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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/25/2005 5:47:28 PM EDT
In Canada. Well, maybe.

Anyways, sounds like a piss poor idea to me. Rather then trying to break down the walls of racism they are actually thinking of shoring them up.


Give black students hope'
VOICE FROM THE TRENCHES Enough talk and tokenism. To stem the flood of dropouts, we have to try a black-focused school, Toronto teacher Bairu Sium tells Louise Brown

After 23 years at the front of the class, Toronto history teacher Bairu Sium has gathered some race-based statistics of his own.

His Grade 11 history course for 28 university-bound students has not one black student. His Grade 11 law course has one black student out of 32. He has never taught a high school "gifted" class with more than three black students.

But in his Grade 10 history class for those not headed to university? Six of 16 students are black.

This black educator believes that public schools — whether intentionally or not — stream students by colour and steer black students in particular away from more ambitious, scholarly paths.

And he says it's time to try an experimental black-focused school to figure out ways to reverse this trend.

Ontario's soaring dropout rate, and the challenges faced by black students in particular, moved to the front burner recently when Lloyd McKell, the new equity chief at the Toronto District School Board, said he favours gathering race-based statistics on student achievement, staffing and discipline.

McKell has also suggested a single black-focused school might help black students on the brink of dropping out.

His proposal drew intense heat from community leaders, educators and even Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty. But it struck a chord with Bairu Sium, a teacher at Danforth Collegiate. Sium is passionate about what he sees as the daunting roadblocks facing black students. He sees them in his students, in his colleagues and in his own children, who had only one or two black teachers in their entire schooling.

Here is one teacher's view from the trenches, as told to reporter Louise Brown.

I started keeping a daily journal about my life as a teacher last year, and it opened my eyes to a lot. I had one bright black student who was bored because he ended up in applied classes that were just too easy. He was also a drug dealer who would come with wads of money in his hand some days — big bills, $100s, $20s — and he sometimes carried a gun.

"I was the first black teacher he had ever had — in Grade 11. He felt let down by the school system. He said it was unfair the school banned do-rags, which he felt symbolized cultural value since it is mostly black students who wear them. He thought they should be allowed, like head coverings of students of Jewish and Sikh background.

"This fall, he didn't come back. I suspect he's dropped out, partly because the education system gave him no hope he could get somewhere, like college. Sometimes bright students don't achieve because their parents aren't at home, there is nowhere quiet to study, there's music blasting at the top level all the time. We need more psychological consultants to help identify kids with potential.

"But in 23 years, I haven't seen much progress with the education of black students, other than tokens teachers, token administrators. Black students say they often don't get asked questions and start being streamed away from academic paths as early as kindergarten.

"Just watch who gets identified early for gifted programs, and it's not often the black children. Instead, they get identified for special education or behaviour classes. That's what the race-based statistics showed when we gathered them back in the 1980s in the City of Toronto — that a far higher percentage of black students were in courses not headed for university.

"Black students still deal with mostly white guidance counsellors and teachers, so I'm cynical about what gets done to encourage them. The kids start to see themselves as non-academic. We need to show what can be done to encourage their potential.

"The black-focused school I'm proposing couldn't be exclusively for black students, because black students don't always want to be with just black students. Years ago I was teaching Black Heritage programs to Grade 5 and 6 students and sometimes their white friends came and that was nice. It should be predominantly black, but if their friends wanted to come along, that would be good.

"I don't agree the school should be just for students on the brink of dropping out. The school should be used as a lab, if you like, where curriculum ideas could be developed and tested and out of that could come ideas for the whole school program. The school would offer both academic and applied courses to serve students of all abilities.

"But there should be only one school — not more — because then you're setting up a segregated system. Separating students by race is not a long-term solution. It would lead to separation of people by racial background and I'm not in favour of it and actually I don't think our youth, black or otherwise, are in favour of it. I'm in favour of a public system that works for everybody. So if a black-focused school can help in the short term to find ways to accommodate all students, then that would be good.

"And we need quotas to make sure more qualified black teachers get hired until there is a critical mass. Anything else is lip service. Nobody wants quotas, but people are frustrated because not enough is being done.

"There's a vicious cycle at play here. If fewer black students graduate from high school, then fewer go on to university and graduate from teachers' college. That's a problem. The pool of qualified black teachers is smaller, and when they do apply, do they get hired?

"Quotas would help. The black-focused school would have predominantly black teachers, but not exclusively.

"And it wouldn't be a school that teaches only black history. It should be everybody's history but integrated with Afro-centric issues that the rest of the school system is not teaching.

"With my own classes on ancient civilizations, when I teach about Egypt, I put it in an African context. I teach that the people who built the pyramids were Africans who came from the Sahara when it dried up, and I explain how they became `Arabized' when Islam arrived.

"With my students' assignments, I take a broad world view, not just European — and some students choose assignments on the history of Zimbabwe while others pick the Vikings. And it's not always the black students who pick the African assignment, either.

"Inequality and poverty are huge topics, but education is something we can work with. It's in our hands. We can change it and give black students hope."
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 5:55:54 PM EDT
Cultural inertia...

Black students are more likely to succede with black teachers who can empathize with them, but if there are no black teachers, black students have to "fight uphill" so to speak, and there will always be less black teachers.

I think black rappers who talk down on education should be shot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why is it that white, asian, indian, etc. etc. kids hope and dream realistically about being doctors, lawyers, business owners, etc... while every single black kid regardless of talent thinks they can be a sports star or rapper? The reason why other minorities are able to succede despite huge odds is because of their culutral values. I think African American culture is being corrupted by stupid ass cocky sports stars and rappers JUST LIKE Bill Cosby and other black intellectuals say. If Martin Luther King Jr. were alive today he'd be PISSED OFF!!!
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:00:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:05:36 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/25/2005 6:06:04 PM EDT by raven]
Something like this happened with refugees from New Orleans in Tennessee. Local black groups and churches were upset the mostly-black refugees were taken into Red Cross and church-run shelters that weren't run by blacks. White people, you see, aren't capable of meeting the special needs of the black community, like telling the refugees where the right barbershops are. They wanted to segregate relief efforts
Link Posted: 9/25/2005 6:14:06 PM EDT

Cultural inertia...

Black students are more likely to succede with black teachers who can empathize with them, but if there are no black teachers, black students have to "fight uphill" so to speak, and there will always be less black teachers.

What about every other minority, do they not have the same handicap then? I don't think they do, and honestly I don't understand why. I think a school that is developed according to race is a bad idea. That teacher who was whining about the drug dealer that dropped out needs to be beaten. If he knew the kid was selling drugs and bringing a gun to school why the Fuck did he not tell the police? Because of his skin color?!!
This article raised my blood pressure.
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