, are they better?” Bourque joined Rodrigue Landry, director of the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities, in lambasting the methodology in the $180,000 Croll-Lee review of French second-language programs.


“It is not hard to criticize the government report,” said Colin Ingalls, a UNB professor who helped organize the project for the group of 21 PhDs. “Some of the recommendations don’t seem to have much to do with material in the report “It is unclear how the recommendations and the data connect to one another.”

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