Sunday, February 3, 2008

First Nations School of Toronto: Poor Results from Grade 3 Students?

I welcome myself back to the blogosphere!

I have read many comments by Blogging Tories that none of the grade-three students at the First Nations School of Toronto achieved levels 3 or 4 (B or A) on the EQAO tests. Nothing could be further from the truth. What is true is that while the students wrote the tests, there were not enough students writing them to fairly gage how the students as a whole were doing. Also, since very few students wrote the tests, individual students can be indentified within the school community if one or two performed poorly on the tests. When the Blogging Tories compare Black-focused schools with the existing First Nations School, their comparisons are not fair.


Anonymous said...

I believe if the childrens' marks are low then perhaps the teachers need to be tested. If the first nation school is in question perhaps they need more 1st nations teachers less mainstream white relics. I know I have questioned where did they get these teachers...especially subs & the principal...????? driving the 1st nations kids out....
Mainstream school was not designed with these unique children/people in mind...
What to do....? Vybs

revelationhunter said...

I think a lot of the problem here is that elementary school, in general, is highly counter-intuitive. It's a strange way to learn. When kids should be out following their parents around, sticking close to the home, and watching their elders, they're instead shuffled off into glorified daycares masquerading as teaching institutions. It's too cut and dried, and there is little room for individualism. Many of these children will become bored because they're not being challenged; others, because they're not getting enough one on one time. The issue, in my honest opinion, is that the system is too new to the Native blood stream as a whole. Highly individualized and tailored teachings, from subject matter to educational methodology, is still a strong factor, and a very real phenomenon, in the blood of the Native North American peoples. Despite the efforts of the residentail schools, the churches and the state, Native people are not assimilated. And that's a good thing. It's time for the system to work for and with Native children, not on them.

Anonymous said...

I keep wondering why the First Nation's School never seems to get to have have all those dusty old blue classroom walls painted?
Certainly, this in itself might bring an inspiring, positive and much needed cheerful note to hopeful returning children in the fall?
What about having some murals painted by the children on a few walls as well under the direction of some local first nation's artists? It would establish a powerful statement in itself, "This is who we are!"
I happened to notice quite a few very talented young artists on a visit there one day! They were illustrating and writing their own Ojibway texts and reminded me of Sylvia Ashton Warner's successful campaign back in the 70's, to allow Moari students to illustrate,write their own texts and curriculum. Results on test scores apparently soared higher than most schools in their area as a result within 3 years along with student self esteem! Check out an old 70's film called "Teacher". "Organic Learning" they called it,instead of laying on an uninspiring one, as I do recall,(John Dewey, Leo Tolstoy, and A.S, Neil to name a few).
Buffy St. Marie's "Cradle Board"Curriculum, looks absolutely awesome too! It's on the "Canadian Counsel of Learning" website. Besides being a singer, she is also an accomplished B.ED!
First Nations students deserve the best we can ALL invest!

Anonymous said...

I understand everyone has a right to they're own opinion but do any of you actually know and have known any children who attend the school? I was having alot of emotional problems with my son who was in a catholic elementary school from SK - gr. 5, and after seeing my son treated differently then other children due to his emotional issues I decided to transfer him to FNST. My son was, after the 6 years at catholic school, determined to be gifted/LD. Since placing him at FNST in January, he has done a 180. He has gone from a D student to an A - B student. The school has various individual programs to help children based on their IEPs.
I know alot of kids at the school who excel and have received awards.
Children at any school need extra nurturing before and after school. Unfortunately, alot of young parents don't spend that needed time insuring the children are studying or reading.
I could go on but I will stop here.