HALIFAX – The Atlantic Institute for Market Studies is demanding the four regional Ministers of Education withdraw unjustified and defamatory comments about “Grading our Future” AIMS recently released report card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools.
In a letter to the Honourable Gerry Reid dated Monday March 31, AIMS’ President Dr. Brian Lee Crowley confronts the Department’s public statements about the methodology of the report card, “We have serious concerns about the defamatory comments made in these communications and invite you either to withdraw, or to substantiate, the statements made.”
In correspondence of 4 March, the Minister said “your (AIMS) study is based on a seriously flawed methodology” and invited AIMS to “recall the study” yet failed to supply any evidence of methodological problems, focusing instead on criticisms of the department’s own data.
The unsubstantiated assertions from Newfoundland and Labrador about “flawed methodology” and “invalid analysis” have since been repeated by the Departments of Education in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. Minister MacIssaac, Minister Furlong and Minister Gillan have also been asked to withdraw their statements.
In his letter to Mr. Reid, Dr. Crowley strongly rejects the criticisms, “..our methodology has been subject to vigorous checking and scrutiny, including by several outside experts….Publicly repeating vague and unsubstantiated claims of “flawed methodology” is meaningless and unfair, because you are casting aspersions on our work but denying us the means to respond. This is no way to respond to our open and honest invitation to engage in a public discussion with all concerned parties about the appropriate measures of school success and how they can be tracked and reported regularly.”
Dr. Crowley pointed out the report card’s methodology has been reviewed and endorsed by several well respected academics in the region including social scientist and educator Jacquelyn Thayer Scott, former President of the University College of Cape Breton who said, “of all the so-called reports and rankings of educational institutions in this country, the AIMS methodology is, by far, the fairest and most illuminating”.
None of the four Ministers has responded.
For further information, please contact:
Director of Communications and Development
Atlantic Institute for Market Studies
AIMS (902) 429-1143
Direct (902) 446-3532
Fax (902) 425-1393