Island of Montreal divided when it comes to drop-out rates

A study by the University of Quebec in Chicoutimi released Thursday shows that if you map out the drop-out rate on the Island of Montreal, you'll see a geographic divide between east and west.

The findings show kids living east of Decarie Boulevard are twice as likely to drop-out of high school as those living west of it.

One of the major reasons is poverty, but it's not the only one, even affluent boroughs such as Outremont have a 25% drop rate, higher than Montreal's 21% average.

“Let’s put aside the rich or poor neighborhoods and think about why the kids are dropping out? To me this shows that it’s a matter of inequality in the services that kids are getting in schools,” Gabriel Bran Lopez’s, founder of Youth Fusion, a local NGO that works to lower the drop-out rate, said.

Still Mike Cohen, spokesman with the English Montreal School Board, said school boards need to be proactive in helping kids with financial needs.

Other contributing factors found by the study are immigration and family values.

Boroughs with the highest drop-out rates are Ville-Marie, Verdun and the South-West.

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  1. Chris Eustace posted on 12/13/2013 06:36 AM
    December 13, 2013

    Allow me to supplement this piece, which mentions a "map out the drop-out rate on the Island of Montreal" and " a geographic divide between east and west."...

    Why is it that an English school board in the West Island, in 2012, had a 79.7 per cent graduation rate, whereas a French board's rate, in Montreal , was 46.2 per cent ?

    Part of the answer includes these two factors:

    1. There are more students in Quebec who attend private schools than any other jurisdiction in North America. Generally these schools select their students by first reviewing their elementary records, and then making them write special scholastic exams. Children with learning difficulties are generally not accepted.

    It is estimated that about 30 per cent of French students on the Island of Montreal attend private schools.
    Put another way : there are more French students attending private schools than English students attending all the public English schools in the province.

    The other factor deals with poverty.

    Consider : On the island of Montreal the School Tax Management Committee allocates money to schools for remedial measures in education, in disadvantaged areas.
    In 2012-2013, the Pearson board received $118, 278 ; the Commission scolaire de Montréal was allocated $ 3, 058, 242 to help out.

    That said, there are many groups, plans and ideas out there to combat the dropout rate.

    However, study after study has shown that it is parental involvement, which is the greatest influence in keeping our kids in school.

    Chris Eustace
    (ret'd teacher)
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