Black-Focused Schools in Ontario?
Where the Hell did this idea come from? Whenever I hear about an idea that sounds a little bit crazy and off the wall at first glance, I like to make a point of thinking about it for a while and seeing if I might not be giving it a fair chance. However, a recent decision by a Toronto area school board to create an "Afrocentric" school to help combat the dropout rate among black students absolutely makes my skin crawl!
In the interest of being objective, it sounds like officials in Toronto are facing a crisis. If the statistics furnished in the above news article are acurate, they have a 40% dropout rate among black males! That is sickening! But how do we know that black-focused schools are the solution to the problem? Are there any independent studies that suggest this is the way to go?
It would be hypocritical of me not to mention that Ontario has already created entire schoolboards to protect the French speaking and Catholic minorities (I am a graduate of a French Catholic high school - I am neither Catholic, nor of French heritage). However, this is hardly the same thing since both were put in place to prevent the cultural assimilation of our French speaking population (who were almost exclusively Catholic at the time of Confederation).
I see absolutely no problem with offering black history lessons, after all, it's a terrible thing to grow up not knowing anything about your roots. Just the same, until I see some proof that shows otherwise, I have a hard time believing that black-focused schools aren't just a little too drastic. Like John Tory's "faith based schools", they separate people from one another, and since blacks do not face the same dangers of cultural assimilation that Francophones do, I don't see how the benefits could outweigh the disadvantages.