Thursday, October 29, 2009

National Post editorial board: All-day kindergarten doesn't make sense

Out of curiosity I did a little number crunching on current teacher demographics in Ontario by age category related to the following editorial in the National Post today just to see what the trend line looks like in our schools and indeed in the broader public service. Currently both the Provincial and Federal Public Service has a 55% female 45% male composition.

Some of you will say there is Murphy on another one of his Feminist rants or if you are a mangina you might even call me intolerant names just like the feminists currently proffer periodically. Personally I could care less but I do have a need to elucidate (not hallucinate) on matters of males being discounted and females given greater value in almost all aspects of our daily discourse. My target, however, is not women it is feminists and politicians just in case someone was going to do the usual and call me a misogynist. I love women especially those like Sass and Kat26 who stand up and assert their equality.

My crunching covers the current age groups by gender as follows and their dominance.

Total teachers registered in the Province 219,181 - more to come courtesy of McQuinty.

Total Female = 149,636 Male = 59,968 Ratio female to male is 265.50% >female

It gets more interesting when you break them out by age cohort. Watch the trending from young to older

Age 20-30 female 32,421 male 8,012 Female lead by 404.66%

Age 31-40 f - 47,069 m -17,303 Female lead by 272.03%

Age 41-50 f - 36,016 m -15,134 Female lead by 237.98%

Age 51-60 f - 33,707 m -14,116 Female lead by 238.79%

Age 61+ f -10,000 m - 5,403 Female lead by 185.08%

Trending is obvious in that we have far fewer male teachers and accelerating under the McQuinty lefty Liberals.

Why are males not interested in teaching? What impediments are in play through the schooling of boys that causes them to turn away from teaching as men?

Here is possibly one reason and is a true story - " A couple of weeks ago an older girl bullied a 9 year old boy and roughed him up some. He did what we told him was right and he reported the incident to the female principal and female teacher. He was told not to be a sissy, nothing was done.

A few days later he and a male friend were playing a bit rough and all hell broke lose. They were doing nothing wrong just being boys. They are still close friends but don't really understand why they were disciplined and the other incident was ignored. Try and explain to a 9 year old that this is the way it is. How does one explain the statement made, I can do this because I am a girl. What is this teaching young males."

This is not isolated and goes on every day all across this country but in many and various ways.

I haven't yet found the demographics for our other largest tax cost industry of health care but I will source them someday. I will posit I will find a largely female dominated Industry as well with trends of greater domination coming particularly in the higher ranks of Doctors.

Wake up men - you are being feminized and marginalized in many ways and you do not even see it.

National Post editorial board: All-day kindergarten doesn't make sense

Posted: October 29, 2009, 2:00 PM by NP Editor

Given Ontario's massive deficit, why is Premier Dalton McGuinty focused on imposing an expensive, full-day kindergarten program on the province?

Cynics will say that the project is about burnishing his legacy, about leaving future generations of Ontarians something more than red ink. He's practically said as much, suggesting that once his kindergarten program was passed, "I find it hard to see somebody seeking to undo [it]."

He is, of course, right: It is much harder to take away expensive entitlements than it is to introduce them in the first place. This is one of the reasons that the nanny state-- of which Mr. McGuinty might be considered governess-in-chief, these days -- is anxious to get into the business of hiring literal all-day nannies for Ontario's five-year-olds.

Full-day kindergarten has a few noisy advocates in the education research community, and, no doubt, near-universal support from working parents (or prospective parents) of children below kindergarten age. The specific question few are asking right now is whether there is any meaningful developmental difference between full-day and halfday kindergarten; in other words, whether this policy is likely to actually deliver any social benefit in exchange for the staggering, probably permanent cost to taxpayers. Or will it simply socialize the cost of child-care that working parents now pay to day-care centres and private nannies.

Recent research points to the latter. In controlled studies of the immediate effects of full-day kindergarten, full-day kids do admittedly gain distinct, observable academic and behavioural advantages on halfday kids. But in longitudinal studies, which is what should concern us, the results are more mixed. Contrary to what fans of rushing children into a school setting would have you believe, the initial advantages don't explode over time, creating one cohort of bright, well-adjusted superchildren and another consisting of thuggish, sullen no-hopers. In every study, the initial advantages provided by full-day kindergarten diminish over time. Among experts, the debate is over whether they dwindle all the way to zero, or merely to near-insignificance.

As one might expect, Premier McGuinty has designed the full-day kindergarten program so that it has absolutely none of the cost-effectiveness advantages trumpeted by the early-education advocates who blazed a trail for him through the thickets of public opinion. Even giving those advocates the benefit of their premises and letting them cherry-pick their favourite studies, the clearest possible message in the pedagogical literature on full-day kindergarten is that you neither need, nor want, a full-day kindergarten curriculum to be characterized by highly structured lessons in abstraction. The point is to create an environment orderly enough to let children engage in self-directed learning and small-group projects. They are there to get a low-intensity introduction to (a) getting along with each other, and (b) obeying adults who aren't Mom and Dad. But, of course, that mandate wouldn't sit well with degree-holding teacher-union members, dragging their fat pensions and bulletproof perquisites along behind them.

In short, the McGuinty government is introducing a policy that is questionably beneficial, and will be implemented in a deliberately inefficient way, at a time when Ontario literally cannot afford it. It's not the sort of legacy any premier should want.

National Post

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