[lg policy] Canada: Quality of bilingual education a deep concern for West Island dad

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Oct 11 15:03:54 UTC 2014


 Quality of bilingual education a deep concern for West Island dad
Father of 3 says problem continues even after principal, school board told
him they rectified situation

CBC News <http://www.cbc.ca/news/cbc-news-online-news-staff-list-1.1294364>
Posted:
Oct 10, 2014 9:17 AM ET Last Updated: Oct 10, 2014 10:00 AM ET
  [image: Some classes that are supposed to be taught in French are being
taught in English instead in at least one Montreal-area high school.]

Some classes that are supposed to be taught in French are being taught in
English instead in at least one Montreal-area high school. (Night Owl City)
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 A high school ethics course that was supposed to be taught in French but
was actually instructed in English has one father frustrated about the
quality of his sons’ supposedly bilingual education.

Martin Roloff told *CBC Daybreak* on Friday that he only discovered one of
his sons had been taught in English after the fact.

His three sons go to Macdonald High School in Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.

'We are bound by collective agreements. We can’t just fire an English
teacher and hire a French teacher.'- Suanne Stein Day, Lester B. Pearson
School Board chair

A concerned Roloff voiced his disappointment to the school and was told by
school principal Jad Deegan that the situation had been rectified.

Deegan said as much to *Daybreak *on Friday.

"That class was certainly predominantly done in English because the teacher
felt more comfortable in that language. It is the only class that I’m aware
of that that happened and we’ve rectified the situation for this year,"
Deegan told host Mike Finnerty.

Except, according to Roloff, it hasn’t been fixed.

He said his youngest son is now being taught a French-language ethics class
in English by a different teacher.

"The teacher came to my younger son in Grade 7 and said, 'Well, I’m mostly
teaching in English because I’m lacking the resource material.' And then on
curriculum night, he gave me the course outline and explained, 'I have a
language policy. I don’t want French to be an impediment to their success
in this course,'" Roloff recounted.

The father of three said the teacher told him every student should get at
least an 80 per cent grade for the course. Roloff said that’s lowering
educational standards.

He said there was a good reason he — like other parents who want their
children to thrive in Quebec — wanted his children to be taught a French
immersion curriculum, and the school is responsible to provide a quality
bilingual program.
Budget constraints

Suanne Stein Day, the head of the Lester B. Pearson School Board, said she
was not aware of the situation until she was copied on an email Roloff sent.

"It’s a very serious concern because we are very committed to French
immersion, but we have budget constraints and staffing constraints," Stein
Day told *Daybreak*.

She said it’s not as simple as hiring more French teachers, though.

"We are bound by collective agreements. We can’t just fire an English
teacher and hire a French teacher," she said.

What they do do, Stein Day said, is hire francophones to teach immersion
programs when anglophone teachers retire.

Stein Day said parents should have been informed about the language switch
and the students’ transcripts should have been corrected to reflect that
the course was taught in English.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quality-of-bilingual-education-a-deep-concern-for-west-island-dad-1.2794861


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