Kudos to Shelley Laskin, local School Board Trustee for St Paul's on her reasoned response to the controversial TDSB proposal to launch an Africentric high school program at Oakwood this fall.
In her words:
"I will not support this report. I will support referring this back to staff to answer the actual board recommendation (for a feasibility study to include options and recommendations, e.g. school within a school, specialized programs, etc.) and that would include a full consultation process with potential communities (including feeder schools) and recommendations for the timing of implementation that will ensure community consultation and necessary committee and board discussions."
Decisions about big and sensitive changes need to be studied thoroughly, communicated within an appropriate context, and be supported by real community engagement. Token consultations will not do. If you agree, then join me in calling or writing the two Trustees who represent most of Oakwood's catchment area with a quick message to urge their colleagues to do the same and ensure a full & inclusive consultation process.
Trustee Shelley Laskin: 416-397-3094 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Trustee Maria Rodrigues 416-397-3069 or email@example.com
Some links to media reports on the issue:
March 30, in The Star: http://www.thestar.com/news/article/965530--trustee-seeks-to-delay-oakwood-proposal
March 28, in The Sun: http://www.torontosun.com/news/torontoandgta/2011/03/25/17758561.html