Putting young, inexperienced teachers into sink schools is a sure way to cause them to think of another career. Some of them last only weeks in such a situation. You would think an education boss would know that but when you are a Leftist, you don't need facts. Sounding good is all that matters
Top teaching graduates will be offered extra money to fill difficult jobs and work at "challenging" state schools. State Education Minister Rod Welford will today unveil what he describes as an innovative plan to get elite teachers into tough classroom roles. Mr Welford told The Sunday Mail the graduates would be offered incentives in the form of scholarships to work in specialist subject areas, difficult schools or remote locations.
The minister said he was alarmed at the number of teachers quitting after just four or five years on the job. [So he wants them to quit even faster??] "Recruiting and retaining top teachers is the key to ensuring all Queensland students can access the best possible education, no matter where they live," Mr Welford said.
Mr Welford, who will quit politics after 20 years at the 2009 state election, said there was a shortage of teachers in manual arts and maths B and C. Bonded scholarships would be offered to high-calibre final year undergraduate students to teach in subjects where shortages had been identified. Queensland Health had introduced a similar program for doctors, a bonded medical scholarship to work in areas of "priority service" for six years after graduating from Griffith University.
Mr Welford said other positions that were difficult to fill included schools in areas of socio-economic disadvantage and in rural and remote locations. "Increasingly we need to recognise that to attract the right talent we need to have incentives and we need to apply our most talented people to the most challenging jobs," he said.
The minister said the State Government would also implement a sister program with universities to provide graduates with initial teaching experience in the location of their choice. "This would be followed by a placement in a difficult-to-staff location with a guaranteed return to their preferred location after an agreed time. "Boomerang transfers will also be offered, with staff supported to undertake short-term placements in challenging locations with a guaranteed return to their preferred location on completion."
Queensland Teachers Union president Steve Ryan supported the plan but said the teachers must be fully qualified before taking the demanding roles. "We accept that there is a need for a variety of ways in which we can attract teachers to the profession . . . the best way is to make sure they are getting the right salaries," Mr Ryan said. The Government plans to introduce the scheme for 2009.
Media Bias in Australia
The ABC's partisan preferences are not limited to Australian politics
The taxpayer-funded Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) occupies a position in Australia similar to that enjoyed by the BBC in the United Kingdom. The ABC runs two free-to-air national television channels, four national radio networks, nine metropolitan radio stations in major cities, 51 radio stations across rural and regional Australia and a range of Internet and subscription services. No Australian commercial network approaches the ABC in terms of reach and, arguably, influence. It is well-funded, amply staffed and under more or less constant criticism for projecting a left-wing take on just about every aspect of Australian life that it touches.
Grahame Morris, a chief of staff to former conservative Prime Minister John Howard, once described the national broadcaster as, "our enemies talking to our friends." The recently retired presenter of ABC TV's national gardening show was a former member of the Communist Party. The ABC, you see, takes no chances. Even when you were invited to tiptoe through the tulips, the ABC provided an ideologically reliable guide.
Obviously, the political and cultural disposition of the national broadcaster, as it sucks up taxpayer dollars, is an important and legitimate area of public debate. The left does not see it that way. Conservative criticism of the national broadcaster's political and cultural perspectives is usually brushed off by the ABC and its friends as an attack on the "independence" of its journalists, producers and managers.
But an obligation to provide balance and diversity of opinion is enshrined in the ABC's charter; and the corporation's editorial policies and style guide set out rules for news and current affairs journalists in an attempt to ensure that the obligation is met.
The ABC's partisan preferences are not limited to Australian politics. Consider this comment in the lead up to the 2004 U.S. presidential election from Red Symons, the presenter of one of its prime time radio programs:
"774 ABC Melbourne is, of course, supporting Senator John Kerry in his endeavor to become President of the United States. We can't take sides in Australia, but I've had it from management we can take sides elsewhere in the world. We want Kerry to win."
The Australian chapter of Democrats Abroad would have been chuffed to know that.
There are broadcasting codes that can be used to try to hold the ABC accountable to its charter. The process is far from satisfactory because, in the first instance, the ABC itself is the arbiter of complaints made about it. So between 2005 and 2008 the Howard Government attempted to use the Senate Estimates Committee process to take the problem of political bias straight to the corporation's managing director.
Over the three-year period, the Government tabled more than 1,000 examples of ABC journalists violating the organization's editorial guidelines and style guide?its rule books for providing fair and balanced reporting. The examples were extracted from a very small part of the network's output?the program transcripts that the ABC makes available online?and thus represented only a very small percentage of the total network programming. Unquestionably, a complete analysis of ABC output would have yielded thousands more.
A particularly egregious example of ABC mischief had occurred in February 2003 when Prime Minister Howard visited then Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri in the lead up to the war with Iraq. In a meeting with Mr. Howard, the president of the world's largest Muslim nation gave an undertaking that her Government would explain to the Indonesian public that a war on Iraq would not be regarded as a war on Islam.
However, ABC News, broadcast across Australia and beamed into Asia, that evening reported, "Well, there's support for Iraq tonight from the world's largest Muslim nation. Indonesia claims a war on Iraq would be a war on Islam." The ABC was forced to run a correction the next day, but the damage to the national interest had been done.
The Howard Government's efforts to modify the behavior of the ABC resulted in a number of smoke-and-mirrors efforts to address the issue of bias in its current affairs broadcasting. However, one year ago, the 11-year-old centre-right Liberal-National coalition of John Howard was defeated in a federal election by the centre-left Australian Labor Party (ALP) led by Kevin Rudd.
On election night, the ABC's TV anchor and network icon Kerry O'Brien, on air live from the national tally room, declared that there had been a big swing "to the ABC" in Bennelong, the electorate of Prime Minister John Howard. The gaffe, if O'Brien's comment had, indeed, been unintended, provided an eloquent metaphor for the symbiotic relationship between the ABC and the ALP. Maxine McKew, the ALP candidate who went on to win Bennelong from the prime minister, had been a 30-year veteran journalist and presenter at the ABC. She left the network at the end of 2006, laughing off suggestions that she intended to stand as a Labor candidate in the federal election.
Two months out of the ABC, McKew joined the office of Labor Party leader Kevin Rudd; and one month after that she announced her intention to contest Bennelong for the ALP.
Kerry O'Brien, the election night anchor, presents a 30-minute national current affairs program four nights a week on ABC TV. In the 1970s, O'Brien himself was on the staff of a Labor Party leader. On Sunday mornings, ABC TV presents "Insiders," a national review of the week in politics anchored by Barrie Cassidy. In the 1980s, Cassidy served as press secretary to Labor Party Prime Minister Bob Hawke. ABC Radio National has Phillip Adams, another former member of the Communist Party, covering politics and current affairs for about seven hours a week. One of his regular guests is Bruce Shapiro, contributing editor to The Nation.
The gratitude of one Labor prime minister for the election-time efforts of the ABC is recorded in the Cabinet diary of a former minister: "The ABC deserves a decent go because it has done well by the ALP in the last two elections," Labor's Paul Keating said in 1992.
The Rudd Labor Government has promised to restore a staff member to the ABC board of directors, a position that was abolished by the Howard Government. It has also said it will depoliticize the ABC board; which really means it will stack it with its own ideological allies and friends. The ABC, after almost 12 years of confrontation with a conservative foe, once again has in Canberra a government that many of its foot-soldiers are happy to believe in.
Tasmanian public hospital waiting lists continue to grow
It's a problem in the public hospital systems of all Australian States -- though NSW and Queensland seem to be the worst
The waiting list for elective surgery in Tasmania increased by almost 10 per cent in the three months to the end of September, compared with the same period last year. New figures from the Health and Human Services Department show that at the end of last September, the number of patients waiting for elective surgery was 8,600. That's a jump of 9.9 per cent from the end of September 2007, when about 7,800 people were waiting.
The department's Progress Chart, which has just been released, says the waiting list will continue to grow because of Tasmania's ageing population and increasing rates of chronic disease.
Other figures show the number of women screened for breast cancer in the September quarter dropped by 9 per cent, compared to the same quarter in 2006.
The number of adults getting dental treatment increased by 15 per cent.
Rule-breaking pet-owner outraged at enforcement of the rules
She obviously thinks she is special and can pick and choose what rules she obeys. But town planning is an inherently arrogant profession, from what I see. That allowing her to break the rules would make the rules unenforceable generally is obviously too much for her tiny mind to comprehend. She should study Kant. It sounds like she hasn't got a bloke, either. No wonder
A defenceless pooch has been forced out of a plush apartment complex, home to some of Melbourne's most elite residents, after a costly legal dogfight. Owner Natalie Gray has criticised "pet-hating" neighbours at the Domain Park complex in South Yarra who filed a civil complaint at the Melbourne Magistrates Court to get rid of Princess, her seven-year-old papillon. "They are pet haters, it's outrageous," she said. "I think they lack compassion. It's really sad they are being so unreasonable."
Accountant Colin Tatterson, a director at Pitcher Partners, is on the board behind the anti-pets campaign. Another resident at the Domain Rd apartment block, which overlooks the Royal Botanical Gardens, is former governor general Sir Ninian Stephen - but he said he did not mind pets as long as they were quiet.
It is understood at least $50,000 was spent on the 10-month stoush. The dispute was resolved late last week after Ms Gray agreed not to take Princess into the building. She was unable to afford to continue the legal battle.
Ms Gray, 47, says she can't understand why there has been such a fuss over her pet. She said her dog didn't bark, would never leave a mess and was so well behaved she was welcomed at Mass by the nuns at the Carmelite Monastery in Kew. Ms Gray said Princess lived at her mother's house in Kew and visited overnight only about 20 times a year, often on Thursdays when they watched dog detective television show Inspector Rex. Ms Gray, a town planner, also accused some residents in the block of spying on her.
But under the rules of the Domain Park's resident-controlled management company, no pets are allowed, not even budgies or goldfish. And that's not the only rule - prams and bicycles must enter the building through the car park, not the lobby, and "soiled" running shoes are not welcome either. Even buying into the building is difficult. Prospective owners must prove they are of good character in an interview with the company board before they are allowed to buy an apartment.
Michael Trumble, solicitor for Domain Park management, said his client was pleased with the outcome. Some residents had bought into the building at 193 Domain Rd because of the no-pets rule, he said.