Focus on struggling minority students, report recommends
May 31, 2010 / Kristin Rushowy & Louise Brown
A groundbreaking report calls on Toronto schools to help their struggling visible minority students, making the achievement gap between children of different backgrounds a priority at Canada’s most diverse school board.
Faced with alarming dropout rates among certain students — notably those of black, Portuguese, Hispanic, aboriginal and Middle Eastern backgrounds — the Toronto school board’s new “achievement gap task force” proposes 19 changes, from having schools tackle the educational barriers faced by their own racial minorities to hiring teachers with demonstrated cultural sensitivity.
Research has pegged Toronto’s dropout rate at 42 per cent for students of Portuguese heritage, 39 per cent for Spanish and 40 per cent for blacks, compared to an average of about 25 per cent, with those who speak Chinese as low as 12 per cent.