We say: AIMS ‘report card’ fails our policies, not our schools

Perhaps education officials in School District 2 have some right to be pleased with the results of the ninth annual ‘report card’ on Atlantic Canadian high schools. The survey conducted by the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies shows we’re not getting any worse, even though we’re not getting any better either.

Beyond that, school officials aren’t able to say much more given that the AIMS study has to resort for the most part to data on academic performance achieved after students graduate from high school. As AIMS points out, there has been little in the way of academic achievement data for English-language schools in the province since government abolished the provincial exams six years ago.

It is difficult to fathom the wisdom of that move, but rather than be critical of a particular government, suffice to say that tinkering with our education system has become a favoured practice of provincial governments for many years. We hesitate to recommend bringing back provincial exams given that the next government would likely eliminate them again. However, a return to the educational fundamentals – and a commitment to keep to them for at least a generation – seems a prudent course.