Lamrock misleading public on immersion
I am so frustrated at the continued misinformation spread by Education Minister Kelly Lamrock.
It is clear that while he is very articulate in arguing his case, he is clearly misleading the public and resorting to divisive arguments to support his misguided changes to the anglophone system.
Why do I say this? There are three reasons.
He is arguing his changes to French second-language programming will provide universal access and help 70 per cent of children become bilingual. The problem: His stated goal for those 70 per cent is Intermediate, which will not get students any bilingual-designated job in this province. He's done away with the one program where over 70 per cent of graduates attain an Intermediate Plus or Advanced level of proficiency.
So much for self-sufficiency. All our brightest students will go elsewhere, as they won't be able to get a job in New Brunswick.
He blames early French immersion for streaming, and streaming for lower-than-the-national-average literacy scores.
Guess what? The Education Department's own data and the Croll-Lee report both show that comparing scores between EFI and non-EFI students in elementary school reveals no differences. Their numbers show the streaming effect is a lot worse with late French immersion - the program that Lamrock is keeping.
And the worst thing? No child will learn French before the age of 10, if they are in the anglophone school system. So much for rapprochement between anglophone and francophone New Brunswickers.
My three children will be incapable of comprehending their francophone friends in the language of their choice. Lamrock is systematically dismantling bilingualism in our province, but he is too polished for most people to realize it.
And our Liberal government supports him, without really understanding what they are supporting.
Peta Fussell, Fredericton
Thursday, May 22, 2008