School dropout and poor teaching quality, not just the teacher’s fault

In Quebec, to decrease the dropout rate and to improve the quality of education, we always inject more money, we reduce class size, we lower passing requirements, and we wish to see rigorous evaluation of teacher performance (François Legault’s proposal for the 2012 election). To date, these strategies have produced nothing. What if the parents were partly at fault? Not all of them, but enough to undermine the system. Few people dare to ask this question, especially not the politicians we have now. They’re much too afraid of losing precious votes ... and losing popularity. Nonetheless, if we objectively analyze what teachers have to say, both the ones we personally know and the ones in the media (see references at the end of this text), education (or rather instruction) is clearly often a low priority for parents, like the ones who think nothing of taking their family on vacation in the south during the school term or having them miss classes on Friday for all kinds of reasons, such as having to get to the cottage early. In addition many parents would like to eliminate homework because it gets in the way of athletic and family activities.

What if more parents did their share to help their children succeed at school? Education might be less expensive for us, the pass rate might be higher, and educational quality might be higher.

Value #3 of Équipe autonomiste is about the family unit. One of its sub-goals is to encourage parents to raise their children to become self-reliant, responsible adults who will contribute to society. But how will we bring this about? The party’s mission is to work with the public as a team to improve Quebec’s situation, so we’re inviting the PUBLIC (not just the specialists hidden in the offices of the Department of Education, Recreation and Sports) to make proposals on this issue (to the party’s e-mail address on the web site, on the Facebook, page, etc.).

1-L’école facultative, by Jean-François Roberge, elementary school teacher for the past 15 years, on the South Shore, La Presse, May 4, 2013, section débats, p. A 29.

2-L'omertà parentale, by Pierre-Yves McSween, chartered accountant, professor in administration science at Cégep régional de Lanaudière, and lecturer at HEC Montréal, La Presse, February 27, 2013, p. A15.

3-Les parents-rois s'installent à l'école «C'est le règne du "Moi, mon enfant"», by Marie-Andrée Chouinard, Le Devoir, February 17, 2013