Monday, August 06, 2018

Taxpayer-funded public service jobs will favour new recruits who are from racial and 'gender identity' minorities as part of politically correct overhaul

This is objectionable.  Why should people be penalized for being normal? "Human rights" have gone berserk.  As far as employing Aborigines is concerned, I have no difficulty with that as long as they are held to the same standards of diligence and promptness that apply to others.  And public service standards of diligence and promptness are not exactly onerous.  The evident difficulty government departments already have in meeting their existing quotas for Aborigines may however indicate that even that low standard is hard to meet.  Anybody knowing Aboriginal culture will not be surprised

Public service employers are being pushed to favour new recruits who are from racial and gender identity minorities in what is seen as a politically correct overhaul.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has called on the Federal Government to set new targets to hire staff from 'disadvantaged racial groups', the Courier Mail reported.

AHRC believes consideration should be given to employ staff with diverse qualities and there should be 'measurable targets with clear time frames that hold agencies accountable

'The commission acknowledges the challenges employers face when it comes to hiring people from a range of diverse and and difference issues such as, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, disability, ageing, cultural diversity, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status,' AHRC has told the Government review.

Since August 1 2013, it has been unlawful to discriminate against a person on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex status under federal law.  

The Australian Public Service Commission - which is committed to employing people with disabilities - has a target of 3 per cent indigenous employment by the end of this year.

However, there are still many government agencies with less than 2 per cent of indigenous employees, while other agencies don't have any.

Union national secretary Nadine Flood backed the push and told the publication that the Government should be setting targets to create a more diverse workplace.

'The APS needs to have the right people to provide the best services to the community, and that means a workforce that reflects the diversity,' she said.


Islamic convert principal dumped from a Muslim-majority high school over allegations he was radicalising students is back in the classroom

A high school principal who was dumped amid allegations he refused to put his students through an anti-terror program has returned to the classroom.

Chris Griffiths was removed from his job as principal at Punchbowl Boys High School, along with deputy Joumana Dennaoui, in March last year.

Allegations against Mr Griffiths included complaints from parents of students being made to participate in prayer sessions, police concerns of radicalisation and claims from teachers regarding 'a high level of staff disunity and disharmony'.

Mr Griffiths, a Muslim convert, has now been appointed to a high school in outer-western Sydney, The Daily Telegraph reported.

His new job follows the discontinuation of two separate actions in the NSW Supreme court and Industrial Commission by Mr Griffiths, Ms Dennaoui.

Mr Griffiths has allegedly accepted the findings of an internal investigation by the Employee Performance and Conduct unit.

The paper also revealed departmental charges against Mr Griffiths related to the ­'administration' of the school and 'staff disunity'.

At the time there were allegedly a raft of other issues which led to his termination from the school.

Senior female staff members at the Mulsim majority school who had previously taken part in official events such as presentation days were reportedly given no explanation for their exclusion.

There were also claims that relations had broken down with local police liaison officers and that non-Muslim staff were subjected to verbal attacks.

It was also alleged that he refused to run a voluntary departmental deradicalisation program to counter extremism despite the school being deemed 'high risk'.

'As a result of a recent appraisal of Punchbowl Boys High, there has been a change in the leadership of the school,' a NSW Department of Education spokesman confirmed to Daily Mail Australia at the time.

Mr Griffiths denied the allegations levelled against him, pointing out photographs on his Twitter profile show women at school ceremonies and multicultural community dinners. 


Phonics science vs the ‘feels’

The phonics debate co-hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies and the Australian College of Educators was supposed to be about the best way to teach phonics. It is a given that numerous other factors contribute to reading success, including children’s language experiences in early childhood. But phonics instruction is still a point of contention — so much so, that 480 people turned up to the debate and another 1000 watched online from all over the world.

The thousands of scientific studies on reading development are incredibly complex, yet remarkably consistent. They show the primary neurological pathway for beginning readers is between the visual (print) and phonological (sound) areas of the brain. The semantic (meaning) part of the brain is engaged when children know what the word they are reading sounds like. Over time, skilled readers can make the leap straight from print to meaning but the distinction between novice and skilled reading has important implications for teaching reading.

My team at the debate included Distinguished Professor Anne Castles and champion primary school teacher Troy Verey. Professor Castles is among the world’s best reading researchers. What she doesn’t know about reading development is probably not worth knowing, so we possibly had an unfair advantage. We concisely outlined the scientific evidence of reading development and explained which teaching methods best reflected the evidence. Our case was that ensuring all children learn to read relies on teachers having high levels of knowledge and expertise, and not accepting that some children will not learn. Good teaching is crucial.

Instead of providing evidence and arguments to counter ours, the opposing team — Professor Robyn Ewing and Dr Kathy Rushton from Sydney University and Mark Diamond, principal of Lansvale Public School — took the debate in a different direction.

Having resurrected and waved around the fallacious straw man argument we thought we had buried at the beginning of the debate — that we believed phonics alone is enough for reading — the opposing team argued that learning to read has very little to do with the way children are taught at school. The message seemed to be: children will learn to read if their mothers talk and read to them from birth, and if they have access to books. (The corollary being that if children can’t read, they have bad mothers?). At school, teaching reading is about ‘rich conversations’ and ‘relationships’.

The strange dichotomy is that the latter perspective is perceived as being the teacher-friendly view, while the perspective that recognises that evidence-informed expert teaching is critical and should be valorised, is disparaged as being ‘robotic’ and anti-teacher.

There was applause from the audience when Dr Rushton admitted she has not engaged with the scientific research on reading instruction; she relies on what she learned in her teaching degree some years ago, and what she has seen in the classroom. While ever this is considered acceptable, let alone laudable, teaching will struggle to be seen as a profession.


Liberals in green power standoff

Malcolm Turnbull's centrepiece energy policy faces an eleventh-hour threat from dissatisfied -Coalition MPs who have attacked new modelling that shows the -nation's reliance on renewable energy will more than double by 2030 under the national energy guarantee, as coal-fired plants are powered down.

The backlash threatens the prospect of a deal next week to end the nation's decade-long -energy wars, as wavering Labor state governments warn that they are reluctant to sign up to the plan until it is given the green light by the Coalition partyroom.

Backbenchers including Tony Abbott, Craig Kelly and the government's most marginal seat holder Michelle Landry yesterday questioned the Energy Security Board's claim that prices would drop, and said big rises in renewable generation would threaten cheap baseload power generators.

The ESB's final detailed design report said the NEG would help lift renewable energy production to 36 per cent of total generation capacity within 11 years - up from a current 17 per cent - while reliance on coal would fall from 75 per cent of generation capacity to a forecast 60 per cent.

The modelling predicts no new coal-fired power stations will be built under the NEG, and there will not be any unscheduled closures of existing plants.

It forecasts a 45 per cent fall in the nation's annual wholesale -energy bill under the NEG, from the current $17 billion-a-year to a forecast $9bn between 2020-21 and 2029-30.

Mr Abbott, who has threatened to cross the floor to vote against the policy, disputed the ESB modelling. Of claims that prices would fall, the former prime minister told 2GB radio: "Well, frankly, pigs might fly. The fact is the more renewables we have got, the higher prices have got. And why should the last lot of modelling be any more believable than the modelling before that, which has turned out to be -uniformly and constantly false."

Mr Kelly, chairman of the -Coalition's backbench energy committee, said he was sceptical of the modelling, and warned he could also vote against the policy as it was designed.  "My concerns are we are doing something that would make electricity more expensive than it otherwise would be," he said.

"When I have constituents coming into my office and breaking down in tears in front of me because they can't pay their electricity bill, it is very hard to go into parliament and vote for something that will make electricity prices higher than they would otherwise be."

If Labor and the five lower house crossbenchers oppose the NEG, it would require just one Coalition MP to cross the floor to sink the vote.

Ms Landry said she was worried that the displacement of coal by renewables would force up power prices for her constituents.

"Coal is still the cheapest form of power and the most reliable. When wind, solar and water can be made 100 per cent reliable, then I will support them over coal," the Capricornia MP said.

Liberal senator Eric Abetz said the ESB design report revealed the policy was not technology agnostic, as claimed: "It does not explain why everywhere else in the world new coal power stations are being built wanting to use our coal."

Nationals senator John Williams said he was concerned about the expensive costs of higher renewable energy usage under the targets. "The cost of power is the killer," he said.

The paper reiterates previously released numbers that forecast households would save $550 a year on power bills each year from 2020-21 to 2029-30, including $150 a year as a direct result of the NEG. The forecast increase in renewables falls short of modelling released by the Australian Energy Market Operator last month, which predicted solar, wind and hydro power would make up 46 per cent of generation by 2030.

The difference is because of the ESB's modelling of only committed projects, while the AEMO factored in state renewable energy targets that seek to lift the use of renewables ever higher.

Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg needs to convince the states at a meeting on Friday next week to support the NEG mechanism, before seeking approval of the -Coalition partyroom, and ultimately the parliament, for a 26 per cent cut to carbon emissions to be implemented under the scheme.

Mr Frydenberg said the government had begun to bring down power prices, "but if we want further price relief, we must act without delay to implement the National Energy Guarantee".

Victoria and Queensland ramped up the pressure this week, suggesting they were unwilling to agree to a policy that could subsequently be amended. Victorian Energy Minister Lily D'Ambrosio said: "How can we have any confidence in what they're asking from us if it hasn't been through his partyroom first?"

ESB chair Kerry Schott urged the states to sign on to the deal, saying failure to agree to the NEG design would result in higher energy prices for households. "Stakeholders have been clear with the ESB that the status quo is simply not acceptable and have demonstrated a commitment to work together to respond to the changes under way in the energy market."

"Any delay or, worse, a failure to reach agreement will simply prolong the current investment uncertainty and deny customers more affordable energy."


Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.).    For a daily critique of Leftist activities,  see DISSECTING LEFTISM.  To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup  of pro-environment but anti-Greenie  news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH .  Email me  here

1 comment:

Paul said...

"as long as they are held to the same standards of diligence and promptness that apply to others"

But you know as well as I do that this will not be the case. I already see it often enough. The constant unchallenged absenteeism because of some "cousin/brother" issue, the trips up the cape because some tribal mate has an important function involving manhood somehow, and the expectation that they'll just be paid as though they were never gone.