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Canada 'The status quo is unacceptable': Ontario school boards to collect race-based data

23:26  07 september  2017
23:26  07 september  2017 Source:   metronews.ca

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Ontario plans to revamp Grade 9 — with an eye to ending streaming in the first, “critical” year of high school — as part of its new equity plan that will also compel school boards to collect detailed data on everything from staff hires to student suspensions. “ The status quo is unacceptable .”

(Peel District School Board /Facebook). The provincial government will begin collecting and analyzing data on the ethnicity of students in an attempt to improve school achievement. "The time has come, the status quo is not acceptable," Hunter told a news conference.

Minister of Education Mitzie Hunter meets students before the opening ceremony at Ecole secondaire catholique Pere-Philippe-Lamarche, on Tuesday, Sept 5.:   © Dan Pearce  

The province will compel school boards to collect race-based data on everything from hiring staff to student suspensions, and Education Minister Mitzie Hunter is also looking at ending the streaming of Grade 9 students into applied and academic courses as part of her three-year equity plan.

Hunter told the Star in an interview that Grade 9 in particular — where students are streamed into the more theoretical academic, or the more hands-on applied courses — is a concern and needs a new approach.

“We talk about streaming as a really key aspect of our equity action plan, taking a fresh look at Grade 9,” she said. “We know that Grade 9 is a critical year in terms of transition for students. We want to see Grade 9 as a year where students can explore their pathways, and get excited about their pathways. We do not want it to be a year where students become demotivated and disengaged in school.”

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The Peel District School Board is poised to begin collecting race - based data as part of a new student census it believes will lead to better supports for its diverse student body. Trustees unanimously approved the plan this week

School boards across Ontario should collect comprehensive data on their students’ race , ethnicity, religion and gender identity, a new report by York University urges. This demographic data could help educators make learning more inclusive

While having applied and academic courses began as a way to help students with different learning styles, Hunter said the applied courses “have seen a disproportionate number of students … from racialized backgrounds, special education needs, and … low-income students … the status quo is unacceptable.”

The equity plan will see school boards look at demographic data for suspensions, expulsions and address issues, ensure teaching materials reflect diversity, and also tie “accountability for equity to the performance appraisals of principals, vice-principals and directors, to ensure that the diversity of teachers, staff and school system leaders reflects the diversity of students,” the ministry said.

“Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan is a powerful blueprint that will strengthen our publicly funded education system by ensuring that all of Ontario’s students will have every opportunity to thrive and fulfill their potential, regardless of their personal circumstances,” Hunter said.

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Ontario ’s children’s minister, Tracy MacCharles, will look at having all children’s aid societies in the province collect race - based data on “We’re also looking at this notion of disaggregated data , which includes black children and youth in care, in schools , and in our youth justice system ,” she added.

He is both articulate and well schooled on the issues and history behind them. A couple of years ago NMPA shifted to a model where our members paid dues based upon their size and began reporting their financial data . No Responses to “David Israelite: The Status Quo Is Unacceptable ”.

Patrick Case — the human rights expert and lawyer called in earlier this year to examine troubles at the York Region District School Board — will oversee the changes as Hunter’s assistant deputy minister and head of the province’s education equity secretariat.

“I believe that the time is right and based on conversations I have had with community organizations, I can sense an excitement and a renewed vigour about tackling some persistently difficult issues in our publicly funded education system, together,” said Case in a written statement.

Hunter’s equity plan comes after a number of issues in Ontario school boards, from data in Toronto showing a disproportionate number of students suspended and expelled or put in special education are black.

In the York board, parents raised concerns that the board was ignoring incidents of racism in schools, as well as the case of a principal who posted Islamophobic material on her public Facebook page.

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"It's clear that the status quo is unacceptable ," Abbott told reporters after early voting in Austin Tuesday. Newsom To Face Cox in California Governor's Race Associated Press. Patricia Hardy, a recently retired educator who serves on the Texas Board of Education, said some school districts

A group of parents from Ottawa's black community are calling on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to collect race - based data so they can fight discrimination in the education system .

The board also came under fire for how it handled a trustee who uttered a racial slur when referring to a black parent, in public after a meeting. Nancy Elgie has since resigned.

A startling 2015 report by advocacy group People for Education found that teens who have taken even a few applied courses and those who take Grade 9 applied math almost never go on to university.

An in-depth study of 39 teens released Thursday by Social Planning Toronto also showed families were unclear about how enrolling in applied courses in Grade 9 could affect their child’s chance of success at school.

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