Tuesday, June 3, 2008

More Great Letters

The Daily-Gleaner, June 3rd, 2008

Immersion has helped children to learn French

We have three kids in the early French immersion program at the present time, and we are very happy with their ability to converse in French and how they feel at ease with the language.

There are so many things in our education system which need reform, but cutting a program, with which most people who participate in are happy, does not seem to be a step forward.

I do not care if my kids ever write the Grade 12 French exam. All I care and know is that they have received a wonderful base in a second language during their elementary school years, which they will be able to build on in the future.

From my experience, EFI seems to get a lot less effective starting in middle school, as the children's priorities start to shift. I will be more than surprised if Education Minister Kelly Lamrock's so called "X factor" will have any impact at all and, as a parent, I'd rather rely on solid scheduled French instruction for my children to learn a second language than on occasional extra presentations and activities held in French.

However, what angers me most is that the government blames EFI for streaming and the high number of special needs children in the English classes. Let's not forget that we all were supposed to have a choice of which program to enrol our kids in. Sadly, this choice was denied by the Department of Education to children who experienced learning difficulties by not offering the appropriate support in the EFI program.

Let's fix that and finally give everyone a choice, instead of taking away choice from everyone.

Felix Schwarz, Fredericton

Ashamed of Liberal MLA over immersion decision

I need to express how deeply ashamed I am of my MLA.

I voted for my Liberal MLA in the last election and had every confidence that he was a smart man, a man with integrity and good judgment. His reputation was strong, and he promised to do good things for New Brunswick.

However, I now have reason to believe otherwise. As my MLA, he has told me, and has been clear with many others, that he does not agree with the Lamrock-Graham FSL program.

He understands that it is a policy that has no basis in evidence, and that the Croll-Lee report was bogus.

He agrees that it is a bad plan and will not help with literacy, numeracy or, dare I say, obesity.

And yet, he continues to publicly support it. This MLA has demonstrated that he cares more for party loyalty and politics than he cares about my children, or anyone's children.

And so, I am disillusioned and devastated, and ashamed of the man I voted for. It is time for all Liberal MLAs to do what is right and insist Premier Shawn Graham reverse this decision.

Carla Dunphy, Fredericton

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