Council president Maryse Lassonde contends that learning should be a pleasure and help develop a sense of self-esteem.
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Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge has thrown cold water on a suggestion by Quebec’s Conseil supérieur de l’éducation that percentage marks and group averages be eliminated from report cards in elementary school and perhaps the first year of high school.In an interview Wednesday with Radio-Canada, Roberge made it clear that there was no question of following through on the council’s suggestion, contained in a 94-page report obtained by Le Devoir, and that in his opinion the present system of assessing student performance allows parents to understand what progress is being made.In its report, the council argued that what it described as the race for marks discourages weaker performing students and prevents them from going on to some CEGEP and university programs. It also contends that the present marking system creates anxiety.Council president Maryse Lassonde contends that group averages teach a student nothing, and that learning should be a pleasure and help develop a sense of self-esteem.The report does not call for the abolition of marks outright, but suggests that percentage assessments be replaced by depictions of levels of achievement that could include graphic symbols. Lassonde notes that Ontario eliminated group averages in 2010.The debate over how academic progress is depicted on Quebec report cards is not new. Twenty years ago, then-premier Lucien Bouchard made it clear he preferred percentage values on report cards rather than the letter system then in use. The education minister at the time was François Legault, who is now premier of Quebec.Related