Sunday, 30 September 2018
Friday, 28 September 2018
Thursday, 27 September 2018
Public school enrolments forecast to boom by 23 times more than Catholic sector over the next decade so why has Morrison given $4.6 billion to private schools and ignored the national trends about where the need really is? In public schools !
Education Minister, Tehan threatens to withhold billions in school funding unless deal is struck with states by early December. This is a new low even for Scott Morrison – holding schoolkids to ransom. Parents + teachers are right to be furious. State govts hate his massive public school rip off, so he’s resorting to desperate bully boy tactics. He could solve this fight by fairly funding public schools. Meanwhile elders, educators and parents in Borroloola reportedly forced federal indigenous affairs envoy TonyAbbott out of the community on Wednesday, during the former Prime Minister’s first visit. He picked the wrong community to try and bully.
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino blasted what he described as a "clumsy and unprecedented threat" by the Federal Government which has demanded a fresh national agreement on schools funding be signed without delay.
Mr Merlino took the extraordinary step of publicly releasing a letter from Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan, which warns the Commonwealth would be unable to fund public and private schools in early 2019 unless a deal is signed by December 7.
"Should a bilateral agreement not be in place by this date, the Commonwealth will be unable to make the first 2019 payment to the relevant state or territory, including with respect to government schools," the letter said.
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Sunday, 23 September 2018
Saturday, 22 September 2018
THANK YOU FOR 157000 views but don't forget to check out:
* Learning with Literature on Facebook
* Learning with Literature on TPT ( both are devoted to literature education for primary/elementary students.) There are over 140 unit plans on there and many of them are free. ( probably more than TPT would like)
* Glen Park Primary School ( The Australian one) on Facebook to find out what we are learning about at my rural state school
* Glen Park Primary School official web site.
This site still has lots of my literacy posts and links and information about education and Ballarat from 2012-17 but predominantly now it is about supporting state school education mostly in Australia but also in the US, NZ and U.K. and about rural education and small rural schools.
According to the OECD, Australia now spends more public money on private schools than any other advanced economy and that was before Prime Minister Scott Morrison's extraordinary announcement yesterday that a further $4.5 billion of taxpayers' money is to be thrown at fee-charging schools.
Contrast that with another OECD report released about a year ago, which revealed that Australia — even post the Gonski funding — is the third lowest funder of public schools in the OECD with only Turkey and Colombia doing worse.
Yet our new Prime Minister suggests his latest cash-splash to the education sector that indisputably mostly educates the children of the better-off is a solution to the schools funding wars.
Then he attempts to justify it as part of the sector blind, needs-based funding scheme that once was Gonski.
How can that be? Most of the children who attend fee-charging schools are not, in fact, very needy.
Any fee at all too high for many families
And, you don't need to look at their families declared taxable income to discover that; you just need to look at the fact such schools charge fees.
Even those charging "low fees" — which are only low, after all, in comparison to the extraordinarily high fees charged by other private schools.
Any fee at all is too high for many families — particularly (and this ought to go without saying) disadvantaged ones.
Once again, as under then PM John Howard's discredited SES funding scheme, we have two completely different ways of funding schools decided entirely by the sector — public or private — that they belong to.
How can that be touted as sector blind?
And, despite Morrison's attempts to justify the $4.5 billion as somehow needs-based, like the SES, it only applies to the children who attend private schools.
In other words, it is the educational equivalent of a hunger relief scheme for the well fed.
A Pontius Pilate response to pubic schooling
Mr Morrison turns up his nose at any suggestion that his cash-splash leaves public schools — the schools that actually educate the children of the poor — out in the cold.
He sees them as entirely the responsibility of state governments.
I believe this could be termed a Pontius Pilate response — he washes his hands of them.
The trouble is state governments are the most cash-strapped arm of government. That's why they must go cap in hand to COAG and squabble for the revenue they need to fund the services they offer like, you guessed it, public schools.
Also, the poorest states and territories — such as the NT and Tasmania — are the poorest precisely because they have populations with greater needs and less resources.
So it is at best thoughtless and at worst downright immoral to dump the responsibility for educating the most expensive to teach kids (disadvantaged kids in rural and remote areas can cost tens of thousands of dollars more to educate than middle class kids in urban areas) on the poorest governments.
It's certainly not what is usually thought of as Christian.
We have poured money into private education
No wonder the NSW Teachers Federation has calculated — even before Morrison's largesse to private schools — that 87 per cent of public schools will remain funded below the minimum (I repeat minimum) school resource standard for the foreseeable future, while 65 per cent of private schools (more now, I imagine) will be funded above it.
So, our poorest kids will be left to languish in poorly resourced schools supported by the poorest arm of government under a supposedly needs-based scheme.
Almost as bad as the dereliction of duty towards Australia's most vulnerable children demonstrated by this government is the fact that Australia as a nation gets no discernible return on the huge investment we make in private school.
Since the introduction of Howard's SES scheme, which is the one this new funding of Morrison's most resembles, we have poured money into private education.
And best not to try and argue that it's gone to public education. How could we be the third lowest spenders on public schools in the OECD if that were so? The money that we have wasted has been wasted at the top end.
And what return have we seen after 18 years of investment?
Our results have not improved, for anyone, even the most privileged. They have flatlined or gone backwards.
Schools have not become more accessible, private schools disproportionately educate the middle class.
Fees have not gone down, indeed, they generally rise above the rate of inflation every year.
I have a suggestion for the ATO
The public education system will not take this lying down.
Those of us who fight for a more equitable education system and the rights of our most disadvantaged kids are not going to shut up.
Even our state governments are recognising the issue.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes has already come out all guns blazing and said his government will not sign up to a needs-based, sector-blind funding scheme that is neither of those things.
I have a suggestion for the ATO.
Any parents who can afford fees — particularly the unbelievably high fees charged at some so-called elite schools — who claim to have a low taxable income, should be audited.
After all, surely the long-suffering taxpayer deserves some kind of oversight?
Jane Caro is a board member of the advocacy group Public Education Foundation and has written two books on education: The Stupid Country: How Australia is Dismantling Public Education and What Makes a Good School.
Despite both Ed Minister David Kemp and John Howard claiming in 1999 that increased public funding would be used by non-government schools to keep their fees down, their fees continued to increase in real terms along with their public funding.
January 2017, Sydney's private school fees had soared by up to 20 per cent over the past four years, with some parents being charged more than $35,000 a year despite record levels of public funding.
Morrison, Tehan, you are talking nonsense.
Far from using their generous public funding from government to lower fees, all the evidence suggests that private schools have instead used it to enable the diversion of more of the revenue they collect from parent fees towards spending on buildings, grounds and facilities.
Friday, 21 September 2018
THIS! Catholic Ed gets a 'lump sum', they do NOT account for where that money is spent. They use poorer schools to squeal for more money yet rarely does that money hit those poorer schools. Has always been this way.
Parents of these schools need to wake up too!
I teach at a Catholic school. It is a poor school. I know that my school will not receive much of this funding. It, like most, will be directed at schools in areas where IPALNP reign. It always does, regardless of the system. The poor always miss out. Those with enough get more.
Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Honestly, what the hell?! How are schools supposed to finalise their budgets when Morrison refuses to even talk about schools funding until December? He cancelled the COAG meeting because his government is in free fall.
Public school students are being taken for a ride by this chaotic government.
Sunday, 16 September 2018
Here is a bit of instruction from a guy Superintendent Diane Douglas tapped to help review Arizona’s standards on how to teach evolution in science class:
The earth is just 6,000 years old and dinosaurs were present on Noah’s Ark. But only the young ones. The adult ones were too big to fit, don’t you know.
"Plenty of space on the Ark for dinosaurs – no problem," Joseph Kezele explained to Phoenix New Times' Joseph Flaherty.
Flaherty reports that in August, Arizona's soon-to-be ex-superintendent appointed Kezele to a working group charged with reviewing and editing the state’s proposed new state science standards on evolution.
Kezele is a biology teacher at Arizona Christian University. He also is president of the Arizona Origin Science Association and, as Flaherty puts it, “a staunch believer in the idea that enough scientific evidence exists to back up the biblical story of creation.”
Douglas has been working for awhile now to bring a little Sunday school into science class. This spring she took a red pen to the proposed new science standards, striking or qualifying the word “evolution” wherever it occurred.
This, after calling for creationism to be taught along with evolution during a candidate forum last November.
“Should the theory of intelligent design be taught along with the theory of evolution? Absolutely,” Douglas said at the time. “I had a discussion with my staff, because we're currently working on science standards, to make sure this issue was addressed in the standards we're working on.”
Thus comes Kezele, appointed last month to an eight-person panel tapped with doing a final edit on the draft standards, which will have to be approved by the state Department of Education.
At least one standard weakened
Douglas' spokesman said that Kezele didn't discuss his "personal creationist beliefs" with the committee but Flaherty reports that Kezele did convince other members to weaken the standards in at least one instance. If it stands, Arizona students will now learn that evolution is "an explanation for the unity and diversity of organisms, living and extinct" rather than "the explanation."
So much for long-established scientific theory.
Kezele told Flaherty that there is enough scientific evidence to back up the biblical account of creation. He says students should be exposed to that evidence. For example, scientific stuff about the human appendix and the Earth's magnetic field.
"I'm not saying to put the Bible into the classroom, although the real science will confirm the Bible," Kezele told Flaherty. "Students can draw their own conclusions when they see what the real science actually shows."
Because, hey, Barney floating around on Noah’s Ark.
Kezele told Flaherty that all land animals – humans and dinosaurs alike -- were created on the Sixth Day.
And there was light and the light was, well, a little dim for science class, if you ask me.
Reach Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org.