Pettiness, personal vendettas replace educational policy

di Joe Volpe del 19 October 2020

TORONTO - We agree with the Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, that no plan for Economic recovery in a post Covid-19 environment can succeed until, and if, we succeed in fashioning a workable plan for a normal return to school for our children. His government has a serious role to play in education. His perspective is national. It is proving difficult for him, unfortunately.

Here in Canada, we have a much more localized approach to the administration of educational goals. That model does not appear to be serving our interests very well at the moment.

If you have been following the changing education delivery models of the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and are not confused or frustrated about what is best for your child then you should apply for the job of Director – the job has not been filled, for reasons only the Trustees can explain. The position at its Catholic counter part, the TCDSB, has been - by a former Superintendent at the TDSB.

After eight months of planning (?) and mucking around with start dates, virtual school vs in-person attendance, ability to move from one model to the other, supervision, program content and evaluation, changing administrative sta. in the middle of health crisis, debate about how many students should be permitted in what type of physical or virtual environment, the TCDSB has already temporarily closed one school and is resisting pressures to close at least one other.

Thursday evening, according to a delegation by one of its teachers’ union, 55 of TCDSB elementary schools have registered Covid-19 cases among students and/or teachers. The Union called for a temporary shut down of all schools. It could rightly point to the only strategies so far “successful” in restraining the contagion: test, trace, isolate.

The Union president’s voice was akin to that of St John’s wailing in the desert. The Director and Trustee Rizzo had deemed it more important to squander time on a last-minute delegation by an LGBTQ2 radical activist.

He professed indignation, slight and offense that the Board had not adequately dealt with the issue of vocabulary employed in the course of a debate by one particular Trustee.

His expectation that the Board divert its attention away from the issues above followed on the heels of a decision to deny a delegation request by another radical LGBTQ2 activist a few days before.

The previous week, the TCDSB had passed a motion to deprive 500 families of transportation rights for its children. Early results documenting registration for 2020-2021 academic year show a 3,000 deficiency in students (each student attracts approximately $12,000 in grants from the Province). Children with Special needs and their families have no programs – they cannot be delivered on-line. The list goes on.

Trustee Rizzo and her cartoon- character acolytes on the Board (De Domenico, Di Pasquale, Li Preti abetted by Di Giorgio and Kennedy) are preparing for the election of the Chair next month – that is the only item on their mind. Director Browne may have unwittingly been complicit in detouring the Boards resources and energies away from the urgent tasks at hand just so Rizzo and company can continue to deal with the organization as their private preserve.


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