Language Laws in Quebec’s Schools…time for a critical overhaul.

Student Ordered Out of English School
from the Montreal Gazette.

Nina Wozniak and son Kyle look over pertinent papers, including Kyle's Alberta birth certificate, in their N.D.G. home yesterday.

Nina Wozniak and son Kyle look over pertinent papers, including Kyle's Alberta birth certificate, in their N.D.G. home yesterday. Photograph by: DAVE SIDAWAY, THE GAZETTE, The Gazette. Click for Source.

Imagine knowing you have to send your child to school in a language that isn’t his mother tongue. Despite the fact that such a school is available. Despite the fact that part of the boy’s family, albeit extended, can legally attend the school. Despite the fact that he had difficulties in his French school but “is thriving” in his new English school.

Seems to me it may be time to take a look at Quebec’s language laws when it comes to schooling.

I believe that there are around 350 English public elementary and high schools in Quebec and each year we close more English schools. It’s obvious that the French language in Quebec holds strong now, the reason for the Charter of the French Language (Bill 101) in the first place.

We need to look beyond questions of language and focus on questions that bring us to the heart of learning. Our provincial curriculum places the learner at the centre of the educational process. How does this practice reflect that? How can we believe in a state-run education system that exists within a structure whose values do not jive?

Whoa. Disconnect.

Do you have similar disconnects in your education systems?

Carnival of Education

My inbox has been very active of late, with submissions to this week’s Carnival of Education.

Carnival at Annandale, Virginia made available on flickr via a CC license. Click on image to view source.

Carnival at Annandale, Virginia made available on flickr via a CC license. Click on image to view source.

As carnival host, I have control of the content and form of this week’s post and so I have made the decision to leave out the numerous postings I read that are either trying to sell a product/service that I felt did not have to do with education, or are providing a service that rubs me the wrong way, such as the selling of term papers ;)

So…without further ado… except to point out that the posts are organized solely by order of reception…

Let’s do this thing!

— Andrew Bernardin writes about the need for scientific validity:
Why Tests Are Essential posted at the evolving mind.

— Rachel Rambach sings us a social story/song she wrote for one of her students:
Marissa’s Guitar posted at Listen and Learn. She even offers to send you a copy of the story if you contact her. Great stuff!

— Bogusia Gierus writes about the importance of not giving up as well as the lessons we learn as teachers:
Dealing With Frustration – The Spaghetti and Marshmallow Towers posted at Nucleus Learning.

— Scott McLeod raises my teacher’s blood pressure a touch by asking:
Can a computer lecture better than a human? posted at Dangerously Irrelevant. There are many dimensions to this question, go take a look!

— Lorri begins her post with this quote that echoes my own concern for the future:

It scares me to know that I will be raising a family in a society were gangs are so prevalent and out of control. Knowing the influence that gangs have on teens and the violence, drugs and general lack of respect they have for society scares me to death. -Bree

Dear Mr. President: American students write to our future president about what concerns them posted at the New York City Education Examiner

— Denise offers a boatload of free math teaching resources:
More Free Math Resources posted at Let’s Play Math!. As a first time math teacher (I usually teach English, History, and Ethics) I’ve subscribed to the site!

— Amy Smith writes about a topic that is dear to my own heart:
Emotional Intelligence posted at Kids Love Learning.

— Skyler Reep tackles an interesting question when he asks whether self-directed ongoing learning will trump degree programs in the future:
Take Control of Your Continuing Education posted at Skyler Reep’s Blog.

— Andrea is in the thick of marking exams, but still managed to make me giggle by sharing some of the student responses, such as

Steps in planting roses:
… add compost, manure or soil condiments (amendments)
… apply orgasmic mulch (organic)

Moldy bagels posted at Andrea’s Buzzing About:.

— Steve Spangler shares a video and a post about a special science teacher and his class:
Don Cameron is Mad About Science posted at Steve Spangler’s Blog.

— OKP has an existential crisis and asks, What do you think is the purpose of high school?
Existential Crisis #1 posted at Line 46.

— Matthew Ladner exposes something previously unknown to me – the benefits of illegal private schooling in India, Ghana, Nigeria, and Kenya:
Black Market Private Schooling in the Third World posted at Jay P. Greene’s Blog. Makes me want to think of alternatives to some of our own public school crises and reminds me that it needs to take a village, not a commission or board, to raise a child.

— Money Answer Guy asks a question I’m sure is on the mind of some parents:
Should You Pay for Your Children’s College? posted at The Money Answer Guy.

— Trisha Wagner also asks a parenting question, this time directed to work at home mothers:
WAHM?s- Are your kids in daycare or at home? posted at Empowering Mom

— As I sit here, sick at home, I run through Pat’s list of how she prepares for a substitute and compare it to mine:
Preparing for a Substitute posted at Successful Teaching.

— tweenteacher writes about anti-semitism in schools:
?Hit a Jew? Day – Oh joy. posted at

— Dereck and I are both INFPs. What the heck does that mean? Find out by reading his post:
Your Comprehensive Guide to the MBTI (Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) Personality Test posted at I Will Not Die.

— Americans may be interested in what Laura Varlas writes concerning who will be the next to lead the US Department of Education:
ASCD Inservice: America’s Next Top Ed. Sec.: Sebelius? posted at ASCD Inservice.

— Steph W. compares the process of learning how to ride a horse to the scaffolding process he goes through as a homeschooling parent:
Horseback Riding and Writing posted at The Life Without School Community Blog.

— I love that Carol Richtsmeier writes about the things you should never learn to do so you won’t have to do them! I never learned how to work those diaper things. You see, my nephew’s visit last summer coincided with a nasty tummy problem…
Scanners, Mowing Lawns & Things You Just Shouldn’t Learn How To Do posted at Bellringers.

— Oldandrew writes about the “Special Needs Racket” and student responsibility:
The Blameless. Part 3: The Afflicted posted at Scenes From The Battleground.

— Nancy Flanagan writes, ‘We all lose when kids perceive politics and voting as dirty and dangerous’ in this commentary on children’s perception of the voting process:
One Vote Samba posted at Teacher in a Strange Land.

— Matthew Needleman reviews the K12 Online conference and is ‘…in awe of the thinking, planning, and creating that has gone into creating the K12 Online presentations’:
K12 Online: Week One Review posted at Creating Lifelong Learners.

Things to think on

What am I thinking on tonight?

thinking monkey

image from:

Chris Lehmann’s post on students boycotting standardised exams: Reasonable Actions for Unreasonable Times

and Whitney Hoffman‘s reflective question in response to the post:

The real question is why we look at education as a content delivery system whose effectiveness can be tested by standardized six-sigma-esque methods, rather than as long term research and development of new citizens, who need to be informed, knowledge gathers and synthesizers.

and the fact that many teachers I know are right now trying to figure out how to cram a whack of irrelevant data into their students, knowing full well that their students will not recall the info enough to pass the end of year evaluations. And they are stressed as all get out about it. What a way to end a year.

I’ve got lots more to say about this, but right now I just can’t bring myself to say it. I’ve cited him before, but here I go again, KRS One says it well…

You must learn…just like I told you!

Nothing else to say right now besides… bravo to the students and their Social Studies teacher of IS 318 in the Bronx. You make me happy to be a teacher today.

I’m going to think on this one for a bit.