Dalton McGuinty has come out as an opponent to the Toronto District School Board’s plan for black-focused schools. I’m not sure what his reasons are – the article isn’t clear – but I have some concerns of my own. I suppose I should preface these concerns by saying a couple things: Yes I know there are other alternative schools in Toronto, but perhaps these concerns apply to some of the other alt schools out there. I also know that the dropout rates in the communities in question are unacceptably high and any attempt to do something to change this situation is at least laudable in its intent.
That said, here’s what worries me. School teachers are, even in a place like Toronto, still disproportionately white. Presumably a black-focused school would attract (whether deliberately or just by its nature) a large chunk of our already scarce population of black teachers.
By creating a school that celebrates our city’s diversity we may inadvertently drain some of that same diversity out of the rest of our schools.