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Memo to Toronto school board: Are you nuts?
February 2, 2008 | G& M pg. A23 | Jeffrey Simpson.

Given the provincial election results, it is hard to fathom how the Toronto District School Board could be sanctioning "Afrocentric schools" that, although theoretically open to all, are clearly designed for black students only, or almost only. How could it be that having rejected an extension of religiously based schools just a few months ago, the province's largest city will now countenance the creation of racially based ones?

Of course, the board was pressured, as boards often are, by interest groups with a cause - in this case, the theory that inadequate educational achievement can be improved by changing the curriculum. That poor achievement - a 40 per cent dropout rate by black students - is supposed to be lowered if the curriculum is more Afrocentric, which will be quite a trick in mathematics, physics, biology, foreign languages, basic civics, and even the broad sweep of world and Canadian history.
The theory is largely unsound. The much more frequent explanations for poor student achievement, for blacks or any other group, have much less to do with curriculum than factors over which schools have little control: dysfunctional families, troubled neighbourhoods, few role models (absent fathers), poverty, gangs or, in a few immigrant communities, attitudes toward education (especially for females) that are not easily reconciled with mainstream Canadian ones.

All the discourse about inclusiveness, that usually forms a staple of trendy, leftish discourse, has been discarded by the Toronto board in favour of its opposite: membership based overwhelmingly on one characteristic of the human and educational experience - race. As such, it is at profound variance with an important goal of a "public" school system, and should therefore be rejected.
Jeffrey_Simpson  African_Canadians  TDSB  identity_politics  Afrocentric  education  schools  dropouts  public_schools  race  achievement_gaps  family_breakdown  dysfunction  fatherhood  out-of-wedlock 
august 2012 by jerryking
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