Shadow Education Minister On Middle Schools

September 26, 2017

“What evidence has the PLP Government gathered that leads them to believe that student performance, achievement and outcomes are negatively impacted and compromised because of our middle school system?” Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons has asked.

Mr Simons said, “In the Speech from the Throne the PLP Government indicated that it was their clear intention to phase out middle schools and return to a two tier system. The same proposal was mentioned in their 2017 Platform.

“Are they saying that Bermuda’s middle schools are a failure? Are they saying that the schools are not performing up to par? Are they saying that our middle school students are under performing? What are they saying about the quality of our middle school teachers?

“Obviously a decision of this magnitude must be supported by some metrics and must be made public.

“What evidence has the PLP Government gathered that leads them to believe that student performance, achievement and outcomes are negatively impacted and compromised because of our middle school system?

“Given that the PLP is resolute in their position and it is their intention to phase out middle schools, what is the plan between now and the PLP’s phased transition away from middle schools? What will the Government do to provide support and resources to our middle school students and teachers so that they can improve performance?

“In addition, with the suggested phasing out of the middle schools, what will Government put in place to ensure that our students have a seamless transition from primary schools to secondary schools?

“In light of the above, the PLP should really consider developing and implementing a comprehensive transition plan to align student instruction with student success.

“What do we now say to our students, teachers and principals who have achieved success and academic excellence within our existing middle school structure?

“Their performance should not be compromised based on the Government’s unsubstantiated decision to phase out Bermuda’s middle schools.”

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Comments (14)

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  1. Rocky5 says:

    I have looked at the data and test scores take a definite dip down in the first year of Govt. Middle Schools when compared to Govt. Primary Schools scores. BUT this is easily explained as a good number of the top/upper level students from the Govt. Primary Schools MOVE TO Private Schools after P6!!!

    • Rocky5: I am elated that the monstrous and reckless oba is out.
      Oh well. Think of it this way…..what goes around comes around.
      Also, it is wonderful that the government has extended a kind and loving hand to the storm-ravaged islands of the Caribbean to come to Bermuda!!!

    • FYI says:

      And this is true

  2. watching says:

    The Minister clearly articulated that this is the long term plan but yes there will be some time before the full plan is implemented.
    Simons is trying to push and prod but had little to nothing to say or do as the Minister prior to the election.
    he should sit back, and watch how things are done.

    • Fool me once! says:

      Were sitting back and watching Zanes next brain surgeon of an idea also:)
      Its funny no PLP COMMENTS ON THAT..

  3. Lol says:

    What evidence? Really sir you really have to ask that question? If you have to ask such a naive question then you should not open your mouth instead open your eyes and you can see. That middle school system is a direct cause of the anti social gang violence we have today. You dont have to believe me just do your research and stop running your mouth like your party did for 4 and a half years.

    GET A GRIP!!
    What does it feel like to wear the same shoes attempted to smash the plp in??
    Wretched, I bet!!

    • Toodle-oo says:

      2 delusional rants Betty and you forgot to insert 24-12 ? You’re loosing it .

  5. Jose says:

    Every dog has its day

  6. Ok says:

    It’s clearly the age when most kids go off it…my middle school felt like a bunch of imature teens…which we were…but most fall in line with maturity….at the end of the day it comes down to parental guidance and background…
    All the trouble kids you learn when you are older mostly had reasons…rough childhood etc.
    All the jokers and mischief makers usually wise up…
    Maybe this the age we need to implement focus on behavior, etiquette and acceptable social skills…
    Just take a bus ride with any middle school kids…ul see the craziness

  7. Bermewjan says:

    Plenty of attempts at deflection in the comments above Cole. Looks like you hit a nerve. Well done at questioning the government’s behavior effectively. I read somewhere that is the purpose of the Opposition. Well done.

  8. Realist says:

    The middle schools are just fine. If the issue is poor performance then you don’t fix that by dismantling the physical structures. Why not improve them with a small board with oversight of hiring, PD and management of resources. These schools are very small with a lot of teachers so there should be healthy learning environments. The issue is our outdated teaching methods and over testing and labelling of students.

  9. Kathy says:

    The OBA should have tackled public education while in office. They didn’t this time and they didn’t previously when in power since the early days. Why? Because all their children attend private schools. This is why they lost the election…they are out of touch.

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to see the PLP bring in consultants from Norway, Sweden and Finland who have one of the best public, inclusive school system in the world and mirror their programme in the public schools here in Bermuda?

    Wouldn’t it be amazing to actually see our public school students on par or even outpace our private school students?

    If you think it cannot happen, you are wrong. If you think you cannot change our society and our social problems with education, you are wrong. We need to rewire our brains in Bermuda and EDUCATE our youth to the highest potential possible – all our children – not just the ones that can afford it.

    PLP, you are in power now. You were elected by most of the parents in your public schools. Use this opportunity now to empower the children of Bermuda in our public school system to succeed. Use this opportunity to empower the teachers in Bermuda to achieve the highest teaching credentials possible.

    There should be no more than 10 children per class and all teachers should be required to obtain master’s degrees or skilled professionals should be hired in their field of teaching.

    We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, Finland has already done this and over a 20 year period has proven that you can help every child succeed regardless of background, you can change your society one child at a time, you can have a public system that exceeds the private system.

    What are we waiting for? Changing the middle school system back to the primary/secondary school system is not going to achieve anything. We need to think BIGGER – of our entire public school education system.