higher ed

{mosimage}TORONTO - Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.  

It is a simple and logical instruction that transcends many of the world’s religions, ethical codes and cultures — and one that is now being used in Toronto-area classrooms to help form a common bond between diverse groups of students.

“The Golden Rule preaches unity,” said Canadian filmmaker Tina Petrova. “You may have a different skin colour or a different label on your religion, but under God we are all the same.”

Carroll drops appeal of dismissal

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TORONTO  - Former Toronto Catholic school trustee Oliver Carroll has dropped an appeal of a court decision which found him guilty of conflict of interest charges and led to his removal from the Toronto board.

“At end of the day, it’s really about Catholic education. There’s no point in having this replayed every two months for the next year,” he told The Register.

St. Jerome's does e-mail fast

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{mosimage}On the campus of the university that helps fuel the world's instant communication addiction - e-mail all the time and everywhere courtesy of Blackberry phones - it might be something like heresy. But for St. Jerome's University staffer Jim Robson, giving up internal e-mails for a day is actually a spiritual exercise.

St. Jerome's had its first No E-mail Day Feb. 11 and held another March 11. The idea is that by fasting from internal e-mails, workers will be encouraged to actually talk to one another, said Robson.

Trustees trying to regain public's trust

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{mosimage}TORONTO  - Catholic school trustees say they are taking steps towards rebuilding trust among themselves and with the public.

“We need to be able to talk with each other and try to rebuild the trust that we once had,” said Angela Kennedy, who was elected chair of the board on Jan. 22 but has not been able to take her seat.

A public display of trustee infighting led provincially appointed supervisor Norbert Hartmann to delay the appointment.

Celebrating excellence in our schools

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{mosimage}Dear Readers,

In Ontario’s Catholic schools students, teachers, trustees, parents and administrators walk by faith, not by fear. The gallery of excellence on the following pages is testament to what faith can do with us, among us and for us.

There is a spectre of fear hovering over our history. Before Confederation immigrant Catholics knew the Anglican-controlled school system was a mechanism for their assimilation by the Protestant establishment. They knew very well the establishment held Catholic newcomers in contempt. At Confederation the danger of assimilation was real enough for Catholics to fight a political battle to ensure their education rights in the basic law of the new country.

As Catholic education rights were maliciously and illegally undercut after the First World War, Catholics relied on a secret weapon — religious sisters and brothers who would give their lives to ensure a Catholic education and to preserve the culture and spirituality which sustains the church. As high school became the new standard for a basic education after the Second World War, Catholic parents made financial sacrifices to give their children the necessary education in a Catholic context.

Winning the political and legal battle for full funding in 1984 and for more equal funding in 1998 hasn’t erased the spectre of fear. Today, Catholics worry about the bureaucratization of Catholic education, the focus on testing and measurement at the expense of free enquiry and intellectual growth, a funding formula that leaves boards in a financial straight jacket, falling enrolments everywhere but the suburbs surrounding Toronto and the failures of leadership which have become an embarrassment to us all.

Excellence is not founded in fear. Nor is it the product of worry. Examine especially the young faces in these pages. The excellence they have achieved is founded in faith, hope, love and charity.


Trustee to fight dismissal

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{mosimage}TORONTO - Toronto Catholic District School Board trustee Oliver Carroll says he will fight his dismissa l from the board.

While Carroll withdrew a motion to appeal an Ontario Superior Court decision which found him guilty of conflict of interest charges scheduled for Feb. 18, he told The Register that he would be filing an appeal of the decision within a month, along with an appeal to stay on as trustee while the court hearings take place.

Campus pro-life groups regain status

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{mosimage}The battle for freedom of speech on Canadian university campuses has resulted in two more pro-life clubs regaining status with their student unions. 

Choose Life McGill, the pro-life club at McGill University in Montreal, regained status Feb. 12, and Youth Protecting Youth, a club at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, rejoined the ranks of other ratified clubs Feb. 10.

Faculty in revolt at St. Jerome's

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{mosimage}Faculty at Waterloo’s St. Jerome’s University have voted no confidence in the school’s president and have begun talks with the Canadian Association of University Teachers about forming a union.

The crisis at the Catholic liberal arts college affiliated with the University of Waterloo began with the mass resignation of the St. Jerome’s chaplaincy team just before Christmas.

Toronto trustee guilty of conflict of interest

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{mosimage}TORONTO - An Ontario Superior Court judge has found Toronto Catholic school trustee Oliver Carroll guilty of conflict of interest charges and ordered his removal from the board.

But Carroll said he would be appealing the decision and will file a motion to stay on as trustee while the appeal is being processed.

Trustee infighting derails election of board chair

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{mosimage}TORONTO - The Toronto Catholic District School Board will be without a chair and decision-making powers indefinitely until trustee infighting stops, says Ontario's education minister.

Kathleen Wynne told The Catholic Register that she supports the Jan. 28 decision of provincially appointed board supervisor Norbert Hartmann to suspend the appointment of a chair. Long-time trustee Angela Kennedy had been chosen chair, with Ann Andrachuk elected vice-chair, at a Jan. 22 meeting, but the choices were subject to Hartmann's approval.

Ontario schools will feel recession's pinch

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{mosimage}TORONTO - With the economic downturn and declining student enrolment, Ontario school boards could be facing delays in some of their program funding, says Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne.

Provincial funding for new programs could also be on hold.