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Senate Passes 'No Microsoft National Talent Strategy Goal Left Behind Act' 132

theodp writes: Microsoft is applauding the Senate's passage of the Every Child Achieves Act, a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act, saying the move will improve access to K-12 STEM learning nationwide. The legislation elevates Computer Science to a "core academic subject", opening the door to a number of funding opportunities. The major overhaul of the U.S. K-12 education system, adds Microsoft on the Issues, also "advances some of the goals outlined in Microsoft's National Talent Strategy," its "two-pronged" plan to increase K-12 CS education and tech immigration. Perhaps Microsoft is tackling the latter goal in under-the-radar White House visits with the leaders of Mark Zuckerberg's FWD.us PAC, like this one, attended by Microsoft's William "It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway" Kamela and FWD.us President Joe "Save Us From Just-Sort-of-OK US Workers" Green.
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Senate Passes 'No Microsoft National Talent Strategy Goal Left Behind Act'

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  • by penix1 ( 722987 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @09:26AM (#50184857) Homepage

    Although I believe kids should be exposed to STEM courses, forcing them into STEM fields where there is no interest is a recipe for disaster. Better to let kids dictate where their interest lies.

    Also, this is more of the corporate drive to lower wages in STEM fields no different than them wanting more H1B slave labor. More people in a field than there are available jobs means the corporation can dictate wages and get concessions on benefits that they would not otherwise be able to command.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I had zero interest in chemisty or biology but I was still forced to get a passing grade in both.

      • The first goal of K-12 education should be to teach critical thinking skills. Kids need to learn to think logically and to understand the meaning of a critical path. The second goal should be to teach English and communication skills. Third comes history and civics, the knowledge to become a functioning citizen. Fourth would be a basic grounding in math and science.

        IF
        the schools manage to do all those things and still have money and class time left over.... fine....

        THEN

        • by ranton ( 36917 )

          From what I have been able to find, the set of core academic subjects is already much larger than you think. It isn't just English, Math, Science, History. From an archived No Child Left Behind FAQ I found (source [ed.gov]), here is a list of current core academic subjects (it may have changed since this documents first publishing):

          English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography

          I see no reason why computer science (at a primary/second

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            Geography is logically an extension of history and is covered in my list. Arts and foreign language are probably more important than computer science at the K-12 level. I'm really in favor of including all of these subjects, but there is a priority based on universal need for the knowledge, i.e. a critical path.

            If you want to include computer science without deleting existing core subjects, it will cost more money and class time. Are you willing to pay more in taxes to support schools? Are you willing

            • by ranton ( 36917 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @12:18PM (#50185507)

              Arts and foreign language are probably more important than computer science at the K-12 level.

              While I'm not saying you are wrong, but that is very arguable. I for instance think computer science is far more important than foreign language at any grade level. I computer science is less important than art for K-5, but more important than art after that. These are just my opinions, and I'm sure plenty of people and even researchers have different opinions in this discussion.

              If you want to include computer science without deleting existing core subjects, it will cost more money and class time. Are you willing to pay more in taxes to support schools? Are you willing to extend the class day and academic year so there is time to teach all these subjects? I am willing to accept those changes but to add comp sci without those changes will be destructive.

              Although I am a bad person to ask here, because I am very willing to pay more in taxes to support more schooling. Both longer days and longer school years. I happen to live in an area where our taxes provide over $20k per student to our primary and secondary schools, and once my kids are at school ages (11 months and -7 months now) they will likely have access to academic rigorous summer programs (which I'm happy to pay for).

              Based on the total number of core classes now, I doubt including computer science would add more than 5% of coursework over a year. That comes to less than $100 in extra taxes per year per citizen.

              • Yes, I'm willing to pay more in taxes and to extend the class time. My point was that, if we want computer sci, it should not replace more universally necessary subjects.

          • English, reading or language arts, math, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history and geography

            In my child's middle school they also teach Environmental Science, humanitarianism, HIV/Aids Prevention and various other politically motivated subjects as core curriculum, such that kids are not able to take enriching classes such as music or art.

            • by ranton ( 36917 )

              In my child's middle school they also teach Environmental Science, humanitarianism, HIV/Aids Prevention and various other politically motivated subjects as core curriculum, such that kids are not able to take enriching classes such as music or art.

              I seriously doubt your child's school has a year long or even semester long course whose sole purpose is teaching HIV/Aids prevention. Perhaps they have a health class which covers sexually transmitted diseases for a couple weeks, but that is not the same thing as core curriculum.

              And it is very sad that someone would think teaching children about the environment and humanitarianism is only part of a political agenda, instead of being important topics for any school. I am glad your children are getting anoth

              • In my child's middle school they also teach Environmental Science, humanitarianism, HIV/Aids Prevention and various other politically motivated subjects as core curriculum, such that kids are not able to take enriching classes such as music or art.

                I seriously doubt your child's school has a year long or even semester long course whose sole purpose is teaching HIV/Aids prevention. Perhaps they have a health class which covers sexually transmitted diseases for a couple weeks, but that is not the same thing as core curriculum.

                I can't imagine they could fill up a whole semester with it either, but it is a course listed in the curriculum, not a study point in a health class.

                And it is very sad that someone would think teaching children about the environment and humanitarianism is only part of a political agenda, instead of being important topics for any school. I am glad your children are getting another viewpoint other than just what they are hearing at home.

                For all you know they get the same viewpoint at home. That doesn't mean it should part of the core curriculum. Should we remove arithmetic altogether and teach tolerance? Should we remove reading and teach conservation? I'm sure those are all fine with the PC crowd. But if they decided to even offer a counter-viewpoint to PC as an ELECTIVE, people would scream

                • It seems ridiculous to have an entire course dedicated to STI prevention. Is it just relabeled sex-ed, or do they have a separate course for that?

                  Also, what is the alleged political motivation? Preventing STIs is a pretty big public health issue. I don't hear anyone complaining that they teach about DUIs in Driver's Ed, for example.

        • by hughbar ( 579555 )
          Yes agree. I teach Code Club in the UK and [in spite of a 40 year attachment to computing, I'm what they call a 'sad person'] I was wondering about forcing code down unwilling young throats. However, in the UK, Computing at School: http://www.computingatschool.o... [computingatschool.org.uk] broadens the area out to show, for example, that you can decompose and 'debug' non-computing problems.

          So I think this blended approach of 'code' and 'code thinking' is a good way to go.
      • Yeah but they're fundamental sciences that describe the universe we live in, IT is becoming more and more of a blue collar profession every day. I see no pressing reason why programming should be taught in schools any more than plumbing.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          Programming and software engineering are not IT. IT is the data janitors, the file clerks of the modern age. The distinction between actual design and engineering and pushing around the data broom needs to be made. It's sad that that distinction has to be highlighted here on Slashdot, but this place has become more and more crowded with IT drones in recent years.

          • Yes I'm quite familiar with the industry designation, but the truism that pedantic nitpickers abound here also remains.

            http://www.merriam-webster.com... [merriam-webster.com]

            Definition of INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
            : the technology involving the development, maintenance, and use of computer systems, software, and networks for the processing and distribution of data

        • Yeah but they're fundamental sciences that describe the universe we live in

          Computation Science is a fundamental science which describes the universe we live in.

    • Better to let kids dictate where their interest lies.

      That is not the way Microsoft operates. The kid will be tested [wikipedia.org] and placed accordingly.

    • Given that this program is exposing them to STEM courses, I don't see how this is forcing them into STEM fields. You won't be able to find a single course in school that everyone is interested in. So given that your complaint is that 'not everyone is interested in STEM' as the reason to not teach Science Technology Engineering or Math subjects in school, if you apply that to any subject, there wouldn't be any subjects teachable in school.

      Also, people who like the STE of STEM, tend to not end up in public ed

    • 1. There are already more STEM graduates than jobs.
      2. 3/4 of STEM workers leave the field due to poor pay and working conditions compared to other jobs. There's a retention and value issue, not any lack of people or talent.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @09:30AM (#50184877)

    They can't claim that they're starved for labor when they're terminating it left right and center... then importing labor that has to be trained by the people they're firing.

    My attitude on the whole H1B visa thing is that you need to require that they pay them... lets say 20 percent more than the going rate for domestic labor of the same kind.

    If they NEED the labor then they'll pay the 20 percent. If this is just about money then suddenly their insatiable interest in H1B will vanish.

    Highly skilled and high demand labor will still get imported and that's good. That's great. And the 20 percent in that context won't matter.

    But the importing of entry level techs?... that should stop.

    • Funny how Americans have to train their "best and brightest" replacements. Americans are too stupid for tech work, but not too stupid to train the people who do the tech work.

      Also funny that those "best and brightest" nations are technologically backwards, and do not have much to show for nations of tech geniuses.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      My attitude on any perceived shortage labor is that if you pay enough, there will eventually cease to be a shortage.

      Artificially impacting the supply and demand by going outside the national labor pool is a bullshit underhanded tactic.

      • My attitude on any perceived shortage labor is that if you pay enough, there will eventually cease to be a shortage.

        Artificially impacting the supply and demand by going outside the national labor pool is a bullshit underhanded tactic.

        Exactly. Maybe the market price for skill X is $100k, so a company offers $80k and gets no takers. What a shock! If the market price is $100k, then only unemployed people in that field will be interested in $100k. If there are no unemployed people in that field, then you would have to offer $120k to lure someone away from another company. H1B was not intended to fill positions where there were no unemployed people available. It was intended to fill the situation where there were just no people AT ALL with

    • My attitude on the whole H1B visa thing is that you need to require that they pay them... lets say 20 percent more than the going rate for domestic labor of the same kind.

      In particular, employers of H1Bs are not required to contribute to SOME of the social programs they aren't eleigble for. Part of any H1B reform should be a requirement that they pay them at LEAST as much more as the difference in government fees saves them. Otherwise there is a strong financial incentive to use H1Bs in preference to citi

      • good point... make the H1B's liable for all the insurance, work man's comp, etc... and then require that they're paid 20 percent more.

        If facebook still wants more... they can have as many as they want at those rates.

        Everyone knows this is just about money. It has nothing to do with a labor shortage. Idiot progressives petitioned for the ACA, minimum wage, etc etc etc... and then when it comes time to actually hire people... its all illegals and H1B visas and out sourcing and automation.

        This is why I object

    • by Kunedog ( 1033226 )
      Just wait until they figure out they can spin a "harrassment" narrative painting all H-1B skeptics as "hold-out racists defending a white boys' club." From what we've seen over the last year, we damn well know a huge chunk of tech news media would fall right in line to parrot that propaganda (even if that means pulling a complete 180 on their previous position, and even if it means abandoning their core readership).
      • On slate.com, the good liberals already have a good name for people who object to mass importation of low-wage labor: we are "nativists". I'm sure it's supposed to sound like "sexist" or "racist".
      • Just wait until they figure out they can spin a "harrassment" narrative painting all H-1B skeptics as "hold-out racists defending a white boys' club." From what we've seen over the last year, we damn well know a huge chunk of tech news media would fall right in line to parrot that propaganda (even if that means pulling a complete 180 on their previous position, and even if it means abandoning their core readership).

        I was kind of thinking that STEM and especially programming was going to be moved to the "Women's Studies" department...

      • They've already been doing that.

    • Sorry, but it won't. They'll just fudge the numbers. The trouble your having here is your blind faith in the free market taking care of you. The solution is 20% more pay, it's protectionism. You can't possibly compete with foreign labor. Weight of numbers alone gives them an advantage. Some people don't need sleep. Some people can push themselves harder than others. There's 3 billion of them. The odds are in their favor. On top of that their economy means they can be trained for a fraction of the cost of yo
      • ... You say it won't... but I saw nothing in your post to suggest that it wouldn't work.

        You say they'll fudge numbers? Then don't have taxes. Taxes are fudged with all the time. Apparently there's no point. Just stop. All regulations are fudged with... so no need for any of those either apparently because fudging means give up.

        As to the free market... I'm not even going to get into that.

        As to people elsewhere being willing to do X Y or Z... then outsource. Just do it. Relocate your whole operation to Mumbai

  • by cjonslashdot ( 904508 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @09:33AM (#50184883)
    As long as they don't equate programming/coding with computer science. Coding is likely to be obsolete in a few years - replaced by deep learning systems as those systems increase in capability, and so the last thing we should do is steer kids away from math and toward coding. Computer science - as opposed to coding - is timeless and will continue to evolve - and dramatically change, with a greater emphasis on how to create and use machine learning systems. But somehow I doubt that public schools will understand these issues.
    • by laffer1 ( 701823 )

      Not only is there concern about that, who is teaching it? Districts don't have the money to get someone with a CS degree that is also willing to give up $50,000 a year to teach it instead. You're going to get the math teacher with some intro course a large company wrote a text book on. It's going to be bad.

      Where is the money for the computers, software and teachers to do this?

      • I don't see how that's any different than any other stem subject. It's not as though we have a bunch of highly credentialed chemists clamoring to teach 10th grade chem. You more likely have someone with a general edu/science degree, or if you're lucky, someone with a specific undergrad degree from a not-so-great university. Anyone with better credentials/experience wouldn't be there. Regardless, I suspect CS would still be of more value to the average person than chem.
      • The math teacher I had for computer science had a core group of students to write up the labs for him. We made sure to tutor him as well.
    • Coding is likely to be obsolete in a few years - replaced by deep learning systems

      Do you have an example of any deep learning system that even begins to approach being able to code?

      • by cjonslashdot ( 904508 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @09:52AM (#50184957)
        No, and perhaps I am wrong. But it is early days. Hinton's breakthrough in 2006 has opened up machine learning to a wide range of things that we thought impossible with those types of systems. Look at what is being done with IBM's Watson system - it has shrunk from a room to three pizza boxes and it is being used for medical diagnosis. Also look at their "True North" chips - these are not computers, but neural chips: each chip has a million neurons on it, and it can form connections to any other neuron on the system. This is early days, and we are still learning how to organize and train these systems. It is interesting that Hinton's breakthrough was in a training algorithm. I think that the handwriting is on the wall, but I could be wrong. But what I expect to see in 10 years is analysts working with machine learning systems to define requirements and the system takes it from there. Remember that systems like Watson are not programmed - they are trained, and they read the same things that you and I read (Watson has read all of wikipedia), and can listen and speak. They have already proven that they can do original research and have original insights that are beyond the reach of people due to the complexity.
        • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday July 26, 2015 @10:50AM (#50185197)

          Everything I've read about deep learning is that they are great pattern recognizers. However, they are no closer to coding than they are to writing novels. What they are exceedingly great at is taking huge volumes of information and finding patterns. So the jobs that should be concerned are stuff like X-Ray technician, or general medical practiioners whose job is essentially managing a lot of data that most people haven't had the time to memorize/learn. The most disrupted job, will be truck drivers (the number 1 job in many states). And yes, driving is still just pattern recognition - stop at red lights, don't hit the car, when a car does this, you do this - type stuff. Give it a large enough amount of data and it can figure out what the results should be.

          Once you start getting into creative pursuits, deep learning is no closer to that than it has ever been. It might be able to elevate patterns that we previously didn't realize were connected, but that's about the limit of it's "creativity".

          What you won't get with deep learning (so far), is saying "take this API, then take this other API, then produce this unique solution that I have come up with for my unique problem". Example: We need a UI for a gas pump that will handle new EMV cards - deep learning, write a solution. Not happening. So I can only assume a statement of "coding will be obsolete in a few years" is either hyperbole or ignorance of the state of the art.

        • Remember that systems like Watson are not programmed

          I wonder what the programmers who worked on Watson think about that? A system like Watson isn't creating anything new though, Watson is doing pattern matching and natural language synthesis. Watson is basically saying "Given the words in your question, here is the probable answer, and here is where I got that information". A lot of programming is "Do something new."

          • Yes, true, but those programmers are PhDs who have in-depth understanding of machine learning systems. And much of what they do is mathematics. Also, neural network "programs" are really just simulations of neural networks, e.g., "restricted boltzman networks" which are the key to current "deep learning" systems. If one uses an actual neural network (as in IBM's True North chip), there is no conventional programming.
        • Remember that systems like Watson are not programmed - they are trained, and they read the same things that you and I read (Watson has read all of wikipedia), and can listen and speak.

          I think you are putting too much emphasis on the idea of 'training' here, because training can have so many different meanings (I can sit here and show you how to weld, step by step. Over time, you learn the skill. That's job training, but it's not what these computers are doing).

          Prolog systems were trained with data, entered into the system, from which it deduced things (or crashed). When someone enters data into MYSQL they are training it.

          As others have pointed out, Watson in a lot of ways is just a

          • Actually, that is not true. Deep learning systems can learn to do things like weld. In the case of deep learning systems, the training involves having the system read a-lot of information. It "learns" very much the way that our brains learn. It is not like Prolog, which is a logic based system. Deep learning systems are networks connected by weighted paths, like the brain. Comparing these systems to a brain is premature - we don't yet understand the organization of the brain, but deep learning systems are n
        • Remember that systems like Watson are not programmed

          Pretty funny, I'm almost certain somebody had to program it to learn. You give computers too much credit. They only do what you tell them to.

          • Deep learning systems are not computers. They are neural networks. They are not programmed. If one runs such a system on a conventional computer, one is actually simulating the neural network - it will run 1000 times faster if you run it on a true neural network without a computer.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      As long as they don't equate programming/coding with computer science.

      That's what industry does. BSCS == coder/programmer. I see all the time coding jobs - and they're JUST coding jobs - requiring degrees in computer science or engineering.

    • by c ( 8461 )

      Coding is likely to be obsolete in a few years - replaced by deep learning systems as those systems increase in capability, and so the last thing we should do is steer kids away from math and toward coding.

      One of my computer science profs said that, pretty much word for word, when I suggested I wasn't interested in grad school. Except at the time "CASE" was the big buzzword.

      From the rate of progress I've seen with these "make coding obsolete" initiatives, I expect I'll be well retired before that happens. A

      • Yes, I lived through CASE as well. I think you are right, this is not going to happen tomorrow. But I think it is coming. Watch the TED talk about deep learning - it is very enlightening about current prospects. I am anticipating that there will be further improvements - current learning systems cannot replace a programmer, but it seems to me that it does not have far to go, and there will be quite a lengthy period, I think, in which people will need to advise the systems and "operate them", the way that do
        • by c ( 8461 )

          I'd use Watson as a great example of how deep learning systems won't make coding go away too soon. From the Wikipedia entry [wikipedia.org]:

          Watson uses IBM's DeepQA software and the Apache UIMA (Unstructured Information Management Architecture) framework. The system was written in various languages, including Java, C++, and Prolog, and runs on the SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 operating system using Apache Hadoop framework to provide distributed computing.

          Any guesses as to how many lines of code and development hours are

          • Yes, there is a-lot of programming involved today, but Watson is not just a search engine. So-called "deep learning" algorithms are really neural network simulations. They are programmed because most people don't have neural chips and so to create neural networks, people have to code then as a simulation. That's why IBM has now developed its "True North" chipset, with a million silicon neurons per chip. These are not programmed - they learn - and they run 1000 times faster (and with much less power) that eq

    • Coding is likely to be obsolete in a few years.

      Yep, that's what they said in the 1970s, and the 1980s, and the 1990s, and the 2000s.

      • Yes, and if one had said that we will go to the moon in 1900, 1920, 1940, and 1960, it would have seemed equally absurd. But then in 1969 it happened.
        • Yes, and if one had said that we will go to the moon in 1900, 1920, 1940, and 1960, it would have seemed equally absurd. But then in 1969 it happened.

          That's all well and good, but how do you tell when the Boy Who Cried Wolf really saw a wolf?

  • Apparently they will be teaching children about Linux and the virtues of open source.

  • Flooding the market with scores of high school kids who are forced to learn computer science is a great way to drop the average wages across the board. There isn't a shortage of coders. There's a shortage of coders who are willing to work for less.
  • as though ten million IQ scores suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly zeroed.

    I fear something terrible has happened.

  • I say we rename it.

    I vote for "The Ralph Wiggum Is Really A Genius He Just Has Not Been Educated Forcefully Enough Act".

    Because, as we all know, everyone is educable; you're just not trying hard enough if they fail,because all failure is the fault of society, and no blame rests with the child.

  • Microsoft PC systems only? What about Macs, Linux, Android, other systems??? I fear MS has are more concerned about their own agendas, then they are about giving students a proper CS education!

    I believe that Microsoft has contracts with some states that ONLY allow Microsoft based PC's to be used in schools.
    • Microsoft PC systems only? What about Macs, Linux, Android, other systems??? I fear MS has are more concerned about their own agendas, then they are about giving students a proper CS education! I believe that Microsoft has contracts with some states that ONLY allow Microsoft based PC's to be used in schools.

      Well, if it is really Computer Science, then it won't be about any particular hardware or software system, but will be just theory, algorithms, data structures, and the like.

      • My fear is that they will disallow the use of Linux computers in the schools, and ONLY allow Windows based systems!!!

        I would NOT like to have my children be denied the choice of O/S to use!

        Think about it!
  • by Anonymous Coward

    For those confused by Theodp's typical rant on K-12 CS, FWD.us, Code.org, Microsoft, Bill and Melinda Gates, Zuckerburg, which the Slashdot editors have the poor judgement of posting, this link [americanactionforum.org] provides a summary of the new public school education bill that is set to replace the unpopular "No Child Left Behind" bill from the Bush administration.

    Note that TFS self-referentially links to previous Theodp rants on Slashdot for reference (!) C'mon, Samzenpus.

    Here is the relevant section about CS:

    Redefining Core Subjects

    One note of interest, is that the ECAA expands the definition of 'core academic subjects' which has historically included English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography. The updated definition now includes computer science, music, and physical education, and any other subject as determined by the state or local educational agency. This can be interpreted as a victory by those who have claimed that NCLB has precipitated the narrowing of curriculum leading to the elimination of the arts in some schools.

    Note that music

  • by Opportunist ( 166417 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @10:33AM (#50185115)

    "Every Child Achieves" is an even WORSE name for an education bill than "no child left behind". Please tell me it's just a name. Please tell me it's not some sort of "everyone's a winner" bullshit that undermines education even more than it already is.

  • by SoftwareArtist ( 1472499 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @11:16AM (#50185285)

    For goodness sake, not another of theodp's anti-CS education posts! Please Slashdot, end the madness and stop posting this drivel. We seem to be getting a few of them per week, and most of them are nothing but snide insinuations and misrepresentations.

  • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @11:50AM (#50185419)
    School districts are run by the local school board, with oversight by the state. The Federal government has no role to play here.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    "Senate Passes 'No Microsoft National Talent Strategy Goal Left Behind Act'" sounds like students will be taught Microsoft specific skills. A cursory reading of the summary mentions only CS as being a requirement.

    So, I am all set to continue teaching my students Linux System Administration (where the high paying, stable jobs are).

  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @01:53PM (#50185835)

    I really don't want to sound like an H-1B apologist, but I do understand at least partially where companies are coming from. This comes from being on both the worker side of the fence and the "influencing hiring decisions" side, as well as about 20 years' experience in IT. Some people end up doing incredibly well at a job despite the first impression they give, and others really disappoint after a great first impression.

    I do think they're going about this "fix" the wrong way, but I can understand why a company would be reluctant to pull someone off the street that they didn't know already in today's hiring environment and just sort of hope they work out. In my experience, the problem is that there are lots of domestic talented people out there who just can't sell themselves to hiring managers. Either they can't write a resume to save their lives, or they interview very poorly. Conversely, the extroverted schmoozers and posers interview incredibly well, especially in front of the management making the hiring decisions. These guys end up getting the jobs, not performing as expected, and we get the "we can't find any domestic talent" meme. The other two strikes against domestic hires are the perceived wage premium, although it usually takes way more in consulting dollars to clean up offshored or H-1B messes, and the fact that there is the offshoring/outsourcing safety valve that allows companies to ignore the first problem (inability to identify and keep talented people.) Bring the wild west of "expert IT recruiters" in and it's a huge mess.

    Techies would never even consider unionizing, but I think a professional guild is a way to combat this. Standardize training, and find a way to equitably weed out the empty suits from the really talented who just don't interview well. The problem is that the H-1B or outsourcing route has to be closed off enough to give domestic hiring a shot at working.

    • IT and SW development need better training

      I agree. It's a shame that companies are willing to put in the effort. They expect people coming out of a CS degree (theory of Computer Science) or MIS (Managing Programmers), and expect them to perform like a 10 year coding veteran.
      Companies USED to understand that someone coming fresh out of school was someone who was ripe and ready to be trained on how to do a job. Now they for some reason expect that someone coming fresh out of school ought to be able to hang with 10 year coding veterans.

      • IT and SW development need better training

        Companies USED to understand that someone coming fresh out of school was someone who was ripe and ready to be trained on how to do a job. Now they for some reason expect that someone coming fresh out of school ought to be able to hang with 10 year coding veterans.

        As I explaine t a colleague once, Incompetent people gather experience at the exact same rate as competent people do.

        But more to real life, a person who is just competent enough to keep from getting fired certainly does.

  • "Most of you who read this blog know this but it bears repeating for others who might not know, Bill Gates is big on charter schools and charter schools are staffed by non-union teachers, basically cheap labor to keep cost down. The corporate reformers have figured that the most expensive item on their tally sheet are teachers so to make a profit they hire non-union labor in the form of Teach for America recruits. TFA, Inc. recruits, most of them straight out of college, receive 5 weeks of training, sign a
  • The possibility of a well-rounded education for middle- and lower-class citizens is dead - long live job training for the masses! Henceforth public schools will be mass-producing pliant and compliant workers-to-order for a private sector that is clearly salivating at the prospect of a cheap and almost limitless local pool of labour. After all, why go to the expense of bringing H1-B workers into the country when they can simply whore the existing US labour market? Making use of desperate people with few opti

  • by Theovon ( 109752 ) on Sunday July 26, 2015 @06:02PM (#50186647)

    I have very limited experience with the local public schools in upstate New York, but I get the distinct impression that teachers mostly operate under the assumption that all kids are as dumb as the dumbest kids. I have a PhD in computer engineering, and my wife has two graduate degrees herself (law, information science). We were also in gifted classes in high school, and she was the valedictorian of her school. We're told we're smart, and it seems likely that our kids are pretty smart too. But it's hard for me to see where the curricula here accomodate any kind of range of intelligence among the students. When I try to ask about this sort of thing, there's this subtle resistance where you can tell they're thinking that all parents think their kids are the smartest, but really they're all just dumb as rocks, so the idea of anyone getting ahead makes no sense.

    I hope I'm misinterpreting all of this.

    • I have a friend that is a 5th grade teacher in New Mexico, and the standardization is killing the education system. The no child left behind nonsense meant that if some (very small) percentage of students within a school failed a standardized test, then the whole school failed and was put into remediation. Students fail again, teachers get fired. On top of the Federal requirements, there were state standardized tests as well. Last number I recall, out of 180 school days in the year, something like 15-20 of
    • I hope I'm misinterpreting all of this.

      If, by "misinterpreting" you really mean: "You only read the title", then yes. The title of the bill has nothing to do with what it actually does. Largely, this bill just shifts a lot of the responsibilities of the federal government to the states.

  • just lobby for "Leave No American Programmers Behind".
  • This is all part of tech's desire to drive tech wages down. Lets assume that in 15 years that 90% of high school graduates know how to code. What will that do to the tech labor pool? It will drive wages down. In the meantime, MSFT (founded by Bill Gates, who stole tech) and Mark Zuckerberg (who has been prolific as a liar) use FWD.US and lobby money to increase the H1B labor pool. Bottom line: this is all about driving business costs DOWN!

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