On the show We will tell each other of May 17, a statistic launched by Mme Isabelle Plante, professor at UQAM, left me perplexed. She says 87% of students in public high schools in Ontario graduate, compared to just 67% for Quebec schools. This difference is considerable and could lead one to believe that we are the dunces of the country! However, it is not. The distortion comes from the fact that there are, in proportion, four times as many students in private schools in Quebec than in those in the neighboring province and that students are selected from private schools. If we count all the students, we arrive at roughly the same percentage of graduation.
The big difference is that 20% of high school students attend private school in Quebec compared to 5% in Ontario. And that, even if we no longer take an entrance exam for private schools, we still ask for the report cards for the last years of elementary school. This allows a subtle selection which has the merit of remaining invisible. And in addition, along the way, we allow ourselves to dismiss bad students.
With the support of the state, which provides adequate funding for private schools, we have therefore created in Quebec the most unequal system in Canada. Professor Emeritus Guy Rocher declared: “We have a very elitist and selective system. Me, that scandalizes me. It is appalling that we are here. “
I’m not saying private schools aren’t great. I’m just saying that their reputation is overrated by the selection of students they make and the ability they have to kick out any problematic student to the public.