Thursday, July 24, 2008

Taking some time off in Quebec

Hi all. Forgot to sign off on Tuesday, too busy packing.
Will be back on Monday ready to blog.

Have you sent in your submission to Minister Lamrock?
If not, please do so -- Friday is the deadline.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

An Open Letter to Anglophones

Published Saturday, July 19th, 2008, Telegraph-Journal.

We have followed with great interest and concern the various initiatives undertaken by many anglophone parents to keep the early immersion program in place in New Brunswick. We applaud their various initiatives and we have decided that the time has come for francophones to take a stand and voice our support.

As is well known, early immersion has been in Canadian schools for more than four decades and Canada's immersion model has been exported to many countries. As is also well known, New Brunswick has long been perceived as a leader in promoting early immersion and as a model for English-French relations for the rest of Canada. The province's bilingual character defines New Brunswick and has given the province a competitive edge in attracting new economic activities, some would even argue that it constitutes our main competitive advantage.

This explains why members of the national media have been scratching their heads, trying to understand why New Brunswick would wish to turn back the clock. If the government proceeds with its plan, Canada's only officially bilingual province will stand out as a province without an early French immersion program.

The government's intention to eliminate early immersion, initially at least, was based on an extremely flawed and now completely discredited report - the Croll/Lee report, which, if nothing else, proved extremely expensive to New Brunswick taxpayers. It is still not at all clear for New Brunswickers what has and continues to motivate the government of New Brunswick to pursue its plan to eliminate early immersion. None of the arguments advanced by government officials are very convincing, and leading experts from both our English and French-language universities have been highly critical of the government's plan to eliminate early French immersion. New Brunswickers are being asked to embrace a new approach without any assurance that it will work. The gamble is too high given what is at stake.

The issue is extremely important to New Brunswick and its political and economic future, and we strongly recommend that the government of New Brunswick take the time necessary to review the matter in detail.

At a minimum, the government of New Brunswick should accept the recommendation made by various groups and individuals to delay the elimination of early French immersion until September 2009 to enable a thorough review of the issue and allow a meaningful public engagement process.

BERNARD CYR, President-CEO, Cyr Holdings Inc.
MONIQUE IMBEAULT, Lawyer, McInnes Cooper
RODRIGUE LANDRY, Institut canadien de recherche sur les minorités linguistiques, Université de Moncton
JEAN LANTEIGNE, Executive Director, Association des crabiers
LOUIS LAPIERRE, Environmentalist
VIOLA LÉGER, Former Senator
DENIS LOSIER, President-CEO, Assomption Society
GEORGE MARCOUX, Economic Development Specialist
CHRISTIAN MICHAUD, Lawyer, Cox and Palmer
LISE OUELLETTE, Executive Director, Association francophone des municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick
RODNEY OUELLETTE, CEO and Director of Discovery, Atlantic Cancer Research Institute
JACQUELINE ROBICHAUD, Widow of Former Premier Louis J. Robichaud
ANDRÉE SAVOIE, Acadian Construction
DONALD J. SAVOIE, Chaire de recherche du Canada en administration publique et en gouvernance Université de Moncton
MARIO THÉRIAULT, President-CEO, ShiftCentral

Click here to link to article

Merci pour votre appui! Thank you for your support!

For two reports on this story see:

'Gamble is too high'--Language: Prominent francophones blast the Liberal government for proposal to axe early French immersion--Telegraph-Journal

French community opposes loss of early immersion--Prominent NBers pen letter supporting fight against controversial reforms--Times and Transcript

Friday, July 18, 2008

This week in Early French Immersion, Part III

July 19th
Compromise needed on immersion--Letter--Telegraph-Journal

July 18th
Immersion process ready to move on--Times and Transcript
Something doesn’t add up--Letter--Bugle-Observer

July 16th
Governments often consult in private--Letter--[Blogger's comment: Sometimes, but on this one? Read the comments on this article--they are to the point]--The Daily Gleaner.
Lack of immersion to pressure District 5--The Tribune
Stakeholders disagree re: FSL meeting--Miramichi Leader

July 15th
Bureaucratic attitudes also have to change--Times & Transcript
Parents must fund real bilingual education-The Daily Gleaner

Monday, July 14, 2008

Is New Brunswick's unilingual past our future?

Telegraph-Journal, Monday July 14th, Janet Toole, Grandparents for EFI.

Early French Immersion in Fredericton has developed over 34 years, and built a solid reputation for graduating bilingual young persons. There are imperfections, but they can be dealt with.

All children can succeed in EFI, with the proper encouragement.

Like the gift of another language, Measha Brueggergosman was assisted in her music, all the way through school, by Early French Immersion.
"Grandparents for EFI" laud this motto: "Language is the sound of music." "

Click here to link to full article

Also see:
FSL plan is without benefits of bilingualism & Lamrock has no interest in bilingualism, only inclusion--Letters--The Daily Gleaner

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Are things looking up? Mixed messages

July 12th
The Sleuth--Now for something that has hit a few more sour notes--Times & Transcript
Two words that gave, then took away, hope: Education Minister says his idea of a 'working group' on French language wasn't exactly what people thought--Telegraph-Journal
Don't expect formal working group: Lamrock--Education minister wants to meet with several small groups of stakeholders about French immersion plans--Times & Transcript
Not even close to bilingual--Letter--The Daily Gleaner [We were a bit surprised when we saw the letter from Premier Graham too]

July 11th
Secrecy doesn't make for open government. In our view: Barring the public from French consultations isn't what the judge ordered--Editorial --The Daily Gleaner.
Meeting of minds: Education Opposing sides in French second-language debate laud roundtable discussion--Telegraph-Journal
FSL experts offer variety of views at stakeholders' meeting--Telegraph-Journal
Be fair and reasonable--Letter--Telegraph-Journal
Educators look for solutions--French Minister says 'clash of ideas' may be beneficial--The Daily Gleaner
Immersion changes could be delayed: minister--Kelly Lamrock suggests working group could help develop alternatives to controversial changes--Times and Transcript
Talk about the writing on the wall--Letter--Bugle-Observer

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Future of French immersion discussed in Fredericton

Minister says he may consider delaying changes.
Click here to see full report from CBC.

For some comments from inside the Roundtable

"The Independent" tried to "blog live" from inside the roundtable until he was asked to shut down in order to respect the wishes of some of the participants. For comments on his perspective of this event go to:

More articles and letters

July 10th
Language education discussions on today--Telegraph-Journal
Some education stakeholders don't want to be in spotlight--Daily Gleaner

July 9th
Grown tired of Immersion lies--Times and Transcript
EFI not a cause of illiteracy & EFI changes won't help--Telegraph-Journal
Bad math behind education changes - statistician--Daily Gleaner

July 8th
Few open house visitors, but majority favoured early immersion: Watson--King's County Record
'Rural' and 'poor' not the same & Hold government accountable --Telegraph-Journal
School results symptomatic--Times and Transcript
Trading bilingualism for 'speaking French effectively': In our view: Plan will give a diluted version of French to many, rather than a bilingual education to a few--Editorial--Daily Gleaner (way to go Gleaner--there may be hope for the main NB Papers after all)
French immersion not responsible for N.B.'s literacy woes--OpEd piece by Bruce Roberston--Daily Gleaner

July 7th
Congratulations, Shawn Graham--Miramichi Leader

Sunday, July 6, 2008

This Week in Early French Immersion--Part Deux

Be 'fair' and 'reasonable'--July 5th--Times and Transcript
Spelling out changes to our french language programs--July 5th--Daily Gleaner
Stakesholders applaud francophone education appointment--July 5th--Daily Gleaner

Only francophones will be bilingual--Letters-July 4th--Telegraph-Journal
Immersion changes threaten job prospects--Letters--July 4th--Daily Gleaner
Consultation meaningless--Letter--July 4th--Miramichi Leader
Ground gets shakier for Liberals--July 4th--Telegraph-Journal

Listening to silence--July 3rd--Telegraph-Journal [Read the comments--they say it all]
Alberta district not stealing French immersion teachers--July 3rd--Daily Gleaner

Public education: a public melting pot--July 2nd--Tribune
Premier could learn something & The fix was in from the start--Letters--July 2nd--Times & Transcript
Liberal voice sings alone--July 2nd--Daily Gleaner
Early French immersion proponents seem to want less choice, not more & Immersion cut doesn't address education woes--Letters (see comments)--July 2nd--Daily Gleaner