Saturday, July 7, 2018

Angels of Chromium and Steel and Hitler Loving Sex Robots

“Angels of Chromium and Steel” and “Hitler-Loving Sex-Robots”:

How E-Learning has altered Community and Cognition and Why a New Theory is Needed

“They too have a kind of life of their own - they live by spirits of men who have relinquished more and more to the machine, have surrendered to it more and more that is human and natural. So man dwells surrounded by angels of chromium and steel”.

Thomas Merton. The Angel and the Machine, 1967

Is a New Theory Needed?

To answer the question of whether we need a new theory of e-learning I will first summarize the articles by Alzaghoul and Andrews on the topic and then address the key points of Andrews when he calls for a new theory.   

Alzaghoul defines learning theory as the following:

“A learning theory is an attempt to describe how people and animals learn; thereby helping us understands(sic) the inherently complex process of learning. Imagine of learning as a relatively permanent change in behavior with behavior including both observable activity and internal processes such as thinking, attitudes and emotions”.

So the question expressed more fully is do we need a new theory to describe how people change their behavior, thinking, attitudes and emotions when using e-learning?  Alzaghoul argues that behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism can be applied to elearning strategies to explain the process of learning that occurs and that a new theory is unnecessary.  

    Andrews on the other hand feels that a new theory is required because nothing yet addresses “the social implications of eLearning; its transformative effects; or the social, multimodal and technical interplay that affords and directs eLearning, and which is currently reshaping educational practices”.  His four main points are as follows:

“e-learning is distinctively different from conventional face-to-face learning, or solitary learning by an individual in a library or a monastic cell, in four main ways: the digitization of text makes for easier and more rapid transduction; the availability of an extended community of learners, with the teacher taking his/ her place alongside learners, extends the possibilities of learning as an effect of that community (and as an effect of its connection with other communities); within that community, the learner has more agency and more resources at his/her disposal; and the affordance of asynchronicity makes for a potentially more dynamic relationship between the individual learner and his/her interaction with the wider group/community”. 115

So to summarize

Transduction is easier


E communities are larger, more diverse, less hierarchical, more dynamic and more open to constructivism


The e-learner has more opportunity for self-direction

I agree with Andrews that a new theory is needed, but I disagree on his interpretation of the nature of transduction and community.  As he suggests, e-learning is co-evolving with theory, but in particular as we implement e-learning we are able to study the effect of student interaction with the machines that make it possible, and many of the studies that have taken place since he wrote in 2011 offer a more critical understanding of the role and effect of the interaction with the machine on cognition.    

    In understanding the role of community and belonging in e-learning I will draw on Thomas Merton and Jean Vanier to provide a Catholic criticism of our implementation of e-learning without thought to the role of human presence.  E-learning communities and their role in constructivism ARE fundamentally different, but go beyond access to knowledge and the self-direction of learners in learning communities.

Altered Cognition: Fake News and Hitler Sex Robots  

Andrews believes that transduction is easier using digitized text, and that “In e-learning, however, the canonical texts are themselves committed to digital format and thus become at once more malleable, and more open to critique that has the same status as the original text”.  More recent studies of students using digital texts has found that in fact comprehension, retention and deep reading are reduced.  

Naomi Baron, a Stanford educated linguist and professor of computer-mediated communication at the American University in Washington makes a strong argument based on her research that “Digital Reading is no Substitute for Print”.  In a study of 429 university students she found that when reading from print students spent more time on a passage, understood more deeply and retained more.  One student in complained that ““It takes more time to read the same number of pages in print comparing to digital”, while another explained the reason for this: “It takes me longer because I read more carefully.”  Baron believes that ““This finding is hardly surprising, given the tendency so many of us have to skim and search when going online, rather than reading slowly and carefully”.  

She also found that print was easier on the eyes and less likely to encourage multitasking, which every teacher knows can hugely cut into a student’s concentration, focus and learning time even under the watchful eye of teacher, let alone left alone on a computer.   As a result professors are more likely to assign shorter more bite sized readings rather than longer forms texts.

    While Andrews praises the non-hierarchical democracy of internet sources, this non-hierarchical and uncurated presentation of information has limited student’s ability to measure, weigh and critically evaluate the relative integrity and truthfulness of sources.  Pre-millenials, and especially Xillenials learned to evaluate print sources for truthfulness by questioning the author, date, publication.  Millenials however have been introduced from birth to the internet where lack of knowledge hierarchy presents all sources and texts as equally valid.  In a prescient 2016 study by Stanford’s Sam Wineburg titled “Evaluating Information: The Cornerstone of Civil Online Reasoning” in which 7800 high school students were asked to evaluate the credibility of tweets and articles, researchers were shocked at how many failed to accurately identify credibility.  Students were unable to tell the difference between paid articles and real ones, accepted photographs as presented without verifying them, could not tell real and actual fake news apart, could not suspect bias in tweets from activist groups, and could not tell the difference between a mainstream and fringe source.  Researchers “described the results as ‘dismaying,’ ‘bleak’ and ‘[a] threat to democracy.’”   

    In perhaps the scariest example of the effect of unfettered, unmediated access to internet learning, when Microsoft released its “teen-girl”-artificial intelligence to the internet, it took less than 24 hours to be corrupted into a “Hitler Loving Sex Robot”.

Within 24 hours Tay had transformed from something of a friendly blank slate into a sex-crazed, Nazi-loving Donald Trump supporter. Smarter, maybe, but also much, much scarier. At least Microsoft was right about one thing: Tay certainly had "zero chill."  Tay's tweets ranged from deeply anti-Semitic, pro-Hitler screeds, to downright pornographic. And, of course, she was just repeating what she learned from a day in Twitter's trenches. As just about anyone familiar with the social network could have told Microsoft in advance of this little fiasco, of course this happened to Tay.

If it’s so obvious what would happen to a teen girl twitter AI released on the internet for AI learning, should we not be suspect of what kind of learning is happening to REAL teens?

    Rather than elearning through computers, the internet, and digital texts making transduction easier, the use of digital texts absent a hierarchy of knowledge credibility mediated by a teacher has actually caused students to read less deeply, less critically, and with less understanding.  A new theory of e-learning is required to address concurrent research on the interaction between computers and cognition in the teenage brain.

   

Machine-Mediated Community: The Angels of Chromium and Steel  

Using Vygotsky and Rogoff, Andrews argues that learning is an effect of community that “happens as a result of close connection in cohesive social groupings or communities”.  E-learning communities operate “irrespective of place”, in the Ontario context through the D2L virtual learning environment.  Using Castells, Andrews argues that the individual being able to define their participation in online communities results in “a richer, more extensive opportunity for learning”.  More research and understanding needs to be done in order to understand the difference in learning that occurs between a physically present and online community. The lacunae that Andrews misidentifies is the role of the machine in replacing the teacher as the moderator of the classroom learning community, and also as the corporal aspect in which learners connect with eachother.  Whereas Andrews believes this allows for democratic, flat, learning, it has a far deeper impact than recognized on learners in community.

Megan Garber, in “What does Community Mean” explores the changing role and meaning of community in a machine mediated social world:

For much of the 20th century, if you asked someone to define “community,” they’d very likely give you an answer that involved a physical location. One’s community derived from one’s place—one’s literal place—in the world: one’s school, one’s neighborhood, one’s town. In the 21st century, though, that primary notion of “community” has changed. The word as used today tends to involve something at once farther from and more intimate than one’s home: one’s identity. “A body of people or things viewed collectively,”  The Oxford English Dictionary sums it up… It used to be that people were born as part of a community, and had to find their place as individuals. Now people are born as individuals, and have to find their community.

A feeling of belonging and community is critical to constructivist learning.  In order to feel that you are part of a community and belong you have to be missed if you are not there.  Do we notice if someone is not present for e-class?  If someone’s feels they do not belong and do not connect with their peers and caring adult, how engaged are they?  How do you create a community without being able to laugh together, to share a meal together, to pray together, to experience physical reality together (heat, cold, lockdowns) to go on field trips together, go for a beer or coffee after class, physically interact, smile at eachother, make eye contact?  Every study of touch and face to face and eye contact with babies shows that both are important to healthy development. Does the need for eye contact and face to face communications go away as we get older? More study is needed in order to fully understand the role in learning of physical vs virtual community.  

    In February speaking to clergy Pope Francis admonished them for spending too much time on their phones.    

Today’s frantic pace leads us to close many doors to encounter, often for fear of others… Only shopping malls and internet connections are always open.  Yet that is not how it should be with consecrated life: the brother and the sister given to me by God are a part of my history, gifts to be cherished. May we never look at the screen of our cellphone more than the eyes of our brothers or sisters, or focus more on our software than on the Lord.

Are machine mediated learning communities (MMLC) contributing to the fostering of belonging and community with our students or hindering it?

Trappist Monk Thomas Merton suggested we ask of technology not “will it work” but “is it good. Is it just”.  Is the technology “constrained within the goals and ideals of a fully human community”.  From both a Christian and secular humanist perspective we have to ask ourselves the impact machine mediated learning communities are having in the education of the human person.  He also raises the question of time when we interact through machines. “In machine time, everything is planned, determined, every instant has its own demands. In natural time there is the slow harmonious succcession of cosmic and terrestrial events, to which man's own nature has its ancient replies”.  E-learning alters the nature of time. What happens to community when we are not in the same time, in the eachother’s same presence. So much of teaching and learning is contained in the industrial model of the school day, with a teachers role being to direct the time, fill the time, use the time, watch the time, endure the time.  How does asynchronous time effect community and learning?

    Marina Keegan, a Yale student who died in car crash and was later published, wrote a brilliant commencement article asking what the opposite of loneliness was.

We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life. What I’m grateful and thankful to have found at Yale, and what I’m scared of losing when we wake up tomorrow and leave this place.

It’s not quite love and it’s not quite community; it’s just this feeling that there are people, an abundance of people, who are in this together. Who are on your team. When the check is paid and you stay at the table. When it’s four a.m. and no one goes to bed. That night with the guitar. That night we can’t remember. That time we did, we went, we saw, we laughed, we felt. The hats.

If Vygotsky believes that learning in community is transformational to what extent does deep meaningful cognitive and spiritual transformation occur in non physical communities?  

    Jean Vanier argues that the poor, weak and vulnerable have more to teach the capable and strong than vice versa.  “The weak teach the strong to accept and integrate the weakness and brokenness of their own lives.” Andrews shows concern that “any new theory of e-learning needs to bear in mind that just as learning was always subject to a spectrum of access and use, according to socio-economic, geographic, cognitive and motivational factors, so too e-learning (while it appears to ‘democratize’ learning possibilities) is actually stretching the spectrum of access – and thus use – still further”.  Although elearning communities can extend the community to hospitalized students and students with too much anxiety or depression to attend school, by the very nature of e-learning they exclude blind students, illiterate students, students with no self-direction, developmentally disabled students without access to technology.  How is the built in absence of these students affecting learning communities and constructivist learning?

Conclusion

Andrews believes we need a new theory of elearning that evolves as we and our technology co-evolve.  I agree with Andrews, but for different reasons. We have wholeheartedly dived into elearning, for its novelty, its cost effectiveness, for the benefits it provides to early adopters and because it is being pushed by business.  We need a new elearning theory to understand how machine mediated learning is effecting cognition and community. Jacques Ellul, French Christian Anarchist and technological theorist provides a note of caution to the adoption of any technology.  “The “technical society” has committed itself to the never-ending search for the one best way to achieve any objective in any conceivable field of human endeavor, and that, in summary, humankind had set itself on a path of carefully determined means to carelessly determined end”.  Let us very carefully examine to what end.  

   

 

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Hands to Work, Hearts to God: School Vegetable Gardening

Hands to work, hearts to God: School Vegetable Gardening  
“A community is alive when it is poor and its members feel they have to work together and remain united, if only to ensure that they can all eat tomorrow!” 
 
Jean Vanier, Community And Growth
http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5098/5424168213_f19b2229db_o.jpgIn 1917 as the Great War dragged on and food and other supplies became scarce the Canadian Ministry of Agriculture launched the “Vegetable Garden in Every Home” campaign.  Canadians responded enthusiastically, creating thousands of vegetable gardens in backyards, schools, parks and baseball diamonds.  Again in World War Two, the Allied countries encouraged home and school gardening as a way of supplementing the war economy.  In 1944 it is estimated that there were over 209,000 Victory Gardens across Canada producing 57,000 tonnes of vegetables.  Despite this output, the gardens were more symbolic than anything, boosting morale and providing a way for everyone to get involved in the fight against the Nazis. 
Following the collapse of Communism, Cuba experienced a similar explosion in urban gardening as their primary trading partner, the USSR, ceased supplying cheap pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and production declined.  Calorie intake dropped from a national average of 2900 calories a day to 1800.  In response, the government encouraged “organoponicos”, urban organic vegetable gardens.  In Havana alone 87,000 acres are used for vegetable gardening. 
http://www.homesteaddreamer.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/comics_victory_garden.jpgWe may not be fighting Nazis or in the midst of an economic meltdown yet we nevertheless face a generation defining challenge- transitioning to a fossil free future, what theologian Thomas Berry calls the “Ecozoic Age”.  While some had hoped that declining oil production-Peak Oil, would force a transition, new extraction techniques have dramatically increased the amount of recoverable reserves.  As eco-journalist George Monbiot says “there’s enough oil to fry us all”.  If we are to keep global temperature below catastrophic levels, most of the oil will need to stay in the ground.  A new economy and a new way of living will have to be built, with superhero level sacrifices and government intervention on a scale not seen since the Second World War. 
Building a school vegetable garden is a wonderful opportunity to begin this transition, providing for a multitude of teachable moments and cross curricular connections.  At Jean Vanier C.S.S. the Cooking and Eco Clubs teamed up to win over $55,000 in grants for a “Field to Table” program, allowing us to rebuild our long neglected classroom kitchen with new appliances, cabinets and fresh paint and build a courtyard vegetable garden, complete with greenhouse, grow lights, rain barrels and drip fed irrigation system.  The vegetables grown in our Saint Francis Garden were picked by students and used in cooking classes.  We had such an abundance that many ended up in the hands of members.  As a place to pray, a source of fresh produce, an inspiration to our role in growing the future through shaping young minds, school vegetable gardens can be but one component in our transition to a more healthy, fulfilling and sustainable education system.                  


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Vote No

Is it about the kids? 

1.  I have three children and a large credit line.  I cannot afford to coach but I do.  I shouldn't have to work night school and summer school to break even.  Part time jobs take time away from the free time I give to the students. 
2.  Toronto housing prices have increased astronomically in the past ten years, far beyond compensation.  The rest of Ontario is not in the same boat. 

Why vote no:

1.  It's not about the money, it's about the respect.  Would you have voted yes to the MOU? To reducing sick days by 4? Eliminating the gratuity? We didn't get a vote on the MOU, now is our chance to voice our displeasure.  I would rather lose money striking and end up with a bad deal than accepting it by choice. 

2.  What was fair for the boomers should be fair for us and the teachers coming after us.  Are we worth less than the boomers? 
-I've lost a few thousand beyond the MOU because of 90%, 66% and unpaid days I've had to take for my daughter, days the generation before had fully paid necause they could exhaust their sick bank.  I hope no one else has to deal with seriously ill children under the new system. 
-The boomers walked into retirement with a $45,000 gratuity. We will have nothing.  How is that fair?

3.  American bankers with greedy and foolish lending practice's crashed the world economy.  NAFTA has led to the decline of Ontario's manufacturing sector.  Teachers compensation is not responsible for the decline in Ontario's financial viability.  The public sector should have an across the board cost saving approach to help Ontario out.  But corporate taxes haven't gone up to help.  The police, firefighters and hydro workers received significant increases.  And corporate executives are back to making major wage increases.  TD banks CEO Ed Clark received a 10% raise last year.  Corporate profits are back up.  The GDP per capita adjusted for inflation is $10k higher than it was in the 1990s.  Yet somehow there is not money for the public sector?  If we are going to take -2%,-2%,0%,0%,2%, it needs to be everyone, not just teachers. 

4.  Justin Trudeau needs to win Ontario to win federally in this election, which is the only reason the Wynne government settled with our bargaining teams. The Liberals talk the good talk but when it comes to priorities they have always placed the economy first.  Let's complicate things for Justin and help elect Canada's first NDP government. It's time for a change.

5.  Our generation needs a real education in history of the labour movement.  There is no education like lived experience. 

What do I want?

1.  The Ontario Liberals and OECTA leadership to know its not OK to disrespect the collective bargaining process. 

2.  130,000 teachers and educational support staff on strike cand ampaigning for the party of the little people, the NDP. 

3. Cash out my frozen gratuity or honour the the amount my frozen days would be worth under the old system when I retire (grandfather it)

4.  All 16 illness days should be usable for Personal OR Family. 

5.  Compensation in line with other public sector workers- TTC was arbitrated 1%,1%,1%, cops 3%.  I will take 0% (94k is a great salary) but grid increases of 0%,1%,1.5% is fair. 

MOU RECAP of what we lost:

In 2012 the Ontario Liberal Party, facing recession in the midst of two byelections, and therefore looking for a punching bag, convinced the leadership of OECTA to concede to a collective agreement full of concessions. 

Sick days were reduced from 20 to 16, eleven of which could no longer be used for family illness.  Teachers on the grid faced a 6 month freeze costing them $2000/year.  The retirement gratuity of banked days was frozen at 2012 levels as though you were cashing out, without actually giving you the cash.  The bank was replaced with a short term disability program that could not be used for family illness.  And teachers took three unpaid days costing between $600 and $900 dollars. 

The worst part of the deal was that OECTA members did not get to vote on it.  OSSTF opposed it but was was legislated into accepting the deal.

Ontario will be in permanent economic decline for the near and middle future.  Public sector compensation will always be "unaffordable".  As we lose our rights and wages, it is important that the rest of Ontario do it in a fair and equitable manner. 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ending school segregation can only be done through more Rigid Boundaries

Re Sunday April 19 "Toronto has a two tiered education system".

Sachin Maharaj proposes a solution to two tiered education that will only exacerbate the inequality in our school system.  School boundaries are already open to parents unwilling to send their progeny to "bad" neighbourhood schools, namely ones with kids from a lower socio economic status or different racial background. 

Students wanting to escape boundaries can already do so for French Immersion, the Arts, International Baccalaureate or other specialised programs, which are usually found in neighbourhoods with more expensive housing. 

At the end of the day, if the public system isn't good enough for little Johnny, wealthy parents can send him to any number of exclusive private schools, like Upper Canada College and Branksome Hall where the funding is triple that of public education.

A truly egalitarian solution to the segregation in our school system would be to encourage mixed income, mixed use neighbourhoods like the Esplanade and the new Regent Park through smart urban planning and public investment so that children from various backgrounds would live side by side and have a stake in the public system.  This would also reverse the troubling trend of the growing gap between rich and poor neighbourhoods as shown in David Hukchanski's groundbreaking studies. 

Unemployment and child poverty needs to be tackled using any of the methods that a myriad of studies have proposed ad nauseum, so that the inequality at entry to Junior Kindergarten is less extreme.

Finally, rigid school boundaries need to be imposed with NO exceptions for special programs, including abolishing the private school system.  Arts and French Immersion schools need to stop draining talented students and strong advocate parents from neighbourhood schools.  And the rich need to be forced to throw the success of their most precious asset, their children, in with the rest of us. 

Ending School Segregation needs more Boundaries, not less.

Re Sunday April 19 "Toronto has a two tiered education system".

Sachin Maharaj proposes a solution to two tiered education that will only exacerbate the inequality in our school system.  School boundaries are already open to parents unwilling to send their progeny to "bad" neighbourhood schools, namely ones with kids from a lower socio economic status or different racial background. 

Students wanting to escape boundaries can already do so for French Immersion, the Arts, International Baccalaureate or other specialised programs, which are usually found in neighbourhoods with more expensive housing. 

At the end of the day, if the public system isn't good enough for little Johnny, wealthy parents can send him to any number of exclusive private schools, like Upper Canada College and Branksome Hall where the funding is triple that of public education.

A truly egalitarian solution to the segregation in our school system would be to encourage mixed income, mixed use neighbourhoods like the Esplanade and the new Regent Park through smart urban planning and public investment so that children from various backgrounds would live side by side and have a stake in the public system.  This would also reverse the troubling trend of the growing gap between rich and poor neighbourhoods as shown in David Hukchanski's groundbreaking studies. 

Unemployment and child poverty needs to be tackled using any of the methods that a myriad of studies have proposed ad nauseum, so that the inequality at entry to Junior Kindergarten is less extreme.

Finally, rigid school boundaries need to be imposed with NO exceptions for special programs, including abolishing the private school system.  Arts and French Immersion schools need to stop draining talented students and strong advocate parents from neighbourhood schools.  And the rich need to be forced to throw the success of their most precious asset, their children, in with the rest of us. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Post Gets Preferential Option Wrong

The National post this week published an article by millionaire Christians who interpreted the preferential option for the poor to mean support for free markets to eliminate poverty capitalism.  Shame on the Post for publishing uneducated tripe by authors who have evidently never read an encyclical.

This article completely mistakes the preferential option for the poor to a delusionally ignorant or willfully distorted extent.  The wants of the poor come before the needs of the rich. Francis acknowledges the failure of a market system, as did Leo, and JPII, to provide for everyone.  In the case of market failure, the power of the state to tax and spend is to be used to deliver basic goods, food, shelter, health care, employment and education. The preferential option for the poor includes the call to VOLUNTARY POVERTY, not of spirit, but of material goods.  The authors are Pharisees of capitalism, with an ideological zealousness for the idolatry for the market. 

The Beautitidues did not call for "when I was hungry, you did not give me food stamps because they fostered dependency, but instead asked me to show personal responsibility and pull myself up by my bootstraps". The beatitutdes called for immediate alleviation of the conditions of poverty by whatever means.

The body of Catholic Social Teaching criticizes the excesses and failures of all economic systems, including socialism and capitalism. Francis has condemned the vast inequality of wealth created by capitalism, globally and within the united states.

I am disgusted with the blind ignorance of the authors, who have obviously never read any CST or even paid attention to Francis, who is calling out a false God Mammon. Just wait until he releasing his climate change encyclical in the spring.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Catholics the only faith in Ontario capable of delivering provincial curriculum and adhering to Charter values


http://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2014/11/28/exstudent_of_ultraorthodox_jewish_school_system_in_quebec_wants_compensation_for_poor_education.html

When Quebec ended funding for Catholic education and subsidised all private and religious education, they massacred the English system. Parents in Montreal prefer a partially subsidised English private school if they can afford it rather than their kids being left behind in an underfunded English public system with the children of everyone who can't afford it.

Unfortunately many of these private schools are providing substandard education. Catholic education was ended and funding provided to all faiths to satisfy both an uncritical deified multiculturalism and an overzealous secularism. 

This case brings into question whether religious schools other than Catholic can manage the demands of core provincial curriculum and adhere to Charter values. I doubt that any other faith in Ontario could meet the curriculum standards and abide by Charter mandated values such as having gay straight alliances, which the Catholic system has managed to do.

Thankfully the progressive Catholic teachers union and its support of our LGBTQ members and students wins over our conservative trustees and administrations. I don't see private Muslim or Orthodox Jewish or Evangelical Protestant schools teaching evolution, the Big Bang and world religions from a sociological perspective, also meeting curriculum expectations, allowing for gender equality and gsa's, and not discriminating in hiring based on gender and orientation.

Over 150 years of Catholic education managing and working with the tensions of government mandated standards and values would be hard to replicate from scratch with faiths that don't have the numbers of qualified teachers and staff to draw from, or a progressive tradition of social values and working within modernity.

Mainstream protestants could manage it, which is why they had their own system, which evolved into our "public" system.  Don't forget that the crucifix hung on the wall and the Lords prayer was said in public schools well into the 1980s. Liberal and secularizing protestants merged into a secularizing system, evangelising  through private worship or adopting secular human rights based anti oppression education to replace the social gospel; anti-racist, feminist, environmental, queer positive,  and anti colonial.  Or they were subsumed entirely, like all faiths are tempted to in a vampiric capitalism,  by the secular culture of materialism, most illustrated by the millions of Canadians who took the americanized Black Friday off to worship at the alter of consumption.  Say what you will about religion, it at least provides a counter narrative to consumerism, that we are more than what we buy and made for more than shopping.

Evangelical protestants felt faith education was important enough to continue in private schooling. 

If the systems were to merge, would conservative Catholics stream into private schools and liberal and leftist Catholics join the public system? Would we join the secular humanist tradition and water down or hide our faith in a god who places a priority on the poor and marginalized first behind secular language?  Would we insist on the right to practice prayer, celebrate mass, as happens in the mosqueterias? Would a joint system honour all faiths or like France celebrate none?

The worst possible solution would be to emulate the Quebec model- merge English Catholic into English public and provide public subsidized funding for every private faith school.  The Ministry can't even manage to shut down the dubious profit driven credit mills that proliferate in the dusty fluorescent second floors of strip malls in Scarborough and Mississauga, let alone regulate hundreds of private religious schools to the standards of the Catholic system.