The recent issue of the BCTF Teacher published a refreshing, if hard hitting, look at aboriginal education and what might be the core factors impeding success. Former northern BC teacher, Deb McIntyre has this to say on the subject:
It is no secret that our Aboriginal students trail behind their non-Aboriginal peers in school achievement. The grim facts show up in standardized test scores, school completion rates and overall emotional satisfaction. (Aboriginal Report 2003–04 —2007–08 How are we doing? www.bced.gov.bc.ca/abed/performance.htm) Typically, a lot of blame gets tossed about. The more liberal excuses tend to blame the conditions of poverty. I have heard other teachers suggest poor parenting is involved. Some complain about an essential lack of inner motivation. We even blame the media for promoting “gangsta” lifestyles over scholarly pursuits. I would like to offer a radically different perspective. What if the problem is really a symptom of something that nobody wants to talk about; what if our educational system was inherently racist?