Tag Archives: education

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Has our world gone upside down? False allegations against teachers and why it’s not like the old days anymore


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Has our world gone upside down? False allegations against teachers and why it’s not like the old days anymore

We expect teachers to be educators, psychologist and the parent. However what do you do when children make false allegations?

A substitute teacher, was investigated after a student made false allegations over a banana. Unfortunately there is no middle ground and common sense. One false accusation will destroy a teacher. We hardly even have male teachers in school. There must be consequences for false allegations, however what is the solution? Is education like the good old days? Maybe we need video camera‘s in the class? What do we do about parachute parents or bad teachers?

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Heaven and Earth may pass away but will we care?


No I am not trying to be overbearing on the environmental front, but more and more I see a trend towards the self in our world. Western society has enjoyed a life that it is unwilling to give up. We know that fossil fuels and our consumption based lifestyle are damaging the planet. We should do more to be better stewards of the planet; however the additive nature of consumption is something we cannot seem to break. Now the world wants what we have, so what will we do? It reminds me of the movie ‘Avatar’ or even ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still’. In a sense we are like a virus that destroys and consumes. Maybe humanity will come up with a solution? I think we will, however the question is what will that solution be? In the movie Avatar humanity had consumed to a point beyond measure. Yes, we had all of the technical know-how, but to what extent? On the opposite end, in the latest incarnation of “The Day the Earth Stood Still”, it was determined that in order for the earth to survive we had to be removed. We were like a Cancer that needed invasive surgery. Now, I do not want to sound so negative. I think humanity is better than that; however it is up to us to determine what we will do. Some feel that we will innovate to solve our problems. Maybe that is part of our evolution? Who really knows? Have we passed the point of no return, or will be return to the point of our past?

 

Propaganda – Do Americans really believe this stuff or is America just one strange place?


I was sent this clip and could not believe what I was seeing. We have seen some attack ads in the past from the Conservatives, however not to this extreme. I cannot believe that this is really and ad endorsed by the Republicans?  You hope that people do not vote based on propaganda or a political party playing to their religious fears. However, it looks like they continue to. I guess it just works? I heard a radio show on CBC and the guest believed that there should be “an intelligence test” or some type of qualifications for voting (I.e. a slight bit of education…). I doubt that would ever happen, however with only 50-60% of voters even bothering to show up, really what is the point. We fought wars to protect this freedom. One day we will loose our right to be an informed voter and we will say “what the hell happened”.

American Voters

American Voters

But I digress, this is America and the politics of fear work the best. Based the information I was given, the intent is to slightly imply that Obama is the somehow the anti-Christ. Basing your vote on how you think the Bible is to be interpreted? That says it all! But I guess if you base your thought process on Biblical interpretations who am I to judge? Biblically speaking I guess it was fine for African-Americans to be treated as “less than human” for hundreds of years. Maybe it is fine, Biblically speaking, to eradicate the “savages”? Biblically speaking, as I guess Palin may believe, Russia is “Gog and Magog”, so they are the “bad guys”? Oh, I am forgetting those immigrants who are a threat to out way of living? So much for the ideology of removal of Church and State.

If people are actually believing this propaganda than all I can say is “America is a strange place”. No matter who you vote for, make sure it is grounded in facts. Think about what is best for the country. Remember those who used Christianity or their “faith” as a crutch to do the most hideous of crimes against humanity. Use the mind that God gave you and educate yourself before you make ANY choice. The same applies to Canadians. As the old saying goes, “don’t believe the hype”. God forbid Canada ever gets like this! If it ever does, please get help, get medicated and get educated!

The Segregation of Native People in Canada: Voluntary or Compulsory?


Originally posted by Michèle DuCharme

Canadian Natives listening to the Prime Minister of Canada

Canadian Natives listening to the Prime Minister of Canada Stephen Harper during an official apology

The history of the Indian people for the last century has been the history of the impingement of white civilization upon the Indian: the Indian was virtually powerless to resist the white civilization; the white community of B.C. adopted a policy of apartheid. This, of course, has already been done in eastern Canada and on the Prairies, but the apartheid policy adopted in B.C. was of a particularly cruel and degrading kind. They began by taking the Indians’ land without any surrender and without their consent. Then they herded the Indian people onto Indian reserves. This was nothing more nor less than apartheid, and that is what it still is today(1).

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Update: For those who are interested you can also read an entire series by the Globe and Mail called Canada’s Aparteid.


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Serving students in culturally clustered schools


I still think that this is a bad idea? There are other ways to solve social issues and problems. Excuses are unacceptable and only help to further alienate various groups in our city. However, if someone can provide me with a reason this a good idea, I am all ears. Andy MJ /a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”.

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Educators debate need for same-culture role models amid reality of ‘segregated’ schools. When Canada’s largest school board votes tomorrow on whether to start an Africentric alternative school, there will be those, including Ontario’s premier, who oppose a school that clusters children by race.

Segregation, critics charge, has no place in our public schools.

Yet schools have long been segregated, naturally, by virtue of the colour-coded neighbourhoods in which they sit, says veteran urban planner Mohammad Qadeer of Queen’s University.

In Canada, he argues, this could be a good thing?

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Using fear, ignorance and racism as an advantage in politics


The faith based funding issue should have been about simple human rights. The U.N has already indicated that the practice of funding only Catholic schools in Ontario is unjust. John Tory hoped to address this issue by fixing the problem and allowing fairness. Fund all or fund none, and he opted to fund all. Unfortunately, reality occurred and we found out that Ontarians are actually a lot more racist, ignorant and bigoted then they like to believe. Not all Ontarians are like this, but based on call-in shows and the general mood of people, many are. In reality the question should have been “would you like Islamic schools to get public funding”. Many Ontarians have extreme stereotypes about Islam, to some no fault of their own. The images they see, and are bombarded with, tend to be on the extreme. On the radio comments, in regards to faith-based education, revolved around fundamentalist Islam elements and “terrorists”. I have even heard a voter say that they do not what terrorist schools to get funding. Now a lot of this is based on fear, since 9/11, but in essence we still extremely fearful and ignorant in Ontario. Now the question is, does that fear show how successful the media has been in planting the wrong image about Islam in the minds of Canadians? Because it’s absolutely amazing how clueless people are about various religions in Ontario. Rather than be properly educated about any group of people, we like to remain in our sheltered domain; ignorant to the facts around us.

What was really sad, and not becoming of an elected leader, is how Premier Dalton McGuinty used this situation to the advantage of the Liberal Party of Ontario. Dalton McGuinty, at one point, called the funding of religious schools “segregation”, along with others in the Liberal Party who called it divisive. This was one of the most irresponsible things for Dalton McGuinty and the party to do. Dalton McGuinty ignored that fact that he was educated in a Catholic school. His wife is a teacher in a Catholic school and his children attend one. Does Dalton McGuinty, and the Liberal Party, believe that Catholics and Catholicism are better then all other groups? Are other groups like Jews, Hindus, Sikhs and Muslims somehow not pure Canadians, or dare I say white or Anglo-Saxon Canadians? Are they not as enlightened somehow? What is amazing when asked by reporters Dalton “never” responds to the question with a “straight” answer. I assume that proper “political spin”, and his handlers, are making sure that he does not. Now another question to be asked is are the Liberals themselves only using this situation to play on the fears of Ontario voters? Regardless of how you feel in this election, this was an issue of fairness. The status quo was not good enough. Also, those who like to state that it only an issue of the constitution, hide in it. Tell me just because something was done years ago, does not make it right. With that fuzzy logic should a lot of old racists and ignorant laws should remain on the books; keeping the minority at bay.

To address the fears of Ontarians we must think deeply about the idea of funding faith-based schools. No fundamentalist Islamic or Christian school would accept funding or want to be under the umbrella of public education. It would require them to teach the curriculum, which may come in conflict with some of their essential beliefs. But for those who fear “terrorist schools”, they are probably already here. Even one Global TV reporter asked John Tory what he would do if Islamic schools wanted to “separate the boys from the girls”. This was an ignorant and, quite honestly, a stupid question. I have to believe that Global TV was obviously trying stir up trouble and play to the ignorance and fear of Ontarians also, seeing that Catholics already have some of their schools divided between boys and girls. I do not want to forget the element that legitimately, without the racist or ignorant feelings, have wanted to remove faith-based funding for years from Catholics. In the end this may be the only solution to the problem; however those who want this option, and can properly argue this point, are not the majority of enlighten and learned individuals. We must accept that there is still a lot of fear, ignorance and racists in the generally public. Let me be clear, not all are racist; but the element of it exists, however suttle. No sense trying to hop on the high ground on this issue. There is nothing wrong with those who fear, however they must face those fears and learn from them. Ignorance is unacceptable and racism should just not be tolerated. In the end, however ironic, it seems that the Liberals have used that fear and ignorance to their own advantage. For a party that claims to be for all, including the immigrants of Ontario it makes me wonder. What does Dalton McGuinty really believe? Is his only aim to get into power at whatever the cost? Playing to the fear of Ontarians is a low-ball strategy that will fail in the end. Do you want to live in a province based on fear, intolerance and ignorance? Liberals around Ontario should ask themselves if they truly want to continue down the Dalton McGuinty path. However I sense that they will wake up the next morning and wonder, what in the world did we just do?

By: Andy MJ
a.k.a “The GTA Patriot”
Toronto, Ontario

Ontario Christian school revealed as being fully funded


TORONTO – Although Premier Dalton McGuinty has repeatedly stated his opposition to supporting non-Catholic faith-based schools, his education ministry must feel differently, as it recently came to light that Eden High, described as an “alternative Christian high school” on its web site, is fully funded by the ministry. According to Niagara District School Board Superintendent Linda Kartasinski, St. Catharines’ Eden High is a “regular public school” with about 780 students of diverse faiths, “including Jews and Moslems.”

However, she acknowledged that whether there actually are Jewish and Moslem students attending is “hard to tell. We don’t ask questions. We accept students from all faiths. Nobody is excluded.”

She said that the Bible classes are generic and focus on character-building themes such as honesty, integrity and loyalty. During regular school hours, “you couldn’t tell the difference between Eden High and any public school,” she said. “It’s the Ontario-based curriculum.”

However, Craig Danielson, the school’s spiritual life advisor, confirmed that students in Grade 10 and up must attend morning chapel services before starting the school day and Grade 9 students must attend a Life Quest Bible Program. Religious activities, which are mandatory, take place outside school hours.

“It’s never been a huge issue [with students of other faiths],” he continued. “Once they enroll, they know. It’s not a boundary school. It’s a choice. It’s a multi-faith school. It used to be very Mennonite when it was private.”

(Eden High was originally a Mennonite Brethren high school and became ‘Christian alternative’ in 1988 when it was included in the public school board.)

“We like students to consider things outside their own comfort zone regarding spirituality and faith,” Danielson said.

The Spiritual Life Department is funded by donations from parents, businesses and corporations. There are no tuition costs.

Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B’nai Brith Canada, said, “”We now learn that McGuinty’s flawed, discriminatory policy of funding only Catholic schools, is itself being applied inconsistently, even as the government tells us that it has been rigorusly implemented. The recent example of Eden High says differently. It speaks to the reality that faith-based schools are operating here in Ontario and will continue to demand their full and equal rights as the law ought to provide. It speaks of a government that cannot even enforce its own policies consistently. It also underscores the inherent injustice of an educational system that purports to extend privileges to some faith-based communities while excluding others.”

Patricia MacNeil, senior media relations coordinator for the Ontario Ministry of Education, explained that Eden High, once a private religious school, was having problems with high tuition rates and low enrollment in the late ’80s and “asked the Lincoln Board [now the Niagara Board] to oversee and take on Eden High as a publicly funded school. It actually is a publicly funded school, not a private religious school, run by the publicly funded education board,” she said. “It offers religious studies outside of instructional hours. It [religious instruction] is not part of the curriculum…. The point is that the school was admitted by the public education board.”

Still, the school admits that religious instruction is mandatory and that Eden High is a faith-based school.

Asked why the McGuinty government is unwilling to discuss similar arrangements with other faith-based schools, which have expressed their goal to be included in the public education system – as well as a willingness to follow provincial educational guidelines and have the ministry oversee the curriculum – MacNeil said: “That’s a political question. I can only tell you what our policies and programs are. Those decisions are made at the political level, not the [education] ministry level.” Whether other religious schools are willing to work out these details to be included, that’s “political speculation.”

In discussions with religious school administrators, many claim they already follow ministry guidelines and the parent body is committed to the public side of education.

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Mixed Blessings: Split-grade Classes


Wondering what a split-grade means for your child?

Some readers may find it disturbing that when Gina Brak’s son, Jake, was entering grade three, she registered him in a combined senior kindergarten to grade-three class at the local public school. Voluntarily. The Belleville, Ont., mom figured it would boost Jake’s teamwork skills and independence if he shared a teacher with 26 other kids who’d celebrated anywhere from five to nine birthdays. “When I tell other parents about his class, they’re horrified,” she says. “They say, ‘How can he learn anything in there?!’”

But children in split-grade classes (also called combined or blended classrooms) do learn. And due to limited budgets and fluctuating enrolments, you’ll find these classrooms across the country. Research shows that compared to children in straight-grade classes, children in split-grades make the same gains academically — and do even better socially. Yet, some of us still regard them with the same enthusiasm as we do head lice.

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