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MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 25, 2015 – The results of the recent Central Parents Committee (CPC) survey are called into question after major flaws were exposed in the way the tabulation and interpretation of the data was done.

At the last Council of Commissioners meeting, the statistic that 69.3 percent of respondents do not believe that commissioners value the opinion of parent was called into question and categorized as “misleading,” by EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini. 

“In scientific terms, [the CPC] smudged the numbers,” said Ms. Mancini. “They have led the public to believe that 69.3 percent of our parents did not agree that commissioners should exist, but in reality, this number is only 46.2 percent and the question asked is on whether the parents believe their opinion is valued not do you believe that commissioners should exist.  If using the neutral votes to bolster your numbers is not smudging information, I do not know what is. I question all the results and I hope the public questions the entire integrity of this report.
The survey used a standard Likert scale, where respondents were given multiple options to respond to the straightforward question. The results to the two questions at hand are as follows:

Are parents viewpoints considered by Council of Commissioners?

17.4 percent     Strongly Disagree
22.8 percent   Somewhat Disagree
27.5 percent   Neutral
24.7 percent   Somewhat Agree
7.6 percent     Strongly Agree
Are parents’ viewpoints valued by Council of Commissioners?

17.9 percent Strongly Disagree
22.6 percent  Somewhat Disagree
28.8 percent  Neutral
21.6 percent  Somewhat Agree
9.0 percent   Strongly Agree

For both questions, only 619 and 624 parents responded, respectively. Over 200 parents surveyed answered "No opinion" and were left out of the results.

“This is very disturbing for me because now we’ve crossed a line,” said Parent Commissioner Joanne Charron. “I witness parents being misled, and when [the CPC] misleads the parents, you mislead the children. This is abusive.”

“The use of this data whether purposely done or not, is wrong. The very least the CPC could do is issue a retraction of these numbers if they really want to be honest with the public,” added Mancini. “I hope that we’re going to get a press release from CPC that these numbers were wrong. CPC has to stand up and be counted. Silence means they agree with these numbers.”

“Parents count on people in positions to give them the information they need. I am a parent and I base life and death decisions for my child on people in positions to give me the right information that I need,” added Ms. Charron. “I am counting on people in these positions to give me what I need: not to misguide me or misinform me. Ultimately, I am making my decisions on this information and to find out the truth after I would have made another decision? That’s unacceptable, because now it’s affecting the children.”

In addition to the tabulation of the numbers, the respondents of the survey were also called into question, as non-EMSB respondents were allegedly included in the results.

EMSB Vice-Chair Sylvia Lo Bianco points out that this survey was posted on different social media outlets and the Global Television website, among others. “People who aren't even parents could have responded,” she said. “In fact, I know a few individuals without any children in the system who did just that. How do we know that some parents did not fill out the survey multiple times? As such, these results are not valid and not reliable.|”

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Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213