Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Canada: Ten reasons to reject Wynne’s sex education curriculum

As the Ontario government gets ready to bring back the radical sex education curriculum for Ontario's children, here are ten reasons why parents should reject it in spite of the political correctness propaganda that supports it.

1. Children don't need to know all the mechanics of sex before they are emotionally, physically, intellectually and spiritually old enough to understand what they are being taught. Scrap the curriculum and spend the money on properly counselling students, in making sure there is help for students who have mental issues and feeding those that come to school hungry.

2. The morally misguided idea that elementary children can give consent to sex is evil. Children are being abused when they are introduced to explicit sex. This isn't a healthy and responsible way to teach about human sexuality. Consensual sex doesn't necessarily make sex safe, moral and appropriate. Even the absurd idea of consent to rape or any kind of sexual abuse never justifies it

3. What has "gender inequality" got to with sex education? Who gets to define the term and the meaning? Parents should not even recognize the word "gender" and refer only to the two sexes, male and female. Catholic parents have the constitutional right to do so. The government should say what they really intend to do. Tell Ontarians that the curriculum pushes homosexuality, "gender identity" and teaches kids dangerous sexual acts such as anal and oral sex.

4. No Ontarian should swallow the lie that the new sex education is needed to deal with Internet and safety issues. If some students have gotten into trouble with revealing pictures they have posted on the Internet, how is teaching them about the disputed "gender theory" of self-defining sexuality based on feelings and the will going to solve the problem? It's not.

5. Parents should be mislead and confuse school violence, bullying and the proper use of social media with the need to teach children all the details about sex at a young age. To address cyberbullying and sexting issues can best be done with the help of companies that provide the service and parental involvement. Let's not confuse school safety with the perverted notion of children being used as objects of sex because the agenda of political correctness entitles them, and even some groups at the United Nations agree, to have "sexual rights." This right is just as false the "reproductive right" to kill a baby in the womb. This corrupts language and leads to behaviour that's immoral.

6. Yes, it's a good idea to try to stop a student from harm because they posted an inappropriate photo on a social media site and sent it to a friend. The photo somehow gets to others who were never intended to view it or it reaches a person who misuses it to blackmail the sender. There's no easy solution, but the answer isn't this: teach the children an explicit sex education curriculum. No educator in his or her right mind believes this nonsense. Children need the proper and loving guidance of parents and teachers in order to best deal with this serious issue. Often these students need special help because they are suffering from emotional, psychological and social problems which lead to the inappropriate photo posting in the first place.

7. Sadly today some university and college students are sending graphic and explicit message about sex. At Dalhousie University, for example, social messages like would you like to "hate f__," have been used. But this is the result of a society that has oversexualized children too early and at some point we are bound to see the evil fruits. We live in a very sexualized society and more explicit sex at a  younger age is hadly the answer. Instead, the solution begins with parental and teacher guidance. As a society, we need to encourage our young to show proper respect for themselves and the dignity of the person.

8. The fact that Benjamin Levin helped develop the sex-ed component of the Health and Physical Education curriculum ought to be reason enough to reject it. Levin has been charged with seven counts of child exploitation, including charges of possessing and accessing child pornography. It's fair to say that he's currently on trial and the accusation have not been proven in court. But wouldn't a good and caring government want to distance itself from any connection whatsoever to this sordid and perverted mess?

9. Parents as First Educators, Real Women of Canada and a network of parental rights advocates that includes Campaign Life Coalition, have all come out strongly to condemn the limited parental consultation process being used by the Wynne Liberals to get the curriculum approved even before it's officially released. The sex ed curriculum should have been an election issue so that voters could have had a real and transparent consultation process with their vote. But why bother to let democracy get in the way of political correctness. Ontarians has been mislead.

10. School board trustees in the province have had no say regarding the proposed new curriculum. Unless major changes are made, Catholic trustees should reject the curriculum because it contradicts the teaching of the Church on human sexuality, the family and marriage. Catholic teachers have the right to refuse to teach the curriculum and Catholic parents have the right to outright reject it. Our children must be physically and morally protected.


UK: Half of councils concerned parents are cheating to get children into schools

A review by the Office of the Schools Adjudicator found that dozens of local authorities were worried about families submitting fraudulent applications in an attempt to secure places at particular schools.

The disclosure comes amid concerns over access to the country’s most sought-after schools because of a surge in the birth rate combined with an influx of migrants in some areas.

Previous research has shown that upper middle class parents are more likely than other groups to move into the catchment area of a top school, lie on application forms and hire private tutors for their children to secure the best places.

In her third annual report, Dr Elizabeth Passmore, the chief schools adjudicator, also warned that many schools appeared to be choosing which pupils they wanted as a result of “unnecessarily complex” admissions rules that parents fail to understand.

Often, schools which set their admissions criteria - many of which are academies and faith schools - rely on long, complicated rules to prioritise youngsters when places are over-subscribed, the report suggested. It disclosed that the number of cases considered by the adjudicator has risen by 40 per cent to 318 in the last year.

The report also warned that many schools which decide on their own admissions arrangements have rules that include requesting banned information such as details of parents’ income or child’s hobbies.

As part of her annual review Dr Passmore asked local councils for their views on fraudulent applications - families submitting false information to win a place at a certain school.

Around 49 per cent were concerned about the practice, it found.

Local authorities had implemented “a range of measures” to tackle the problem, Dr Passmore said, including cross-referencing the details of applicants with other councils or national databases and carrying out various types of spot checks.

In total, 186 offers of places had been withdrawn as a result of alleged fraud, the bulk of them (136) in primary schools, across 66 local authorities, the report suggested.

More than a third of the withdrawn offers were in just eight areas, and four of these were London boroughs, Dr Passmore said.

She also warned in her report that too many schools have admissions criteria that appear to allow them to choose which pupils they want. And despite a clear statutory code, parents still often have to “hunt very carefully” on a school’s website to find their guidelines on how they decide which pupils to admit, she said.

Dr Passmore singled out faith schools, warning that some had implemented complex religious requirements that can require parents to study the arrangements “several years before applying for a place” in order to give their child a realistic chance of securing a place.

A Department for Education spokesman said that overall the report showed that the “system appears to be working well”.

She added: “But we are not complacent and recently published a streamlined admissions code to make arrangements even clearer for schools and parents.”


'When pupils know more than teachers'

With 68 per cent of teachers concerned that pupils have a better understanding of computing than they do, Jason Budge says more training is needed

In my experience teachers are always up for a challenge, and the challenge this year is to successfully implement a brand spanking new Curriculum – along with a shiny new subject attached.

Already, just one term into this exercise, it is encouraging to see just how much progress schools are making in bringing this curriculum to life.

However, in staffrooms and classrooms across the country, there is one particular change to the curriculum that appears to be on most primary teachers minds. This is, of course, the introduction of computing, in which, for the first time ever, children from the age of 5 are beginning to explore, investigate and learn computer science skills and concepts.

Even if you are not a big fan of Mr Gove, the inclusion of computing in the new curriculum could well prove to be his lasting legacy for the children of this country, not to mention the economy.

As Nicky Morgan, the current Education Secretary, has noted, “giving young people a solid grounding in computing from an early age is a key part of our plan for education, ensuring they are prepared to succeed in modern Britain”.

Like Ms Morgan, this desire to prepare our children for a high skilled, digital workplace is a very common ‘call to arms’ shared across politics, education and business.

As more and more of what we use, wear and surround ourselves with becomes computerised, it isn’t hard to imagine that most skilled jobs in the future will require some level of proficiency in computing. This will apply not just for those seeking to be programmers and software developers.

In the economy of the future, computing will be relevant to everyone – many would argue that it already is.

So, now that computing has been established as a subject area, surely our children are prepared for their future careers? If only it was this simple.

While teachers and school leaders I speak to, in my role as RC for Computing At School (CAS), welcome this new emphasis on Computing and are excited by its potential to prepare children for the future, its introduction hasn’t been without issue.

The most pertinent of these problems – and the most crucial element to get right if this subject is going to succeed in helping us to create highly skilled creative workers of the future – is simply that the subject has been dropped into schools where most teachers, both primary and secondary, have no previous experience of teaching computing and probably were never taught it themselves.

Therefore it should come as no surprise to find that, in a recent survey carried out jointly by CAS and Microsoft, 68 per cent of primary and secondary teachers are concerned that their pupils have a better understanding of computing than they do.

It also found that, while a majority of teachers responsible for teaching computing feel confident delivering the new subject, many still lack skills and knowledge in crucial areas, with 8 out of 10 teachers asking for more training, development and learning materials to deliver the subject effectively.

So, children know more about computers than their teachers. Many would not find this surprising and many more might argue that this is not a problem and something we should celebrate and get used to as children develop as ‘digital natives’, and we, as ‘digital immigrants’, struggle to keep up.

It might be thought that teachers just do not like their pupils knowing more, but this couldn’t be further form the truth. In fact, it is a great thing and is often encouraged. In the age of the flipped-classroom, self assessment and putting the learner in charge, teachers welcome the expertise of children and are only too willing to act as facilitator or coach where required.

However, to be a good coach you need those skills, knowledge and experience to help you successfully guide those you coach.

Take, for example, a music teacher who has a young pianist who plays better than them. Although that teacher might not be as skilled a player, their knowledge and experience of playing enables them to coach the other to improve. While teachers without that knowledge and experience of playing would not. This is exactly the situation we have with the lack of knowledge and skills felt by many teachers.

As you talk to teachers about their concerns it is clear that it is not a desire to know more than their pupils that is driving this urge for extra training, but rather the concern that children will not progress and achieve as much as they could, however skilled they are, if their teacher is not able to act as a coach because they do not understand the core elements of the subject themselves.

If we really are to prepare the workforce of the future with the skills and knowledge that will enable them to compete in an ever shrinking digital world, then we cannot ignore this call for increased training and development materials – like those supplied by CAS QuickStart Computing.

If we do, rather than having the skilled workforce of the future, we will have lots of adults that know how to do certain things on a computer, but not a lot of people who know about computational thinking and getting computers to work for them.


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