NB education moving in the wrong direction


Halifax Last year AIMS pointed out that New Brunswick had abandoned its leading edge approach to testing for high school students and that future Report Cards would see the breadth of data decline as a result. The future has arrived.


AIMS’ 5th Annual Report Card (RC5) for Atlantic Canadian High Schools shows the troubling reality of New Brunswick shifting its focus away from high school performance. Just as its Atlantic counterparts have started making more performance measurement data available New Brunswick is providing less.


The severe reduction in provincial high school exams across the board has left all stakeholders less informed as to the quality of education New Brunswick students receive. Cuts to the testing programme as well as the inability of the system to provide data on students intending to move on to post secondary education deprives everyone of key information that allows for informed judgements about school performance.


“The basic question of how are our schools doing has become a lot more difficult to answer.” says Charles Cirtwill, acting president of AIMS.” There were some bold statements made about accountability in education in the government’s election platform but despite being in power for almost a full school year there seems to have been little movement towards providing the performance measures necessary to be first in education or to meet parents’ expectations.”  


The elimination of objective provincial exam results has substantially changed the rankings this year for New Brunswick anglophone high schools. The top school this year is Upper Miramichi Regional High School which was not given a final grade in last year’s report card but earned an A this year. Grand Manan Community School also got an A, a significant improvement over the C they were awarded in last year’s report card. Fredericton High School, Miramichi Valley High School and Blackville School rounded out the top five with both Miramichi and Blackville jumping two full grades from C+ to B+ and Fredericton improving from a B to a B+.


There is bad news at the bottom of the table as well. Last year not a single school scored lower than a C. This year there are three schools that have managed only Ds. Bonar Law Memorial School, Cambridge Narrows School and Simonds High School all saw their grades fall.   


Ecole Marie Gaetane is the good news story of New Brunswick and indeed Atlantic Canada. The Kedgwick school scored the highest possible grade, A+.


On the other end of the spectrum however is Ecole Regionale de Baie-Sainte-Anne, the school’s D grade was the lowest amongst the province’s francophone high schools.  Their performance dropped a full grade from last year’s C. 


Individual report cards were mailed to every high school, parent-teacher association, student council and school board in the region to help them assess how their schools are doing.


Grades are based on a three-year rolling average. If a school does not have at least two years of data for a particular measure, it will not receive a grade for that measure. RC5 is based on data from the school years 2002-03, 2003-04, and 2004-05.


AIMS also provides an on-line report card on its website (www.aims.ca) which provides parents, students teachers and anyone else interested the opportunity to do some in-depth review of a school’s results.


“Last year our on-line report card received over a quarter of a million hits on the first day it was posted. That amount of traffic to our website proves that people are interested in this report card and want to know how it can be used to improve our public schools,” says Cirtwill. “Ultimately we hope the information will be used to push for reform and improvements for our students.”


The Report Card is published annually in Progress business magazine and a complete copy can be found as a centre insert in this month’s issue. This is the fifth year the magazine has dedicated an edition to the AIMS’ Report Card.


Complete results for New Brunswick anglophone schools,click here


Complete results for New Brunswick francophone schools,click here




For more information, contact:


Charles Cirtwill, AIMS acting president



Barbara Pike, AIMS Director of Communications

902-429-1143 ext 227 – o / 902-452-1172 – cell