The high school diploma is still alive and well!

What is too clear is not interesting (Solzhenitsyn).

You have certainly read the text of Mr. Stéphane Lévesque, which was published in La Presse yesterday. At least, on social networks, it is found on all teachers’ news feeds. Some, relieved that a brave man in the profession finally dares to speak up, did not even bother to verify the allegations. This article aims to correct certain statements made by the author.

As the latter himself quotes from the first line of his text, after having alarmed the reader, this is not the real end of DES. Do not be worried. However, in a world where immediacy reigns, the surfer-title-who-draws-hasty-conclusions shared this demagogic article, riddled with misleading information via social media. In other words, the author’s mission has been achieved: sound the alarm and rally several colleagues or neophytes in the world of education to his conspiracy theory and move some nostalgic for the good old days and it was so much better before the Reformation .

According to section 2 of the Basic school regulation for preschool, elementary and secondary education , the purpose of secondary education services is to pursue the integral development of the student, to promote his or her integration. social and to facilitate personal and professional guidance. They complement and consolidate the basic education of the pupil with a view to obtaining a secondary school diploma or other qualification and, where appropriate, to pursue higher studies. As you can see, as of 1 st January 2014, the secondary school diploma is always the purpose of of secondary education.

The change of course, of vision, of philosophy that the author supposes has already been initiated at least a decade ago. Unless the latter’s head has just emerged from the sand. If so, that explains the alarmist tone of his article. Whatever the reason for writing this article, here are some corrections to demystify some facts that have been truncated.

First correction: repetition

It is wrong to claim that a pupil who fails all his courses in first secondary is automatically promoted to second secondary. It is however true that learning in the courses is spread over the two years of the first cycle. It is no longer a question of having an annual vision, but rather one of a cycle, spread over two years. However, along the way, if the school community notices that the student is progressing with significant difficulties, despite the support measures provided and close parental monitoring, there is the possibility of recommending repeating the year. student in question. It is up to the school team to set up a case in this direction.

When I read that the author, who is a teacher, does not really assess until the end of the first cycle , I sincerely hope that he does not teach in the first secondary, because I really wonder about his competence as a teacher. and on his real understanding of the Quebec school training program .

Second rectification: leveling down

Is it as clearly as the author claims that the required minimum performance level has been lowered? The question of the number of credits required to pass from the first to the second cycle belongs to the local authority, and therefore to the school board. Section 28 of the Basic school regulation is very clear on this subject: the decision to transfer a student from one cycle to another is based on his last report card for the last school year and on the transition rules established by school or by the school board, according to their respective responsibilities.

One thing is certain, these local rules are set according to the socioeconomic reality of the environment in which the student evolves. Have you ever heard of the mission of equal opportunities in education? Of the democratization of accessibility to education? Schools or school boards have this latitude. We should not complain about having more autonomy!

Finally, Mr. Lévesque believes that we have decided to sacrifice quality for quantity. It’s wrong. We assess quality differently. The reference schemes have changed and we use other criteria to determine the quality of our students.

Third correction: students with special needs

Speaking of equal opportunities, students with special needs have been integrated into regular classes for a long time. This clearly changes the daily work of the teacher and creates a certain organizational gymnastics for everyone, including the students themselves! Unfortunately, some teachers still dream of being able to teach a homogeneous class when the current reality requires us to teach students. This implies that we must show pedagogical flexibility. Have you ever heard of educational differentiation? Moreover, as required by the seventh jurisdiction repository of professional skills of teachers, it needs to know isadapt its interventions to the needs and characteristics of students with learning difficulties, adaptation or handicap.

Fourth rectification: knowledge …

Have you heard of the skills-based approach? When a teacher proclaims loud and clear that we will graduate students who will know less, who will have understood less concepts (…) , I can only wonder about the level of understanding that this teacher has of his own. work tools. The training program is based primarily on the level of mastery of skills and not that of knowledge. Unfortunately, we have to admit that some teachers have missed this turn and that their professional practice is part of bygone days.

Displaced public intervention

It is obvious that teachers still misunderstand the foundations of the Pedagogical Renewal, even though it has been in effect in secondary schools for a few years. This is a normal situation under the circumstances. Possibly they did not have access to continuing training in this direction? What is more worrying is to see that some of these publicly display their incomprehension and ignorance in the media eager for scare stories to stimulate the social cynicism that unfortunately drives conversations centered around the world of education. . In other words, the intervention of the teacher in question, in La Presse, has absolutely nothing positive for the profession or for the world of education.

By noting that the author publishes his vision of things, which is based on an understanding of a 40-minute meeting he had with his colleagues, we conclude that what is conveyed in the article in La Presse is fallacious and demagogic. Although we did not attend this famous meeting, that we do not know which school or school board it is, we nevertheless allow ourselves to come to a conclusion: there are the events, there are the perception we have of it and there is what we want to understand.

Artistic credit: Andrée-Anne Laberge, artist-painter:  http://www.andreeannelaberge.com