Waters: Do the math, polygamous parents have numbers on their side

Do polygamous parents rear smarter kids?

Do polygamous parents rear smarter kids?

That could be the inference from the right-leaning Fraser Institute’s latest ranking of elementary schools across B.C. It says the small school in the polygamous commune of Bountiful B.C. is one of only a handful of elementary schools in the province to score a perfect 10 in its annual report card of kindergarten to Grade 6 institutions.

Basing the results on 10 key indicators, including the controversial Foundation Skills Assessment tests, the Fraser Institute said the Bountiful school tied with 12 other schools in achieving educational perfection.

Despite the ranking though, officials with the institute appear at a loss to explain why the students at the small Bountiful school performed better than a majority of their counterparts at other schools across B.C.

But I have a suspicion it could be attributable to the very controversy that has exploded in recent months around the community and its penchant for polygamy. I think more parents means smarter kids.

Think about it. With more parents at home bugging you to do your homework, don’t you think its more likely you would study rather than sneak off to listen to the latest rap song or, in the case of Bountiful, join that quilt-making youth gang?

And when it comes to parent-teacher conferences, having more than the customary one or two parents at home means its unlikely a parent’s work schedule will interfere with at attending those parent-teacher chin wags.

Hey, if mom number one is busy, mom number two can go.

Then there is help at home with studying. We often say two heads are better than one when it comes to problem solving. So how about three, four, five or more? And that’s just the parents. Your 19 siblings can lend a hand too.

But if these little polyga-mites have any advantage at all, it could be that one or more of their parents may be just out of school, or even finishing up their secondary education, while the little ones are still hitting the books themselves.

Of course, non of this explains why the other 12 schools—most of them private schools— also recorded perfect scores. Maybe it’s because parents there can afford extracurricular tutoring so little Johnny or Jane doesn’t drag down their school’s average.

But the answer for the success at the 13 schools could be a lot simpler. Maybe, it’s just because those kids are smarter.

Who knows, next year’s crop may not be able to rack up the same results on the FSAs and their schools’ rankings will drop.

But in the meantime, it appears the Bountiful kids have a leg up on a majority of their fellow students across B.C. in one area—spelling.

Chances are, they actually know how to spell the word “polygamy.”

Alistair Waters is the Capital News’ assistant editor.


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