Our children can’t write anymore, it’s terrible! Listening to the caquist falcon, the students no longer have the skills to pass their fifth secondary ministerial test. It’s such a sketch that even MC Gilles has taken the liberty of defending the great return of traditional dictations to Everyone talks about it. Help !

If we summarize the tape that we hear ad nauseam in the media, it’s the apocalypse in French classes. Let’s relativize. Yes, the problem is real, but solutions exist.

Mr. Drainville, you are well aware of the issues related to the quality of writing skills of Quebec students. Rather than dwelling on what is going wrong, as French teachers, we suggest that you take action directly. One of the easiest solutions to put in place, starting at the start of the next school year, is the return to a two report card evaluation system. Here’s why.

Between September and October, teachers must create meaningful relationships with all their students, teach them new concepts and assess their understanding in order to be able to produce a report card illico presto. Result ? Students write more often in a summative assessment context than in a learning context.

Three report cards per school year is too much. The disadvantages of such a system are many, but the most obvious is that it forces teachers to assess their students’ writing skills instead of helping them improve them. We lack the time to favor winning teaching strategies such as having students write every day, having them experience creative writing workshops or providing them with relevant feedback on a regular basis. Proven practices abound, but time does!

We understand that issuing only two report cards per year may seem unfavorable for parents who wish to be kept informed of their child’s progress. This is a perfectly legitimate desire.

However, just because the first report card is handed out in January does not mean that parents have no information about their child’s academic results, quite the contrary! Between the publication of the two report cards, teachers would only have to produce a communication to parents (a qualitative assessment of the student’s progress) in order to keep them informed of their child’s strengths and challenges. These two communications, combined with the evaluation results that are already published periodically on the school portal, would make it possible to quickly target students in difficulty and find concrete ways to support them.

Mr. Drainville, like you, we are very concerned about improving students’ writing skills. Obviously, one of the ways to contribute to this would be to return to a two-stage model of assessment which, moreover, would also be beneficial for all subjects. Teachers from across Quebec have already mobilized in the fall to argue the merits of this proposal. More than 6275 teachers had supported them.

Your government says it places education at the top of its priorities and you will agree that teachers are by far the best placed to help you meet this commitment.

Trust in our skills.