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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0 673

Posted by timothy
from the got-enough-of-the-other-kind-already dept.
theodp (442580) writes "'Public school teachers,' reads the headline at Khan Academy (KA), 'introduce your students to coding and earn $1000 or more for your classroom!' Read the fine print, however, and you'll see that the Google-bankrolled offer is likely to ensure that girls, not boys, are going to be their Computer Science teachers' pets. 'Google wants public high school students, especially girls, to discover the magic of coding,' KA explains to teachers. 'You'll receive a $100 DonorsChoose.org gift code for every female student who completes the [JS 101: Drawing & Animation] course. When 4 or more female students complete it, we'll email you an additional $500 gift code as a thank-you for helping your students learn to code.' While 'one teacher cannot have more than 20 of the $100 gift codes activated on their DonorsChoose.org projects,' adds KA, 'if the teacher has more than 20 female students complete the curriculum, s/he will still be sent gift codes, and the teacher can use the additional gift codes on another teacher's DonorsChoose.org project.' So, is girls-are-golden-boys-are-worthless funding for teachers' projects incongruent with Khan Academy's other initiatives, such as its exclusive partnership with CollegeBoard to eliminate inequality among students studying for the SAT?"
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Google: Teach Girls Coding, Get $2,500; Teach Boys, Get $0

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 10, 2014 @08:52AM (#46712801)

    this is google's money, not government money

  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:12AM (#46713023) Homepage Journal

    So a program that would pay basketball programs for having more white players would be okay? How about one for straight male fashion designers?
    Sorry but this is discrimination in the form of incentives. I would rather see money spent on putting good tech teachers and technology in low performing schools so you help everyone in an area to have greater opportunities. I agree that teachers need to provide the same opportunities to everyone but putting a bounty on one group will by it's very nature cause that group to get preferential treatment.
    I often wonder if the the cultural issues are more the women not going into tech at an early age vs men. Hopefully people like Jerry Ellsworth and Marissa Mayer cand help turn that around.

  • Don't be evil? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dcnjoe60 (682885) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:15AM (#46713057)

    I was always taught that discrimination was evil. Maybe Google has a different definition.

  • by serviscope_minor (664417) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:22AM (#46713143) Journal

    As long as it remains, the misogynists will have the argument that

    The misogynists will always have an argument because they're working from an unshakable personal assumption that they are superior because of their gender. There's really no point pandering to them since they'll just writch to another argument.

    You're hurting the struggle for equal rights more than the HR idiot ever could.

    Except, well, no. I wish I could find the citation for this, but my google-fu is weak today.

    There was quite recently a big study done across academia on the relative qualifications (which in academis includes things nicely numeric like number of citations and number of publications in journals with a certain impact factor etc) which seemed to do all the right things controlling for the different gender ratios in different subjects etc.

    End result: the US with it's huge positive discrimination drive has the situation where men and women appear to compete opn an equal footing.

    For Europe which does not, women on aberage required substantially better records for the same job compared to men.

    So while what you say would be 100% true if there wasn't massive discrimination, there is unfortunately, massive discrimination.

  • Hooters (Score:4, Interesting)

    by srussia (884021) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:25AM (#46713179)

    The key difference is between between separate treatment and unequal treatment.

    The male waiters with man-boobs at Hooters definitely get unequal treatment.

  • by argStyopa (232550) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:39AM (#46713319) Journal

    It's been a mantra of the Victim Lobby (ie the Left) since the 1960s that racism, sexism, etc are not absolute values, they're vectors, as such '-isms' can only come from a position of power.

    So if a white man fires a black man, that could be (and probably is, according to dogma) racism.
    If a black man fires a white man, that cannot be racism because the black man is not contextually, culturally, or historically empowered; anything he does to the white man is so far outweighed by the evils done to him, it's at the very least justifiable and in no way racist (regardless if, for example, the white man and black man both immigrated to the US in 1994; the logic is that regardless of either individual or family lines' lack of participation in actual slavery or Jim Crow era racism, we're talking about a cultural preponderance of racism, which impacts all people of color regardless).

    Same with gender.

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:41AM (#46713341) Homepage

    I think the problem can be more generally stated: Private interests should not be permitted to make conditional donations to public education. The RIAA should not be allowed to pay for copyright enforcement education, Coca Cola should not be allowed to pay to have exclusive vending machine rights, and Microsoft should not be allowed to pay on condition of an MS Office mandate. The mere fact that we can all agree that more women in STEM would be a good thing does not make it right for a private interest to exert influence on the public education system.

    If Google believes corporations should give more for public education funding, it should be lobbying for increased corporate taxation, and better regulation of offshore-based tax fraud. If they want to be seen as individually generous, they should make unconditional grants. Allowing them to buy control of public services is a path to ruin.

  • by squiggleslash (241428) * on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:47AM (#46713431) Homepage Journal

    Not sure what idea you think came from me, but the AC BMO was replying to posited this: "All this does is give women more opportunities than men without addressing the actual issues: Why women apparently feel unable or unwilling to following a career in the computing fields".

    BMO was rather obviously trying to answer the implied question (that needs to be solved if the issues are to be addressed) "Why (are) women apparently (...) unable or unwilling to following a career in the computing fields".

    There certainly is a kind of asshole culture here. I'm as guilty of it as most, I'd guess. Whether that's the problem is open to question, although a certain amount of the assholedom from a loud but hopefully small minority does seem to be focussed on protecting the status quo and that can't help any current outsider feel welcomed.

  • Wow (Score:2, Interesting)

    by oh_my_080980980 (773867) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @09:59AM (#46713577)
    They are saying that computer programming equal computer science and people focus on the gender part? Really? That's hardly the issue. The point is Google and other corporations are not interested in Computer Science and are only interested promoting people to become code monkeys. That's the real issue. They don't care about education. They want a cheap workforce.
  • by DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @01:57PM (#46716309)

    I found a related study linked below, and it goes hand in hand with the other common sexist/racist position you see floating around this thread: confusing descriptive statements with prescriptive statements. It's an age-old pattern that goes like this:

    1. discourage minority from participating in an activity.
    2. look around and point out descriptively: "Gee, minority x isn't good at this activity!"
    3. make prescriptive statement: "Therefore, minority x isn't good at this activity!" which in fact, discourages minority x from the activity, thereby repeating step 1. It's sort of like how if your parent or teacher told you you sucked at something, you'd be less likely to perform well at it because you'd be convinced you were a failure. Except in this case, it's applied against an entire group.

    This certainly worked with racism, but it applies equally to sexism.

    This is why women perform equally with men in mathematics in parts of the world where gender discrimination doesn't exist like it does here (http://news.sciencemag.org/math/2014/03/both-genders-think-women-are-bad-basic-math?utm_content=buffer6bc17&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer). But in this thread, looking around, some guys are claiming that women aren't good at math. As proof of this, they reinforce the old tropes that women aren't as good at math. They thereby discourage women from math/comp sci, then take the lack of women in the field as 'evidence' of what it is that 'women' really want, when women as a whole never had a fair shot to begin with.

    They may say that 'leveling the playing field' is hurting the cause, but really, I see no evidence of this at all. The cause is moving forward because society as a whole has seen through the little ruse, and that's why change is happening. Tackling workplace problems facing men is not contradictory (and is often complimentary) to the cause of eliminating sexism, it's too bad they conflate the two issues.

  • by DaveV1.0 (203135) on Thursday April 10, 2014 @02:22PM (#46716579) Journal

    Women are 99% of the prostitutes.

    A) provide scientific data to support your statistics. B) As the customers of prostitutes are overwhelmingly straight males, a major imbalance of this sort should not be surprising. You may as well say that 99% of the men who go to gay night clubs are gay or bisexual.

    Women are overwhelmingly the victims of domestic abuse

    Or, at least the ones to report it. Domestic abuse of men is like the rape of men. There is such a huge stigma attached to it that men won't report it. And, even when men do report it, there is a good chance they will be forced to leave their home even if the men are the victim. Most of the laws are written so that the police must make the man leave.

    They are far more likely to be disadvantaged in their careers by lower pay for the same work as men

    Except there has been quite a bit of debunking of this by women. Recently on Planet Money, a female assistant professor from UT Austin was talking about who women ask for raises and bonuses much less than men. A few years ago, a female economist wrote a paper saying how, when choosing a job, women as a group use a different set of criteria than men.

    Men, as a group, will overwhelmingly go after the better paying job even if it the job requires nights and/or weekends, extensive travel, dirty work, working for a company they don't like or agree with, or in other ways giving up personal comfort and/or satisfaction.

    On the other hand, women, as a group, rate personal satisfaction and personal comfort at a higher level than men. Women will choose a job that pays less if it provides more personal satisfaction such as working at a favored non-profit rather than at a for-profit company. Women will choose a job lower paying job over a higher paying job if the lower paying job doesn't require onerous working conditions such as 50+ percent travel or having to work long or odd hours.

    or fear that they might decide to quit and have a family at any time between the ages of 18 and 35.

    In a way, you are proving my previous point with this. Many women choose to stay home for a year or more to have and raise children, which necessitates the men continuing to work and possibly working more hours to make up for the loss of income. Now, some women don't choose to stay home to raise the kids and work while pregnant. That is where the Family Leave Act come in. Look it up some time.

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