Originally Posted by Deepstar
My own personal view is that the school does not make the person. I have some cousins that went to Stratchcona Tweedsmuir and they haven't done much with their life. Another cousin of mine had her son go to James Fowler high - not known as an academic powerhouse of any kind - and he did well, and really did well in University winning an award and graduating with honors.
Yeah, and I can top this up with about 1000 more anecdotes. When I was in university (two periods over a span of 13 years) I made it a habit to find out where people went to elementary and high school. I never once noticed any correlation between specific school and university performance, let alone private vs public.
Grade schools are about teaching socialization and (hopefully) some very basic skills. If that's all you're doing with your education, where you go won't matter worth a damn. And if you're going post-secondary, well, university and college have long been known as "the great equalizer".
Same goes for French immersion programs - for those of us not moving to Quebec, or taking jobs with the federal government, they're a waste. They do not make little Johnny or Susie perform any better in school. In fact having taken 2 different science degrees, I've noticed that on average French immersion kids struggle for a year or three - they're fine in most classes as they learn both English and French words for things. But math and the hard sciences? The jargon here just doesn't come up in everyday (outside of school) life for most people. They have to entirely re-learn the jargon, much like an ESL student does. French immersion works out to be more of a hinderance than anything else. The only French-schooled kids I knew who did well in sciences were those whose parents were nerds, so they had plenty of exposure to the English jargon.
In summary: parents, your child is not a unique and precious snowflake, and all the money you spend on schooling isn't going to amount to beans - until they're adults.
Then again, even undergraduate schooling is getting like this for many fields. Maclean's eastern-biased studies aside, most Bachelor-level degrees are just about equal no matter where you go.