Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Early immersion supporters call for one-year moratorium on reforms

The request comes in the wake of a court decision last week forcing the government to reopen debate on its plan for early immersion. To that end, Education Minister Kelly Lamrock launched a six-week consultation period.
"The government really has to go back to the drawing board and really listen to people, and make their voices count," said Jane Keith, the group's executive director. Lamrock's method of inviting people to share their opinions via the Internet, rather than face-to-face, is inadequate, she added.

Citizens for Educational Choice, the group that took Lamrock's proposal to axe early immersion into the courts, also issued a release Monday blasting the government over a brochure that was distributed in weekend newspapers.

The brochure provides an update on the province's education initiatives and includes a statement on the plan to eliminate early immersion.

"It clearly contravenes the decision that came down (in the court)," said Tim Jackson, who was involved in organizing the court challenge.

Communications New Brunswick spokesman Tim Porter said the education brochure was created and distributed to newspapers a full week before the court ruling came down, noting its purpose was to provide a comprehensive update.

Groups have started latching on to almost anything that could be construed in some way to support their point, Porter said.

"We are taking the high road," he said. "We are trying to consult. We are trying to come up with good ideas."

Bloggers' comment:

We are sure we are not the only ones confused about Mr. Porter's comments. Does the recent glossy insert entitled "Becoming the best - update on public education initiatives Anglophone sector" sent out June 14th contravene the ruling of court?

We must remind Mr. Porter that Minister Lamrock's decision on March 14th to end Early French Immersion in NB was quashed by Justice McLellan in his ruling on June 11th.

However, on the last page of the recent DOE flyer they indicated that Intensive French in grade 5 is the universal entry point to FSL learning; i.e, no more early French Immersion as of 2008. We realize that this flyer was printed before the ruling, however, the government did not stop its distribution. It was distributed through all three major NB Newspapers on Saturday, June 14th.

Clearly, DOE and NB Communication had enough time to ask the publishers to not insert the glossies in Saturday's papers. As of this posting, it is still on their website.

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