Moderation marking system is flawed!


I’m writing as a concerned parent regarding the lack of transparency and accountability our Ministry of Education provides parents and students.

The marking system for Ministry exams uses a moderation system. It has been in place for 30 years, and is defined as “the action of making something less extreme”. This system is flawed and unjust and until it touches you personally, one would have no idea our children are subjected to it.

My daughter failed a course needed for her to receive her secondary diploma. She had a final grade of 73% before her exam. She took her exam in June and discovered in July that she failed the exam with a 52%. The exam was worth 20%, but yet she failed the course with a 59%.

I questioned this immediately. How could she get 59% when her mark was 73% going into the exam? The response I received indicated her mark was moderated to 61%, reduced by 12%, factoring in the class average. How could her mark be reduced so drastically?

I understand the fluctuation of marks from a final, pre-exam mark to a post-exam mark and how huge discrepancies are looked at, but to bring marks down to a failing grade, to intentionally harm students who worked so hard to achieve these marks…This seems so wrong.

Do parents even know this is happening? I didn’t. Do teachers know the extent of what this means? My child wasn’t aware of this. She wasn’t informed she was at risk of failing; in fact, she was told she shouldn’t worry too much because she had a decent mark going into her exam.

I’ve been questioning the school, school board, director general, and the Ministry of Education since July about this. It’s a flawed system; it’s unjust to drop student’s marks to a failing grade because of other students. I’ve filed a complaint with the Ministry of Education, with no response. I’ve asked for a review of the marks and the moderation system that, by the way, disappeared during the pandemic. Are our children not still affected by this pandemic?

It’s not okay for a student to not receive her diploma because of a moderated mark; a mark she doesn’t deserve, a mark she didn’t earn.

I want to make other parents aware of what’s happening. My daughter wasn’t the only student affected: in a class of nine students, four failed. That’s a huge number.Something needs to be done about this before more parents remove their children from the Quebec school system. Parents need to know.

Lee-Ann Gagnon