Intrusive school ‘survey’ disturbs students in Scarborough

“One example is one of the questions ‘I’m worried about my future’… ‘My daughter wasn’t but she is now’… She asked me ‘Should I be worried about my future?’” – Mother of 12 year-old student.  “…the survey was similar to a detailed psychological assessment.” – Mother and social worker.

Toronto District School Board official Manon Gardner says at one point below that the point of the program is to identify “children living in poverty who had needs in terms of nutrition, social wellbeing, emotional wellbeing”, yet elsewhere she says “We only talk about the aggregate results… We don’t drill it down to individual students.”

If the intention of the survey is to ascertain which schools have children living in poverty, or who show signs of emotional upset or demonstrate a lack of basic social skills, then simply interviewing the teachers should be sufficient to obtain the necessary answers. 

There is no need whatsoever to upset children, and to give them unnecessary doubts and fears, by asking them to answer questions such as “Should I be worried about my future?” and to rate statements such as “I like who I am, and I am special to others”. 

Incidentally, according to “Sunshine List” information available on-line, Manon Gardner is a “Chief Academic Officer” employed by the Toronto District School Board, who earned $171,872.56, plus $7,070.21 in benefits, for the year 2011. 

This idea that children are a captive audience for poking and prodding by ideologically-motivated teachers and others with a political agenda, must come to an end.

And this idea that teachers are “co-parents” in the raising of children, which we have come across before, is not merely false and presumptuous.  In my opinion, it is undoubtedly a “construct” specifically tailored to provide justification for just such experiments.

The public must assert itself against the teachers and administrators on this score, preferably without resorting to our political representatives, because they are a large part of the problem, Premier McGuinty in particular.  See here

If I had the time and could travel more easily, I would set up a pressure-group to do something about this.  I can no longer do that sort of thing any more, but I would be very happy to see someone else take on the task. 

This attack on our children isn’t going to stop until it is made to stop.

Jeff Goodall.

School survey angers parents

Toronto Sun
Maryam Shah: June 17th, 2012

One parent called it “government psychological profiling.”

The Scarborough mom, who did not wish to be identified, said that on June 11 her 12-year-old daughter returned home from Guildwood Junior Public School with a 124-question survey.

The survey included assertions to which students were asked to strongly agree, agree, disagree, strongly disagree or stay neutral.

“One example is one of the questions ‘I’m worried about my future’ and I said, ‘My daughter wasn’t but she is now,’” she said. “She asked me ‘Should I be worried about my future?’”

Another question asks “I like who I am, and I am special to others.”

For a child who perhaps can’t answer with “I strongly agree,” it’s a tough spot to be put in, said the mom.

The survey was issued to 126 schools this year as part of the Model Schools for Inner Cities program. Administrators call it a resiliency survey, used to see, for instance, if children are satisfied with after-school activities in their area.

“We will change our procedures in terms of sending a letter home and asking parents if they wish to take part or not part — that will be up to them,” said Toronto District School Board official Manon Gardner.

The resiliency survey has been given to schools throughout Canada since 2000. Gardner said the point of the program is to identify children living in poverty, “who had needs in terms of nutrition, social wellbeing, emotional wellbeing.”

For the past two years, around 40 Toronto schools received the survey under the program. This year was the first time all 126 schools participated.

The trouble is, the parents had no clue about it.

“The biggest thing was there was nothing sent home,” complained another mother, Christina Doucette.

Employed as a social worker, she found the survey was similar to a detailed psychological assessment.

Some parents, reportedly, retrieved the form with their child’s name printed on it.

“It should be confidential,” Doucette insisted. “It shouldn’t have your name on it.”

Gardner offered assurances the survey is confidential.

“We only talk about the aggregate results,” she said. “We don’t drill it down to individual students.”

At least four parents said their children indicated their teacher allegedly informed them they would fail the class if they didn’t fill out the survey.

“My daughter and her friend both said that the teacher had said if they didn’t fill it out, they wouldn’t pass Grade 5,” Doucette said. “Which is totally inappropriate in itself.”

Upon hearing the allegation, Gardner was surprised.

“I can certainly investigate that, I wasn’t aware of that,” she said. “If the students don’t complete it, then we move on — that’s all it is.”
 
See original here.

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