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Speak out on flawed exams Editor, As I read Paul Demers article "When the Test Fails" (The Chief, Feb. 24/06) I got a familiar yet very sick feeling in my stomach. We have children in grades 9 and 11.

Speak out on flawed exams

Editor,

As I read Paul Demers article "When the Test Fails" (The Chief, Feb. 24/06) I got a familiar yet very sick feeling in my stomach.

We have children in grades 9 and 11. Our oldest is part of the new graduation program and as such was the first group of students to write the new grade 10 provincial exams. Many parents were very anxious as the draft run of exams given to that year's grade 10s proved to be riddled with problems. We were reassured by government representatives that they would "fix it". Our son wrote the exams and what I can say is, "I'm glad it's over." Our hopes were that all glitches within the new exams would be completely remedied by the time our youngest wrote his grade 10 provincials next year. Dummy me!

Not only have I learned that the grade 10 science exam is still a mess; this term the SS 11 is equally bad and there were two different English exams given in one session. How can we parents accept this? It seems that any exam, any semester can present confusion and chaos for our children.

Consider English 12, a required course for graduation with a government exam worth 40 per cent of their final mark. Will this become another exam riddled with questions that students are unable to answer, due in no part to them or their teachers?

Our children's final marks have been and continue to be compromised by an ineffective and unfair government exam process. This has got to stop! Parents and Parent Advisory Councils across the province have got to let their Premier, Education Minister and MLA know that this is intolerable and must be remedied permanently.

It is not only the responsibility of teachers and administrators to speak up regarding our children's education, we parents must do the same. Parents often have the strongest voice in these matters. Please take the time to contact Premier Gordon Campbell (email: premier@gov.bc.ca or phone 250-387-1715), Minister of Education Shirley Bond (email: shirley.bond.mla.leg.bc.ca or phone 250-387-1977), MLA Joan McIntyre (email: joan.mcintyre.mla@leg.bc.ca or phone 250-953-4872) and BC Parent Advisory Council President Kim Howland (email: kim.howland@bccpac.bc.ca or phone 604-687-4433) and let them know your concerns and expectations regarding this inherently flawed and ridiculously unfair exam process.

Diane Gould

Squamish

Trails needed on both sides

Editor,

In response to Ron Enns' letter dated March 3, I would like to clarify some points. It has long been an objective of the Squamish Trails Society (STS) that the Discovery Trail be further developed and paved. It is unfortunate that the connections to Brackendale haven't been improved. For instance, the section of Government Road from Leskie's Crossing to Eagle Run is dangerous and need a cement barrier and paved shoulder. STS has already asked the District of Squamish to attend to this.

STS worked hard to encourage the Ministry of Transportation and Highways to help with a paved community trail. When it was announced that the ministry was prepared to help build a parallel and winding trail on the east side. I was thrilled.

The District has a memorandum of understanding with the ministry for $900,000 to help achieve this goal. The proposed trail will connect Shannon Falls Park all the way to Alice Lake. This will be the wonderful Valley Trail linking our community together.

Meandering through green belts and following riparian estuaries, the trail provides the network that connects us to rivers, oceans, forests and spawning channels, all in the midst of an urban setting. Infrastructure like this will be a boon to our beautiful community.

Contrary to Mr. Enns' suggestion, a great deal of Squamish's population is on the east side of the highway and these folks will use it. Connections across the highway at every intersection will be critical and cannot be overlooked during this massive four-laning process.

The paving of the Discovery Trail on the west side is just as important. Highway 99 divides our community in two. Both sides need to be paved and both sides will be paved. It is inevitable - it is simply a matter of time and money.

STS hopes that Wal-Mart will lead the example. It appears to be the perfect corporate contribution to our town. I am sure that all the business that front Highway 99 would like to see some further beautification and the likes of a paved trail can only be seen as beneficial to our town. I agree with Mr. Enns that the overall health benefits of such a trail are enormous.

John Harvey

Squamish Trails Society

The Heart & Soul of 2010?

Editor,

I wish to commend Casey Dorin, Patty Heintzman and Denise Imbeau for their comments in last week's Chief about their visit to the Torino Winter Olympics.

Who said actually visiting these Games wouldn't be a valuable experience for community leaders as they strive to focus and position Squamish to reap maximum advantage of its unique proximity.

In light of recommendations about the community focusing on how it wants to portray itself, whereas I think the community slogan, "Squamish, the Heart of 2010" (or whatever it is now), I somehow believe the words "& soul" might be considered as an addition to the community's image and slogan - especially as the importance of "Wild at Art", ironically, as identified by Casey, grows in importance not to mention the focus on sustainability and the environment, as identified by Patty.

And don't forget the opportunity to make a mark and send kisses back to all the Italian friends made in Torino by giving some thought to making a big deal out of Giuseppe Garibaldi's 200th birthday, coming up in 2007 - born in Nice on the Fourth of July, 1807.

Wolfgang Richter

Los Angeles, Calif.