STOP the TDSB EETF: NO to De-streaming; NO to Cancelling Specialty Programs; NO to Cancelling Optional Attendance; NO to "reforming" Gifted Programs

Concerned Parents
Concerned Parents 555 Comments
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STOP the TDSB EETF

  • Say NO to De-streaming
  • Say NO to Cancelling Specialty Programs like Arts, TOPS, IB
  • Say NO to Cancelling Optional Attendance
  • Say NO to "reforming" Gifted Programs

Reject the TDSB EETF recommendations. Have the TDSB give much more time for feedback, broader re-consult & better options.

The TDSB’s mandate is to educate ALL students to each reach their potential. To meet the very diverse learning needs of TDSB’s exceptionally varied student population, a very large range of research-proven learning strategies and practical options are needed. Solutions that are appropriate and excellent for some learning needs may be completely inappropriate and destructive or counter-productive for other learning needs. With over 250,000 students, TDSB is not only the largest school board in the country

(and 4th largest in North America), it is also the most diverse in every way, from learning needs to demographics.

It makes no sense at all to apply a single approach or ‘one size fits no one’ solution to meet all of these diverse needs - which is what the EETF is suggesting!

The TDSB is large enough to obtain access to and apply a huge variety of real and excellent research-proven solutions, and it should do so.

The “Enhancing Equity Task Force” (EETF): An outside consultant, without deep experience in education, was hired by the TDSB to seek and summarize comments about “equity” from specifically targeted underperforming student groups. That is exactly what the consultant did. The consultant did not analyze robust education research, or provide multiple options for review and consideration, or provide a balanced, objective analysis of education needs and solutions, although the EETF “Task Force” name might seem designed to suggest otherwise.

For over a year the EETF sought and obtained input from the targeted groups and their specific advocates, although the total number of contributors was far less than 1% of the total TDSB student population. The ensuing report, released quietly and to limited numbers of parents in October, gave the rest of the TDSB families (representing over 99% of the ‘unheard’ TDSB student population) THREE WEEKS to “provide feedback”, which after outraged responses from parents was extended for only an additional mere THREE weeks.

Parents are extremely concerned about numerous aspects of the Report’s design, structure, and recommendations including: systemic process flaws; lack of logical connections between observations and recommendations; lack of relevant, tested, and diverse supporting research; sweeping recommendations that don’t consider broader and unintended consequences or realistic outcomes for the majority of students including those targeted.

Flawed underlying assumptions include: misuse of the concept of “equity” (it means “fairness” not “equal”); and an attempt to achieve “equal outcomes” (which is impossible), instead of seeking “equal opportunities” for EACH student to achieve their potential (which is the proper and stated goal of our education system). Parents believe that many of the changes are not only bad for most or all students in the board, but will also not help the targeted groups in the ways desired.

These criticisms and concerns about the Report do not negate the need to help the targeted groups, who do need help. However, many other very diverse groups need help too.

Their incredibly diverse variety of learning and other needs, require an incredibly diverse variety of effective targeted solutions. This requires and starts with much more time and REAL opportunities for broad-based feedback and REAL consultation. This approach will be much better for all students, including the targeted groups.

Much better solutions are available to solve a much more diverse array of student needs, and THIS is what the TDSB should be working on.

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