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Black focused schools - A huge step ahead.

zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
edited February 2008 in Debate and/or Discourse
...not.

Thread stolen from Essss Eeeee plus plus.

http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/298714
The black-focused school is a go.

After a heated but civil debate, Canada's largest school board voted 11-9 last night to open an alternative Africentric school to help fight a 40 per cent dropout rate among Toronto's black teens.

An elated parent, Donna Harrow, said she is thrilled the proposal she and fellow parent Angela Wilson had pushed for got through, despite fierce opposition and cries of segregation.

"I'm ecstatic, but the struggle continues and we want this school to open in 2008, not 2009," said Harrow.

Trustees voted on a sweeping package of programs to make schools more relevant to black students, including opening an Africentric school in September 2009.

Trustee Josh Matlow, who opposed the pilot project school, warned that there is no guaranteed funding from Queen's Park yet for even the estimated start-up costs of $350,000.

The entire package of initiatives carries an estimated price tag of $820,000.

In a passionate defence of the school, former chair Sheila Ward urged trustees to keep in mind "the power of symbolism" in endorsing it.

"I don't know what it's like to be a black parent, but I do know pain when I see it and recognize despair when I hear it, from the deepest part of the soul of those who believe time is running out," said Ward.

Prior to the vote, fans and foes of black-focused schools made their case before a crowd of about 100 with all the passion and power that issues of race ignite.

To the mother of Jordan Manners, "this black school thing – no, it ain't right."

"Don't propose it – Martin Luther King thought we could sit at the front of the bus together," pleaded Loreen Small, whose son was shot dead last spring at his school in northwest Toronto.

"My son died at C.W. Jefferys in 2007. If we can all just come together and be as one," said an emotional Small, who broke down in tears in the hall after her presentation.

"If black kids need to graduate, let's get teachers in there and learn how to interact with black kids," she said.

Yet human rights activist Vicky McPhee said an Africentric school "is a right," and the only type of school to which she wants to send her 6-year-old child. She called for these schools in each of the city's 22 wards.

Twelve of the 20 speakers urged the board to open an alternative Africentric school as a way to fight an estimated 40 per cent dropout rate among Toronto's black students.

Longtime community leader Murphy Browne said she was alarmed at the high number of youth being "pushed out" of school by a European-centred system, who then get "caught up in the school-to-jail pipeline."

"Many students say they would do better if they learned about their heritage, but who knows about Mathieu da Costa, (a navigator of African descent) who came to Canada in 1603 as a translator in Champlain's expeditions."

Others warned that an Africentric school would amount to a dangerous step back toward racial segregation.

In an impassioned bid to separate rumours from the real proposal, Donna Harrow reminded trustees that this proposed school would be open to all students.

Harrow said the debate has been made overly charged by those raising the ghost of the segregated South.

"This has turned into a fiasco – we did not propose a school for only blacks, we did not propose a school with all black teachers and all black curriculum.

"Let us stop it. This is a school where all people could come and get support.

No one said little white children could not go there."

Besides the Africentric school, the board passed, by wide margins, measures to:

Launch an action plan to help all black students do better.

Start three pilot programs in regular schools where subjects would be taught from an Africentric perspective.

Work with York University and community agencies to establish a centre of research on how to close the learning gap between black children and their peers of other backgrounds.

While many trustees support more inclusive courses, the stumbling block has long been creating a separate program or school with an Africentric focus with a largely black staff and student body.

It has been a lightning rod for racial debate in Toronto for more than a decade, since Ontario's Royal Commission on Learning in 1995 suggested a black-focused school might help stem the higher dropout rate among black students, often blamed on a curriculum that overlooks their heritage and teachers who don't reflect their diversity.

At the time of the Royal Commission, 40 per cent of black Grade 9 students in Toronto were dropping out, and their prospects haven't improved.

The Toronto District School Board says 40 per cent of Caribbean-born students drop out, and 32 per cent from east Africa.

Bold text is mine, but maybe I should put the whole article in bold....



I honestly don't know what to say. The idea seems backwards & ridiculous to me. The article sounds convincing that there is a problem with keeping black students in the school system, but the proposed solution is baffling. Are they going to teach black mathematics, black physics, black chemistry & biology, black literature etc? Also, when/if this kids go to universtiy, will B in Black Maths be equal to B in REAL Maths? Anybody with a suggestion as to how opening such a school will improve on the current problem they seem to be facing?

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  • MalkorMalkor Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, and how would they feel if some dude showed up and went. 'We need a white school for white kids?' They'd be livid! I mean, once they're out of school they're going to have to compete on a level playing field. This is kind of ridiculous.

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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I actually half-listened to the debate they had about this a few days ago. It was very surreal. Personally, I think it's kind a dumb idea, but some people really wanted it, and they were very clear that it isn't just a school for black kids, just a school that's focused more on studying their heritage and history. So, a white kid could go if he really wanted to, and no black kids will be forced into it.

    The main problem I could see for them, and one that was only briefly covered in the debate, was how the kids will be graded. As long as they still have to pass all the same tests as kids in every other school then it should be fine, but if they start to change things . . ..

    Funny that the only real opposition I heard in the first half of the debate came from a woman who's son was killed in school last year, the very act which set in motion this Afrocentric school movement. And all she could come up with was, "It's just not right, It's just not right," and that kids from all backgrounds should be playing and learning together.

    The whole thing is taking place on the other side of the city from me, an area into which I rarely go -- and not because I fear the place, I just never have any reason to go there -- so it may not effect me, or anyone I know, but I'm still interested in seeing how it plays out.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Page- wrote: »
    , just a school that's focused more on studying their heritage and history. So, a white kid could go if he really wanted to, and no black kids will be forced into it.

    If said heritage is what is going to keep black students in school, what is the problem with introducing extra curricular activity in ordinary schools that would expand on it?(personally, I don't know what is more laughable, the idea of artificially separating compatriots or the claim that black people share an heritage because of skin colour).
    How can somebody with a straight face say that white kids would be welcome in said school?

    The main problem I could see for them, and one that was only briefly covered in the debate, was how the kids will be graded. As long as they still have to pass all the same tests as kids in every other school then it should be fine, but if they start to change things . . ..

    Isn't the definition of the school itself a challenge to Ontario's high-school program? I know that Canada is probably the most tolerant place on that tiny planet of ours, but there is one type of people that shouldn't be tolerated. Them stupid people.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I was fucking pissed when I first read this OP, because it looked like Canada was catering to a minority group was pulling the race card, but after reading the actual story I see that it's mainly just to teach more african heritage, and fix the dropout rate, which I'm all for. I'm willing to sit through the trial period and hope this works, but the first time one of the civil rights fuckers we have here (the USA) like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton makes a drive up north to bitch I hope Canada has the stones to put them down a peg.

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  • TarranonTarranon Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Malkor wrote: »
    Yeah, and how would they feel if some dude showed up and went. 'We need a white school for white kids?' They'd be livid! I mean, once they're out of school they're going to have to compete on a level playing field. This is kind of ridiculous.

    When white teens start having a 40% dropout rate, then you can bring it up. This thing came about because people saw there was a very real problem.

    I'll have to look into exactly what the school wants to do before making a judgment on whether it will help things.

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I was fucking pissed when I first read this OP, because it looked like Canada was catering to a minority group was pulling the race card, but after reading the actual story I see that it's mainly just to teach more african heritage, and fix the dropout rate, which I'm all for. I'm willing to sit through the trial period and hope this works, but the first time one of the civil rights fuckers we have here (the USA) like Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton makes a drive up north to bitch I hope Canada has the stones to put them down a peg.

    The problem with this though, as was brought up when this was proposed, is that schools in Canada that have catered specifically toward aboriginals in a similar manner to what wants to be done here, they're been the worst performing schools in all of Ontario. So I don't see how a black-focused school (having not worked in the US) is at all going to solve anything.

  • AegisAegis Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Tarranon wrote: »
    Malkor wrote: »
    Yeah, and how would they feel if some dude showed up and went. 'We need a white school for white kids?' They'd be livid! I mean, once they're out of school they're going to have to compete on a level playing field. This is kind of ridiculous.

    When white teens start having a 40% dropout rate, then you can bring it up. This thing came about because people saw there was a very real problem.

    I'll have to look into exactly what the school wants to do before making a judgment on whether it will help things.

    Somehow (though this may just be me) the 'problem' isn't that all these black students dropping out are doing so because they want their own school.

  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Aegis wrote: »
    Tarranon wrote: »
    Malkor wrote: »
    Yeah, and how would they feel if some dude showed up and went. 'We need a white school for white kids?' They'd be livid! I mean, once they're out of school they're going to have to compete on a level playing field. This is kind of ridiculous.

    When white teens start having a 40% dropout rate, then you can bring it up. This thing came about because people saw there was a very real problem.

    I'll have to look into exactly what the school wants to do before making a judgment on whether it will help things.

    Somehow (though this may just be me) the 'problem' isn't that all these black students dropping out are doing so because they want their own school.


    I doubt that's the case, and like I said, this doesn't seem to be a racial issue. There aren't too many members of the black community in Canada who bitch about racism. It's not like here in Alabama where you have to tiptoe around everything you say. I'm for this, but I will say that the whole "african culture" thing is kind of bullshit. There's a huge percentage of the black community that could give a shit less about Africa, and would rather focus on the teachings and histories of great black leaders from other countries and periods, but a lot of that is ignored in the "bigger picture"

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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

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  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Aegis wrote: »
    The problem with this though, as was brought up when this was proposed, is that schools in Canada that have catered specifically toward aboriginals in a similar manner to what wants to be done here, they're been the worst performing schools in all of Ontario. So I don't see how a black-focused school (having not worked in the US) is at all going to solve anything.
    That was the first thing that I thought of with this. If you take a school and fill it with under performers, I have no idea how people think that the school will successful. As a graduate of a school system that was far below state standards, I can tell you that the problems with most under performing blacks have nothing to do with the fact that they don't learn black history.

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  • amateurhouramateurhour Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    GungHo wrote: »
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

    Yeah, the OP article is shitty on a lot of different sides, but the actual story is much less offensive (or should be) to any racial group

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  • MrMisterMrMister Valuing scholarship above all elseRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    GungHo wrote: »
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

    Clearly, no one wakes up in the morning thinking "holy hell, I'm dark! I should quit school." However, given that the dropout rate is uniquely high for black students, it certainly stands to reason that factors connected to race play a huge role in school retention. And there's nothing offensive about saying that.

  • MORPHEUSMORPHEUS Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    Aegis wrote: »
    The problem with this though, as was brought up when this was proposed, is that schools in Canada that have catered specifically toward aboriginals in a similar manner to what wants to be done here, they're been the worst performing schools in all of Ontario. So I don't see how a black-focused school (having not worked in the US) is at all going to solve anything.
    That was the first thing that I thought of with this. If you take a school and fill it with under performers, I have no idea how people think that the school will successful. As a graduate of a school system that was far below state standards, I can tell you that the problems with most under performing blacks have nothing to do with the fact that they don't learn black history.

    You took the words out of my mouth.

  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited February 2008
    MORPHEUS wrote: »
    You took the words out of my mouth.
    I would like to thank you, sir, for my first lime.

    But I can say this. Of all the schools in the state of Indiana, only the Gary Community School Corporation has a mandatory black history course for high school. Gary also has the worst performing high schools in the state. The problems have nothing to do with "there's no one in the books that looks like me!"

    I don't know if it's the same in Canada, but I could go on a 1990s Dennis Miller style rant about under performing black students in the US. I'm just baffled at the thought that making a school full of fail, and lowering the bar, is going to turn into a success.

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  • GungHoGungHo Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Raggaholic wrote: »
    I don't know if it's the same in Canada, but I could go on a 1990s Dennis Miller style rant about under performing black students in the US. I'm just baffled at the thought that making a school full of fail, and lowering the bar, is going to turn into a success.
    I think they believe it's easier and cheaper to adjust the goalposts that than to address what's really going on, why kids may really be doing poorly, and put resources into bringing the kids up to the bar.

    I don't think they're right.

    Like with a lot of things... doing things right the first time around is actually cheaper than unfucking it all later. My bosses look at me like I'm an alien when I say that.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I believe it has to gain the approval of the Provincial government before it gets any funding though. They're usually less stupid then a School Board.

  • Torso BoyTorso Boy Registered User
    edited February 2008
    What the fuck, seriously? Who the hell thinks this is a good idea? As an alumn of the Ontario school system of the 90's onward, I thought they did a pretty good job of getting across the right "different but equal" message.

    I have a problem with people presuming that school is there to teach kids everything they will ever want to know. You want your kids learning their specific heritage, buy them a book. .

    You're worried about underperformance? That is not a problem that has to do with the colour of a kid's skin or where their parents came from. It's because of the socio-economic status of these kids and the inadequacies in the way we are taught.

    Anecdotal: My black friend was once referred to as African-American. She chewed the guy out hardcore, because she's Canadian and her mother emigrated from Jamaica.

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  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    MrMister wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

    Clearly, no one wakes up in the morning thinking "holy hell, I'm dark! I should quit school." However, given that the dropout rate is uniquely high for black students, it certainly stands to reason that factors connected to race play a huge role in school retention. And there's nothing offensive about saying that.

    I don't know the Canadian statistics, but is the drop out rate uniquely high for black students? In the US black students do drop out at significantly higher rates than white students, but when you factor in poverty level and school performance (as in the effect of being poor AND going to a horrible school) the difference stops being statistically significant.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

    Clearly, no one wakes up in the morning thinking "holy hell, I'm dark! I should quit school." However, given that the dropout rate is uniquely high for black students, it certainly stands to reason that factors connected to race play a huge role in school retention. And there's nothing offensive about saying that.

    I don't know the Canadian statistics, but is the drop out rate uniquely high for black students? In the US black students do drop out at significantly higher rates than white students, but when you factor in poverty level and school performance (as in the effect of being poor AND going to a horrible school) the difference stops being statistically significant.

    It's about the same here AFAIK. It's more a matter of being poor and in a bad neighborhood then anything else. Also, being immigrants of certain backgrounds.

    The schools themselves though are usually good. The Canadian model for school funding isn't as blatantly stupid as the American one.

  • TheLawinatorTheLawinator Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    What about the dropout rates of spanish and white people in the same position?

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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I think it should be pointed out that this idea was originated withing the black community (and really, this isn't the black community, it's a community that is largely black and lives in one specific area of Toronto), was brought forward by them and during the debate almost all of the speakers for it were also self-identifying as the black community.

    It was brought up that, unlike (from what I've heard) America, the black community around these parts isn't really African-Canadian, since they don't make up the clear majority. There are tons of black people from other places, so I don't even know if it's going to be added courses on African history, or whatever. What I heard was more along the lines of black teachers and an emphasis on black role models and achievers throughout history and into the present. They also tried to disabuse people of the notion that the school would just be the place where all the failures end up, though I'm not sure how successful they were.

    I also went through the Ontario school program and had no problem with it. The schools I went to were filled with kids from every place imaginable. My best friend growing up was a Saudi, and right across the street was a whole community of Romanians (we had a lot of soccer going on). I loved it. It's still like that today, so I don't get the problem. Except that this is a very specific instance in a very specific community.

    Damn, typing "black" so much is making me feel very strange.

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Yeah, remember that alot of the black community in Toronto is actually Caribbean of some bent or other.

  • MrRezisterMrRezister Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    If African(Carribean?)-Canadians are dropping out of school at an alarming rate, we have to assume that they are disenchanted with a system that is inherently biased against them because of the color of their skin, right? Thus we should be focusing our attentions on the evil white folks in charge of said system.

    Unless of course that's a judgement that we reserve exclusively for Americans, and particularly those that live south of some imaginary line.

  • RaggaholicRaggaholic Registered User
    edited February 2008
    Page- wrote: »
    I think it should be pointed out that this idea was originated withing the black community (and really, this isn't the black community, it's a community that is largely black and lives in one specific area of Toronto), was brought forward by them and during the debate almost all of the speakers for it were also self-identifying as the black community.
    I would have thought it would have been of greater note if it was brought up by someone OTHER than them. People in bad situations generally don't take a realistic stock in what put them in that situation. (ie. It's not a lack of parental involvement and general apathy that leads to poor students, it's a lack of knowledge about Charles Drew.)

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  • OtakuD00DOtakuD00D Too stupid to feel pain. San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    It's fucking retarded. It's a step-backwards after everything that went through in the Civil Rights Movement.

    In a related note, (INsert Race Here) History Month of ANY kind is just as retarded. All it really turns into is:

    "HEY DID YOU KNOW THAT (Race) INVENTED (this). (that) WAS INVENTED BY (race). I BET YOU DIDN'T KNOW! SO WAS THIS! WE TOTALLY DID THAT TOO. WE THINK YOU'RE STUPID AND DON'T REALLY KNOW THAT SO WE HAVE TO POINT IT OUT AND RUB IT IN YOUR FACE WHETHER YOU LIKE IT OR NOT."

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  • werehippywerehippy Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    shryke wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

    Clearly, no one wakes up in the morning thinking "holy hell, I'm dark! I should quit school." However, given that the dropout rate is uniquely high for black students, it certainly stands to reason that factors connected to race play a huge role in school retention. And there's nothing offensive about saying that.

    I don't know the Canadian statistics, but is the drop out rate uniquely high for black students? In the US black students do drop out at significantly higher rates than white students, but when you factor in poverty level and school performance (as in the effect of being poor AND going to a horrible school) the difference stops being statistically significant.

    It's about the same here AFAIK. It's more a matter of being poor and in a bad neighborhood then anything else. Also, being immigrants of certain backgrounds.

    The schools themselves though are usually good. The Canadian model for school funding isn't as blatantly stupid as the American one.

    I assumed as much, but didn't care enough to dig the statistics out myself and was waiting for confirmation :)

    Given that fact this really is mind numbingly idiotic, whether the community asked for it or not. The problem in these cases isn't "black culture," or disengagement, or any of the other buzz words that people use when looking for a magic bullet that doesn't involve the actual hard work of figuring out how to get poor kids to perform well in school.

    The problem is never not enough black teachers or a biased system, it's lack of funding for schools, lack of any systematic approach to dealing with poverty in children, and the fact that investing 15 odd years to complete standard education doesn't seem like a great idea when someone is hungry and living in a hell hole right now. Spending money on symbolic and useless gestures like this just wastes time and resources.

  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I've said a lot about this at another forum. It's a huge step backward.

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  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    no one forces the kids to go there, right? if it helps,and they don't lower the standards for it, I don't really see what the huge problem is.

    there is a similar argument about monnosex schools. NYC opened up a public school just for Arabic speaking kids. ESL programs work fairly well.

    I just don't see what the huge problem is. If it is an option that helps some at risk student, why not? It's not fair to the white students who's needs are being more successfully met?

    It's one school. It will work or it won't. If it doesn't it can be changed.

    We shouldn't do this to help these kids, because it will be a step backward for progress... it's a purely ideological argument. it has zero value, even if you agree with it.

    Integrating school increases interaction between student improving race relations and ties the fates and funding of the students together. I'm not aware of overly significant racial prejudice issues anymore, and the same environment and teachers is failing them. Clearly, a school focused on black is totally out of line and a massive step backward.

    I'm outraged.

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  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2008
    redx wrote: »
    there is a similar argument about monnosex schools. NYC opened up a public school just for Arabic speaking kids. ESL programs work fairly well.

    Not really. Unisex schools are generally justified on the basis of keeping boys and girls from being distracted by one another. And schools dedicated to people who speak a specific language are a completely separate issue. The functional difference between black kids and non-black kids is non-existent. Even to the extent that a relevant cultural divide does exist, all this does is exacerbate it.

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  • Page-Page- Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Oh man, don't even get me started on Black History month. There are guys who camp the subway entrances around here and sell this book every year. I've bought it the last two, and it's horrible. Both riddled with spelling errors and strange propaganda.

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  • saggiosaggio Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    there is a similar argument about monnosex schools. NYC opened up a public school just for Arabic speaking kids. ESL programs work fairly well.

    Not really. Unisex schools are generally justified on the basis of keeping boys and girls from being distracted by one another. And schools dedicated to people who speak a specific language are a completely separate issue. The functional difference between black kids and non-black kids is non-existent. Even to the extent that a relevant cultural divide does exist, all this does is exacerbate it.

    Yeah, fucking seriously. Out in B.C., we hardly have any black people. I only know one family that's black, and both the parents came from a different part of the Carribbean. All of the children (including the ones I went to school with) were just as blandly Canadian as me or my other whitety friends. Hell, both of my parents were immigrants too, and I didn't feel any less or more Canadian than someone who has been here for generations more than me.

    The whole thing sounds like a terrible idea, and I'd be very surprised if McGuinty's government ever gave it a go ahead.

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  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    there is a similar argument about monnosex schools. NYC opened up a public school just for Arabic speaking kids. ESL programs work fairly well.

    Not really. Unisex schools are generally justified on the basis of keeping boys and girls from being distracted by one another. And schools dedicated to people who speak a specific language are a completely separate issue. The functional difference between black kids and non-black kids is non-existent. Even to the extent that a relevant cultural divide does exist, all this does is exacerbate it.

    unless, you know. the diffrent catering in needs of that cultural divide and better shaping the education to meet their needs, actually helps. just having motivated teachers who are there to make a diffrence and relate to and motivates the kids helps.



    do the kids have diffrent needs? well, yes apparently they do, because of the vastly diffrent drop out rate. It doesn't really matter if those are because they live in shitty conditions or their parents all suck. Here is a chance to figure out what can be done and try diffrent approaches, to seek to find a solution.

    I don't see how it is not worth trying. The building will still be there. The teachers can learn a new curriculum. Schools can be reintegrated, we've done it before.

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  • zeenyzeeny Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    That's not fun. We need somebody to step up and post how well thought & justified that is and that it was about time to have a "black focused" school etc. And we need him not to sound like a lunatic too. Yeah. Not going to happen.;o((

  • Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User
    edited February 2008
    There are some very legitimate concerns that need addressing, but this isn't going to do it. Part of me can't blame them for wanting to try though.

    For one, it will be a pilot project of a single school and maybe a few hundred students - how are they going to be selected? It will likely end up with students who were never at any risk of dropping-out (the black community in Toronto is hardly homogeneous - it's largely new(ish) immigrants from the Caribbean and youth from the Jane and Finch neighbourhood who are at risk).

    A revamped curriculum that better reflected black (and south Asian, Asian, Arab, etc.) history, literature and contributions to Canada would have helped everyone.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    werehippy wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    werehippy wrote: »
    MrMister wrote: »
    GungHo wrote: »
    The original article assumes that these kids are dropping out because they are black. That assumption should offend the shit out of people.

    Clearly, no one wakes up in the morning thinking "holy hell, I'm dark! I should quit school." However, given that the dropout rate is uniquely high for black students, it certainly stands to reason that factors connected to race play a huge role in school retention. And there's nothing offensive about saying that.

    I don't know the Canadian statistics, but is the drop out rate uniquely high for black students? In the US black students do drop out at significantly higher rates than white students, but when you factor in poverty level and school performance (as in the effect of being poor AND going to a horrible school) the difference stops being statistically significant.

    It's about the same here AFAIK. It's more a matter of being poor and in a bad neighborhood then anything else. Also, being immigrants of certain backgrounds.

    The schools themselves though are usually good. The Canadian model for school funding isn't as blatantly stupid as the American one.

    I assumed as much, but didn't care enough to dig the statistics out myself and was waiting for confirmation :)

    Given that fact this really is mind numbingly idiotic, whether the community asked for it or not. The problem in these cases isn't "black culture," or disengagement, or any of the other buzz words that people use when looking for a magic bullet that doesn't involve the actual hard work of figuring out how to get poor kids to perform well in school.

    The problem is never not enough black teachers or a biased system, it's lack of funding for schools, lack of any systematic approach to dealing with poverty in children, and the fact that investing 15 odd years to complete standard education doesn't seem like a great idea when someone is hungry and living in a hell hole right now. Spending money on symbolic and useless gestures like this just wastes time and resources.

    Like I said, funding isn't much of an issue up here. School funding is pooled at a higher level and distributed according to population I believe. The problem is poor people and not wanting to go to school. The schools aren't as good, but it's more about "Who goes there and where it is" rather then "How much money they get".

    From purely anecdotal evidence, alot of the problem is cultural. From people I know who grew up in poor areas of Toronto, the general feeling is that alot of smart kids just "give up". Because their told by parents and such that "the man gonna keep you down" and "you can't amount to anything, why try" and shit like that. It's the same for white kids too.

  • ElJeffeElJeffe Super Moderator, Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited February 2008
    redx wrote: »
    do the kids have diffrent needs? well, yes apparently they do, because of the vastly diffrent drop out rate. It doesn't really matter if those are because they live in shitty conditions or their parents all suck. Here is a chance to figure out what can be done and try diffrent approaches, to seek to find a solution.

    And if you normalize for economic conditions and family structure, how different are those needs? Teaching kids to self-segregate is a horrible, horrible idea, and will perpetuate a lot of the same problems they're trying to solve.

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  • TreelootTreeloot Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    I went to a school where about 30% of the students were black, and many students came from low income families. However, if you stepped into an AP class you never would have guessed this. The kids in AP classes were (with a few exceptions) white and middle class. Most of the black students were from low income families. There were plenty of non-black students from low income families that performed poorly as well.

    In my opinion the biggest problem was that many of these kids came from single parent families that didn't care much about education. My mom is a speech pathologist and works mostly with elementary school kids. She remarked a few months ago about how some of these low income kids just aren't learning things like colors at home before they get to kindergarten. These kids need more parental involvement or assistance early on and through out their time at school. I fail to see how teaching kids more about black history in their own black school is going to fix any of these issues.

  • redxredx East Bumblefuck, PARegistered User regular
    edited February 2008
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    redx wrote: »
    do the kids have diffrent needs? well, yes apparently they do, because of the vastly diffrent drop out rate. It doesn't really matter if those are because they live in shitty conditions or their parents all suck. Here is a chance to figure out what can be done and try diffrent approaches, to seek to find a solution.

    And if you normalize for economic conditions and family structure, how different are those needs? Teaching kids to self-segregate is a horrible, horrible idea, and will perpetuate a lot of the same problems they're trying to solve.

    the economic condition and family structures are not normalized.

    the problem they are trying to solve is a large number of inner city black students being disinterested in getting an education because are being raised in an environment that is not conducive to staying in school, partially related to culture and ethic identity.

    it isn't really all that insightful to point out that their problems are not actually due to their skin colour.

    Getting kids out of the environment and giving them an education that allows them to go to collage, solves the problem. Take extra steps to ensure they have a desire to learn and a value for education solves the problem.


    There is more to the than the 'Afrocentric' curriculum which still has to meet all the standards as all the other schools. I think it is a minor part of the equation, and that an increased effort to connect with and motivate students in ways tailored to them is what will make a diffrence. Doesn't really effect math or science. There are still requirements for Canadian history and geography. I assume they will still expect proper English. I expect there would even be a roughly comparable array of electives, though it would probably be more 'targeted'.



    most of the time, you hear about someone who almost dropped of out school. They tell you about a teacher* who they were able to connect with, and motivated them. showed them that an education has value. It is a cliche, but only because it has a basis in reality. A big part of this I think, is trying to make sure that happens more. I have a hard time seeing that as an all that bad, even if I don't like some parts of it.

    *that or a positive influence outside of school, but that's harder to make happen.

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  • nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    Maybe they should focus more on making useful Charter schools for kids instead of politically correct ones

  • DaemonionDaemonion Registered User regular
    edited February 2008
    How ...how is learning about specific racial/cultural history going to prevent any kid from failing and help push them towards graduation?

    I would guess performance has more to do with how education is valued at home than anything else, and that value is probably directly proportional to how much money the parent(s) make(s).

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