Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ben Levin's Offered the Urban School Reform

Ben Levin, the Toronto consultant known in our region for his May 2011 report on Nova Scotia education, has now consider in on the state of urban school reform, make a new book with Jane Gaskell, former dean of the University of Toronto’s faculty of education. It is much more enlightening about Levin’s personal outlook and perception than his quite terse, research-based description on our P-12 school system.

Improving public education in Canada’s poorest urban areas is not only a intimidating task, but one that has consume well-intentioned, violently resolute school reformers since the early 1960s. In Making a dissimilarity in Urban Schools: Ideas, Politics and Pedagogy (University of Toronto Press, soft cover, 219 pages, $31.95) the two Toronto educational researchers see city schools as a primary vehicle in the superior social struggle to decrease poverty in inner-city society.

Success has proven intangible in both cities. More than 30 years after a group of reform-minded, left-leaning trustees emerge on the old Toronto public city board, the two authors approved that in both cities inflexible social inequalities continue and student results continued to lag, mainly in lower socio-economic areas and among indigenous and visible minority communities. More expressively, most of the 50 school reform allies interviewed over this 10-year — on again, off-again — research scheme were “disappointed with what had been achieved.”

Gaskell is a well-known feminist scholar, hoist in Toronto, but with a extensive career stop in Vancouver before returning home. It was in Winnipeg where Levin came of age, first as a high school “student radical,” then range the heights from a young school trustee to chief regional official, as a deputy minister of education in both Manitoba and Ontario.


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