Events

Civil Rights in Canada – March 9th, 2014

Posted on Updated on

Know Your Rights16When the Prime Minister of this country has declared that “Islamicism is the biggest threat to Canada” how can Muslim immigrants feel safe? As residents of Canada, we are all supposed to be guaranteed certain basic rights, like freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom from arbitrary arrest, right to due process if we are arrested. All of this means little when an entire religious community is targeted as a threat by the government. From the recent Quebec Charter of Values seeking to prevent Muslim women from wearing hijabs to the Thorncliffe community’s very own fight to establish a mosque and to allow Muslim students to hold Friday prayers at school, it is clear that the rights of Muslim communities are under attack.
Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Education inequality shocks Thorncliffe Park residents

Posted on Updated on

Community seeks to organize against inequality
by Noaman G. Ali

Sadia Khan, a teacher and organizer with the Thorncliffe Reach-Out Teach-In group addresses parents and students about education inequality. (Photo: Azfar Zaheer)
Sadia Khan, a teacher and organizer with the Thorncliffe Reach-Out Teach-In group addresses parents and students about education inequality. (Photo: Azfar Zaheer)

“It’s shocking! I am shocked!” said a parent attending a community meeting in Thorncliffe Park held last Sunday, December 22.

She was responding to a presentation by Sadia Khan, a teacher and community organizer, about educational inequality between public schools in Thorncliffe Park and those in neighbouring Leaside—schools that are about ten minutes apart by car.

Over 30 parents, students and other community members attended the meeting, organized by Thorncliffe Reach-Out Teach-In (TRT), about the causes of educational inequality and building community power through solidarity in order to address the issues that face the community.

Khan showed how nearly 75 percent of students who had taken the Ontario Secondary School Literacy Test (OSSLT) at Marc Garneau College Institute, the high school that serves Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park, passed in 2012. In contrast, over 95 percent of students at Leaside High School passed. Marc Garneau has an overall Fraser Institute ranking of 5.4, whereas Leaside has a ranking of 8.3.
Continue reading →

Education Inequality – December 22, 2013

Posted on Updated on

1Can education be the great equalizer in a society that is unequal in so many ways? One look at schools in the neighbouring communities of Thorncliffe Park and Leaside shows that disparities in educational performance mirror income inequality. This disparity starts as early as senior kindergarten, measured in early development scores, and continues throughout elementary, middle and high school levels as reflected in provincial standardized tests.

Preempting the argument that the new-immigrant status and thus the lack of English-language skills of students and parents in Thorncliffe is likely responsible for the low scores, the event showed that this pattern repeats itself across other low-income communities across Toronto, many of whom have been here for generations.
Read the rest of this entry »