Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons

Shadow Education Minister Cole Simons ponders the message the Progressive Labour Party government is sending to members of the public by voicing its intention to phase out middle schools in two years. Via a press release, Mr. Simons made the following statement:

"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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