TDSB report calls for Oakwood Collegiate to be Africentric

Here we go again. Part 2 of Toronto District School Board (TDSB) political correctness gone to extremes.  The first part was the setting up of an Africentric elementary school program at Sheppard Public School two years ago. And, no matter how many claims we hear about how successful that school is with its 161 students and 55 on a waiting list, two wrongs don’t make a right. In other words, I don’t see this type of alternative school as an example of parent choice — because its basic premise is segregation.

So, why has this topic come up again? Well, according to Moira MacDonald at the Toronto Sun, apparently the previous Board asked for a feasibility study and the report relating to that study was allegedly released this past weekend before the trustees could read it and respond to it.  Whatever the communications problems, it’s the rationale behind such a segregated school that bothers me — to overcome the reason 40% of Toronto’s black students are dropping out of high school.

Talk about a non sequitur or illogical statement. What has a 40% drop out rate got to do with an Africentric curriculum?  It cannot be the lack of such a curriculum that is the problem, otherwise there would be a 100% drop out rate. Instead, we know that 60% of Toronto’s black teens don’t drop out. Yet, rather than look at retention rates and why the larger number don’t drop out, the TDSB is looking for magical solutions that don’t offend anyone.

Well, that is the same kind of politically correct, non-progressive thinking, that is going on in the District School Board of Niagara, with their DSBN Academy. Launching in September 2011 in a school in Welland, it is ostensibly for economically disadvantaged — poor — children and youth whose parents did not receive a post-secondary education. Interesting that the DSBN is linking poverty to anyone without a post-secondary piece of paper when millions of Canadians have done very well for themselves through work experience and apprenticeships.

So, might I suggest that the colour of a student’s skin, economic disadvantage, or their parents lack of a post-secondary education are not the problems. Rather, what is the problem, and no amount of specialized curriculum will fix it,  is the attitude of the students and their families towards education and the future. Do they, for example, look to the future with anticipation? Do the parents praise their children and tell them that they can be anything they want to be with perseverance and self-discipline? Or, do they blame “the school system” and everyone else for their problems?

Are school boards perfect? Obviously not. But, for an example of the type of forward-thinking I am getting at, listen to the wise words of a current Oakwood Grade 11 student, Tyler Stewart, who is quoted in the Toronto Star as saying : “Why can’t you just offer Africentric courses in history and literature instead of changing the whole feel of the school.


9 thoughts on “TDSB report calls for Oakwood Collegiate to be Africentric

  1. F.George H. — I hear you and understand just how divisive politically correct decisions can be but I couldn’t leave your comment up for legal reasons.


  2. Gee I thought you guys were all for alternatives? T^he folks at SQE were happy to see the black focussed elementary school.

    Personally I believe the focus is wrong because the diagnosis is incorrect. Affluent black students do very well in Toronto schools. Poor white kids do just as badly as poor black kids. The issue is economic but if you say that openly in Toronto you are unsympathetic to the plight of black kids.

    Mistake, mistake mistake.


  3. Isn’t it sad that you cannot allow accurate, factual comments for “legal” reasons. The curriculum and the faculty are ALL race-based.
    Most Canadian history is NOT allowed in the classroom. Derogation of Western European, Christian explorers and immigrants IS permitted.


  4. “Correct” is an absolute adjective. Any modification of an absolute adjective negates its definition.

    “Politically Dead” means not “dead”.

    “Politically Pregnant” means not “pregnant.”

    “Politically Correct” means not “correct.”

    For “legal” reasons, you are required to be not correct.

    What has our country devolved into?


  5. Doug — I was brought up poor. Individuals can overcome their upbringing. The difference was that my single mother’s attitude was “that I could do anything I wanted to do.” I just don’t buy the issue that poverty ensures failure. That’s bollocks! Our society has so many safeguards and programs that help kids in such circumstances, I am just tired of all the excuses. Would I have had a computer? Likely not. But, what I did and would do now, is use the computers at our public library. Where there is the will there is the way.


  6. F. George — “What has our country devolved into?” Good question. I do what I can with this blog to question what I can. And, thanks to commenters like you, we somehow get our message out there.


  7. Yes, Sandy, your blog is helpful in opposing all of the bleeding-heart, liberal propaganda. I’m so sick of hearing how “minorities” (even in regions where they form the majority) and criminals are all victims.

    Kindly comment on the NDP and Liberal opposition to building more prisons. Their solution is to provide a convicted criminal with counseling and release him. It’s much cheaper than locking him up.


  8. SQE supports parental school choice but we also promote effective instructional practice.

    We cautiously supported the Africentric alternative as long as it taught students using researched-based, proven effective methods for teaching fundamental reading and math skills.

    Respected US African-American educator, Dr. Howard Fuller, when he was in Toronto on his SQE-sponsored trip, gave a similar caveat to the Africentric alternative. It still had to have the characteristics of a good school. See his full interview with Steve Paikin here:

    The solution for poverty is education.


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