Catch da Flava radio show, Tuesday May 22nd.

Yesterday on the Catch da Flava radio on CKLN, Steve Blair hosted a segment about alternative schooling. The guest was Dillon McManamy. McManamy is the student coordinator of SEED Alternative School located at Broadview and Dundas. On the show he talked about the importance of the Toronto public alternative school system and how they provide students with choices in education.

Alternative schools evolved out of the hippie movement of the sixties which sought to challenge the classroom authority of the teacher by creating environments where everyone contributes to the learning process. Prior to sixties the standard notion about schools was that teachers knew everything and can do no wrong..while students were empty vessels needing to be filled.

Although things have changed since the sixies, generally speaking McManamy feels that alternative schools tend to be more democratic. According to McManamy, students attending alternative schools have more say in how and what they're learning than in normal schools. Previously classed like avionics or existentialism could be taught by anyone.

Unfortunately over the years the school board has put in more and more controls to how alternative schools are run. Today alternative school teaching positions are now restricted to qualified teachers. Despite these changes McManamy believes that alternative schools are still important today because they serve students with different learning styles and needs. In Toronto there are alternative high schools for lesbian and gay students, an alternative elementary school for First Nations students and alternative schools that focus on social justice, the arts or students at risk for dropping out. The real challenge today McManamy argues, is that alternative schools are experiencing declining funding. Part of the reason he feels this way is that the Toronto School Board does such a poor job of promoting alternative schools that enrollment in recent years has declined.

Given that school funding is based on number of students and that alternative schools are by nature smaller than normal schools - alternative schools are in danger of losing significant funding. McManamy fears that in the near future the Toronto District School board may end funding alternative schools all together. To find out more about alternative schools check out the Toronto District School Board's website (

For the remaining ten minutes of the program, Helen Choi spoke with guest Devon Ostrom about the Beautiful City Billboard Fee campaign. The BCBF campaign is interested in employing a licensing fee on all billboard advertisements in the city. The fee is expected to raise 6 million dollars and this money will be channeled through the Toronto Arts Council to community artists to create public art. Why should our public space only be used for commercial advertisements??? The BCBF campaign wants your support. As part of the campaign BCBF wants everyone to sign and mail a Beautiful City Bill Board Fee post card to their local city councilors. The postcards are available here at Regent Park Focus. You can also get postcards from the BCBF campaign by contacting them directly. So don't forget to sign and mail your post cards supporting the proposed licensing fee.

For more infomation check out

Next week Jerry Z will be hosting the radio show. What do you guys think he should talk about? This man is open to suggestions.

Remember, if you come before seven on Tuesdays you're welcome to participate in the show, other wise keep listening to 88.1 CKLN for Jerry Z next week on Catch da Flava radio.

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