Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Freedom From Choice.

From the Sunday Hun last weekend comes this little beauty:

Private and state schools pushed to share resources
Article from: Sunday Herald Sun

Steve Connolly

January 20, 2008 12:00am

PRIVATE schools will be pushed towards sharing resources with nearby state schools under a Rudd Government plan.

Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard said the Government would use a nationwide audit of schools to find where resources could be shared.

The audit is assessing schools in the greatest need of computers as part of the Government's pledge to provide all students in Years 9 to 12 with access to laptops and broadband.

Ms Gillard said the audit would help the Government in its bid to encourage resource-rich private schools to help non-government schools.

"It may be the schools want a music hall for specialist teaching, with rehearsal rooms and a performance space," Ms Gillard said.

"Now they wouldn't be able to finance the development themselves, but they would be able to do it together and to share it."

This is the whole article, and I figure it's best to copy the whole thing before it disappears down the memory hole forever.

Further utterances from Ms Gillard via her media centre:

Now you also said on the weekend that private schools should open their doors up to kids that don’t go to private schools. Have you got any ideas on how that could work?

What we talked about on the weekend was sharing facilities. Often State schools and private schools are located very near to each other – sometimes they’re basically on the same big block and what is separating them is a fence. We want to be talking to those schools about working together to share facilities because it might be that if they worked together they can get both the music rehearsal room that they’ve been dying to get as well as the improved gymnasium. Whereas if they’re working separately, then it wouldn’t be possible for them to, you know, get everything that they want. So I think it’s just a better way of using resources.

So if it’s a hot day and the kids are at the public school and they want to have a swim - they just you know, bring their towel and just hop across to the private school, that type of thing?

[Laugh] Well, I wouldn’t be advocating climbing the fence with your towel in hand and just turning up at the private school. But I would be saying that if the principals of those two schools could have a conversation and work out what’s the best way of sharing the facilities and meeting the needs of all of the children in those schools, that’d be tremendous.

What about improving the facilities in public schools?

Well we’ve got a big investment program for all schools. We’re going to spend $1 billion making sure that students in years 9 to twelve have a computer that they can use. That is going to start rolling out very soon. Schools in the greatest need will be able to apply as early as March and we’ve got $100 million to invest this year.

We’re also going to invest in trade training centres in every secondary school in the country, so children can have an experience of what it’s going to be like if they choose to be a tradesperson…

Freedom of choice is what you want,
Freedom from choice is what you get.

I'm sure all those parents paying for private schools will be more than happy that their contributions towards their child's education will also help those children whose parents either can't or won't pay for private school facilities.

I can't afford to send Magilla to the private school I want, but you know what? That's my choice. I could work in an office 5 days a week from 8-5 and make a bucketload of money, but I don't want to.

I have a job where I can work 5 days a week around her school hours, and I think it's more important that I am there to take her to school and collect her from same.

It all comes back to responsibility and accountability.

She is my responsibility to get educated.

I am the one who will be held accountable if she goes off the rails down the track - irespective of where she goes to school and how much it cost.

When will these mongrels in the government let me do my job in peace?

Add that to the latest news that if you're pregnant you'll get the zealots on your case about coffee, it's enough to make me wonder when the agenda to completely usurp my role will be publicly declared.

My dad and I used to have political discussions, where I'd play devil's advocate and he'd quite lucidly explain his disagreement with this policy or that, and that coloured a lot of my thinking and development.

One thing that used to get him seriously ranty was this idea that the prevailing attitudes of the pollies and edumacators (my word, not his) were working on painting us all a shade of mediocre grey.

I'm in complete agreement with him on that.

Please excuse the profanity, but this stuff just shits me to tears no end - you'll no doubt get sick of my spouting off about it, but better out than in where I could develop another ulcer.


At 2:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

RWDB, you're comments make no sense whatsoever.

I have a job where I can work 5 days a week around her school hours, and I think it's more important that I am there to take her to school and collect her from same.

It all comes back to responsibility and accountability.

She is my responsibility to get educated.

No she ain't. Every child has a right to education, and if you can't provide it then the state will. Beats me why you would take that responsibility on yourself when you don't have to and in fact, its illegal if you don't allow it.

I am the one who will be held accountable if she goes off the rails down the track - irespective of where she goes to school and how much it cost.

So then why do parents send their kids to private schools? So they can 'go off the rails' at a later date? Although, if you're a prisoner of right-wing ideology I guess you'll blame yourself and not any societal influences if your child does get into trouble...

When will these mongrels in the government let me do my job in peace?

Hehe...its not your job. And anyhow, how are they stopping you from sending your kid off to school and picking her up after? Unless of course you're home-schooling her because you want her to learn flat-earth theories like intelligent design and climate change denial..

At 7:14 AM, Blogger Nilk said...

Anon, you're missing the point.

Yes, she has a right to an education, but it's my choice how she gets that education.

In order of preference, I'd like to homeschool her, but neither of us have the temperament. She's too sociable and I prefer no people around me.

Then comes a particular private school, but at $3000 a year I can't afford it.

Unless I go back to work in sales and work it really well - which would give me the income, but take away from time with Magilla.

As far as I am concerned, single parenting and working nights and weekends isn't worth it. The money is irrelevant.

So because of income and time constraints, she's going to the local state school. The one not even 500m around the corner.

I'm happy with that choice, because it is a choice.

It may not have the resources of the school I wanted to send her to, but that's something I took into consideration. I certainly don't expect the catholic school up the road to start providing things for my daughter's education.

Again, that's my job, not theirs.

At 7:20 AM, Blogger Nilk said...

Oh yes, homeschooling is not illegal, even if you would prefer it to be so.

It is a valid option when you consider that the current education system does not work for every child.

One size does not fit all.

I am also well aware of societal influences, but let's face it, how often when a child/teenager/young adult runs amok these days do we tend to blame the parents?

Look at the Corey Worthington drama over the past week or so - a typical 16yo does what a 16yo does when his parents are out of the picture for whatever reason, and the papers and radio start bleating "where are his parents? How dare they leave him alone?"

At 16-17 he should be able to be left alone, but due to a lot of societal influences (such as the ones that bombard him with the idea that nothing is his fault and he has plenty of rights without responsibilities) it's no surprise that he does something dumb like invite 100 of his closest friends over for a party.

Blind Freddy could see trouble arising out of that, but not your average 16yo.

Societal influences are precisely why I want final veto over the education of my child, and that doesn't involve taking resources away from parents who have paid extra for their child's schooling.

At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Peter said...

Sounds a strange policy. Shouldn't private schools be just that - private.

However, I believe the government ought to give public schools, where affordable, more funding so that they can provide a better quality of education.

I'm in complete agreement with you on the encouragement of mediocrity that is found all over the place. It's dreadful! People should be encouraged to be responsible individuals with no limits placed on what they can achieve (within realistic parameters of course).

At 11:02 PM, Anonymous spot_the_dog said...

Hey there, Nilk! I'm glad you publicised those statements by Julia. What a bloody fool. The worst possible thing that could happen to our school system would be if every parent suddenly decided to send their kids to public schools - they'd go broke overnight. All up, Fed + State, our government doesn't spend nearly as much per private school child as they do per public school child... an inconvenient truth to those engaged in the class warfare memes going around.

Don't know if you've read it, but Andrew Bolt had a column a while back regarding some columnist who was whingeing about taxpayer funding for private schools. link here


At 11:11 PM, Anonymous spot said...

By the way, Nilk, I'd give odds that Magilla's going to turn out just fine. My Mom stayed home with me and my sibs, we all went to our local public school, then we all went on to good Unis and Grad Schools on partial academic scholarships, and we're all (fairly!) well-adjusted and do pretty well for ourselves now. I think parental involvement matters as much or more than the price of the education. Just my 2 cents.

At 11:19 PM, Blogger Nilk said...

Spot, over here, historically, the private/parochial schools were never funded in any way shape or form by the government.

Apparently (I've lost the link so this is from memory), back in the 60s in a country town in NSW, the local catholic school had a problem with the toilet block.

The school couldn't afford to get the plumbing sorted, as there was apparently a large amount of work required, so they applied to the government for some funding to cover this.

The government refused, and what ended up happening was the school closing and sending students to the state schools nearest which couldn't cope with the influx.

After this, the government caved and so began the funding of private schools in Oz.

I did actually have this information in my bookmarks, but lost them all a few months ago. It was via one of the home ed sites and interesting enough to want to keep.

Re Magilla... she reads upside down and writes sideways as well as the correct way.

I fear for her teachers lol.

At 12:17 AM, Anonymous spot_the_dog said...

Here's what I just find amazing. A private school gets as little as 13.7 per cent of what a state school gets for each student, and no more that 70 per cent if the private school is very poor.

And Julia wants the public schools, which get $1 per child of public funding for every 13 to 70 cents that the private schools get, to be able to go use all of the facilities that the parents of the under-funded private school students pay for out of their own, after-tax dollars.

In Perth, over a third of children go to private schools - it's probably the same over East? If I were Julia I'd be doing whatever I could to encourage that - it saves the government money!

P.S. Thanks for the tip about the Chaser video - I've updated my post :-)

At 12:29 AM, Blogger Nilk said...

No worries, Spot. It's a classic.

The issue with Julia et al is not saving the money. If it was, they would encourage more of it.

It's about grasping control of the reins and guiding people to where they need to go.

Plus, with the surplus that Costello left in the Treasury, and following his example, money is less of a driver than it would be if Costello hadn't done such a good job.

Labor tend to have a bit of a scorched earth policy, so I doubt it will take long for that to kick in.

The promises of a horror budget with the razor being waved around already tells me all I need to know.

Oh, and what do you think of Rudd's latest on centralising industrial relations?

(too lazy to link at 12.30am)

At 1:17 AM, Anonymous spot_the_dog said...

I just read that article in The Australian about the "national" IR system earlier today. Sounds like a dog's breakfast of a plan at first read. A national IR system like WorkChoices was, but with individual state court systems to maintain jurisdiction over "workplace relations matters"??

My only comment this late at night is that a Sparky friend of mine who has his own small business stopped putting anyone on full-time permanent a few months before the election in anticipation of something like this - now he'll only hire people as contractors. He remembers too well the days of "go away" payments and workplace tribunals. For anything more, that requires thinking, though, I'll have to get back to you. lol.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger Col. Milquetoast said...

Beats me why you would take that responsibility on yourself when you don't have to and in fact, its illegal if you don't allow it.

to anonymous,
FYI Nilknarf takes responsibility to educate because she cares about her kid. When you care about someone you often do things because you want to despite not having to. She probably cares about her kid far more than the sum of every teacher her Magila has or ever will have. Not because the teachers are heartless or mean but because Nilk probably plans to be part of her Magila's life for as long as humanly possible while the teachers will make their own priorities. Yes, life is so unfair as to permit people to care unequally but c'est la vie.

Also, her caring is likely a great help to those who do say "let someone else make sure my kid learns to read" as the more people looking at an issue gives a deeper view of the issue.

although pedantic I hope this helps,
Col. M.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Boy on a bike said...

There's a really simple way the government could help kids at public schools to partake in the goodies that private schools have to offer.

Give all parents a voucher for each kid and let them educate their offspring where they like. If one wished to send them private, then one would be free to do so (and to pay the top-up fee).

I don't believe that state schools are underfunded (and junior goes to a state school) - they are just crap at using their existing resources.


Post a Comment

<< Home