The following figures are from this Toronto Star article.
Trustee Josh Matlow will propose today at a committee meeting that the board do all it can to help students at high risk of dropping out, including those who speak Portuguese (42.5 per cent drop out rate), Spanish (39.1 per cent), Somali (36.7), Vietnamese (24.6), Persian/Farsi (30.6) and Arabic (27.8).
The motion comes as board staff work on a master plan to boost the learning of all groups at risk, as well as a blueprint for an Africentric school to open in the fall of 2009 in a bid to lower the 40 per cent dropout rate among black students.
There has been no call from either Toronto's Portuguese or Spanish parents for such a culturally focused school, possibly because "we've been so insular within our own population, we need to turn outwards and engage with the larger community," says Marcie Ponte, director of Working Women Community Centre, which runs an after-school mentoring and tutoring program for Portuguese children.
Professor Lee Gunderson, another prominent researcher in immigrant learning from the University of British Columbia, says immigrant children can need up to nine years of English as a Second Language help, instead of the current five funded by many provincial governments. "With Canada clearly heading for more and more diversity – in some schools 99 per cent of students don't speak English as their first language – it's not possible to tailor programs to each particular group. You need teachers trained to work with the whole range," said Gunderson yesterday.
Get that? "Culturally focused schools" not too dissimilar from the proposed Afrocentric schools, a school needed because the black community has proven inept at raising their own kids so they blame society for their faults. I guess the high drop out rate for the other ethnic groups are Canada's fault too.
In any event what is becoming clear as more calls are made for "culturally focused schools" is that multiculturalism is failing and mass immigration is burdening our school systems. If the children of these immigrants cannot make it the "diverse classrooms" of Canadian schools then what does it say about "diversity" in our society? Diversity a strength? Doesn't seem like it. It appears diversity is dividing Canadian society but in true Orwellian fashion we call it integration. If diversity cannot work in the classroom then it is not working in society in general.