People for Education report: Urban and suburban schools in Ontario

People for Education have released a report on schools in Ontario. Some of the key findings in the report:

  • Funding for programs to ensure equitable outcomes for students is calculated on 1991 and 1996 census data, even though demographic numbers have changed dramatically and more current census data is available
  • 29% of urban/suburban elementary schools had ESL students but no ESL teachers.

Citing the following Statistics Canada data, the report discusses immigrant children and families, ESL, English Language Learners and settlement workers in the schools.

  • Between July 1 2005 and July 1 2006, 133,100 new immigrants arrived in Ontario
  • Nearly 60% of newcomers were in the skilled worker and business immigrant categories
  • The vast majority of immigrants settled in urban and suburban areas
  • 75% came from countries where English is not the first language
  • More than one third were under the age of 19.

Read the report here.

Call for papers: Intercultural education as social justice

Intercultural Education, the journal of the International Association for Intercultural Education, is receiving submissions for an upcoming special issue focused on intercultural education as social justice.

Intercultural Education is a global forum for the analysis of issues dealing with education in plural societies. It provides educational professionals with knowledge and information to support their contributions to critical analyses and the implementation of intercultural education.

From the call: “This particular issue will focus more specifically on engaging in intercultural education practice that purposefully transcends heroes and holidays or celebrating diversity approaches and that sets as its goal the establishment and maintenance of equitable and just learning environments for all students. We are looking for contributions that push the boundaries of intercultural and multicultural education, that draw on analyses of systemic inequities, that engage critical theories. We are interested, as well, in research articles that critically analyze dominant intercultural education discourses, policies, and practices especially those that may contribute to inequities rather than eliminating them”.

Topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Colonizing practice and policy analyses of supposedly intercultural or multicultural education practice or policy that reifies existing social orders
  • The corporatization and militarization of public schools
  • Critical analyses of popular existing programs and approaches to intercultural or multicultural education
  • Intersectionality of social justice issue, and particularly intersections of class and poverty with race, ethnicity, gender, (dis)ability, and other identities
  • Globalization and educational marginalization.

Articles are sought from an international range of authors from the intercultural education and social justice fields.Expressions of intent to submit, with a 50-word maximum description of the proposed topic and focus should be submitted to Paul C. Gorski and follow the submission guidelines.

Deadline for manuscript submission is November 15, 2008.

Manitoba CBC diversity scholarships

The Manitoba CBC are in their 5th year of awarding $500 scholarships to high school students in their final year of high school and planning to pursue journalism studies.

Eligible students are “youth who come from an ethnic or ancestral background that is a visible minority or Aboriginal” and who can best answer the essay question: “What is the role of the CBC in our community?“.

NAME Conference: Beyond celebrating diversity

US-based National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) will hold its 18th annual conference Nov 12-16/08 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The conference theme is Beyond Celebrating Diversity: reActivating the Equity and Social Justice Roots of Multicultural Education.

Conference strands:

  • Critical discourses in multicultural education, social justice and equity
  • The roots of multicultural education
  • Empowering students of color, English language learners, and low-income students
  • Community-based initiatives for educational equity and social justice
  • Multicultural education in a digital age.

See the NAME site for details, including the call for proposals, rubric proposal and information on last year’s conference.

Proposals due March 31, 2008.

Your right to education: A handbook for refugees and displaced communities

US-based Women’s Commission for Refugee Women and Children, with funding from the Pearson Foundation, has released a publication aimed at children and their teachers on every child’s right to education.

Your Right to Education is a second in a series developed to improve access to quality education for displaced communities. The first book, Right to Education during Displacement: A resource for organizations working with refugees and internally displaced persons, was developed for international and local organizations, the United Nations and governments working with displaced communities.

The book is illustrated by R. Gregory Christie, Coretta Scott King Honor Award-winner. The book has been translated into several languages. For information on the handbook, including where and how to download it, see the Child Rights Information Network website/webpage.

Ontario education minister hosts diversity forum in Toronto

Ontario Minister of Education and MPP for Don Valley West, the Honourable Kathleen Wynne, will host a forum on diversity along with the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, the Honourable Michael Chan, Jehad Aliweiwi, Harold Brathwaite, Shabnum Budhwani, Tarek Fatah, Alia Hogben, Abdul Ingar, Mandeep Kaur Mucina, Barbara Landau.

From her E-News Bulletin, Jan 27/08 edition Wynne says Ontario has an “opportunity is to be an example for the world of how people from different backgrounds live together in a climate of peace and mutual respect and understanding. To realize that opportunity we must learn from each other about how best to live together“.

The event will be held Wed. Jan 30th, 6:00-8:30 at Valley Park Middle School, 130 Overlea Blvd in Toronto. Contact information: 416-425-6777 or

‘For our kids’, video from

For Our Kids is a video that features nine parents talking about their – and their children’s experiences – as newcomers to the Ontario school system.

The video is a resource for immigrant parents and addresses several ways that parents are and can be involved in their child’s school. Teachers also talk about the importance of parent involvement.

See the video (and other supporting resources) at