The debate over a proposed “all-black”/ “Afrocentric” for Toronto continues to raise debate. Judging by emails to On Deadline and the clicks and views to our post on the matter, the topic has left people wanting to know more.
I encourage readers of On Deadline’s posts on this topic to share their thoughts and comment. Your private emails to me are great, but I think the large number of consistent readers of this topic could learn more by reading what you have to say. I encourage you to share your opinions- it just may shed some more light on the subject for all of us.
Since news first broke about The Toronto Separate School Board’s 11-9 vote in favour of the all-black school proposal I have heard and participated in countless discussions about the subject. Whether at a restaurant, the gas station, work or the local shop, people are sharing their opinions on the matter.
The latest news has Ontario’s premier stating he does not support the idea of the school and no new provincial funds would be used to establish it. The province does fund alternative schools and this concept could fall under this umbrella it appears. It has been reported that Premier Dalton McGuinty said the province would only intervene against an all-black school if it became “a trend”. However, if it is a “school within a school”- rather than a separate entity- it will not interfere.
“We believe it’s a matter of principle: that the single most important thing we can do for our kids is bring them together so they have an opportunity to come to know one another, to understand one another and to learn together and grow together,” McGuinty said today before a cabinet meeting.
“There have been some changes made to the curriculum in the past and if we need to strengthen that further to ensure that it is truly inclusive, then let’s have that dialogue,” he said.
On another front, an attempt by a Toronto trustee for an emergency meeting on the subject has failed. The Toronto Star’s Linda Diebel has a very interesting piece on this development at http://www.thestar.com/article/300859. Also, take note of the “school within a school” concept mentioned in this piece by John Campbell, the school board’s chair :
“The board didn’t say it had to be a separate school and there was nothing in the motion about a stand-alone nature,” stated Campbell in The Star story.
Hmmm…interesting- don’t you think?
My biggest fear as the chair decks get arranged on this subject is that the issue of reaching black students, let alone underachieving students of all races and lack of teacher resources, is going to get lost. Hopefully the politics of the situation will recede just enough so people will take just as hard a look at what other issues are hurting the entire public education system.
Please click here for our last post on this subject.