Meet François Legault, possibly the next premier of Québec

Simon Tremblay-Pepin on Legault’s political past and future

“Everybody remembers this education reform in Québec, namely because it still affects us today. Nonetheless, a number of people have forgotten other measures Mr. Legault introduced in education. I’ll name just two: performance contracting and success plans. These two attempts reflect François Legault much more aptly than the education reform. In the case of the latter, he was only responsible for its implementation, not its conception.

Performance contracts were arrangements between universities and the Ministry, which made funding for the latter conditional to reaching certain objectives (graduation rate, program revision, balanced budget, etc.). If results were not met, a part of the funding was retained. Success plans followed the same logic but for the elementary/high school system, with emphasis placed on the students’ academic success.

Not only has the outcome of these two measures been negative (incidentally both were dropped or pushed aside), but they appropriately convey Legault’s mentality. He wants to impose the private sector’s methods on the public sector. Institutions that did not meet their objectives were punished with less funding, and yet this logic is absurd in a public system. Indeed, in the end, the citizens using the service and the front-line workers are the ones “punished” for the administration’s failure.”

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