Imagine the minister of Transportation unveiled a new plan for a bridge over the St. John River.
Imagine also that dozens of mathematicians found flaws in the calculations for the design, the manufacturers of the major components of the bridge said they wouldn't carry the weight, all New Brunswick civil engineers said it wouldn't work, and a large part of the public said it wasn't what they wanted any way.
If the minister were given the chance to relaunch the project, do you think the minister should offer up the same discredited design?
If you answered ‘no,' you should hope that (Education) Minister (Kelly) Lamrock never takes over the transportation portfolio, because that is exactly the approach he is taking with his ‘consultation' on French language instruction.
Even though the rebuke by Justice McLellan gave him a golden opportunity to re-design the FSL plan according to professional advice, Lamrock has decided to relaunch the old, discredited Croll and Lee plan.
His ‘consultative' Web site even links to the exact same document that stirred the controversy weeks ago, the document that dozens of mathematicians considered statistically flawed, that was rejected by the inventors of Intensive French (the plan's major component), that all N.B. language experts have opposed, and that summoned sufficient public opposition to land the minister in court.
In educational planning, just as in engineering, if the design is wrong, you go back to the drawing board; if you try to fix a fundamentally flawed design, it ends in disaster.
N.B.er waiting to come home,
Shelley Ashfield, P. Eng., Cortenay, B.C.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008