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Education Action: Toronto: Issues

Education Action: Toronto

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Editorial: Israeli Apartheid Week - Education Not To Be Feared

At a time when Palestinians face yet another year of watching their homes bulldozed and their crops uprooted, when people of Gaza, under continuous blockade, attempt to rebuild houses, schools, places of worship and basic utilities destroyed by the Israeli Defense Forces during Operation Cast Lead, when families grieve the loss of 1400 people including 350 children – at a time that marks a simple fact that Palestinians are not permitted the right to live at home and pursue their lives, we are to be condemned if we call this Apartheid.


Jane and Finch Parents Blast Chris Spence

Chris Spence had the bemused look of a running back who has just gained 40 yards for the wrong team. Things started out okay, but…

About 250 Jane and Finch parents and community members had come to an Area Review Committee (ARC) meeting at Brookview Middle School last Thursday night fearing the loss of a school in their already struggling neighbourhood. At least one of Shoreham, Driftwood, Gosford or Blacksmith Public Schools will be sold, while others in the group are renovated to accommodate children from Kindergarten to grade 8. Ten schools are slated to close across the TDSB duly processed through a series of ARC meetings.


Bill 177 Sets Off "Insane" Showdown

It looks like TDSB Chair Bruce Davis and Trustee Josh Matlow have managed to settle their differences without blood or tears. Matlow has avoided possible censure from the board, but there are still some worthwhile questions to be asked now that seas have a calmed a bit.


Safe Schools By Decree: The Ministry Micromanages Caring

Kids need to feel safe in school. And no matter what your perspective on education or the Ministry that runs it in this province, there won’t be much disagreement about the fact that adults who work in schools have a responsibility to do something when students don’t feel safe. Behavior like bullying, slurs against groups, harassment, and violence of any kind must be confronted.


From a Sow’s Ear to a Sow’s Purse: Liberals Amend Bill 177.

The Student Achievement and School Board Governance Act that received Royal Assent on December 15 is not quite as bad as the original. But that’s a bit like saying losing your shoes isn’t as bad as losing your shirt.
Correction:In the original text of this article I wrote that “Under Section 218 of the amended Education Act trustees must still “ support the implementation of any board resolution after it is passed by the board, ” . This should have read uphold the implementation of any board resolution after it is passed by the board. My mistake and apologies.


Michael Fullan's role in the global privatization of education policy?

Click here to go directly to this story on The Daily Censored website. Click on your browser’s return key to get back to Education Action:Toronto afterwards.

Teachers, Public Opinion, and Tough Times

Public sector professionals, such as elementary teachers, have doubts about the possibility of job action, especially given the difficult economic circumstances. Of particular interest is the reaction of the public to an assertive tone in negotiations. Do these workers, especially those with decent salaries and benefits, have public support? This article attempts to shed some light on some of these questions by starting with a brief recap of recent economics.


Bill 177, Ordering Higher EQAO Scores Won’t Work

It seems to be all around us but I have never quite understood the fascination that senior levels of governments seem to have with ordering junior levels of government to improve achievement largely by ordering them to raise test scores. It seems odd to me when most of the blame should actually be focused on the senior government. The Americans are just the same. They may be our role models for this commanding exercise in school improvement. “No excuses” “any kid can learn” “tough love” BS emanating from south of the border may have affected our provincial politicians.


Doug Little on Rich Folks' Education Choices

Deborah Meier is a powerhouse on the progressive end of the American education scene. As the retired principal of Central Park East High School, she made John Dewey progressivism work for Harlem kids in a way that nobody else had been able to do. She and Diane Ravitch have an ongoing debate in the American education magazine of record, Education Week. In a recent piece Meier argued that we already know what constitutes a good education. It is what the rich provide for themselves. This is as true in Canada as it is in the USA.


EA:TO's Brief On Bill 177

Bill 177 appears to be a solution looking for a problem. It begs several questions: Is there widespread abuse of power school board trustees throughout the province? Do they not attend meetings? Are school board meetings so much more raucous than the Provincial Legislature that trustees need to be reined in by a provincially mandated code of conduct? Are trustees generally incompetent compared to provincial MPPs? These appear to be the problems for which Bill 177 wishes to be the solution.

Unfortunately, the bill is more ominous than it appears. Here is a slightly edited version of the brief presented to the Standing Committee on Social Policy.


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