Face it: There is no such thing as “school boards as the last bastion of Anglophone political power.” The English Montreal School Board and the other remaining English boards are not “bastions of power” – they’re testaments to Quebec’s thankfully crumbling model of bureaucracy-above-service.
These school boards need to be shut down and the power handed to parents and schools at the ground level. Boards should exist to facilitate the needs of the schools and parents in order to best serve the kids. Instead, they exist as a way for a small group of people to elect inefficient and disorganized small-time politicians who get in the way of progress.
Case in point: The current EMSB – elected with less than 20 per cent of eligible voters even bothering to turn out – is actively blocking the board’s parent committee from surveying other parents on what they want for their kids. Why? Because they’re not in control, simple as that.
From The Gazette’s editorial: Survey fiasco is a missed opportunity for the EMSB
This fiasco represents a huge missed opportunity. Facing declining enrolment — not only because of demographic shifts and language laws, but also because 12 per cent of children eligible for an English education instead enrol in French schools — it would be handy to know what parents of children in the English system actually think. Asking parents whether they agree with such statements as: “I would recommend my school to other parents for their children” and “I intend to send my child to an EMSB high school” might not elicit answers board officials want to hear, but they could offer significant insight.
Instead of focusing on ways of increasing enrollment and making parents happy with the way their kids are being educated, the EMSB is more interested in power, control and bureaucracy.
It’s time to abolish elected boards and replace them with service centres managed by educational professionals who have the kids’ and parents’ best interests as their top priority instead of wasting our time and money with unprofessional elected members who are only interested in protecting their own fiefdom.