Friday, September 12, 2008

Montreal's Dropout Rates -- More French Students Dropout Than English

Education 'Scandalous' -- The Montreal Gazette

The Parti Québécois is backing former prime minister Jacques Parizeau's call for action to improve the quality of public education. In a letter published yesterday in the Journal de Montréal, Parizeau called the state of public education "scandalous." Education Department records show that little more than half of students who enrolled in 1999 in a Commission scolaire de Montréal school graduated within seven years, compared with 83 per cent of students enrolled at the English Montreal School Board. Graduation rates for boys were roughly 15 percentage points lower than girls. MNA Louise Harel, education critic for the PQ, said the rates are tied to poverty, underfunding and language and cultural barriers of students enrolled in French schools. Debbie Horrocks, president of the Quebec English School Boards Association, said English boards have invested more to keep at-risk and special needs students in class.

My Comment: The differences are easy to explain, just visit a French and English High School in Montreal. The English high schools are primarily white or asian, with their families being longterm residents of Montreal. The French High Schools are primarily immigrant, with most students coming from Haiti, Arabic/French speaking countries, and Latino communities. Cultural altitudes towards education are different for each group .... it is then no surprise that dropout rates are different.

If an examination is done of French High Schools outside of Montreal in which the mass majority of the students are French and white, I would wager that the dropout rates are equal to the dropout rates of English Montreal. From a preliminary survey, I have found this to be the case in the Laurentians of Quebec.

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