Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Separate But Equal

The Toronto District School Board's executive officer of student and community equity is calling for the creation of a school for black students only to help black students become better academic achievers:

Lloyd McKell says he believes a black-focused pilot school for students who are too alienated to remain in the system would be helpful, offering more black teachers, an Afro-centric curriculum and a more nurturing environment.

But he doesn't support expanding beyond that to a separate system of schools for black students, preferring to keep public schools for students of all backgrounds.

"We have to start creating a positive attitude; a sense of family in our schools," he said. "And family members don't turn their back on each other."

How being taught a mess of long-disproven myths about ancient Egyptians being black Africans who taught the Greeks philosophy and science is supposed to help black students in Toronto, I don't know. If it's supposed to instill pride in their heritage, it will fail once discover that what they've been taught is false. Resentment isn't alleviated by causing more resentment.

The problems with black students' academic underachievement stem from cultural influences in their own communities, where being succesful and responsible is scorned as "acting white" and "not keeping it real." The breakdown of the black family, aided and abetted by the welfare state, has contributed to these problems, if not as the lead cause.

Until we admit that the welfare state is the cause, and not the solution, all other efforts to help these youths will fail.

Source: Toronto Star

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