Saturday, December 10, 2011

Occupy Geniuses: Cut Education Costs by Giving Free Stuff to Teachers

We have come to appreciate the Occupiers for their fundamental misunderstanding of economics. We’ve also come to look forward to the latest arrest statistics or video of delusional protesters weeping for their Lost Tent City.

I shudder to think what America would look like if they truly had any decision-making power.

Consider the latest zany idea from one “MrMiller” of Sandy, Utah:
Here is my proposal for opening up cheaper education to people in our country. It is my opinion that we don't need to pay professors quite so much money if we go about providing for them in a different way. What if we were to IMMEDIATELY find ways to provide for teachers to live life for free and paid their housing, (or collectively built them new houses, free of charge), gave them free food and also healthcare? If we collectively found a way to eliminate THEIR overhead, then we wouldn't all have to pay so much for them and this would thus drive down costs for all? I have been thinking about this for a LONG time and have decided that that would be the single greatest step towards reducing the costs of education period if we all worked together to do it. It's not even a hard thing to imagine. Anyone disagree?”


The teachers unions are constantly preaching that teachers are professionals. Is this how “professionals” should be treated? Who in the world would want to go into teaching if it meant living in a government house (small and energy efficient, no doubt), driving a government car (ditto), eating government food (something from Michelle Obama’s garden, perhaps?) and being subjected to government-run healthcare (oh, that’s right … ).

These are really the best ideas coming out of OccupyWallStreet? And the teachers unions are actually standing with these clowns?

This is utter nonsense and no one wants to be treated this way, including, I’m guessing, the progressive teachers. But, hey, if the teachers unions are supporting OccupyWallStreet and OWS is coming up with this nuttiness, let’s do it. I’m all for driving down the price of higher education.

Randi Weingarten, what say you?


British small businesses find ill-educated youth unemployable too

There have been many complaints from big business about this

More than a quarter of small businesses struggle to find 'suitably skilled' staff despite rising unemployment, a survey revealed yesterday. The report by the Federation of Small Businesses said many of its members were desperate to hire workers but could not find them.

It warned many school leavers and graduates lacked basic skills needed for a job. These range from turning up on time for an interview to being able to write basic English or do the most elementary maths. The survey of more than 1,500 small businesses showed a 'worrying' 27 per cent have 'found it difficult to find suitably skilled staff'.

The issue will be investigated as part of an inquiry into entrepreneurship by the Federation of Small Businesses and MPs on the All-Party Parliamentary Small Business Group.

Brian Binley, Tory MP and chairman of the parliamentary group, said: 'Small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs are expected to be driving economic growth in support of Britain's recovery. 'But they are finding it difficult to get the right people to help them in that task.'

One of the big problems was 'the poor performance in our primary and secondary schools, especially with regard to literacy and numeracy'.

Unemployment has jumped to a 17-year high of 2.62million, amid warnings it will continue to rise as the Government cuts the state workforce.

Despite the massive number of people looking for a job, there are still 464,000 unfilled vacancies, according to the Office for National Statistics.

To add to the problems facing small firms, the report also found 34 per cent had 'difficulty securing finance'. The Federation of Small Businesses is calling on the Government to create more competition on the high street to break up the dominance of the 'big five' banks – Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and RBS.

The Department for Education said the Government was 'prioritising' literacy and numeracy by 'recruiting specialist maths teachers, introducing a phonics-based reading check for six-year-olds and restoring the rigour of GCSE and A-level exams'.


Transgender lessons for British pupils aged five: Classes will 'overload children with adult issues', say critics

Children as young as five could be given lessons on ‘transgender equality’ under Government plans. Information about transgender people is set to be included in the curriculum for personal, social and health education lessons, which are taught in thousands of primary and secondary schools.

The proposal is part of a Coalition policy programme entitled ‘Advancing transgender equality – a plan for action’, which was published yesterday.

In it, ministers warn a wide range of steps are needed to combat ‘transphobic bullying’, which is defined as the taunting of children who express ‘gender variant behaviours’.

The document was produced by the Home Office, which is responsible for equality policy within Government. It states that schools need to be ‘more inclusive for gender-variant children’. ‘We know that over 70 per cent of boys and girls who express gender variant behaviours are subject to bullying in schools,’ the document states.

‘Schools should be a safe and supportive environment for children to learn in. ‘Tackling transphobic bullying helps to address unacceptable behaviour and ensures that our society becomes more tolerant.’

As part of its review of PSHE, the Department for Education will consider adding ‘the teaching of equality and diversity, including transgender equality’ to the curriculum.

But critics said there was a danger that children were being overloaded with ‘adult issues’ as a result of such lessons.

Margaret Morrissey, founder of campaign group Parents Outloud, said: ‘These are adult issues and we should leave it until children are older or until they ask. ‘The problem is we are overloading our children with issues that they should not have to consider at a young age. PSHE is already overloaded with other issues. ‘We have given them sex education and teenage pregnancies have risen year on year.

‘We have told children about drugs education and we have a serious problem with drugs. We have told them about drinking and cigarettes and we have more children with alcohol problems and smoking.’

Transgender people include those who have had sex change operations and people who have both male and female sexual organs.

Other measures proposed as part of the equality drive include help for transgender job seekers and rules for the NHS designed to ensure transgender people are dealt with fairly. The move comes after a Government survey found nearly nine out of ten transgender employees suffered discrimination or harassment at work. Also announced yesterday were longer jail terms for murderers who are motivated by hatred of transgender people.

The basic sentence for anyone convicted of such killings will be 30 years, Kenneth Clarke said. Similar attacks on disabled people will also face the same tough minimum term.

The Justice Secretary said that offenders ‘should be in no doubt that they face a more severe sentence for these unacceptable crimes’.

Equalities Minister Lynne Featherstone said: ‘Too many transgender people still face prejudice at every stage of their lives, from playground bullying, to being overlooked for jobs or targeted for crime.’

This year it emerged British passports will no longer contain details of the holder’s sex. The move is designed to spare transgender people and those who are ‘intersex’ from having to tick ‘male’ or ‘female’ on official documents.


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