We aim to elect over a half of Toronto District School Board (TDSB) trustees,
To overturn the Student Interest Programs Policy;
To oust the Director of Education with due process, when authorized by the public;
To change the course of the Secondary Program Review, when possible.
We appeal that,
Any Canadian citizen eligible to be a TDSB Trustee, please stand up for education, email election@GuardiansVOTE.org, and register your candidacy by August 19, 2022;
Citizens, please vote on or before October 24, 2022 for the candidates.
A letter to Ontario residents
Dear Ontario residents:
As you might have known, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) has implemented the Regional Learning Choice Programs (RLCPs) (Elementary and Secondary), and the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) has been conducting the Secondary Program Review (the "Review"), and has approved the Student Interest Programs Policy (the "Policy"). Both the PDSB's effective RLCPs and the TDSB's Policy set "interest"-based random selection for admissions into both elementary and secondary programs.
We can change the policies by ourselves.
Both school boards' policy changes have failed to meet the minimum procedural due process, lacking sufficient public consultations and consensus, and thus are legally vulnerable. Moreover, they expose a number of concerning issues as follows.
Ontario has an open enrollment tradition in its public education system, which allows a student, in particular a secondary student, to attend a school or program anywhere in the province.
The TDSB Review first largely precludes non-Toronto students attending any TDSB schools or programs, and caps the number of specialized schools or programs a student may apply for at two (2), and now further caps the number at one (1). It also designates an indefinite number of schools as Closed or Limited, which are not open to out-of-attendance-area students.
These policy changes are intended to confine students into their local areas, resulting in community-based ethno-racial and socioeconomic segregation, effectively resurrecting the "Coloured People" provision in the Ontario School Act that was removed in the 1960s.
The PDSB and the TDSB's board-wide "interest"-based policies with random selection are essentially to implement racial quotas or racial balancing, which had never appeared in Ontario or Canadian history, and has been repeatedly and continuously declared unconstitutional and illegal in the United States.
The two school boards have introduced explicit race-based educational policies for the first time in six decades in Canada. The PDSB claims that students of some races will be accepted into programs without participating in random selection; And the TDSB declares annual racial-demographic rigging/manipulation in Section 6.4.4 of the Policy.
Even in the United States, race-based policies barely survive in any public affairs, other than very limited exceptions only in higher education. In K-12 education, race-related policies have been prohibited, as shown in Parents v. Seattle School District, 2007, where Chief Justice John Roberts famously maintained: "The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race."
Racial quotas or racial balancing is not only systemic racism, but also institutionalized racism. Furthermore, any notion that any individual or any race should be preferentially treated because of their race, even for or in affirmative action, is racism by definition.
While we recognize racial inequity, denying its complexities and taking radical measures without scientific and objective supporting evidence is morally and practically unacceptable.
Each of us, in particular, each minor, is born and exists as one being detached to any particular race and must be constitutionally equally treated regardless of race. There is no single reason that warrants regression to race-sensitive public policies in Ontario or Canada. We must firmly defend the bottom line of racial neutrality in pre-higher education.
Educational missteps and disasters
Regarding education itself, failure of the PDSB and the TDSB's "interest"-based random selection is inevitable. Similar or exact mistakes have been made in other systems throughout older and recent history, including:
The story of the discontinued AltSchool, an "interest"-based chain of schools that were founded by Silicon Valley billionaires and operated from 2013 to 2019, shows that even those with the most and best resources cannot sustain an education system based exclusively on "interest."
The case of Lowell High School in San Francisco, where students received significantly more failing grades after random selection was adopted in the admission process.
The essence of the matters above is that the PDSB and the TDSB, supercharged by a small number of officers with short-sighted ideology, attempt to "rob" the limited educational resources from minors of some races through racial quotas or racial balancing – Just consider how many resources a family is often willing to put in their kid(s)' education, sacrificing their opportunities of "enjoying the life."
Non-competition may always be an individualized choice, but shall never be a system-wide policy in a public institution such as a school board.
Without sufficient merits or capabilities, individuals who are randomly selected would only either water down the specialized programs, or in case the programs are still competitive, they would more likely drop out, which would both damage their own confidence and generate the worst public images of themselves as both individuals and representations of their races.
It is crystal clear that the PDSB and the TDSB policy-makers are bigoted with a mindset of one century ago for segregated educational resources, discarding considerations of what truly matters in education, and thus inevitably bringing educational disasters for decades if not stopped.
Violations of fundamental freedoms and rights
All these policy changes are severe violations of students' fundamental freedoms and rights guaranteed by the international and domestic Human Rights laws, including but not limited to non-discrimination, mobility, and equality rights, regardless of residency, age, or disability.
Our campaign is founded on the following goals.
We live in an era with rapid advancements and an unprecedented amount of knowledge and skills, in particular, of technologies, led by AI and biochemical tech, which mandates that strong educational systems be characterized by:
True democracy guided by science and facts rather than ungrounded ideology;
Genuine inclusion regardless of race;
Full or high respect towards students' individualities with adaptive education, including but not limited to candid recognition that people are born with different capabilities and talents in various subjects and disciplines. Talents of minors, in particular secondary students, must be fully appreciated and fostered with no intentional, systemic or institutionalized suppression;
Freedom of choice by and autonomy of students themselves, in particular secondary students, who are often sufficiently mature to make their own decisions, and by and of their parents;
Aims to prepare students to be globally competitive.
Rather than unilateral and controversial policy-making born from vague and often egregiously wrong ideology, we must focus on issues that truly matter in education, as outlined in the FREEDOM Declaration of Ontario.
These issues are neither limited only to the PDSB and the TDSB, nor merely in education. We must defend foundational social justice.
For instance, the York Region District School Board, in its email titled YRDSB Student and Family Surveys 2021-22 and dated May 19, 2022, expresses its explicit intent to use racial information to "[i]dentify systemic barriers …" and to "[c]reate programs, set priorities, and develop resource …" Halton Region also plans to adopt random selection in program admissions.
The Ontario Anti-Racism Act, 2017 (the "ARA") and the British Columbia Anti-Racism Data Act, 2022 (the "ARDA") have opened a Pandora's box to racially manipulate opportunities and outcomes in Canadian public domains. If not prevented, race-based practices stemming from these immoral laws will go viral, deeply reshape the society and potentially ruin anyone's life here, repeating the same witnessed and yet ending tragedy in the United States. As learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, the best way to stop such viruses is to cut their spreads as early as possible; otherwise, anyone could be infected anywhere, sooner or later.
Neither are the voices of students, the main subjects of the Ontario education system, heard or recorded, nor do they have any voting power in decision-making. It is just like a story familiar to everyone: Dictators always claim to make laws and policies for the good of ordinary people, while depriving them of the most basic rights to make decisions on their own.
It is adults' moral and legal obligations to defend and protect minors’ most fundamental educational freedoms and rights, as they are legally defined as persons with disability.
Build a better tomorrow
The PDSB and the TDSB's new policies under the "equity" umbrella have gained the wide approvals among the school board trustees and marginal support in the public, partly due to its exploitation of one of human nature’s greatest and deepest weaknesses: It is always convenient for a portion of human beings to daydream that they could obtain "equal" outcomes without making corresponding efforts. Such delusion has, historically and practically, repeatedly proven fallacious, destructive and often disastrous.
Instead, we are resolutely determined to build a better tomorrow upon societal consensus, embracing open, fair and transparent competitions for racially-neutral and equal opportunities, based on fundamental freedoms and human rights regardless of age or belief.
Any suggestion or feedback is welcome for this campaign. Please feel free to reach out to info@GuardiansVOTE.org.
"No tear-floods, nor sigh-tempests move." We hope that tranquil days arrive as early as possible.
Change for the Better, Together.
Guardians VOTE: Voice of Tomorrow's Education
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