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Part One: AIMS Ignites Debate Over Accountability in Atlantic Canada’s High Schools

AIMS is front and centre in the Atlantic Canada media following the release of its Report Card on Atlantic Canadian high schools. The Report Card, which ranks regional high schools’ performance, has ignited a heated debate over not only the results, but also the impact the study will have on the education system.

Critics inside the education establishment have gone so far as to tell teachers not to even READ the study. Supporters are saying this type of external review has been far too long coming.


Part Two: AIMS Report Card on Atlantic Canadian High Schools continues to generate thoughtful editorial comment around the region.

The St John’s Telegram on March 7 said, “AIMS report — the study, like or lump it, is an extensive and expensive effort, and the think-tank should be congratulated for its initiative. There is great value in talking about what makes schools good or bad, and looking at ways that various schools can learn about their comparative strengths and weaknesses, and, as part of that, how they can improve.

The Daily Gleaner, March 15 editorial said the “The public… is making public education its business.” and asked why educators would ask the public to “ignore this report.” The editorial also asks the New Brunswick Teachers Association to “place their concerns firmly, clearly, and rationally on the table, only then will the public be able to dismiss and condemn or accept and praise the AIMS work.”

The Moncton Times Transcript says, “The purpose of the AIMS exercise is to set some standard benchmarks for a reasonable level of achievement by the schools (yes, benchmarks can be arbitrary, but without setting them and being consistent in maintaining them, there is no way to measure how any school is doing from year to year or in comparison with others). This is quite unlike the often vague and confusing approach the provincial department of education has taken through the years, with a constant shifting of standards, more than once leading officials to caution that the results from year to year cannot be compared meaningfully. That is precisely the problem. There is no accountability.”

The Halifax Chronicle Herald, Wednesday March 12 devoted much of its opinion page to the report.

Part Three: AIMS Invites PEI Premier to tell parents what is going on in their schools.

The President of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies issued a public letter to the Premier of Prince Edward Island, Hon. Pat Binns to look personally into why no public information is available on the performance of the province’s high schools.

In his letter, Dr. Crowley urges the Premier to instruct his officials to stop trying to obstruct the Institute’s annual high school report cards, and to work with AIMS to make sure appropriate information on school performance is identified and gathered.

To read the media release and the letter delivered to the Premier Monday, March 17, please visit the AIMS website at

PEI Education Minister Hon. Chester Gillan responded quickly to Dr. Crowley’s Open Letter by dismissing the AIMS Report, yet announcing many of the Report’s recommendations are being adopted.


Part Four: ACOA Watch Number 1 – Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! The Numbers Game.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is the flagship federal government organization leading the charge to “kick-start” the Atlantic Canadian economy and turn this area into a “have” region.

This inaugural issue of ACOA Watch takes a hard look at ACOA’s job creation numbers and finds some disturbing difficulties in bringing those claims into line with actual job growth in our region.


Part Five: Chancellor Park, Newfoundland – Public Need, Private Solution

Chancellor Park is an investor-owned facility in St. John’s, Newfoundland. It is the only large for-profit nursing home in the capital city. The pilot project was an attempt to secure additional high-needs beds without expanding the government run facilities in the city. Newfoundland Health Minister Gerald Smith released the results of a yearlong pilot study that compared the quality and cost of caring for high needs elderly in a not-for-profit government run home with a for-profit private home.


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