Black parents less interested in kids' schooling?

Donna Quan

By Jasminee Sahoye


The recently released Toronto District School Board (TDSB) findings from the 2012 Kindergarten to Grade 6 parent census shows that of the 90,000 parents who participated in the census, Blacks make up 10 per cent and South Asians, which includes East Indians from the West Indies, represent 24 per cent of the population.

However, the largest group continues to be Whites with 29 per cent followed by South Asians.

According to the TDSB, the findings are important to understanding how communities support youth inside and outside the classroom.  It adds that it will use the results to develop strategies and adjust supports that further strengthen schools and help every student succeed.

“The results from the Census ensure the voices of our students and parents are heard as we develop new policies and programs and continue to build better school communities,” said Chris Bolton, TDSB’s Chair.

The first parent census was conducted in 2008, and several new policies, programs and partnerships were introduced as a result of its findings. The success of these initiatives is seen in the 2012 data with a significant increase in parents attending parent/teacher interviews, school meetings and events.

The findings also showed that most black parents were at the lower end of the annual income compared to white parents who continues to be the highest income earner and the ones to spend more on their children on extra curricular activities.

The report also finds that parents from the Middle East are the lowest income earners followed by Blacks, South Asians and Latin Americans.

“Ninety-three per cent of parents say they feel welcome in their child’s school and 92% of parents feel their child is treated with respect in their school.

Over the next six months, the TDSB will release detailed analyses of several themes in the 2012 Parent Census. This includes a breakdown of social and emotional well-being data that together with the data received from the 2011 Student Census will help guide the development of our Mental Health Strategy,” the TDSB said in a statement.

“Our staff  have been working hard to make sure students and parents feel welcome in our schools. Staff should be proud of the high number of parents that say they feel welcome and respected in our schools,” TDSB’s Director, Donna Quan.