Thursday, January 27, 2011

School for low-income kids in Niagara region

The Toronto Star featured this article about a new low-income school in the Niagara region. Kids will only be admitted if their parents have not gone to college or university. Is segregation the answer to poverty? Should this deficit mentality be encouraged? Can't any potential resources that this school might receive be effectively used in inclusive schools? Separating these kids from their peers will only alienate and stigmatize them more. Strength and resiliency come from diversity even though it may be the more challenging alternative.

The TDSB offers a better solution. Extra classes with relevant goals are being offered on weekends for kids who need the help. This way specific areas can be addressed without the labelling and separating that the Niagara region is resorting to. Saying that this approach has worked in the States is not a valid justification. We can't keep comparing ourselves to a different country with different strengths and challenges. We're better than that, lets come up with our own solutions.

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