Thursday, February 21, 2008

Canadian First Nations School Gets Failing Grade

The First Nations School of Toronto in Ontario, Canada suspends 33% of its elementary school students every year. In 2007, the entire grade 3 class could not meet Ontario provincial standards in reading, writing or arithmetic.

A report released by lawyer Julian Falcone points to the "disturbing realities at the First Nations School of Toronto," which is made up of Canadian First Nations native K-8 students. Falconer, who spent two days at the First Nations School, left feeling "crushed" by conditions there.

"Despite all the best efforts of its principal, all the best efforts of its incredibly dedicated teachers, the conditions in that school are appalling."

Falcone said the Toronto school board has systematically failed to support First Nations School. It lacks teachers with a Canadian First Nations aboriginal background, a full-time, permanent youth counsellor, and has no Canadian First Nations aboriginal counsellors.

"We have to change the way this board thinks. The system simply has to do better," he said. "These kids need a voice. They are being failed by this school board."

This is really too bad and the experience of this school should be considered since there is present debate on whether to fund an all black school in Toronto as well. The Canadian First Nations students should be set up in a system where they are supported and there is pride in what they do. They have a lots to be proud of if they can only be taught how to tap into their rich culture including Canadian First Nations art.

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