Fredericton — New Brunswick’s education minister Dominic Cardy hosted a news conference on Thursday to announce his “bold” new plan for the education system, the centrepiece of which being a controversial reform that would put an end to age-based grade levels.
“Students will progress according to their ability, rather than their age,” he explained. “I mean, this is public education, not the entertainment industry — amiright?”
This announcement was immediately met with criticism on behalf of the press.
“But isn’t it just as important for students to learn from their peers as it is to engage with the education material?” asked Brunswickan reporter and psych major Alisa Evans. “I mean, doesn’t this fly in the face of the social cognitive theory as outlined by Albert Bandura?”
“See, I don’t even know who, or what that is,” admitted Cardy. “This is exactly my point. I don’t know anything! I am clearly unfit for this position, making me a perfect candidate for reintegration.”
This provoked an even greater sense of consternation in the crowd.
“Yes, I believe reintegration into the school system for older students will be a big part of the program,” he continued. “Sure, it’ll seem a little strange at first, but we must try and move beyond traditional age-based thinking. After all, who was it that wrote the song, ‘Age Ain’t Nothing But a Number’?”
“I, uh, believe that was R. Kelly,” one of his interns interjected.
“Oh. Well, my point still stands,” said Cardy. “In fact, I am so committed to this idea that I, myself, will happily serve as its first ‘guinea pig.’ As I alluded to earlier, I will be re-enrolling as a junior at Fredericton High School as of next week.”
It took a moment for the baffled press gallery to respond.
“What is it that you think you could possibly stand to gain from more secondary education?” asked Sue Kenny of the Telegraph-Journal.
“Well, for instance, I have a car now,” said Cardy. “Which only makes me, like, a zillion times cooler than I was back in the eighties. I think the facts will support this.”
Beyond the social benefits the move could bring, Cardy explained that it is also likely to have a major impact on his educational performance as well.
“As a Dalhousie graduate, I’m almost certain that I’ll be able to top my original C+ average,” he said confidently.
As to what he plans to do after graduating for a second time, Cardy stated that he was “unsure,” and might “take some time to figure some stuff out.”
“I dunno, man. That’s two years away. I can’t see that far ahead,” he said. “Franky, I’m more concerned with more immediate problems — like who I’ll be taking to the Halloween dance later this month…I’m thinking of maybe asking Shantell Olson.”
The press, finally fed up, began loudly voicing their disapproval.
“Now, now, it’s not as weird as it sounds,” said Cardy, defensively. “She’s a senior — and by that I mean she’s 78 years old.”
While still very much confused, this fact did placate the crowd somewhat.
“She is, however, in the third grade,” he added, with an apologetic grimace.
Boos and hisses filled the room. A notebook missed his head by mere inches.