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School Closures & Social Spatial Justice Ranu Basu Department of Geography York University September 25th, 2009 Social Planning Toronto


Current Projects: • Neoliberalization of Education in Ontario [SSHRC] • Questions of ‘integration’ in Toronto’s schools [CERISOntario Metropolis]

Collaborative Projects: • Social Sustainability and Public Space in Three Canadian Cities – Calgary, Toronto, Montreal [SSHRC] • York Region Infrastructure Project [Infrastructure Canada/SSHRC] • SSHRC Cluster A Canadian Refugee Research Network: Globalizing Knowledge


Rationale for School Closures:


• Process – Rational Process – Political Process


“A lack of provincial funding is forcing the Board to close schools which are currently providing viable programs. These closures are fiscally driven, not pedagogically driven. Staff has serious reservations about the impact of such cuts on the students, the school system and the communities in the City of Toronto.” School Closures: A Response to the Provincial Government’s Student-Focused Funding Model (1998)TDSB


"You have allowed staff to paint a scarlet letter under the name of this school. It is too old, too small, too working class for you to respect its value to its own neighborhood. You behave as though schools belonged to elected officials and not to the community.� Parent at a TDSB Board Meeting.


Objectives • Provide a conceptual framework to measure conditions conducive for social capital formation within neighbourhood schools (power of civic agency) • Examine how social capital varies by the underlying neighbourhood structure (structural dimensions of power) • Note its relationship with school closure decisions (rationality or power)


SOCIAL CAPITAL: Putnam’s Indicators: Institutional Performance Indicators- 12 variables

EDUCATION: Epstein’s framework: Parent-School Cooperation 6 groups

•1 Day care centers

•1 Basic Obligation of Families

•2 Family Clinics

•2 Basic Obligation of Schools

•3 Local health unit spending

•3 Involvement at School

Local Government Performance Indicators-15 variables

•4 Involvement in Learning activities at home

•1 Communal sports facilities implem.

•5 Involvement in Governance and Advocacy

•2 Communal libraries implementation •3 Trash Collection Implementation

•6 Collaboration with Community Organizations.

Traditions of Civic Involvement (1860-1920)- 5 variables •1 Electoral turnout, 1919-1921 •2 Local Associations founded before 1860 •3 Strength of Socialist and Popular Parties, 1919-1921


Civic Capacities within Schools

Intramural

Sh1 Sh2

Parental

Neighbourhood Community

Extrinsic

Ps1 Ps2 Ps3 Psg

Ns1 Ns2 Ns3

Es1 Es2 Es3


Aggregating EA data to the School District Level SD Boundary EA Boundary EA Centroid


TOTPOP PROPAPT PROPSD

Total Population Total Apartments/Total number of Dwellings Total Single Detached Homes/Total number of Dwellings

PROPLP PROPSEN

Total Number of Lone Parents/Total number of Dwellings Total Seniors (over 65 years of age)/Total Population

PRRECIMM PRNCNCIT PRVISMIN.

Total number of Recent Immigrants (1991-1996)/Total Population Total Non Canadian Citizens/Total Population Total Visible Minorities/Total Population

PROV25UN. PR15CHUN.

Unemployed Population 25 years and over/Population 25 years and over Unemployed Population 15 years and over with children/ Total population over 15

PRTIMECC. PRTIMESC.

Population spending over 30 hours on unpaid childcare/Total population over 15 Population spending 5-10 hours a week on unpaid senior care/Total population over 15

PRLOWEDU. HIGHEDU.

Population without Secondary School Certificate/Total population over 15 Total Population with a Bachelor's Degree or Higher/Total population over 15

PRMOVERS. PREXTMIG.

Total Movers/Total Population External Migrants/Total Migrants

INHHLWGT AVDWVLWG

Average Household Income Average Value of Dwelling

PROPRENT RNTOV30P OWNOV30P PRDWMJRP

Total Renters/Total Dwellings Population paying over 30% of Income in Rent Payments Population paying over 30% of Income in Mortgage Payments Dwellings in need of Major Repairs/Total Dwellings


RESULTS • Descriptive : – Forms of Social Capital in the TDSB

• Empirical I : – Multiple Regressions: – 11 independent variables (Ps1….Sh2) examining 22 Neighbourhood Effects (Inc, Edu, Ethn..)

• Empirical II: – Logistic Regression Examining: – Sch_Cl98 = ƒ (Rationality and Power)


Intramural

Home Promoted Activities

Sh1

Seamless Day

Sh2

Family Literacy

French

Parenting Centres

Homework Clubs

Early Literacy Programs

Music/Dance

Family Services, Shelters

International Language Classes

Block Parents 7 categories

Sport Teams 8 categories


Parent Involvement

Ongoing

Ps1

Occasional

Ps2

Fundraising

Governance

Ps3

Psg

classroom

Field Trips

lunches

library

Special Events

funfair

office

bbqs

Sales

Core Volunteers

Lunchroom, breakfast, snack

Music

Contribute resources

Peripheral Vol.

Sporting events

Projects

Sports

No.of Council Members

9 categories

11 categories

17 categories

3 categories


Neighbourhood Involvement

Locales

Residents/Social Services

Ns1

Ns2

Business Links

Ns3

Child care Centre

School as Comm.Cetre

Local Businesses

Library

High School Students

Grocery Stores

Community Centre

Intergenerational Activities

Banks

Hospital

Salvation Army

Restaurants

Church

Environmental Comm.

Walmart

11 categories

29 categories

41 categories


Extrinsic Involvement

Collaborations

Settlement Transitions

Political Organizations

Es1

Es2

Es3

Clothing exchange

Adult ESL

Charity

Reception for New Immigrants African Heritage Month

Local Pol.Action

Activities with other Elementary Schools

Easter Seal: Disabilities

Ward Meetings

Kids-help

HEADS: head start

Ministry

Food Bank-Drive

9 categories

14 categories

Neighbourhood Ass

Govt. Representative

5 categories


LATENT TO ACTIVE POWER

Quality of Engagement (time, resources, skills)

Social Learning (consciousness and organization)

Mobilization and Collective Action


Empirical I MULTIPLE REGRESSIONS (11) : Civic Agency (f) Neighbourhood Structure Ps1 ƒ

(totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..)

Ps2 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..) Ps3 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..) Sh1 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..) Sh2 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..) Ns1 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..) Es1 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..) Es2 ƒ….. (totpop, prrecimm, prlowedu……..)


Variations in Civic Participation by Neighbourhood Structure • Neighbourhood Density does matter- in general, higher densities less likely to be involved ($- costlier to operate; also free rider problem-Olson); with the exception of fundraising activities ($$) • Parental activities in schools more likely to attract those with high education levels and less likely to attract those with low education levels and low income (e.g. dwellings in need of major repair used as proxy)- Bondi, Rose, Delhi and Ianuario. • Low income renters (renters with affordability problems) are well rooted in their local places. In Toronto, due to shortage of affordable housing, renters are less likely to move. Transaction cost = Owners. • Extrinsic activities and School Based Activities well used by many marginal groups (e.g.unemployed with children; renters with affordability problems; visible minorities; non Canadian Citizens).


Empirical II Logistic Regression Examining: SchCl98 = Ć’ (Rationality and Power)


Efficiency Variables used to Rationalize School Closures AGE COUNTALL COUNTELM ENRO CAP

Age of the school Presence of other schools in theschool district Presence of other elementary schools Enrolment levels Capacity relative to enrolment

Underlying Latent Power and Organization Structure PS1 Ps2 Ps3 Ns1 Ns2 Ns3 Es1 Es2 Es3 Sh1 Sh2

Sum of activities related to regular parental involvement Sum of activities related to occasional parental involvement Sum of all fundraising activities Sum of all links to ‘locales’ Sum of all the presence of outside/community involvement Sum of all presence of business involvement Sum of all collaboration with other schools Sum of all settlement transitions Sum of all links to political organizations Sum of all activities at home promoted by schools Sum of all seamless day programs


Impact of School Closures on Neighbourhood based Social Capital • Less Likely to Close • Ps1: Ongoing Involvement** • Ps3:Fundraising Act. • Ns2: Links with Comm.Organizations • Ns3: Links with Business

More Likely to Close Es2:Settlement ** Ps2: Occasional Inv. Ns1: Locales Present Sh1:At Home Support Sh2:Seamless Day Prg • Es1:Collaborations • Es3:Political Orgs. • • • • • •


Ranu Basu Š


Ranu Basu Š


Ranu Basu Š


Ranu Basu Š


Ranu Basu Š


III. What have we learnt; where do we go from here? ~move towards a Social Justice Framework


SPT School Closures Presentation