This study adds to the growing literature on the Black education experience in Canada. The achievement gap among Black student populations and the resulting high dropout rate is well documented in past studies. Given the varied results of these studies, there is a clear need for further investigation of how school factors contribute to academic underachievement. Specifically, this study explores the academic underachievement of Black Caribbean immigrants in Toronto’s public secondary schools. Through key informant interviews, focus groups and a case study analysis, I examine whether school factors negatively influence the academic performance of these students. Low teacher expectations; culturally insensitive curriculum; school disciplinary practices; a lack of linkages between schools and the Caribbean community and peer culture all show significance in this study. Drawing on these findings, the study proposes and evaluates three policy options for addressing such factors.
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