Black-focused public school in Toronto by 2009…What do you think?

Toronto trustees vote in favour of black-focused schools -Tuesday, January 29, 2008

“A proposal to create Canada’s first black-focused public school was approved by Toronto District School Board trustees Tuesday night.

They have recommended the creation of an alternative school that features a curriculum and teaching environment oriented around black history and culture.

Some parents have said they want to try something new because the current system isn’t working. As many as 40 per cent of black students don’t graduate from Toronto high schools.

Angela Wilson is a mother of two who has been at the forefront of a push for Afrocentric or black-focused schools for years.

“Make our education system better for everybody,” she said.

“It’s not a one size fits all education system. It’s actually working its way to be one size fits few — and the few that are successful do not look like me.”

Trustees were supposed to have discussed a report delivered last week that makes four major recommendations:

  • Open an Africentric alternative school in 2009.
  • Start a three-year pilot program in three other high schools.
  • Work with York University to improve school achievement.
  • Develop a plan to help failing students.

Supporters said those options will keep black students engaged and in school, but opponents said it will lead to greater isolation.

“I just feel being with a mixed group of people is better, you know, you get to learn different cultures, different aspects of different people, the way they live,” said Grade 10 student Terrin Smith-Williams.”

hmmmm….not sure what I think about this yet.

My gut feeling is that it is a cop out. It is a way of saying we are addressing issues of student learning without looking at the whole system.

Or…perhaps it is a step toward a new system. Creating student-centred schools that focus on the different communities they are in.

Like I said…still thinking…

What about you? What do you think about this proposal…ready to go next year!

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