By Gerald V. Paul
A serious problem of disproportionality in special education programmes based on both race and income, were the findings from People for Education’s research based on surveys of 1,122 schools across the province .
They found “significant gaps” and differences in schools based on family income, from special education to access to gifted programming and even academic high school credits.
According to Jeff Kugler, who heads the centre for Urban Schooling at the Ontario Institute for the Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, “Boards need to look at the inequity and why it is happening, including racism.”
Kugler stressed whether intentional or nonintentional, (racism) needs to be looked at closely if we are truly to deal with the issue.
“Part of it could have to do with assumptions that are made about students based on their socio-economic background, but I can only say ‘could be’ because we don’t know for sure,” Kidder said.
Given the challenges, it was noted that while it was not a level playing field to begin with, the boards are trying to address it.