A Little Education Policy Humor

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The Coasters, “Charlie Brown” (click to listen or download)

With the stimulus, elections, budget and school finance proposals, a few smiles seems like a good idea.  It has been a little while since the last Education Tweak so I thought I’d pass along a couple of items from the Britsh site NewsBiscut (hat tip to Judy Schmidt).

Balls announces Hindsight to be taught in schools
The Minister of Education, Ed Balls, has announced today that from September 2009, the teaching of hindsight will become a compulsory addition to the national curriculum at Key Stage 3 and above.

‘Clearly, the benefits of hindsight have long been recognised, but schools have provided little or no formal teaching of the subject to date. It is to remedy this deficit that we are moving straight to an expectation that a minimum of an hour per week’s hindsight will be taught to all children aged 11 plus’ from the beginning of the next academic year.’

Further details of the curriculum are to be released shortly, but the Minister did confirm that both GCSE and A level Hindsight would be offered to students, although pupils wishing to pursue the subject would not be able to sit their final exams until several years after the completion of their formal education.

The Government are also considering the teaching of ‘Retrospective Foresight’ ‘Tip of the Tongue’ phenomena and ‘Unknown Unknowns’ although there have been delays drawing up the syllabus for the latter.

While the Opposition supported the new plans, the Conservatives said that the teaching of Hindsight should have been introduced much earlier. ‘Knowing what we know now, it’s obvious that hindsight should have been introduced ages ago,’ said Tory education spokesman Michael Gove. ‘I can’t believe that they have waited until now.’

National Curriculum to include ‘Bleedin’ Obvious’

The Department of Education has announced that it is widening the National Curriculum to include lessons in the Bleedin’ Obvious.
Research has shown that much of Britain’s workforce is under-educated in this area, and continues to fall for email scams, Readers Digest appeals and offers of extended warranties.

‘In the modern global economy Britain’s workforce needs to be highly skilled and educated,’ said Junior Education Minister Sarah Beaumont. ‘Frankly if we still got people thinking that they really are the millionth visitor to a certain website, then there really isn’t much hope for any of us.’

Lessons in the Bleedin’ Obvious will also explain that being rude to a policeman who has pulled you over for a driving offence will not result in a quick resolution of the matter or smaller fine nor is it generally making worth making jokes about bombs and terrorism to airport security staff.

Pupils will also be taught that if they get seriously into debt with the bank, then paying it off by borrowing lots of money from that dodgy bloke on the estate may not be the end of all their problems. Another lesson includes learning what happens if you try and clear the compacted grass cuttings off the lawn mower blade while it is still connected to the mains.

‘It’s great to get proper training in the Bleedin’ Obvious before we head out to the workplace’ said 16 year old Simon Jonson. ‘I’ve seen a really well paid job I want to apply for that will let me work from home. It was advertised on a bit of paper tied onto a lamp post so it must be from a really reputable source.’

Thomas J. Mertz

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