Monday, 3 November 2014

School Boards: Do They Respond to Educational Reality?

Voter turn-out for school board elections in Quebec yesterday was abysmal, particularly in Francophone boards.  While about 20 per cent of English school board electors voted, province-wide it appears that an even smaller percentage voted than the 8 per cent turn out four years ago.

This is pretty pathetic,  and the current Liberal government is going to use it as another reason to change the way schools are governed dramatically.  Whether the boards will be completely eliminated is unclear, but certainly there is going to be more centralization in the system.

How good public schools are is important to everyone in society, not just those who have kids.  Schools prepare the future, and if they aren't doing a good job, well, we're in real trouble.  The thing is that in Quebec, by many criteria they're doing not badly

What is is going to make them better is not direction from the top, I'm pretty sure.  Local communities must be involved too, and eliminating school boards or drastically decreasing their number is not likely to do that.

1 comment:

lagatta à montréal said...

I confess that I didn't vote this time round. I was active in the MÉMO back in the years when it was actively challenging the concept of confessional school boards, in particular in the successful campaign waged by Afifa Maaninou in Côte-des-neiges, who fought for much better services and even a new gym and a new school in that district where schools overflowed with children from new immigrant families.

But although I read print and electronic media daily, I could get no handle on the issues and positions of the respective parties this time round.

With respect to the English School Board, I was disappointed that what seems to be the more progressive party, led by Anne Lagacé-Dowson, didn't win. The old guard seems clientelist and set in their ways.