On Campus

McGuinty says parents want income, immigration data on schools

Ont. premier insists it's the government's duty to provide statistical information

Premier Dalton McGuinty is defending the use of data on income and immigration levels on a new Education Ministry website designed to help parents compare public schools across Ontario.

The opposition says information on the number of new Canadians in a school and on how many children are from low-income families is unfair.

It says the data allows parents who are so inclined to make sure their kids avoid going to schools in poor neighbourhoods or ones with large numbers of immigrants.

McGuinty says he knows some education groups also oppose the use of demographic data on the school finder website, but insists it’s the government’s duty to provide that information.

He says parents want it and the government must provide the data in a comprehensive and understandable way.

McGuinty makes it very clear the government is not ranking public schools, and says a feature that allowed parents to compare three schools at a time has been removed from the website.

The Conservatives said including the demographic data on the school information finder website was offensive to “thinking Ontarians.”

The School Information Finder website can be found at www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/sift/.

– The Canadian Press