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Toronto School Board eyes "Afro-centric" school


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A disappointing result, but it passed by a narrow margin.

I am happy to see black students given an opportunity to study black history. However, this really needs to be something in the general curriculum ... the history of Africa. Canadian educational systems are far too focussed on European and American history. There should also be more focus on Asian history. Canadian history curriculi are far too parochial, IMHO.

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So they create a "black" school. What does it achieve?

If we go by the example of the First Nations-specific school the Toronto School Board set up, it will achieve nothing. The FN's school was revealed in the recent Falconer Report as the worst school in the entire Toronto school system for both grades and dicipline. This is an elementary school, just as the "Afri-centric" one is to be.

The example of the First Nations School of Toronto, the only racially based school in the city, has shown that creating a school for one racial group is not the solution. Julian Falconer's report on school violence earlier this month found conditions at the school were "unacceptable." It has the lowest academic standing among the 451 elementary schools in the public board, and over the past three years it has suspended an average of one-third of its students. Falconer's report calls that "an extraordinary level for an elementary school." The report concluded that the board is "failing one of our most marginalized and vulnerable communities."
Toronto Star: Black schools wrong answer

In regards to tokenism, I think the statement by former board chair Sheila Ward about keeping in mind the "power of symbolism" was revealing. Toronto Star: Board okays black-focused school

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A disappointing result, but it passed by a narrow margin.

I am happy to see black students given an opportunity to study black history. However, this really needs to be something in the general curriculum ... the history of Africa. Canadian educational systems are far too focussed on European and American history. There should also be more focus on Asian history. Canadian history curriculi are far too parochial, IMHO.

What will happen is this: the curriculum will be too narrowly focused, they won't get the best teachers and there will be pressure to move students to a higher grade for "social reasons". This latter happens all the time in the US. And employers will be suspicious of those who come from black-focused schools.

Better would have been to keep the kids in the regular school and make a "black studies" program optional for students, just like "religion" was optional for my daughter in school.

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Is it just the black kids that can't play fair in the sandbox? Why aren't we having cries for Chinese schools or Thai schools?

Why does the black community feel like it can't integrate? It's obvious that many minorities have integrated just fine into western culture.

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I haven't read through this entire thread so what I post below may repeat others. I'll add that it appears now that bambino was prescient to create it.

Is it just the black kids that can't play fair in the sandbox? Why aren't we having cries for Chinese schools or Thai schools?

Why does the black community feel like it can't integrate? It's obvious that many minorities have integrated just fine into western culture.

Indeed, schools across Canada segregate now. Some secondary schools in Quebec accept only boys and others accept only girls. (Such schools rely on State money for about 80% of their funding.)

In Toronto, there is a school I believe excusively for gays. In Quebec, elementary and secondary schools are strictly segregated by language. In Ontario, schools are segregated by mother tongue: native French speakers are separated from ESL students. Some provinces segregate students by religion (Catholic or not). There are schools exclusively for the deaf and others for the blind.

There are State schools that select students based on a host of other criteria: artistic ability, score on intelligence tests. Most schools select (or refuse) students based on where the student resides. Private schools select students according to their ability to pay tuition.

In short, our current education system discriminates and segregates students in many ways. I'm surprised how people get upset about this and the past Ontario election miffed me.

The one constant throughout is that unless a child is homeschooled, only teachers approved by the provincial teachers federation can educate the child. IOW, the provincial education ministries no longer operate our education system. The teachers unions do that now.

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Perhaps you should find a better measuring stick when deciding to be proud or not. I dont for a minute like the idea of what is going on, however , I dont measure myself nor my country based on what some idiot trustees do.

Besides, trustees are known and have been known, especially in Toronto, as idiots since before you were born.

And since you aren't black , nor do you live in TO, I doubt it will matter much to you, except perhaps to vent some anti immigration stuff, in which case be careful.

I doubt many of these students are immigrants.

By the way, already have a thread...

http://www.mapleleafweb.com/forums//index....showtopic=10230

Being as your from TO, is this a publically or privately funded school? If it were public I'd have a problem with my tax dollars being used to fund racism, but if it's private then they can have any school they want, provided they follow the rules laid out by the minister of education et. all.

The Catholic schools the next big town over are all privately funded mainly by the big time farmers.

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Even some black leaders feel that this is the kind of segregation that blacks have sought to end. Link to article (excerpt below, link to article here):

Mother of Jordan Manners argues against Afrocentric schools

Posted: January 30, 2008, 9:21 PM by Barry Hertz

Loreen Small, Jordan Manners’ mother, told the Toronto District School Board on Tuesday night it would be a mistake to open an Afrocentric school. Here is an edited transcript of what she told the board:

‘‘Black school is segregation. Martin Luther King and how many of our fathers fought to come together, so blacks and whites could be together. Sitting at the front of the bus together. This is 2008. Please. What we’re doing is segregating each other.

"It wasn’t just Martin Luther King. It wasn’t him alone. It was white people with him, too, fighting to come together. So let us all come together and be as one. If we need black kids to graduate, let us get the teachers in there, let them learn how to interact with the kids. Learn.

****************

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Comment from a friend of mine, a mid-school teacher in rural Georgia, USA. Her class is 1/3 black, most of whom get free school lunches.

In the south, that victim mentality still exists. It's the fault of whites that the kids don't do better. The tests are biased, too hard, not taught right, their culture not respected, or whatever. Anything except the fact that they may be less able.
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This is another example of 'affirmitive action' swinging too far. It all started when they changed our Charter of Rights and Freedoms - the government added an amendment that allows for institutionalized racism. This is only one of many problems, and more will come. Don't anyone worry, it won't be long before minorities are completely segregated.

The issue that I see is that there is nothing being done - and as far as I can tell public opinion is on our side.

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Being as your from TO, is this a publically or privately funded school? If it were public I'd have a problem with my tax dollars being used to fund racism, but if it's private then they can have any school they want, provided they follow the rules laid out by the minister of education et. all.

The Catholic schools the next big town over are all privately funded mainly by the big time farmers.

It is a publically funded school.

Whats disconcerting is that there are publically funded....deaf and dumb (is that a safe use anymore?) schools, gay school, athletic school,catholic school .....

So I see it as another in the parade of publically funded schools.

To some degree, and with enough outrage , the backlash may just be the whole slate being wiped out. It would be sad for the hearing/seeing impaired school as I think they have real issues , but as for the rest I dont see any hardship.

Jordan Manners mom is right. And I suspect any self respecting mother or father who wants thier kid to compete will not allow jr to enrol in this new school.

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It is a publically funded school.

Whats disconcerting is that there are publically funded....deaf and dumb (is that a safe use anymore?) schools, gay school, athletic school,catholic school .....

So I see it as another in the parade of publically funded schools.

To some degree, and with enough outrage , the backlash may just be the whole slate being wiped out. It would be sad for the hearing/seeing impaired school as I think they have real issues , but as for the rest I dont see any hardship.

Jordan Manners mom is right. And I suspect any self respecting mother or father who wants thier kid to compete will not allow jr to enrol in this new school.

Up goes the property tax out east again...

As for hearing/seeing impaired, those students don't have the choice of having a harder go at it and should get public funds to help out. The others are just as fine and able as the rest of them.

That situation in Toronto would garner a tax revolt out west. It has happened already for the paltry problem of property taxes being too high, which hurts schools with less money. (Which I think is ridiculous as if you go to school you should pay for your education in one way or another)

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I do believe that deaf and dumb people (sorry if thats un-PC) have far more demanding requirements when it comes to schooling, as such I don't see a problem with having a school or schools to cater to these very special needs. I suppose the blind would face similar challenges. Thats not at all the same thing as an Afro-Centric school, which appears to me to be nothing more than thinly veiled pandering.

The Misanthropic-Bitch had a very good essay on deaf people. It's too bad her site appears to be gone now, she was very entertaining, very non-PC. Especially when she spoke about teen mothers. Gonna miss you bitch.

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Well Toronto council has OK the segregated school for Blacks. Surely this will stop the shootings within the Black community and young Black males from dropping out of school before graduation.

Will they be teaching Black culture along with Black African religion? Take note Mr McGuinty ! You fought that in the last election.Will they allow the gangstas to wear their colours to school? What if this experiment fails? Who to blame? Repercussions? We are on a slippery slope here folks. if george wallace is watching he is laughing from down there. If Dr Martin Luther King is watching from above he must be very dismayed!

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TORONTO — Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty says he opposes plans by Toronto District School Board trustees to create the province's first publicly-funded black-focused school. But he says he won't overrule the contentious proposal.

“I'm against this. I'm not prepared to change the law,” Mr. McGuinty told reporters at the Ontario legislature today.

Mc.Guinty sure has a short memory on how he won an election on opposition to faith based schools.

What a card!

What can one say.

Ontarians were warned about voting for Mc.Guinty.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...y/National/home

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Mc.Guinty sure has a short memory on how he won an election on opposition to faith based schools.

What a card!

What can one say.

Ontarians were warned about voting for Mc.Guinty.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/sto...y/National/home

I dont think he has any choice.

His wife is/was a Catholic school teacher and his kids went to one. Should he try and stop this then the calls for banishing the Catholic board would not be far behind.

In my post earlier, I should have said that while I do have reservations about this coming to fruition, the other schools that I mentioned make a fair bit of sense to me.

The gay school I can see , but not entirely. Those kids have to learn how to take the crap that kids spew. The athlete school is not too bad since the structure of these schools is so far out of whack with respect to a reg school, some of those kids are gone for a week or two. The reg kids would scream double standard. I believe there is another one of its kind in Alberta to school some of our future olympians that train in Calgary (skaters, skiiers and the like)

There are public jewish schools in Alberta, Man and BC.

So, if its good for one, then why not the other? Religion vs Race , does it matter?

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Some of the posts in this thread and the comments in that G & M article linked above make for depressing reading. Since when is it a good thing to have a one-size-fits all school system? Do we all drive the same car model with the same colour?

The US experience with different races has been very different from the Canadian experience.

In Canada, education is a provincial jurisdiction and our Constitution explicitly requires that we have segregated schools according to language. IOW, in Canada, we generally respect people's differences and this is particularly the case for (even publicly funded) education. Children in Quebec do not study the same curricula as children in Alberta.

I frankly think that educational questions should be as local as possible and boards of education should offer as much a range of schools as is possible. In an ideal world, education would be a private affair with at most some public funding through local property taxes or some general tax revenues. I would prefer also to see teacher's unions lose their authority in educational matters.

We should not have a monopoly in education. Neither a provincial ministry of education not a teacher's union should dictate to all schools how to select students or what precisely should be taught. Did the Soviet Union have a good education system?

-----

The US, perhaps because of slavery, has approached questions of minority rights differently. In 1954, the US Supreme Court intervened to force local school boards to integrate black and white children. Later decisions forced children to be bussed to different schools to achieve racial mixes. In Canada, we respect minority rights differently.

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Some of the posts in this thread and the comments in that G & M article linked above make for depressing reading. Since when is it a good thing to have a one-size-fits all school system? Do we all drive the same car model with the same colour?

The US experience with different races has been very different from the Canadian experience.

In Canada, education is a provincial jurisdiction and our Constitution explicitly requires that we have segregated schools according to language. IOW, in Canada, we generally respect people's differences and this is particularly the case for (even publicly funded) education. Children in Quebec do not study the same curricula as children in Alberta.

I frankly think that educational questions should be as local as possible and boards of education should offer as much a range of schools as is possible. In an ideal world, education would be a private affair with at most some public funding through local property taxes or some general tax revenues. I would prefer also to see teacher's unions lose their authority in educational matters.

We should not have a monopoly in education. Neither a provincial ministry of education not a teacher's union should dictate to all schools how to select students or what precisely should be taught. Did the Soviet Union have a good education system?

-----

The US, perhaps because of slavery, has approached questions of minority rights differently. In 1954, the US Supreme Court intervened to force local school boards to integrate black and white children. Later decisions forced children to be bussed to different schools to achieve racial mixes. In Canada, we respect minority rights differently.

But all the provincial governments say that students have a standard to meet. The government is also providing education at the taxpayers expense. The best way to get the most bang for the taxpayers buck is the regular public school where no one is special and everyone is equal, it is also the most fair. My tax dollars should not be going to a school where students are excluded or there is a lack of education.

We have a two-tier education in Canada, and it is working well. Everyone comes out with a standard, and if you are willing to pay, you get the standard and then some. In short you should get what you pay for. I should not have to fund a french immersion school in an english town, but if I lived in a french town then little junior is going to have to pick up some french.

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Even some black leaders feel that this is the kind of segregation that blacks have sought to end. Link to article (excerpt below, link to article here):

Mother of Jordan Manners argues against Afrocentric schools

Posted: January 30, 2008, 9:21 PM by Barry Hertz

Loreen Small, Jordan Manners’ mother, told the Toronto District School Board on Tuesday night it would be a mistake to open an Afrocentric school. Here is an edited transcript of what she told the board:

‘‘Black school is segregation. Martin Luther King and how many of our fathers fought to come together, so blacks and whites could be together. Sitting at the front of the bus together. This is 2008. Please. What we’re doing is segregating each other.

"It wasn’t just Martin Luther King. It wasn’t him alone. It was white people with him, too, fighting to come together. So let us all come together and be as one. If we need black kids to graduate, let us get the teachers in there, let them learn how to interact with the kids. Learn.

****************

I had some odd feelings listening to Ms Manners.

I felt she was imploring her people to assimilate to the dominant view so we could 'all be together'.

I do not think the civil rights movement was intended to teach Black people that they must assimilate and go along with the majority. I think it was fought to gain respect for Black people and their own culture.

'Going along with the dominant culture' is not working out well: Black kids are dropping out in dozens from the curriculum and the culture that does not value them.

Alternate programs for kids in danger of dropping out are common. This is just another one designed to address specific needs identified by the population at risk.

I hope it works for them.

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But all the provincial governments say that students have a standard to meet.
Cars sold in Canada must meet certain standards too but that doesn't mean that all cars are the same.
The government is also providing education at the taxpayers expense. The best way to get the most bang for the taxpayers buck is the regular public school where no one is special and everyone is equal, it is also the most fair. My tax dollars should not be going to a school where students are excluded or there is a lack of education.
We have public funding of health care too but each of us receives different services depending on our needs. Education is different because ideally it would be funded from local property taxes. People can choose to live in the neighbourhood with the appropriate education system (and the corresponding property tax).
We have a two-tier education in Canada, and it is working well. Everyone comes out with a standard, and if you are willing to pay, you get the standard and then some. In short you should get what you pay for. I should not have to fund a french immersion school in an english town, but if I lived in a french town then little junior is going to have to pick up some french.
Why stop at two-tiers? Indeed we don't. I have cited many examples where we treat different kids differently. Some kids walk to school, some go by bus and some take public transport.

----

If the Toronto School Board wants to set up and fund a school designed to educate young blacks, then I ask: "Why not?" If it works and the students learn more, then how is that a bad thing? This school offers another alternative. Maybe it will be a good one.

The more choices people have, the richer they are. We impoverish people when we restrict their choices.

Edited by August1991
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There are public jewish schools in Alberta, Man and BC.

So, if its good for one, then why not the other? Religion vs Race , does it matter?

For the record, I am totally against public Jewish schools or any other religious schools. The Christians wanted it and with the Muslim infestation immigration it bit them in the arse. Good on them.
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Cars sold in Canada must meet certain standards too but that doesn't mean that all cars are the same.

And those cars are not being provided by the government and we pay for those differences.

We have public funding of health care too but each of us receives different services depending on our needs. Education is different because ideally it would be funded from local property taxes. People can choose to live in the neighbourhood with the appropriate education system (and the corresponding property tax).

A big chunk of my property tax goes to ed. Plus being a fair size landowner, the schools get lots of funding from me. All other property owners pay taxes, there should be and is a school provided by the government to most fairly suit everyone and churn out productive members of society. You want more or something different, pay for it out of your own pocket, a backwoods hick shouldn't foot the bill because someone feels entitled to go to a special school.

I'm all for choices, but one should also pay for their choices. Some people out in B.C. gladly pay tens of thousands of dollars to send their kid to private school because they want a "better" education for their kids, should tax payers be funding schools like that?? They all end up learning the same cirriculum and can get into the same Canadian universities depending on how smart they are.

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