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Someone who makes sense on Education!

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by Canteen Worker, Jul 10, 2007.

  1. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    School gap blamed for nation's stupidity

    Anna Patty Education Editor
    July 10, 2007

    AUSTRALIA is on its way to becoming "the stupid country" through neglect of public education and a widening gap between its best- and worst-performing school students, an influential principal has warned.

    Chris Bonnor, who until last year represented 466 principals as the head of the NSW Secondary Principals' Council, makes his argument in a book to be released later this month.

    Mr Bonnor, principal of Asquith Boys and Davidson high schools through the 1990s and until 2005, was last year made a member of the Order of Australia for services to education.

    His book, The Stupid Country: How Australia is Dismantling Public Education, co-written with the public school advocate Jane Caro, says populist education policies are diverting attention from government neglect of schools, particularly in disadvantaged areas.

    Mr Bonnor says the Federal Government's focus on issues such as performance pay for teachers indirectly blames schools and teachers for problems in student performance.

    Attacks on the curriculum have been ideologically driven and have shifted attention from the growing inequity in resources between high-fee private schools and low-fee independent and public schools.

    Social inequity and class differences are becoming entrenched in the growing divide between private and public schools.

    Rather than tackling educational problems linked to economic disadvantage, Bonnor and Caro say, the Government suggests there must be something wrong with schools, creating "an easy and populist agenda for politicians".

    "What passes for educational policy degenerates into competing plans for more testing, accountability, standards and anything else that addresses community anxiety, real or otherwise.

    "It all sits easily with calls for more police, longer jail terms … [and diverts attention from] problems that can't be boiled down into simple policies or blamed on teachers."

    The Government and bureaucracy often point to "lighthouse schools that register substantial achievement against the odds, as some form of proof that the solution lies entirely within schools and that the broader context doesn't matter".

    Australia's top students perform well compared with those from other developed countries, but the poorest students are behind their equivalents in similar countries.

    Mr Bonnor said this gap was set to worsen because of the growing inequity between economically disadvantaged and well-resourced schools.

    The Federal Government will increase its funding to private schools by 30 per cent over the next five years to $7.5 billion and by 10 per cent to $3.4 billion for public schools.

    The Federal Minister for Education, Julie Bishop, said policies such as performance pay, greater principal autonomy and national consistency in curriculum were aimed at improving academic standards "so that students across the nation have access to a high-quality education from a high-quality teacher in a high-quality environment".
     
  2. Guest

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    Why isn't Rudd making an issue of the imbalance in funding between private and public schools?

    People in areas such as the northern beaches are always going to vote Liberal even if funding to their private schools is reduced. Rudd could pick up more votes from restoring the imbalance and converting public school parents.
     
  3. The Gronk

    The Gronk Well-Known Member

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    Latham tried that last time and pissed off all the low income people in the western suburbs marginal seats who send their kids to private schools. I dont think you can have a policy of taking money away from anyone, just one of restoring the balance over time.
     
  4. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    CW - are your kids private or state?
     
  5. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    State - for lots of reasons!!!!
     
  6. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    Selective or standard?
     
  7. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    Standard - do you think my progeny could get into Ruse???? (Mind you the elder two would have made Baulkham Hills or Hornsby but we chose not to.)

    I am anti much of the selective school stuff - and I posted that article for a lot more reasons than the simplistic state/private debate.
     
  8. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    My understanding of that the school your progeny attend is a long way removed from the average state school in lower/middle suburbia.

    For the record my boys are at a private school and won't get within a bull's roar of the state options in this town if I can have anything to do with it.
     
  9. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member 2016 Tipping Competitor

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    True - though I was a product of a good solid state school in a country town.

    Mind you - all you Christians taking yourselves out of the state system with teachers and parents etc have contributed to the decline. the
    Fed govt with its generous funding has accelerated the process!!!
     
  10. weneedacement

    weneedacement Member

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    Junior is going to state school because i refuse to have him christened.

    Lucky there are good stateys around here.
     
  11. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

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    True - though I was a product of a good solid state school in a country town.

    Mind you - all you Christians taking yourselves out of the state system with teachers and parents etc have contributed to the decline. the
    Fed govt with its generous funding has accelerated the process!!!

    [/quote]

    My boys don't go to a labelled "Christian" school. Their school has 4 teachers shared amongst 40 students because the teachers have agreed to a less than award wage as they want to do education the way it should be done.
     

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