Too Cool for (Catholic) School?

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lagatta

Yes, creationism is much more a feature of evangelical Protestant fundamentalist beliefs, and is stronger in areas where those groups are the main conservative religious lobby.

ElizaQ ElizaQ's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]

This is incorrect.

I attended Catholic high school many decades ago, and it was made clear to us that the church had no position against evolution, and the nun who taught the course indicated that she believed the Adam and Eve story was 'symbolic'.[/b]


While I do agree with some of reminds other points this is one myth about Catholics that I do wish could be laid to rest. Catholics whether in school or church are for the majority part not creationists and haven't been for some time. I've seen some pretty dogged out battles between Catholics and creationist/iders on this subject.

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Le Tйlйspectateur:
[b]I went to Catholic highschool about 1 decade ago and they teach a pro-evolution creation story - Adam and Eve, symbolism and all that.[/b]

Symbolism of what? And what is all that?

Having asked that, I will point out that we can see from your, and others, examples, they mixed religion and evolution, notwithstanding is the most important and sole fact they teach/indoctrinate religion, their religion.

jrootham

Well remind, they are referring to religion classes. Which need to be removed, but we don't need to shut down the boards and the schools to do it.

remind remind's picture

Having looked over this thread, I can see no one advocating closure of said schools, only the removal of funding.

I would beg to differ that just the religion classes need removal, to be acceptable for public funding.

Michael Hardner

quote:


Symbolism of what? And what is all that?

Having asked that, I will point out that we can see from your, and others, examples, they mixed religion and evolution, notwithstanding is the most important and sole fact they teach/indoctrinate religion, their religion.


That is to say that the story symbolizes the creation of the universe, much in the same way creation myths from other cultures do.

I imagine that the Adam/Eve story is probably some kind of Sumerian myth that was handed down anyway, so our culture probably inherited it from some long-dead peoples...

remind remind's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]That is to say that the story symbolizes the creation of the universe, much in the same way creation myths from other cultures do.[/b]

Oh, and here i thought you actually meant it when you said above:

quote:

This is incorrect.

I attended Catholic high school many decades ago, and it was made clear to us that the church had no position against evolution, and the nun who taught the course indicated that she believed the Adam and Eve story was 'symbolic'.


Uh, so what do you not get about "creation" vs evolution? As you just said above it was a creation myth.

Michael Hardner

Well.... they are after all Catholic and do believe that God "created" the universe.

But Catholics, I would say, tend to think that God's creation involved lighting the fuse on the big bang. This is what my kindly teacher believed, and why Adam / Eve wasn't taken literally [by her].

triciamarie

quote:


Originally posted by Wilf Day:
[b]As to the question she raises: "I am worried that sending my son there will be indirectly "supporting" the Catholic Church" -- if you have the illusion you are "sending" your son to any particular high school, have another chat with him. Perhaps he will set you straight. In that case, you might ask him to explain why he has chosen this school, just so you will have a clue why you have "sent" him there.[/b]

Excellent point, bears repeating.

Anyways, the separate boards are all crazy anyways from what I hear, so personally I'm just as happy not having to deal with some of those people. Went through enough of that nonsense before I switched myself out of Catholic high school in grade 10.

A bigger issue of concern to me is the siphoning off of many of the most advantaged students to private schools as well as specialty schools within the publc and separate boards -- French immersion, arts, or my brother also works out of a tech school. There is also way, way too much reliance on fundraising, which leads to a huge disparity in the amount of money that the different schools have even with the same publicly funded boards.

jrootham

[QUOTE]Originally posted by remind:
[b]Having looked over this thread, I can see no one advocating closure of said schools, only the removal of funding.

I would beg to differ that just the religion classes need removal, to be acceptable for public funding.[/b][/QUOTE

Get real. These are not private schools with a public top up. Removing funding means closing the schools.

You didn't answer my question about how you know what goes on in Separate Schools, and one assertion you made has been thoroughly refuted, so I would suggest your credibility on this subject is low.

Even given that, all the other things you referred to can be dealt with by political action at the school board level, and even then I suspect the difference in those areas between the Separate Schools and the Public Schools is not all that large. Especially when you get out of Toronto, and even there I suspect most of the difference is from inertia from when there was a City of Toronto School Board.

Yes, I'm a Toronto centred bigot, but I am not a fundamentalist Toronto centred bigot (ie I am willing to entertain the idea that I might be wrong) [img]smile.gif" border="0[/img]

Stargazer

Removing funding does not mean closing the schools.

Removing the PUBLIC funding means simply that those who wish to indoctrinate their children with religion should do so on their own dime. Not tax payers money. Public schools, especially in poor and working class areas, need the funding that gets syphoned off to the Catholic schools that teach kids that homosexuality is a sin, men are inherently better than women, and abstinence is the best policy (we all have seen how that BS works).

You want to send your kids to Catholic school, you pay for it out of your pocket. Period.

Frankly why any progressive would willingly send their children to a religious school is beyond me. Wait until kids are old enough to determine which religion (or no religion at all) best fits their world view. Let them decide on their own.

Oh and BTW jroothamn, my son was sent to a Catholic High School. I will forever regret making that decision.

Added just in case you decide to posit the notion I have no right to say anything because I know nothing. Despicable argument really, since any half-wit knows what Catholic schools teach as part of their curriculum.

[ 21 July 2008: Message edited by: Stargazer ]

the grey

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]Removing funding does not mean closing the schools.
[/b]

Yes it does. Just like removing funding from hospitals means closing hospitals.

Do you honestly think that the overwhelming majority of students in the separate system will be able to pay to keep their schools open? Of course you don't, so stop being dishonest about it.

Stargazer

Don't tell me I'm dishonest. You essentially called me a liar.

Your stance is incorrect. If people want their kids to so badly go to a separate school, they can pay for it. Otherwise their kids can can to the same school as the unwashed masses attending public school.

If you call me a liar again, I'll have to notify the mods.

ETA: it is not the same as removing funding from public hospitals, which are open to ALL people, in all walks of society. Now who is being dishonest?

[ 21 July 2008: Message edited by: Stargazer ]

lagatta

Well here in Quйbec the religion-based boards were eliminated (the outcome of a protracted struggle) and replaced with language-based boards.

No schools were closed because of that. Of course schools, like hospitals do get closed due to government cutbacks and underfunding, of for legitimate reasons such as sharp declines in enrolment.

We are stuck with private schools with a religious outlook and sadly, they, like other private schools, still receive public funding.

I suppose it is because we were dominated by such a reactionary Church for so long that we have developed a more progressive outlook (catching up?)

Wilf Day

This started with a fictional correspondent saying "I am extremely anti-Catholic for all of the obvious reasons . . ." I can't criticise a fictional correspondent for bigotry, but unfortunately she has set the tone for remarks like "Ontario Catholics must learn to live like other folks" and "they teach/indoctrinate religion, their religion." And "the separate boards are all crazy anyways from what I hear, so personally I'm just as happy not having to deal with some of those people."

A few contrary notes stand out:

quote:

Originally posted by jrose:
[b]The positive of attending something like a family occassion far outweighs my feelings toward any one denomination.[/b]


quote:

Originally posted by the grey:
[b]The church doesn't control the system. The democratically elected school board trustees control the system. Well, except to the extent that the provincial government controls the system.[/b]


quote:

Originally posted by Le Tйlйspectateur:
[b]I took a lot of enjoyment in asking those questions in religion class, mostly 'cause I was a little punk who enjoyed watching my teacher squirm. [img]tongue.gif" border="0[/img] [/b]


quote:

Originally posted by Michael Hardner:
[b]Catholics, I would say, tend to think that God's creation involved lighting the fuse on the big bang.[/b]


quote:

Originally posted by jrootham:
[b]Get real. These are not private schools with a public top up. Removing funding means closing the schools.[/b]


quote:

Originally posted by the grey:
[b]Do you honestly think that the overwhelming majority of students in the separate system will be able to pay to keep their schools open? Of course you don't.[/b]

I regret having tried to get some people to open their eyes to reality. It likely would have been better to shut up. I do, after all, have a little relevant experience. I have a protestant Northern Irish wife, and we have a Catholic foster daughter and two Catholic grandchildren. I was a public school trustee for 12 years, during which we worked together with the Separate Board on the implementation of full funding. I watched the local separate board set up their new high school for this area, headed by an NDP supporter they lured from the Toronto Public board to be its principal, and watched as she attracted our board's best social justice voice, thereby teaching a vital lesson to the administrators of our public board who had failed to give that teacher enough leeway. I watched as our own school board chose as its chairwoman a retired teacher and NDP member who had taught in the separate schools for years with no pastoral letter, not being Catholic. I watched as a succession of non-conformist Grade 8 Port Hope kids (not including either of our own) chose the "cooler" school for Grade 9. A temporary fad, which died out over time.

Our board now lives with a competitor who plays on an even playing field. Would it eliminate wasteful duplication if we could rewrite 150 years of history and have only two systems (one English, one French?). Sure, on paper that would look more efficient, which is what Mike Harris said when he created the current mega-boards. Except he didn't really believe it, because OISE had done a study showing that boards with 15,000 students had the lowest per-student costs. It was a pretext to abolish the NDP-controlled Toronto Board. And even that didn't work out for him. Just a bad idea all round.

And that's my last word. Unless people try to drag religious wars into the NDP leadership race.

[ 21 July 2008: Message edited by: Wilf Day ]

lagatta

Wilf, if I'd thought the person writing in to ms communicate was a Protestant Orangeist "anti-Papist" bigot, I'd have screamed bloody murder. There are familiy members in Eastern Ontario who were victims of such bigotry and worse. Don't you think it is clear from the thing about her niece that she is an apostate from a Catholic background?

We have every right to say nasty things about the Church. And about Orangemen.

You could have two boards but smaller geographical areas - that would be far more democratic, and it would have no relation to any given religious faith.

triciamarie

Frankly Wilf Day, I don't see why your particular experience gives you the right to dictate reality to anyone. I was raised Catholic, my family was intensely involved in the parish and diocese, I had an uncle who was a monseigneur and I myself attended ten years of separate school. My eyes are plenty open, thank you.

Caissa

Given section 93 of the BNA Act, how would one go about legislatively abolishing the Catholic system in Ontario?

EDUCATION

Legislation respecting Education 93. In and for each Province the Legislature may exclusively make Laws in relation to Education, subject and according to the following Provisions:
(1) Nothing in any such Law shall prejudicially affect any Right or Privilege with respect to Denominational Schools which any Class of Persons have by Law in the Province at the Union:
(2) All the Powers, Privileges, and Duties at the Union by Law conferred and imposed in Upper Canada on the Separate Schools and School Trustees of the Queen's Roman Catholic Subjects shall be and the same are hereby extended to the Dissentient Schools of the Queen's Protestant and Roman Catholic Subjects in Quebec:
(3) Where in any Province a System of Separate or Dissentient Schools exists by Law at the Union or is thereafter established by the Legislature of the Province, an Appeal shall lie to the Governor General in Council from any Act or Decision of any Provincial Authority affecting any Right or Privilege of the Protestant or Roman Catholic Minority of the Queen's Subjects in relation to Education:
(4) In case any such Provincial Law as from Time to Time seems to the Governor General in Council requisite for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section is not made, or in case any Decision of the Governor General in Council on any Appeal under this Section is not duly executed by the proper Provincial Authority in that Behalf, then and in every such Case, and as far only as the Circumstances of each Case require, the Parliament of Canada may make remedial Laws for the due Execution of the Provisions of this Section and of any Decision of the Governor General in Council under this Section. (50)

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Wilf Day:
[b]This started with a fictional correspondent saying "I am extremely anti-Catholic for all of the obvious reasons . . ." I can't criticise a fictional correspondent for bigotry, but unfortunately she has set the tone for remarks like "Ontario Catholics must learn to live like other folks" and "they teach/indoctrinate religion, their religion." [/b]

Wow, so you think the correspondent and I and others are "bigots".

Take this for what it's worth: Your posts on many issues are cool and rational and thoughtful. On this subject, however, you tend to plunge off the deep end without a lifejacket or swimming lessons. And the pool's empty. Instead of leaping, perhaps reflect quietly for a while about the perils of misperception, prejudice, and namecalling.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Caissa:
[b]Given section 93 of the BNA Act, how would one go about legislatively abolishing the Catholic system in Ontario? [/b]

The same way we did in Quйbec in 1997-98: by a constitutional amendment. This has been detailed in other threads, especially during last year's Ontario election.

lagatta

I feel the same about all faith-based schools, whatever the religion. It has nothing to do with bigotry against a specific one, which would be heinous.

Of course I feel much freeer to say nasty things about Catholicism than I would about, say, Judaism or Islam, simply because I am from that background. But I think all religious fundies share a deep misogyny, for one thing.

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

quote:


Originally posted by unionist:
[b]I would like someone to explain to me what kind of community (indeed society) it is where you have to drive 25 minutes to get to a real public school, while the religious school is just around the corner?

.[/b]


rural Alberta. First Nations reserves.

Many larger towns.

The closest school to our residence is Catholic. The next closest secular school would be a 40 minute walk, when its -40 or take the school bus, which takes almost as long due to it's route.

Alternatively, the closest Islamic school is a 90 minute school bus ride

I should note that Francophone communities in Alberta traditionally had been targets of hate and terrorism by the Orange-men Lodges and the Ku Klux Klan chapter that was chartered in Alberta. These communities were largely Catholic, isolated, and targeted. To identify as Francophone in Alberta was to identify one's self as Catholic. It was a way to preserve a sense of community in Orange country.

As a consequence, there is now a separate schools act in Alberta, to protect those communities, which protects the rights of Separate school boards, and defines their responsibilities because they are publicly funded

[ 21 July 2008: Message edited by: TemporalHominid ]

Caissa

I knew there was a constitutional amendment, Unionist. Sorry if I was too oblique. Does the Constitutional Amendment only require the concurrence of the Ontario and Federal Legislatures? If you could point me in the write direction I'd be greatly appreciative.

lagatta

Wikipedia is a good memory aid here (I know it isn't always accurate but here it confirms what I thought) Memory a bit fuzzy although I was involved in the fight (and ironically, of course had to declare self a Catholic to vote the religious party out in school board elections).

quote:

For more than a century before 1964 non-Catholic immigrants from outside Canada who settled in Quebec were not allowed to attend French Catholic schools. The Quebec Education Act of 1988 provided a change to linguistic school boards, a change that has not yet complete been fully implemented. In 1997, a unanimous vote by the National Assembly of Quebec allowed for Quebec to request that the Government of Canada exempt the province from Article 93 of the Constitution Act. This request was passed by the federal parliament, resulting in Royal Assent being granted to the Constitutional Amendment, 1997, (Quйbec).

Source: [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quebec_education_system]http://en.wikipedia...

Temporal, I am well-aware of the history of anti-francophone and anti-Catholic persecution. The original KKK in the Southern US was also anti-Catholic, and anti-Semitic. But nowadays it is certainly possible to identify as a francophone without being Catholic, and indeed, without being of old-stock Quйbйcois, Acadian or Mйtis heritage.

Interestingly, and perhaps regrettably, our public secondary schools only extend to Grade 11. With the Quiet Revolution reforms, it was decided to create Cйgeps - a common trunk for pre-university and vocational trade students - instead of adding a grade 12 and 13.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Caissa:
[b]Does the Constitutional Amendment only require the concurrence of the Ontario and Federal Legislatures? [/b]

Yes.

quote:

[b]If you could point me in the write direction I'd be greatly appreciative.[/b]

"Greatly" appreciative - as in, money? [img]biggrin.gif" border="0[/img]

Section 43 of the [i]Constitutional Act, 1982[/i]:

quote:

43. An amendment to the Constitution of Canada in relation to any provision that applies to one or more, but not all, provinces, including

(a) any alteration to boundaries between provinces, and
(b) any amendment to any provision that relates to the use of the English or the French language within a province,

may be made by proclamation issued by the Governor General under the Great Seal of Canada only where so authorized by resolutions of the Senate and House of Commons and of the legislative assembly of each province to which the amendment applies.


Caissa

Thanks, Unionist. "Greatly appreciative" means a couple of rounds if you ever make it down to Saint John.

ETA; Thanks to Lagatta, as well.

[ 21 July 2008: Message edited by: Caissa ]

Pogo Pogo's picture

The point I took from Wilf was that change needs to be done foremost with consideration of the people who will face the change.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Pogo:
[b]The point I took from Wilf was that change needs to be done foremost with consideration of the people who will face the change.[/b]

Interesting viewpoint. Who are the "people who will face the change" and which Ontarians will not "face the change"?

For example, some Jews and Muslims and evangelical Christians and others were no doubt hoping John Tory's funding promise would happen. The elimination of Catholic public schools will impact on their expectations, will it not?

And what of the majority of Ontarians who want a single system? Will they be facing this change too?

Pogo Pogo's picture

In BC Catholic schools are private and private schools get a fraction of the funding that public schools get (there are compelling arguments for the fraction and for giving them nothing). I don't see a need for a Catholic school board but for me it is a question of timing, process and priority.

Unionist

quote:


Originally posted by Pogo:
[b]... for me it is a question of timing, process and priority.[/b]

What did you think of my idea of "no new students"? That way everyone in the system gets to finish if they want?

Pogo Pogo's picture

I would be okay with that. I would even be okay with a more rapid change that took the interest of current students and employees into consideration.

I do think it would be stupid however to take a run at it at the wrong time and not only lose and set the issue back, but also weaken the ability to stand for other issues. I like the idea of taking the idea out of the political mix and having an independant commission look at it.

the grey

quote:


Originally posted by Stargazer:
[b]Don't tell me I'm dishonest. You essentially called me a liar.

Your stance is incorrect. If people want their kids to so badly go to a separate school, they can pay for it. Otherwise their kids can can to the same school as the unwashed masses attending public school.

If you call me a liar again, I'll have to notify the mods.

ETA: it is not the same as removing funding from public hospitals, which are open to ALL people, in all walks of society. Now who is being dishonest?
[/b]


1) Catholic schools are open to ALL students, in all walks of society. Just like Catholic hospitals are open to ALL patients.

2) Pretending that it's as simple as cutting off funding [i]is[/i] entirely disingenuous.

Anyone who thinks that only an insignificantly small number of students will be forced to leave the separate school system when forced to pay tuition isn't being dishonest. However, they also aren't in touch with reality.

If the Catholic system is going to remain in place for tuition paying students, that means they keep their buildings. When an avalanche of students are forced to leave the system because they can't afford tuition fees, that means schools will close. Public boards [i]might[/i] buy and re-open some of those schools, but the schools still close.

quote:

Originally posted by lagatta:
[b]Well here in Quйbec the religion-based boards were eliminated (the outcome of a protracted struggle) and replaced with language-based boards.

No schools were closed because of that. Of course schools, like hospitals do get closed due to government cutbacks and underfunding, of for legitimate reasons such as sharp declines in enrolment.
[/b]


I understand this, but it isn't the same argument. It isn't about "cutting off funding", but about public boards taking over separate boards. It also means that the separate system won't exist for those who want to pay to send their kids to attend.

Le T Le T's picture

Good point Grey, I was going to comment on the Catholic hospital thing too. They exist with public funding.

I think that people need to understand that Catholic schools are not all identical. Each school has its own politics. When I was attending you could "opt out" of religion class after grade 9 or 10. And as I recounted, religion class could be kinda fun for the critical non-believer.

Catholic or Public, schools can be incredibly oppressive places for youth. Whether young people are being "indoctrinated" with a religion of the Catholic flavour or the public religion of capitalism and hierarchy really doesn't make a lot of difference in my mind. I went to Catholic school, an incredibly conservative Catholic school, and I think that it actually contributed in a good way to my concientization.

One notable difference about Catholic schools and "public" schools is that Catholic schools make room for spirituality. Yes, Catholic spiritualities for the most part, but I had many friends in Catholic school who were not Catholic (or even Christian) and who were aloud to talk, discuss, and celebrate their spirituality at school and in class. There is no room for this in public schools. From what I have heard, having many friends who are teachers in both systems, public schools have a chill effect regarding spirituality because they try to do the secular thing in the bureaucratic, PC way typical in this province. Think anti-racism vs. "multiculturalism".

There are many, many bad things about Catholic schools but there are also some things that I think have value and public schools could learn from.

Robespierre

quote:


Originally posted by Le Tйlйspectateur:
[b]...There are many, many bad things about Catholic schools but there are also some things that I think have value and public schools could learn from.[/b]

Promoting spirituality and/or belief in a supernatural power isn't one of them, however. The seperation of church and state is essential for democracy and should not be accepted in any form.

You make it sound as if there was no pressure at all to accept spirituality and catholicism at the school you attended. My guess is that there was a lot of pressure indirectly on students to conform and be part of the greater mission of the school, despite an official policy of openess. You may not have felt it, and I suspect that you beleive in god and are a Catholic, so this would not be not surprising.

Also, values and economics that are taught in public and Catholic school will reflect what ever the ruling order is in society, and kids are taught to think like capitalist wage slaves in one same as the other.

Skinny Dipper

It would be nice if we had only one school system. My guess is that if any future goverment decided to get rid of the Catholic separate school system, a publicly funded charter system would takes its place. Charter schools are essentially publicly funded school authorities that do not have geographic boundaries. Charter schools are not the same as private schools in that charter schools, like public schools, cannot charge added tuition. They also follow the same curriculum as public schools do (although private schools can follow the curriculum). They can add content, and offer differnt teaching and learning strategies.

If a future government were do abolish the Catholic separate school system and introduced charter schools, most of the separate schools would turn into publicly funded Catholic charter schools. Also, other religious and non-religious charter schools could start. Charter schools could offer unique religious programs, but would not be able to discriminate against students and teachers living within a geographic area. For example, a non-Catholic student could enroll at a Catholic charter school. A non-Catholic teacher would no longer be denied employment because he or she doesn't have a priest's letter. However, both the student and teacher would need to adhere to the charter's mission statement.

How would the introduction of charter schools affect the public school system? Public schools may lose a few students in urban areas. In rural areas, students may join together to be taught in one public school. Public schools will need to become more innovative in offering unique programs to keep students within the public school system as have occured in Calgary and Edmonton.

I have mentioned in previous forums that John Tory made the mistake in offering funding for private religious schools. It was a mistake because public funding would have gone to private entities that could still charge tuition and just to religious schools. Non-religious private schools would have received no funding. I think he gambled in that he thought that non-"Faith Based" supporting voters would not notice while "Faith Based" supporters would and vote for his party. Those who opposed his proposal noticed and voted against him big time.

I do think that any party can and will implement changes to Ontario's school system. Don't think that only the Tories will make these changes.

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

...perhaps I am just a coward, afraid of losing what we do have, but...

I think we should be cautious in calling for an end of public money for Catholic, Islamic, Protestant, Jewish schools, / separate school boards.

Essentially, these schools are in the realm of public education. They are guided by rights and regulations and responsibilities.

We are helping the case of those that are attempting to divide and conquer public education, the camp that wants to privatise the Public school systems, and create for profit institutions from K to 12.

There are legitimate concerns about doctrine, attitudes, and social ramifications in the faith based schools, but I don't think these challenges trump the goals of corporations and think tanks to privatise our schools.

[ 23 July 2008: Message edited by: TemporalHominid ]

retiredguy

Darn , I miss all the fun stuff. First thing I have to say is, I'm not going to theorize, I'm going to generalize from my experience. Not one thing I say here can not be backed up with a real life example.

First , the Catholic system is discriminatory. They have the right to , and discriminate against qualified teachers, on the basis of their religion. No publicly funded body should have that right. There are many teachers who are Catholic teaching in the public system. But only Catholic teachers can teach in the Catholic system. This is a clear and strategy of the Catholic church in Ontario to try and ensure that Catholics teach the majority of Ontario's children, Catholic or not.

Second. If tax money is used to support Catholic schools, and Catholic schools hold compulsory masses during school hours, tax dollars are being used to fund religious services. Again, no other religion in Ontario has the right to do this. It's discriminatory and should be illegal.

Third, only the Catholic religion has the right to teach religious courses during the school day. IN grades 9, 10 and 12 Catholicism is taught for a one credit course in the Dufferin Peel board. And in that board, it's compulsory. No other religion can determine for the ministry what can be taught in 3 credit courses. The Catholic board has even rewritten the grade 11 World Religions text to conform to a Catholic perspective.

In short, the Catholic Church has taken the opportunity to have Catholic schools and turned it into Catholic privilege, taking for themselves opportunities denied every other religion in Canada.

Having taught for the Windsor Board of Education, The Timmins Board of Education and the Dufferin Peel Catholic School Board , I would also offer the following the observations. This would not be necessarily be generalized to all boards, but would be food for further exploration. I found that based on my experience with these Boards, the Catholic board was a poisoned environment for the teachers. After all the goal of a Catholic board is to produce Catholics. We wouldn't want to alienate and future Catholics by actually demanding any accountability by the students. The first day I marched a kid down to the office for a black and white uniform violation, the student actually said to me, " I don't know why you're doing this, you're going to be in the office longer than I am." He was right, and it remained true throughout my Catholic teaching career. Discipline was so much better in the public system, it was a joke. Public school students had more time for electives such as tech, art and music. By the time you subtract 4 religion courses from the 12 possible electives, Catholic students could take one third fewer electives than the equivalent public school student.

My solution.. one public school system for everyone. If parents feel compulsory religious education is necessary, ad and extra period to the day and use the resources of the school to enforce attendance. But the same opportunities should exist for all religions. If they miss extra-curriculars, tough luck. Making religion painless is a farce. I gave up tons to be a member of a small religion when I was in high school. Catholic education as practiced in Ontario is a scam.

During Catholic education week there was a shameless assembly promoting Catholic Education, where it was clearly stated that a Catholic Education was superior to any other type of education and that the students were so lucky they were getting one.

In my opinion, such shameless self promotion and bigotry should never be paid for with tax money. The current system discriminates against everyone but Catholics. And I have completely lost all respect for those who try and make themselves out as anything but privileged opportunists.

The Catholic system promotes ignorance on a grand scale, to the point where students used to seek me out to get answers they couldn't get elsewhere such as, " Do other Christians celebrate Christmas?". No lie, if you support the Catholic system, that's what you are supporting. Keep your faith, but live in the world.

[ 23 July 2008: Message edited by: retiredguy ]

Robespierre

quote:


Originally posted by TemporalHominid:
[b]...We are helping the case of those that are attempting to divide and conquer public education, the camp that wants to privatise the Public school systems, and create for profit institutions from K to 12.[/b]

I liked what retired guy wrote.

But, to TemporalHominid: You must supply something more than a sweeping statement. Whom exactly are we helping to divide and conquer the school system by advocating a unified, publically controlled school system? We need a few names here, and a few details about how that insidious goal could be furthered by supporting the exact opposite. Sorry, but I'm confused.

gonzo

Anybody know how to figure out how much of any given individual's taxes go specifically to Catholic schools?

Yeah yeah, I know someone is gonna say that its about principle, so the amount doesn't matter. But I'm talking practical. How much am I actually paying for this?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

In Ontario, 15ў out of every dollar of government spending goes to elementary and secondary education (not counting money collected through property taxes). Currently about 31% of that goes to funding Catholic schools, so an Ontario taxpayer is supporting Catholic schools to the tune of about 5ў on every dollar they pay to the provincial government.

I'll try to get info on B.C. It's not easy, because B.C. only gives partial funding to faith -based, "independent" schools of many religious denominations, and the funding formula is different according to "categories" of schools. For example, the largest category, with more than 67,000 students, receives 50 per cent of the funding available to their local school district.

[ 24 July 2008: Message edited by: M. Spector ]

gonzo

Thanks M. Spector.

I'm woefully ignorant of who gets what portion of our taxes and how they are collected.

So does this funding come from income tax? PST? Gas tax? Property tax? All of the above?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Originally posted by the grey:
[b]Catholic schools are open to ALL students, in all walks of society. Just like Catholic hospitals are open to ALL patients.[/b]

...except, of course, the ones who want abortions.

As for Catholic schools:

quote:

Separate school boards in Ontario regularly discriminate against non-Catholic Ontarians (two-thirds of the population, 2001 Census) in admissions. At the elementary school level, separate school boards have absolute control over the denominational aspects of education. The religion of you or your child is considered by the Ministry of Education to be a denominational aspect of education that separate boards may control. If you are not a Catholic, you have no right to admission.

The situation with secondary schools is quite different. There, "open access" applies and public school supporters must be admitted to the separate school in their area upon request. In practice, this "open access" begins at grade 9 (Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board). Be wary of entrance interviews for new students at the secondary school level. One usually expects that an interview has two possible outcomes: acceptance or rejection. In this case, rejection is not an option, but the interview serves to suggest that it is and discourages some from even applying. [url=http://www.oneschoolsystem.org/faq.html#FAQ_Q5]Source[/url]


M. Spector M. Spector's picture

quote:


Did you know…

• The cost of running parallel school systems (public and separate) serving overlapping jurisdictions amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars annually.

• School boards across the province are now cutting staff and programs to deal with funding shortfalls while well over a million dollars per day goes up in smoke due to unnecessary duplication.

• Separate school boards have an absolute right to discriminate against non-Catholic children in admissions (until grade 9) and against non-Catholic teachers in employment (at all grade levels).

• All Ontarians bear the same tax burden, but only those of the Roman Catholic faith are guaranteed a publicly-funded school choice.

• School support designations on municipal property assessments have no effect on total school board funding, which is ultimately determined by enrolment and other documented needs.

• Canada has now been censured twice by the UN Human Rights Committee (in 1999 and again in 2005) for violating the equality rights of its own citizens by virtue of the religious discrimination in the Ontario school system.

• Of the 800,000 students bussed in Ontario every day; tens of thousands are bussed past their nearest publicly funded school to attend another publicly-funded school. Those children would have shorter commutes or would walk under one school system, bringing fiscal, environmental, health, and lifestyle benefits.

• The religious segregation of Ontario children results in de facto racial and ethnic segregation that further undermines the development of tolerance and respect between Ontarians of different backgrounds.


[url=http://www.oneschoolsystem.org/documents/OneSchoolSystemPamphlet.pdf]one...

TemporalHominid TemporalHominid's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Robespierre:
[b]

.

But, to TemporalHominid: You must supply something more than a sweeping statement. Whom exactly are we helping to divide and conquer the school system by advocating a unified, publicly controlled school system? We need a few names here, and a few details about how that insidious goal could be furthered by supporting the exact opposite. Sorry, but I'm confused.[/b]


Yea,h I'll name some names and provide some links

[url=http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/lastfront.html]the end of not-for-profit public services[/url]- Maude Barlow

[url=http://www.teachers.ab.ca/Quick+Links/Publications/Magazine/Volume+85/Nu... Alberta Case [/url]- chronic underfunding of public education by the Klein government, the Reform Party of Canada calling for more "choice" for those that can afford it

quote:

Education, just like the telephone service, electric power and many other essential services, could and should be privatized. But for the time being the ideology of public education is still strong, and that means that government-owned school systems will continue to exist. In those circumstances, the best policy is to introduce as many competitive elements as possible.

Tom Flanagan, University of Calgary and advisor to the then Reform Party, Globe and Mail (July 16, 1998)


quote:

OUT OF CONTROL: The great socialist experiment in public education has resulted in rampant school violence, runaway costs, poor performance and furious parents. The alternative is privatization

-Alberta Report, July 5, 1993

I should note, Alberta was 1st jurisdiction to privatise [url=http://www.nupge.ca/news_2003/n04jn03c.htm]liquor retailing[/url].

quote:


Liquor consumption has increased (with its potential risks of increasing social ills), wholesale costs have risen, and retail prices have increased. Although retail prices have increased, the tax revenues to government have fallen significantly.

Alberta has pursued electricity and natural gas deregulation; the Klein government promised Albertans lowered electricity prices and more stable supplies once electricity was subjected to the competitive pressures of the marketplace.

The price of electricity rose over 500% between June and October 2000, and even more since then.
Albertans are paying a lot more, and experiencing more[url=http://www.edmontonsun.com/News/Edmonton/2008/07/21/6217171-sun.html]bla... under deregulation.

As a result of deregulation in Alberta, Ontario, Montana and California, the [url=http://www.cbc.ca/consumers/market/files/services/deregulation/index.htm... is the loser- as they pay higher and higher bills for gas and electricity, but less service and a less reliable supplies

[ 24 July 2008: Message edited by: TemporalHominid ]

Agent 204 Agent 204's picture

quote:


Originally posted by Pogo:
[b]I do think it would be stupid however to take a run at it at the wrong time and not only lose and set the issue back, but also weaken the ability to stand for other issues. I like the idea of taking the idea out of the political mix and having an independent commission look at it.[/b]

That's actually the best solution. A government that did that would have plausible deniability- they could always point to the independent commission's recommendations. The risk, of course, is that the commission would recommend something else (like, say, expanding funding to other religious schools).

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