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Toronto School Board eyes "Afro-centric" school


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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.

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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.

I believe that for a country to be united, the schools should not be balkanized into numerous sub-units for gays, people of color, bestialists, etc. Segregation is in general a bad thing, and should be practiced to the bare minimum the Charter permits.

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I believe that for a couintry to be united, the schools should not be balkanized into numerous sub-units for gays, people of color, bestialists, etc. Segregation is in general a bad thing, and should be practiced to the bare minimum the Charter permits.

This is not segregation. We have no segregated schools that students are forced to attend against their will.

This is freedom of choice, providing alternatives.

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This is not segregation. We have no segregated schools that students are forced to attend against their will.

This is freedom of choice, providing alternatives.

Nonsense, and of course you believe then, that we should have faith based schools - you know, otpions and alternatives.

It's apartheid, keep them separate, segregated and unequal. The best way to help blacks succeed is to teach them to a universal standard, one which will enable them to compete in the real world, something orientals for instance seem to believe in as generally speaking they attain very high educational standards. Why we should ask - well - maybe because Asian-Canadian parents expect their children to achieve higher education than the parents of other racial groups. ... also possibly the lack of role models in their lives, lack of good parenting etc.. Maybe some of the kids become what they are brought up to be.

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Interestlingly it sets a precedent for publickly funded faith based schools....

No black kid worth his salt wants an inferiour "African Studies" education. The smart kids want regularcridentials. Papers in the end that are worth something. I have seen from experience some more clever black kids play the system for grants and for student loans...they know in the automated liberal climate that exists in public schools and universities that they are guarenteed assistance if they plead the "African" routine...but underneath it all they want the same real accreditations as whites...so let them play the game - the brighter ones will recieve a "white" education and the more fanaticial dupes and emotional types will recieve an African studies diploma - a diploma based on made up history..a fake diploma. When a family is taken into slavery the heritage is distroyed as is the ancient family history - revolution war and slaver wipe out familiar historyh - In truth the blacks in Toronto will NEVER retrieve their heritage, it's gone for good and making one up will not cut it!

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Interestlingly it sets a precedent for publickly funded faith based schools....

I don't think this precedent breaks any principles or rules, as long as enrollment is voluntary and not influenced by race, but I agree with those who expressed concerns that it'll provide any benefits, to the students, in the long run. When they graduate, they'll go into integrated workplace, etc, where life isn't arranged on specific cultural principles. Ignoring or delaying this exposure would hardly do anybody much good.

This is not to say that the problem of success in education in some communites couldn't and shouldn't be addressed. But it should be addressed with an open mind, and being open to admitting realities even if they go against some politically correct dogmas would go a long way in creating practical and working solutions.

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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.

On this one Joan I respectfully disagree but not because of your specific comments but an over-all principle.

I believe and I concede its only a personal opinion that these "special" schools to not solve the problem just make it easier to avoid dealing with the problem by simplifying it and throwing a token gesture at it.

I personally believe that aboriginal culture and history because it is such a vital part of what Canada's history and origins are about should be taught in our history classes and in a comparitive faith class.

In regards to the specific issues dealing with aboriginal children, to me we have to go to the roots, the extreme poverty, the lack of community and recreational services, the health issues but I personally do not want it made easy to isolate such problems and throw a token gesture at them to make people feel good.

The cultural issues particular to aboriginal people, i.e., preservation of languages, traditions, customs, laws, yes of course they have specific meaning and problems to aboriginals which may not apply to others, but to me a segregated school just is another reserve.

Does anyone really believe a special school for black kids does anything but throw a token symbol at what is perceived to be their weaknesses?

Just what does African-centric mean? The last time I looked there was a huge variable range of culturals and beliefs in the black community and people who love these buzz words like African-centric haven't a clue what it means but think if they wear kinte cloth or have dread-locks bam its part of their culture.

I often found the people using that word have a very narrow definition of what it means and want all black people to conform to it.

I think being proud of one's culture and ethnicity is crucial in developing their self-esteem yes but I think the place and time to develop such pride and awareness is with the family-it starts in the home with your own family and then in the community through community organizations, churches, etc.

I think what we see are people trying to replace the vital role of family and community which our society has broken down and places no importance on, with this one size fits all, special school that is supposed to fill the role of family and family pride and heritage, weak community support and facilities and lack of faith.

Growing up a Jew in an Irish neighbourhood and going to a British private school in a climate of conflict between English and French I encountered many perspectives, the Christ-killer in the Irish neighbourgood fighting Irish Catholics and Protestants usually at Christmas and Easter and then the rest of the year being the intermediary between them, the Jew in the British school in an era of no other minorities in that school, and in many situations and summer camps and schools where English and French kids squared off and I went to a camps in both cultures. My parent and grandparents escaped the persecution of Europe to Shanghai, China. My other side of the family fled pogroms from Russia. My father like many minorities of his time joined the air force very young. all these perspectives taught me to be very existential and relativistic, i.e., when you feel caught in the twilight zone outside so many dominant cultures, you develop a specific outlook. So I concede a lot of what I say is based on personal experience and if I was born in severe poverty or hatred I may not have grown up so liberalistic.

But I do believe from having to stand up and fight everyone but also living with so many different people, that to me I just don't think it would have been right for me to hide in a ghetto and avoid the conflicts I did.

I learned a lot of things not just from people who liked me but the people who hated me. I lived on a street with 2 Christian clergymen who were part of the people who taught me to never apologize for who I was and to not hide from conflict and find a way to avoid violence when faced with it.

The only aboriginals I knew were Mohawks and they were either in the US Marines or what I liked to call sky walkers because they worked high rise in New York. All I know from them is people called them a lot of hateful names but they made me feel proud of who I was.

The black people I knew were like all the minorities I knew, just like me-trying to do well and when people taunted us, to try rise above it.

I distinctly remember Martin Luther King coming to our temple and being embraced for everything he stood for. Years later Trudeau did the same thing. He didn't show token gestures. He genuinely showed respect for intelligence no matter where it came from and he showed the same tough guy stuff to all of us no matter who we were if he disagered.

I know a lot of WASPS who were anti-semites and yet others who were kind and caring. I used to think all the fights I had after being called a dirty Jew were a bad thing and maybe at the time they were, but it taught me self-respect and that the blood from our noses was the same colour and the fight most times came about because the other side was afraid of me being better then them.

So me I never taught my children to stay in the ghetto. I taught them know your heritage but you better know everyone else's. Know your own culture but know others and look for the same themes in them.

So me Joan I just don't like this idea. I just think the way to help children underachieving will not come from labeling them as in need of help and then creating a victim centre for them.

To me they have to stand their ground right in the environment they encounter the failures and learn to deal with the ignorance and hatred not by avoiding it but by dealing with it head on through sports, art, music, education, community involvement, and by looking within themselves and not to the people they think hate them for their

acceptance.

I know its corny but I believe that. I do not believe social problems get solved by placing these problems in quarrantine. I do not see diaffected youth as needing quarrantine. I see them needing to stay right in the environment of crisis and dealing with it.

How do you ride a horse if you fall off it and then someone says, oh come here-instead of riding that horse, here let's give you a pony.

No Sir. If someone tried to simplify me with idiot cultural labels I would spit in their face. To me a black person is first and foremost a human whose failures are human failures if they exist not black ones. Their culture to me is not the real issue-its the behaviour patterns they have adapted. I never met a black person who I thought I could throw a label at like Afro-Canadian just like I never met aboriginals who I would simply label "aboriginals". At least, at the very least I know being aboriginal or black, or anything else, means so many things.

I applaud any person after school in cultural centres, community centres or within their families and religious organizations cultivating this component of them but no, using a school to try do all that and water it down into simplistic token gesticulation, no Sir not for me.

The ghetto is not for me. I am a bush wolf. I do not belong anywhere. I just follow the moon and keep a step ahead of the two legged ones burning everything.

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I don't think this precedent breaks any principles or rules, as long as enrollment is voluntary and not influenced by race,

errr, I think it allready is 'influenced by race'

Here's something to masticate on:

A step back in time

By Klaus Rohrich Friday, February 1, 2008

http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/1655

In the summer of 1964, I moved to Meridian, Mississippi, which then was a sleepy old-south town just getting acquainted with the 20th century. In those days the town was completely segregated with separate schools for black and white kids and drinking fountains and public washrooms bearing the designations “colored only” and “white only”.

It appears that the Toronto School Board misses those good old days and is prepared to take a step back in time to when whites and “coloreds” attended separate, but equal schools. I haven’t heard of a dumber idea since Kofi Anan and Maurice Strong dreamed up the Kyoto Protocol.

Given that the dropout rate in Toronto’s high schools is fairly high, particularly among black students, the luminaries at the Toronto District School Board believe that having a school with an “Afro centric curriculum” will function as a panacea in curing the rampant underperformance and illiteracy now plaguing black kids attending Toronto’s schools. And if you believe that, I have the deed to a bridge that’s for sale cheap.

The problem with the schools isn’t whether or not they are culturally sensitive. What does it matter whether black Nubians discovered the Pythagorean Theorem five thousand years ago if black kids today don’t know how to give change on the purchase of a Big Mac? We can be culturally sensitive up the wazoo and get no closer to solving the problem of black kids underachieving because the problem doesn’t originate at school.

The root cause lies in what we have come to euphemistically call urban culture and the accoutrements of the gansta’ lifestyle. Being dumb is a quality that’s highly prized among many urban kids today as it represents a form of proof that they haven’t sold out, bought into the ‘Uncle Tom’ trap and are living by their own rules. We also shouldn’t confuse dumbness with a lack of intelligence, as many of these kids have a lifetime supply of shrewd street smarts, despite their inability to spell or read the words Aurora Borealis.

-snip-

If you come from a single parent family struggling to make ends meet without a stable father figure and spend most of your time associating with kids from similar backgrounds, some of whom have found status through dealing drugs, being violent or both, then attending a school that scams you with a lot of touchy-feely fluff will make no difference whatsoever to your scholastic abilities.

Self-esteem doesn’t come from knowing that one’s ancestors achieved great things; it comes from achieving great things one’s self.

The Toronto District School Board has taken a racial view that’s every bit as narrow, vapid and shallow as that of those white crackers in Mississippi back in 1964. And our kids are a whole lot poorer as a result.

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Since when is it a good thing to have a one-size-fits all school system?

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.

You earlier raised the issue of other schools within the public system that are tailored to a specific group of students. It's a salient point, and one I've grappled with in this particular case. However, the examples you pointed to, save the one for LGBT teens, which is a whole other can of worms, seem to be schools that cater to either a talent, a language, or a gender. There appears to be at least some sound reasoning behind the existence of those institutions: students who show an affinity for an art or sport would flourish amongst those with a shared interest and specific training in that field; students need to know the language of their teacher and peers in order to learn; and there are valid arguments for the separation of boys and girls in learning environments.

But, then, one has to ask: what is the defining factor that separates an "Afri-centric" school from the rest? Is there a particular talent to being of African descent? Is the school to be run in some pan-African language? Do people of African heritage inherently learn differently from those whose ancestors come from other continents? I don't think so.

"Afri-centric" is the PC term used to describe the institution, but it inherently is not Afri-centric as there are no Berbers, Moroccans, Egyptians, Boers, or white Africans involved in the discussion or set up. Further, there are hundreds of cultures and languages across Africa, but this school will not focus either specifically on one, or on all. So, though, of course, nobody on the school board, in the government, or in the Black Community will ever admit this openly, there is nothing at all that sets this "Afri-centric" school apart other than some poorly defined range of skin tone. Judging from the reactions I've witnessed - either in editorials, letters to newspapers, or personal discussions - many people, of all cultures and races, are fundamentally uncomfortable with the founding of this school. A lot of them aren't able to put their finger right on what it is that disturbs them, but I think most are aware, somewhere in the back of their minds, that, despite all the placating spin, there is something primarily racist about this whole idea, which has now been acted upon.

Edited by g_bambino
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Are you equating faith with race?

The Jews don't like to equate faith with race - but they are one and the same for the most part - as far as "Africans" - well - it's desperate on the part of those that have no real culture, that grab at straws and attempt to create a heritage long lost - it was pitifully silly to see a girl speaking on behalf of race based schooling...that had grown up in the ulititarianism of the Toronto housing projects ....to be dressed in some lame made up African garb - the baggy dress the big head scarf - as if she were attempting to find an "identity" ...The problem started over 25 years ago when black and white woman were told if they were to recieve a "mother's allowance" cheque - the father would have to leave...

- so they ran off all the husbands and fathers...made family life difficult to endure and achieve. This came from a big buisness charitable policy that was based in racism - that the lazy black fathers would not work in the factories of the rich - for 6 bucks an hour - so they simply ran them off by bribing the mothers with a damn cheque - not 25 years later we all pay for this racist hatred of the black male that was culturally more layed back than the old Bay Street boys ...who's metality was that "no way is society (them) going to support those big penised black renegades from the Islands who sired kids in Canada. So it's not a problem concerning Africanism - but fatherhood - that was destroyed because of a value clash...so you have boys that are now 25 totting pistols.

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OK. But what does M.Dancer have to say?

Dancer will dance. It's a fact because of restrictive relious breeding practices that the Judiacs over a long period of time have generated a race - and some say that it's " a state of mind" - I suppose those would be the honourary Jews that embrace this "state of mind" - I guess being master bureacrats does have it's perks and it's price - getting back to creating "race" based schools - It really is highly manipulative to suggest that blacks be seperated - and I would say that racists in power know that such shools will futher debase and destroy the black community that they so much dispise - very clever to have a person or group destroy there future with there own hand - very clever in deed! If there is love for our fellow human beings that are black - we will welcome them into white society - so far it has always been just a token invitation - we all know that the powers that be are white - and we all know they hate and fear blacks - ..

that my friends is the bottom line - cowardice - and we have alienated and made angry - our black youth - I would say this was done with intent and incrimentally....black schools would create eccentric Rasta types who would go on about the mythical lost kingdow of Etheopia --- it's improper to allow or attempt to have a group live on legendry - blacks want to be whites - if you know what I mean - the message we sent them over the last two decades is - YOU ARE NOT WELCOME AND YOU ARE INFERIOUR - which was a very intellectually inferiour attitude to begin with on the parts of rich powerful whites - who are actually no so superiour after all - just look at the management crisis the now confronts them socially speaking - they blew it!

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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.
Among the various arguments against the proposal to have a Black-focussed school, a common one is that it's publicly funded and hence everyone should be treated the same.

I found this an odd argument.

In the past federal election, the Conservatives gained votes (and sympathy among the Right on this forum) because they proposed a $100/month child care payment. Parents get the money and then spend it how they want. What? You mean the government is funding whatever parents want to do with the money? Anything at all?

Many people thought that was a good thing and much better than the Liberal proposal of spending the money according to the way the bureaucrats want to spend it.

How is this different from the situation with this Black school?

Many here seem to think that bureaucrats should decide how to spend education money for teenagers but parents should decide how to spend many for pre-schoolers. Why?

In fact, no one is suggesting that Toronto give the current school subsidy to parents to let them decide how best to spend it. All that is being proposed is that parents have the choice of sending their kids to a different school. IMV, just like the Tory child care policy, this takes power away from the bureaucracy and gives it to parents.

If we are going to fund education through general tax revenues, then this seems to me the way to do it. Parents and kids are better placed to decide what kind of education they need rather than leaving these choices to bureaucrats. I listen to the advice of my dentist and investment broker but I'm the one who decides what to do.

So me I never taught my children to stay in the ghetto. I taught them know your heritage but you better know everyone else's. Know your own culture but know others and look for the same themes in them.

So me Joan I just don't like this idea. I just think the way to help children underachieving will not come from labeling them as in need of help and then creating a victim centre for them.

To me they have to stand their ground right in the environment they encounter the failures and learn to deal with the ignorance and hatred not by avoiding it but by dealing with it head on through sports, art, music, education, community involvement, and by looking within themselves and not to the people they think hate them for their

acceptance.

I know its corny but I believe that. I do not believe social problems get solved by placing these problems in quarrantine. I do not see diaffected youth as needing quarrantine. I see them needing to stay right in the environment of crisis and dealing with it.

That's a good and heartfelt post, rue. I tend to agree with you in part because my education was similar.

Yet I'm not prepared to say that that's the best way to organize an education system. For starters, I'm wary of putting all one's eggs in one basket and the idea of a single education bureaucracy frightens me. Schools should be distinct which means that students who go to these schools will be different. The schools will discriminate and select.

All things considered, while I admire the idea of an education where one is exposed to different people and ideas, I don't think the State should impose this diversity on parents who don't want it.

I know that what I say is anathema to the thinking behind the US Brown vs. Board of Education decision, and as much as I admire the American efforts to overcome the consequences of slavery, I don't think it is wise to use the State as a moral busybody. Let me plain however. If the State decides to pay different subsidies to different children for their education, it better have a good reason. Such discrimination should not be based on religion or skin colour and so on.

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When it comes to these kinds of discussions, I find alot of sloppy reasoning. In this regard, I found the position of Dalton McGuinty somewhat refreshing. He appears to favour centralized bureaucratic control over education questions. OTOH, he doesn't seem to have the courage of his convictions because he hasn't centralized the entire school system into one single provincial board of education.

You earlier raised the issue of other schools within the public system that are tailored to a specific group of students. It's a salient point, and one I've grappled with in this particular case. However, the examples you pointed to, save the one for LGBT teens, which is a whole other can of worms, seem to be schools that cater to either a talent, a language, or a gender. There appears to be at least some sound reasoning behind the existence of those institutions: students who show an affinity for an art or sport would flourish amongst those with a shared interest and specific training in that field; students need to know the language of their teacher and peers in order to learn; and there are valid arguments for the separation of boys and girls in learning environments.
This strikes me as an arbitrary argument. Once you admit that having schools organized in different ways is a good thing, then there is no limit really in how they can be organized. While most cars on the road today have four wheels and one steering wheel, there are many, many variations on that theme. Cars are different because our needs are different.

Note too that this is entirely separate from the question of who pays for the car.

Judging from the reactions I've witnessed - either in editorials, letters to newspapers, or personal discussions - many people, of all cultures and races, are fundamentally uncomfortable with the founding of this school. A lot of them aren't able to put their finger right on what it is that disturbs them, but I think most are aware, somewhere in the back of their minds, that, despite all the placating spin, there is something primarily racist about this whole idea, which has now been acted upon.
True. But new ideas often incite discomfort.

Canadians in general have not felt uncomfortable with different provincial education systems. (The idea that all Canadian children would plead allegiance to the flag is laughable. They don't even sing the national anthem in the same language.) Schoolbooks in Quebec are unlike schoolbooks in Newfoundland or Ontario.

I suspect another reason for the discomfort is because of the US experience that often colours political discussions in English Canada. The history of English and French Canada is very different from the history of Black and White America.

Edited by August1991
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What exactly is African Culture? Do we really want to teach these black youth how to be more violent? Let's be honest, the Jamaican Gangs are killing innocents with guns to gain more power. So please explain how the following is going to enrich their education:

Genocide is being commited in the Horn of Africa vis vie Arab Wahhabis funded by China, Russia, France and Saudi Arabia. Will this be part of the Africian culture at this Liberal Arts School?

The Sudan, more Africans who rather be tribal leaders than have peace, thus they allow Arab Wahhabis to prop them up and be in power if they enforce (death threats by hanging) Wahhabi Islam down the Native Africians' throat.

In Nigeria corruption and murder is the name of the game, will this be History rewritten 101.

South Africa, need I say more?

Kenya did any reading on the butchers using knives to kill their supposed enemies lately? Setting a Church on fire and killing dozens of Christians taking refuge is part of that culture now. How charming, coming to Torona soon.

So what will they be teaching the black students, how to rape and pillage a community or how to clean their illegal weapons?

Only in Canada could such a stupid Liberal Idea take root, well England's Socialist Goberment would embrace the same idea robustly.

I can only shake my head at the brainless that walk amongst us. Truely stupid stupid people.

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In the past federal election, the Conservatives gained votes (and sympathy among the Right on this forum) because they proposed a $100/month child care payment. Parents get the money and then spend it how they want. What? You mean the government is funding whatever parents want to do with the money? Anything at all?

Wrong, the taxpayers in Canada are paying for a standard childcare program that was set up by the government, this is it like it or lump it. This program just happens to have freedom. If taxpayers want better childcare, they can fork more money over for daycare space. Taxpayers also pay for a standard school.

In fact, no one is suggesting that Toronto give the current school subsidy to parents to let them decide how best to spend it. All that is being proposed is that parents have the choice of sending their kids to a different school. IMV, just like the Tory child care policy, this takes power away from the bureaucracy and gives it to parents.

I'd almost suggest having to do that then if we are getting all of these different flavors of schools. That would make a lot more sense and freedom to give the subsidy to parents instead of fund faith based and race based schools. This is why private schools exist in Canada and we have two-tiered education. This bureaucracy is saying that Torontonians are being forced to fund race/faith based schools, one Torontonian on here has a big problem with that, this isn't taking any power from the bureaucracy.

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Wrong, the taxpayers in Canada are paying for a standard childcare program that was set up by the government, this is it like it or lump it. This program just happens to have freedom. If taxpayers want better childcare, they can fork more money over for daycare space. Taxpayers also pay for a standard school.

I'd almost suggest having to do that then if we are getting all of these different flavors of schools. That would make a lot more sense and freedom to give the subsidy to parents instead of fund faith based and race based schools. This is why private schools exist in Canada and we have two-tiered education. This bureaucracy is saying that Torontonians are being forced to fund race/faith based schools, one Torontonian on here has a big problem with that, this isn't taking any power from the bureaucracy.

Sad part is that the master of masters of the bureaucracy do not even send their grand kids to schools in Ontario at all. They send them to England to attend private schools where the kids are taught what and how things are truely run. We really don't have an educational system per say, but more of and corporate indoctrinational system - in short where kids are dummied down and not really taught how the economic and social structures really work. Knowledge is power and the last thing that the status quo wants is to truely empower common students. Why would they? It does not serve their best interests. We can plod along and go on and on about faith and race based schooling, but it is missing the mark - what we need is to inform the young population that they live on a massive private estate. That they are surfs and will never ever be told the truth about the workings of the system. So black eccentric schools just further dummy down the blacks - and I believe you will see these schools come into being. They will be allowed to have their black schools - after all this type of wayward diversionary education will serve the slave masters well - buy stupifying the blacks even further.

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Wrong, the taxpayers in Canada are paying for a standard childcare program that was set up by the government, this is it like it or lump it. This program just happens to have freedom. If taxpayers want better childcare, they can fork more money over for daycare space. Taxpayers also pay for a standard school.
Happens to have freedom?

Harper's government chose to send the $100 every month to parents so that they could use the money as they wished. This was a critical part of the Tory proposal. (Do you remember Scott Reid's "beer and popcorn" comment?)

I'd almost suggest having to do that then if we are getting all of these different flavors of schools. That would make a lot more sense and freedom to give the subsidy to parents instead of fund faith based and race based schools.
Wait a second, Bueblood. If we just give the money to the parents - as Stephen Harper and the Tories proposed doing - what stops them from spending the money on different flavours of schools? For all we know, parents could be sending their pre-school kids to the beer-and-popcorn daycare.

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Freedom is a frightening idea sometimes. Why? Because free people are free to choose - and God knows how they might choose. For example, free to choose, some Black parents might choose to send their kids to "Afro-centric" schools. Heavens.

The Toronto School Board is simply offering offering (in a very small way) choice.

IMHO, an Afro-centric school is better than a Beer-and-Popcorn school. But I'm willing to leave this choice up to the parents. Blueblood, what's your opinion? Do you think government bureaucrats should spend tax money to ensure that it doesn't get wasted on beer-and-popcorn and Afro-centric?

This bureaucracy is saying that Torontonians are being forced to fund race/faith based schools, one Torontonian on here has a big problem with that, this isn't taking any power from the bureaucracy.
No, the provincial tax system is forcing people to fund the education system - just like the federal tax system is forcing us all to finance Harper's $100 child care payment.

The question of financing is different from the question of how the money is spent.

In my family, I try to connect the two questions but I more often than not fail. It seems to me that I earn the money but someone else decides how to spend it. Such is family. I notice that governments often fail on this point too. The money that comes in is not connected to the money that goes out. It is the nature of government, family and most insurance schemes.

Edited by August1991
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Among the various arguments against the proposal to have a Black-focussed school, a common one is that it's publicly funded and hence everyone should be treated the same.

I say treat everyone the same or make exceptions for all races and religions. It has to be one or the other. Either our kids are educated in same milieu or they are separated along defined lines. The problem is that McGuinty's Liberals don't have the guts to address the funding of Catholic schools which in itself is an exception to the rule of equally treatment.

When it comes to these kinds of discussions, I find alot of sloppy reasoning. In this regard, I found the position of Dalton McGuinty somewhat refreshing. He appears to favour centralized bureaucratic control over education questions.

"Centralized bureaucratic control" translates into unionized teacher positions. In not wanting to rile the teachers' union he dances to the tune of that all powerful union.

OTOH, he doesn't seem to have the courage of his convictions because he hasn't centralized the entire school system into one single provincial board of education.

Can you blame him? After all, his kids are the product of a segregated Catholic school system. His wife taught in this segregated school system. There's where his lack of courage stems from.

Once you admit that having schools organized in different ways is a good thing, then there is no limit really in how they can be organized.

August, there it is in a nutshell. I sense that, if it could, the present Ontario government would approve these segregated schools to avoid having to deal with dismantling Catholic separate schools. As long as Catholic separate schools are allowed, the Province will have no choice but to approve publicly funded Black centered schools and other special schools that will follow. I know there are constitutional issues involved. The Premier has to bite the bullet and take a stand one way or another on race based schools. He dodged the issue of faith based schools in the last election and in the process won a majority. Here comes his next test.

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August, there it is in a nutshell. I sense that, if it could, the present Ontario government would approve these segregated schools to avoid having to deal with dismantling Catholic separate schools. As long as Catholic separate schools are allowed, the Province will have no choice but to approve publicly funded Black centered schools and other special schools that will follow.
How sad. It would be so much better to abolish these different religious or Catholic schools and have a single school system, financed by taxpayer money, just like the Soviets did.

Canada should have one school system for the whole country. After all, all Canadians pay taxes for education. All Canadian children should get exactly the same education - no more, no less. That's only fair, no?

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This is not segregation. We have no segregated schools that students are forced to attend against their will.

This is freedom of choice, providing alternatives.

And when Nixon pulled a similar stunt using "freecom of choice desegregation" plans the Courts rightly slapped the plan down as disguised segregation. The likelihood, in this case, of "community leaders" pressuring children of color to stick to the segregation academies is great.

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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.

Why should blacks be any more immune to demands to join society as contributing members than Jews, Italians, Scandinavians, et. al.? Either we come together or fall apart.

'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.

The "dropping out" is because of parental encouragement of disrespect of learning, not because of integration. At some point they'll need skills in dealing with being a minority in a majority population.
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Why should blacks be any more immune to demands to join society as contributing members than Jews, Italians, Scandinavians, et. al.? Either we come together or fall apart.

The "dropping out" is because of parental encouragement of disrespect of learning, not because of integration. At some point they'll need skills in dealing with being a minority in a majority population.

Hey - I had a wife that really disrespected learning - It effected the kids....If I as a white guy had the misfortune of marrying a hater of knowledge - I guess that there must me tons of black mothers - that really have no use for wisdom - and teach their kids to avoid it and be stupid.

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How sad. It would be so much better to abolish these different religious or Catholic schools and have a single school system, financed by taxpayer money, just like the Soviets did.

In the last provincial elections it was McGuinty who opposed faith based schools while John Tory advocated in favour of faith based schools. That cost Tory the election. So who is mirroring the soviets in advocating for one public education system? Why, that would be McGuinty of course, except that for personal reasons he approves of a separate Catholic school system.

Canada should have one school system for the whole country. After all, all Canadians pay taxes for education. All Canadian children should get exactly the same education - no more, no less. That's only fair, no?

As I said, it is not fair that Catholics get their own publicly funded school system and other groups are denied the same funding. Fund them all or fund none.

Ideally, we should have one publicly funded education system for all kids. If ethnic and religious groups want to have a separate system, they should pay for it themselves.

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This strikes me as an arbitrary argument. Once you admit that having schools organized in different ways is a good thing, then there is no limit really in how they can be organized. While most cars on the road today have four wheels and one steering wheel, there are many, many variations on that theme. Cars are different because our needs are different.

Perhaps I'm missing something, but I don't see the sense in your analogy, August. The theme is variated for a reason, generally a valid one. Of course, there are people who say this Black-focused school is being created for a valid reason. But, we have to ask: what exactly is that reason? As I outlined in my last post, I can't see any other purpose for the institution but to be a place for children of a certain skin tone to go and learn from teachers of the same skin tone about... well, what? Others of the same skin tone? That means the only reason for the variation is race. The claims by the Toronto School Board to say this isn't forced segregation and that children of any race may attend the school are, to my mind, only feeble attempts to gloss over the point that this school will divide along racial lines.

One might say: Well, okay, so it is racially based. The circumstances necessitate that deviation from the norm. But, really, will it actually address the issues the variant is attempting to solve? No, I don't believe so. As someone earlier pointed out, this is merely tokenism, which can generally be harmless, but, in this instance, because of the racially based divisions, compounded by the establishment of myths to hide the racial nature of the idea, the token is odious at best, dangerous at worst.

I suspect another reason for the discomfort is because of the US experience that often colours political discussions in English Canada. The history of English and French Canada is very different from the history of Black and White America.

Exactly. Canada does not have the history of slavery, segregation and race relations that the US has. Why, then, is the TDSB acting as though we do? Establishing the school gives some validity to the claim put forward by some parents that there is a history of American-type racism in our public schools; I read frequently assertions of how white teachers treat white children differently to black children (if I were a teacher I would be deeply, deeply offended by such a racist statement). It gives validity to the dominant American view that there are only two races: black and white.

On one hand, I'm glad so many Canadians haven't bought too much into the bipolar American racial viewpoint. But, on the other, I worry about the potential power of this school to constuct a stronger base for such a view to grow in this country, amongst other things.

Edited by g_bambino
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