July 23, 2007
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A comprehensive review of French second-language programming and services within the anglophone school system will be undertaken, Education Minister Kelly Lamrock announced today.
The review is one of the key actions under the government's plan, When Kids Come First, to build the best education system in the country.
"New Brunswick has an ambitious target of ensuring that 70 per cent of all high-school graduates are able to function effectively in speaking their second official language," Lamrock said. "We are, however, falling short of this goal, and if we want to be leaders in education we need to examine how second-language instruction is being provided."
Jim Croll and Patricia Lee have agreed to serve as commissioners to lead the French second-language programming and services review.
Croll is professor emeritus, faculty of education, at the University of New Brunswick. Lee has many years of extensive school involvement locally, provincially and nationally, and is currently chair of District 16 Education Council.
The mandate of the commissioners is to engage students, parents, teachers, educators and identified stakeholders in a review of the current models of French second-language instruction, and to make recommendations designed to assist the anglophone sector in developing French second-language programs that will be in the best interests of all students.
"It is with a great deal of excitement that I welcome the opportunity to be involved in this study, a major component of "When Kids Come First," Croll said. "As one who has spent his professional life working on behalf of children, I am looking forward to learning from and being an intermediary of those parents, teachers and other professionals who will share their thoughts and opinions on this vital topic."
"This is a particularly exciting time to be involved in education, as New Brunswickers are challenged to help build the best education system," Lee said. "I am honoured to be a part of that challenge, and look forward to the meeting with all the educational partners and stakeholders in our provice who are committed to advancing education on this important topic."
The commissioners have been asked to deliver a final report to the minister of education early in the new year.
Additional information about the French second-language programming and services review, including terms of reference and a section to submit comments, is available online.
EDITOR'S NOTE: Biographical information on the two commissioners follows. MEDIA CONTACTS: Jason Humphrey or Angélique Binet, communications, Education, 506-444-4714.
James C. Croll
James C. Croll, Ed.D. is professor emeritus, faculty of education, and honourary research associate, faculty of kinesiology, University of New Brunswick.
Croll holds bachelor of arts, bachelor of education, master of psychology, master of arts and doctor of education degrees. He has taught at l'Université de Moncton, University of Maine, Concordia University, McGill University and the University of New Brunswick (UNB). He retired from UNB's faculty of education in 2002, and continues to teach in the faculty of kinesiology. For five years he was director of research for the Institute of Canadian Bankers. He began his teaching career as a high school teacher in Riverview, New Brunswick.
Croll has numerous journal publications, and is the author of many reports, reviews, and presentations, including seminars and workshops. Since 1995 he has been nominated five times for UNB's J. Allan Steward Award for excellence in teaching, and he received the university's Merit Award in 1985. In 1991 he was awarded special recognition by the New Brunswick Teachers' Association for "outstanding service to education, the teaching profession and the work of the New Brunswick Teachers' Association."
For six years Croll was director of the UNB Learning Centre. In the early 1970s he was a member of District 15 School Board. During his career as a university professor he has consulted with and for a wide variety of New Brunswick education-related organizations.
Patricia Lee has been an advocate for education for many years. Her school involvement has been extensive locally, provincially, and nationally for the past 15 years.
Lee has held many different executive positions at several home and school associations as her children moved on to different schools. She was the driving force behind many programs involving parents at the various schools, including breakfast and hot-lunch programs.
Lee has also served for many years on both the district and provincial home and school executives. She is a strong believer in educating parents, and has brought many guest speakers to the province to speak on such topics as literacy, math, learning styles, drug awareness, discipline and autism. She has also been a member of the District Health Advisory Committee since 2001.
Lee has travelled throughout the province, was invited to attend an annual general meeting in Nova Scotia to assist local and district associations in creating effective local organizations, and has developed a presentation titled "Seven Guiding Principles for an Effective Home & School."
As a provincial home and school board member, Lee sat on several provincial committees, including the Provincial Curriculum Advisory Committee, which she joined in 1997, and has chaired for the last eight years.
At the national level Lee was invited to sit on the Integration Network Project Committee, and she helped organize the Canadian symposium The Unhurried Day: Learning and Caring Seamlessly, held in Toronto in 2005.
Lee has served on two school parent advisory committees and a district parent advisory committee, and became chairperson of all three.
When governance changed again she was elected to the District Education Council, and has been chairperson of District 16 Education Council since 2002.
Lee was recently recognized by the New Brunswick Teachers' Association with the Special Recognition Award for the contribution she has made to the improvement of our education system.