Heads-up Message to Ontario Citizens and Residents
- The PDSB and the TDSB's recent policy-makings have shown significant procedural issues, and have shown the policy makers' omission of historical context, ignorance of legal basics, lack of global perspective and obsession with ideology of mega MEGA.
- They have also exposed alarming signals of resurrected segregations, triple racial rigging, and potential issues beyond education.
- We have built FREEDOMofOntario.org, published the draft FREEDOM Declaration of Ontario, and will be publishing accompanying posts and open/public letters.
- We are sincerely asking everyone to spread the website and the information, for the public awareness, and to execute our voting powers.
It has come to our attention that the Peel District School Board (PDSB) has implemented the Regional Learning Choice Programs (RLCP) (Elementary and Secondary), and that the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has been conducting the Secondary Program Review, and has proposed the Student Interest Programs Policy (Policy 1) and the Out-of-Area Admissions Policy (Policy 2) to be approved on May 25, 2022. Both the PDSB's effective RLCP and the TDSB's proposed Policy 1 are "interest"-based random selection for admissions into both elementary and secondary programs.
By incomprehensive and yet careful reviews, we have identified a few key issues in these policy-makings and have deep concerns, as follows.
No grounds. It appears that the policy changes have no solid or scientific grounds. We have attempted to locate the reports with detailed data that may support the changes, and have found none online. Such educational policy overhauls shall not be implemented by merely showing the status quo without finding and presenting the cause(s) for the status quo.
Personalized views and acts over the public interest. In these policy-makings, we have witnessed too much and strong decisive impact of school board officers' personal views, "feelings" and acts upon educational affairs, rather than seriously objective and scientifically guided policy-making for the public interest of all the students and of all Ontario citizens and residents.
Unscrupulous rigging and misrepresentation. For instance, the main change to "interest"-based random selection in Policy 1 had never shown up in the previous reports or any documentation of public consultations. It was presented to the public for the first time on April 27, 2022, and is seeking approval on May 25, 2022, in less than one month.
Significant lack of transparency. For instance, how the policy drastically changed to "interest"-based random selection is unknown to the public.
Unresponsiveness to the public's concerns, in particular lack of students' voices. In both school boards' websites, other than some vague answers to "common" questions, we do not see any sincere responses to the concerns parents and students have publicly raised in the media, and particularly we see no presentation of students' voices about these policy changes.
Educational policies and practices in Ontario, out of historical long-term fights for educational rights and with quite reasonable rationales behind, have been gradually established and evolved in Ontario and Canadian history.
The said policy-makings in the two school boards have clearly shown disrespectful omission of the historical context, probably due to the policy makers' obliviousness.
Even more surprisingly, there has been utterly apparent illegality in the concerned (draft) policies and the policy-makings, in light of the law, in particular, of the international Human Rights law.
Although we do not expect the school boards' policy makers to be legal experts, they shall at least know a bit of legal ABCs or 101s. And frankly we have no idea how their legal teams have worked with the matters.
The policy-makings have been narrowly tailored to the localized concerns and needs of the school boards (not the needs of the students or the parents, though), entirely absent the very basic visions on educational affairs in a global scope.
The policy changes in the two school boards are purely and only for the mega ideology of making "equity" great again (mega MEGA), rather than anything else. None of these policy changes is about material educational matters: for instance, identifying the educational weakness of schools and programs and proposing solutions, optimizing funding allocation, enhancing auditing and accountability, reviewing and updating curricula and courses, etc.
In fact, what they have implemented and proposed is fairly anti-educational, violating the very basic educational principles, and just remaking historical mistakes and failures. We will show more details in posts at a later time.
Other than the specifics as mentioned above, we are much more concerned with some alarming signals exposed in these policy-makings.
Segregations. The TDSB Secondary Program Review is residency based, and it would lead to direct segregations, as if the "Coloured People" provision in the Ontario School Act were resurrected.
Dangerous racial rigging. In addition to segregation from residency-based restrictions, "interest"-based random selection would directly lead to racial quota or racial balancing. Yearly examinations of "students’ demographic data within centralized programs and schools," as claimed in Page 7 of Policy 1, would further enhance the TDSB's illegal and illegitimate power to make racial manipulations in education. Therefore, we have seen the clear and unequivocal triple intent toward racially rigged education in the name of mega MEGA. Such rigging must be resolutely declined, resisted, and overturned if the policies were approved by the TDSB trustees.
Beyond education. Although the issues we have identified are about the school boards' policy-makings on the surface, they are far beyond education. They appear to be components of an insidious and dangerous trend that would impact all Ontario citizens and residents in cultural and socioeconomic affairs in upcoming years, as we are tentatively alarmed by the Ontario Anti-Racism Act, 2017 with its accompanying Data Standards (to be separately elaborated on at a future time, after we conduct more research and investigation).
Out of all these concerns, we, responsible and morally obligated citizens, have committed to build this website FREEDOMofOntario.org, to promote the public awareness of the issues, and to urge the public to ultimately decide all these educational (and beyond) matters by our voting powers, for all the children, citizens and residents in Ontario, in education and beyond.
We have published, as the first step and the foundation, the draft FREEDOM Declaration of Ontario, a high-level and fully independent declaration, which echoes all the specific concerns from parents and students in the PDSB and the TDSB, and seeks the common direction and goals in Ontario education. We are humbly and genuinely inviting the public's inputs, feedback and participation in drafting and finalizing the Declaration, on which please kindly add comments.
We will be publishing smaller explanatory posts to further reveal the relevant information and our findings. There will be specific Recommendations and Action Plan for us all to decide the educational policies, regardless of the result for Policy 1 and Policy 2 out of the TDSB board meeting of May 25.
The public's and everyone's "victory," benefits and interest on educational affairs, both in a short time and in the long term, will exclusively rely on public awareness and participation, and thus we have to expand the audience to as many Ontario citizens and residents as possible. We sincerely request the help from all readers: Please kindly spread the website FREEDOMofOntario.org, the draft Declaration, this post and other posts or letters to as many persons as we can: students, parents, teachers, experts, school board trustees and officers, media, and any Ontario citizens and residents, or relevant organizations.
On social media, please kindly use tag or label #FREEDOMofOntario or FREEDOMofOntario (case sensitive whenever possible, please) wherever possible, along with #education or any other tags or labels as may be appropriate.
Please always avoid any illegal speeches (in particular, hate speeches) or acts.
Working in solidarity for all,
For Real Equitable Education with Diversity and Openness Movement (FREEDOM) of Ontario
This is a list of the titles of the upcoming posts, subject to changes (the publishing order may be adjusted too):
● How Would "Interest"-Based Programs End?
● What Do We Know About Them?
● Relationship Between the International Human Rights Law and Ontario's Domestic Judicial Proceedings
● Identify and Fight True Racists
● Purposes and Missions of (Specialized) Schools and Educational Programs
● Ontario Ministry of Education's Legal (and Moral) Obligation to Enforce the Social Union Framework Agreement in Education
And open/public letter(s) to be published, after partial or all the posts as planned above: