Sunday, October 04, 2009

Overcoming socio-economic disadvantage in education

Jennifer Buckingham

Literacy and numeracy are not everything, but they are almost everything. Somewhere between one in five and one in six students are barely literate and numerate, according to recent national literacy and numeracy results. These children are concentrated in particular schools and in particular areas, especially where there are high levels of socio-economic disadvantage.

Although the relationship between socio-economic status and school performance is undeniable, it doesn’t have to be inevitable. As the late, great Australian education expert Professor Ken Rowe showed, family background may establish where children start in life, but it doesn’t have to determine where they end up.

Participants at the CIS’s annual conference Consilium in August this year heard the stories of two extraordinary schools that have defied the odds of socio-economic disadvantage. Bellfield Primary School is a public school in one of the most disadvantaged urban areas in Australia. Yet in the space of 10 years, during which time social disadvantage intensified, Melbourne educator John Fleming transformed the school performance from chronic failure to one of the best in the state.

These extraordinary results were not achieved through increased spending. There was no increase in teacher pay. There were no major capital works or new technologies. Fleming attributes the success of the school to three changes in school policy: implementing a research-based pedagogy; introducing performance-based accountability for students and teachers; and changing the school culture to reflect traditional values and discipline.

The same ‘tough love’ strategy was applied at Djarragun College in Gordonvale in far north Queensland, once a crumbling school with low attendance. Educator Jean Illingworth oversaw its incredible transformation into a well-maintained, high functioning school where children from indigenous communities in Cape York and the Torres Strait are achieving outstanding results.

For many students across Australia, social disadvantage is being translated ineluctably into educational disadvantage year after year. The evidence from Australia and elsewhere is that this need not be the case.

The above is part of a press release dated October 2 from the Centre for Independent Studies. Enquiries to Snail mail: PO Box 92, St Leonards, NSW, Australia 1590. Telephone ph: +61 2 9438 4377 or fax: +61 2 9439 7310

Dumb bureaucrats won't protect you from con-men

A CONMAN posing as a psychologist was able to fool NSW health authorities with a PhD bought for $250 on the internet, police say. Using the alias Dr David Kaye, 45-year-old Ali Davut Sarikaya was allowed to treat police officers and public servants with the blessing of the state Government.

Mr Sarikaya, who was arrested by Harbourside police as he attempted to board a flight to New Zealand at Sydney airport, appeared in Central Local Court on Wednesday on fraud charges and was granted conditional bail. Police alleged the Turkish-born "doctor" claimed to be a trained psychologist, despite holding no formal qualifications apart from a bachelor of arts. His patients included police officers, prison guards and senior legal figures who were referred to his medical practice in central Sydney through WorkCover NSW.

A statement of facts tendered to the court said Mr Sarikaya had "deceived" numerous government departments and organisations since moving to Sydney in 1997. The court heard Mr Sarikaya had been convicted of fraud offences of a "dishonest ... identity-type nature" in Victoria in 1994. In the years since, Mr Sarikaya, who runs trauma clinics in Sydney and Parramatta, had been building a profile as the fictitious Dr David Kaye. Police said he used this alias to avoid scrutiny of his Victorian criminal record.

The court heard that Mr Sarikaya had gained membership of several prestigious organisations, including the NSW Bar Association, by touting himself as a doctor, which he justified using a spurious PhD. "Inquiries indicate this PhD was purchased via the internet from an organisation in Minnesota, USA, for $249.95, and is by no means an official document enabling use of titles such as doctor," the court heard.

The police facts stated that Mr Sarikaya also obtained several identity cards, including an Australian Health Professionals Association card, in the name of Dr David Kaye to help bolster his identity. The alleged facade was so convincing that Mr Sarikaya was approved to work as a psychologist under the NSW Health Department's Official Visitors Program. In 2006, he was appointed to the program for three years by then health minister John Hatzistergos, now the Attorney-General, who personally signed off his accreditation. It allowed the alleged fraudster to visit mental health patients in northern Sydney hospitals.



On 22 May, 2010, a series of abusive comments supporting "Dr Kaye" were posted on this blog. I passed the most substantial one for publication and you can read it below. To get 4 comments on the same day after many months of no comment suggests orchestration and even the one now readable here is implausible. The writer claims to be a barrister but uses most unjudicial language.

As a fully qualified psychologist myself, I am aware of the sort of pap that "Kaye" purveys and know that it always has a certain following. I have however seen no evidence that its therapeutic outcomes are better than placebo.

Public hospital sued for negligence

The actions of the hospital staff do seem extraordinarily negligent. In a private hospital they would not have stopped until they found the cause of the problem

A TEENAGER who had part of her skull removed as a result of bacterial meningitis is suing the State of Queensland, claiming a public hospital sent her home four times without diagnosing the infection. Sharna Gallagher, 18, is seeking more than $337,000 in personal injury damages, alleging negligence by Kingaroy Hospital staff.

Ms Gallagher was almost 16 when she first went to the hospital on January 10, 2007, complaining of severe pain in her right ear, with associated bleeding, headache and general pain. In her claim filed in the Supreme Court in Brisbane last month, Ms Gallagher alleges medical staff who saw her failed to diagnose a severe infection, refer her to a specialist or order tests.

It is alleged that Ms Gallagher returned to the hospital over the next two days but was not seen to and then sent home. Ms Gallagher claims that when she went back to the hospital on January 14, she had extreme ear pain and bleeding, fever and rigor, headache and back pain, and was seen by staff but again sent home. On her return to the hospital just over a week later, staff transferred her to Toowoomba Base Hospital, where she was diagnosed with bacterial meningitis and middle ear infection.

Ms Gallagher underwent surgery at Brisbane's Princess Alexandra Hospital two days later and remained in hospital undergoing treatment for more than a month. Part of her skull was permanently removed, and it is claimed she suffered conductive hearing loss, ongoing ear infections, scarring and also a related major depressive disorder.

In her claim to the court, it is alleged Ms Gallagher was unable to finish school, return to her casual job at a fast-food outlet or undergo career training because of physical pain, ear problems and psychological injuries. Ms Gallagher claimed she would require further medical treatment, including surgery to repair her skull and ear drum, and ongoing psychological counselling.

Queensland Health said it could not comment as the case was before the court.


Watchdog swamped by phone complaints

CONSUMERS are making up to 350 complaints a day to authorities about the high cost of owning new generation smartphones in a phenomenon known as ''bill shock''. The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, Deirdre O'Donnell, said customers, confused by caps on downloading emails and data, were being hit with exorbitant charges. ''We get around 1000 complaints a day, and about 33 to 35 per cent will be around bill shock,'' Ms O'Donnell said. ''It's the advent of smartphones that have really elevated this issue. We'll get examples of parents going 'my daughter said she was just updating her Facebook page on the way home but here I have a $700 bill'. I don't want to just pick on iPhones … it's any of those smartphones.''

Ms O'Donnell said consumers were easily confused by data downloading caps because they were expressed in terms of megabytes or gigabytes. Typical plans include caps set at 25 megabytes, 200 megabytes, 500 megabytes or one gigabyte. Ms O'Donnell said it was hard for consumers to envisage what those caps mean in terms of time spent on the internet or sending emails. ''People don't seem to have - and I don't - any sense of what the cost will be.''

The chief executive of the Australian Communications Consumer Action Group, Allan Asher, said data caps expressed in terms of megabytes were the root of the problem. ''Getting a contract that says three megabytes per month … there's a lot of folk who don't know what that means … until they get a $600 bill when they were expecting a $200 bill.'' He said consumers needed plans stating that a cap ''is the equivalent of downloading two movies or playing computer games for six hours''.

Mr Asher said bill shock for premium services, international roaming, horoscopes, television voting and ringtones was common. ''I've heard of someone getting a bill for $23,000 after being overseas for a period of three weeks. It just turned out that all the data, satellite navigation and emails were being billed at a very high roaming rate. The more typical examples are bills of $1000 plus, when the customer was paying what they thought was their contract rate of $100 to $200 a month.''

Ms O'Donnell said the Ombudsman's office was working with mobile phone providers on expressing caps in practical terms - a certain number of emails, YouTube uploads or internet surfing time. She said the industry code specified that consumers should be sent a message or email by the provider if they were exceeding the cap.

A spokesman for Choice, Christopher Zinn, said that while mobile phone firms were doing nothing illegal or misleading, ''we generally have a jaundiced view of mobile phone plans because they're so complicated … it's impossible to compare where the value lies. We find it hard to compare, and we're not surprised that many consumers find it hard to compare.''

Sam had a $49 per month capped plan. His first two bills were for $7102 and $3766, respectively. He received an SMS saying he had reached his capped limit. He stopped using mobile internet but when his landline was cut due to bushfires he had to rely on his mobile for a week, which resulted in huge bills.

Mrs C used global roaming on her mobile while in India. She checked her internet usage online, as suggested by her provider, but the charges were not updated. After three months she had incurred a bill of $4500.



Paul said...

I think you're being very generous toward Private Hospitals. My experience is that their penny pinching ways makes for even worse quality care. Epworth in Melbourne is a shining example of skimping on Nursing care while sucking up to the real customers, the Doctors, most of whom couldn't care less about the quality of Nursing care just so long as they can keep bilking the Health funds with impunity.

jonjayray said...

I suppose there is good and bad in any group but Queensland private hospitals are impeccable in my considerable experience

Anonymous said...

John Ray Blog Re: David Kaye

I am a colleague of david kaye and worked with him between 1997 and 1999. I am now a barrister with the victorian bar. I am appalled by the malicious smear campaign against david kaye and post this blog to set the record straight.

David Kaye PhD ClinMACA is the creator of Strategic Outcome Focused Therapy, "S.O.F.T. Thouch Therapy" in short. This form of therapy has been demonstrated to be effective for the treatment of acute grief, depression, anxiety and disorders of the self.

David spent 25 years working as a professional counsellor and psychotherapist, including undergraduate and post graduate training in psychology and counselling, 10 years of working under the professional supervision of eminent psychologists and psychiatrists, conducting assessments and providing professional counselling and psychotherapy services to thousands of people, David spent 6 years researching and writing his doctoral thesis which was awarded on 8 February 2000 and subsequently became a basis for his book Crossroads: Your Journey Within.

david has researched areas such as acute grief, depression, anxiety, family therapy and dynamics and hopelessness and has tried to find effective solutions to these intractable problems, often times at his own personal, emotional and financial cost.

This is contrary to the false information fabricated and perpetuated about David Kaye. For their own reasons a number of sociopathic and malicious people have sought to collude to cause damage to David Kaye personally and professionally. This nasty smear campaign has been done in the most sinister and malicious manner with very little regard for the consequences to David himself, his family, friends and equally importantly to his hundreds of traumatised patients.

David Kaye is not a fraud doctor or psychologist. This was an attempt to criminalise voluntary work that David Kaye did for 2 years and all charges brought against him by an officer- against whom David had filed a formal complaint with the NSW Police Integrity Commission on 5 July 2009 for attempting to extort $30K from him on 3 July 2009- were withdrawn due to lack of evidence. The NSW Health Professionals Registration Boards appointed Mr. Lou Saperas, the Manager of Investigations & Inspections to conduct a thorough investigation and after formally reporting to the Board at 2 meetings to make a determination on this matter on 31 August and 6 October 2009 the Board concluded that David Kaye had not represented himself falsely as a psychologist. David Kaye has done voluntary work in various private and government positions for over 23 years.

However, since 25 June 2009 and more so since 4 August 2009, a number of unethical, incompetent and disgraceful wanna be journalists such as Yoni Bashan, Lisa Muxworthy, Boel Erricksson and Brendan Hills have published false information about David Kaye and they should be ashamed to call themselves a Journalist which they are not. They are akin to a pack of rabid dogs, all housed under the same roof of a kennel called Nationwide News and they continue to infect everything with their dishonesty, deception and virulent diseases under the guise of journalism and public interest and call it a story. In fact, they are no more than pawns in a complex smear campaign to cause as much personal, professional, social and financial damage to David Kaye as possible. These hacks publish unchecked false information that lacks research. They are malicious, lack journalistic integrity and show a reckless indifference to the truth. They are fabricators of lies, deception and misinformation with an absolute disregard for the consequences of their dirty work.

If you wish to communicate with David Kaye or obtain a copy of his book Crossroads: Your Journey Within you can contact David directly on 0417 553 883 or via email at or write to him at GPO Box 5249 Sydney NSW Australia 2001. Or you can post your own blog in support.

Friends of David Kaye

Anonymous said...

Of course it was written by him, no barrister with a name would support such utter nonsense, he'd never work again.
Actually none of his so called supporters have a name, but that wouldn't register with this charlatan as he's to busy writing the rubbish!
This creep Sarikaya/Kaye has been pursuing this criminal course for at least twenty years that I'm aware of.

Anonymous said...

Re: David Kaye. I worked with David Kaye as the NSW State Manager at The Bensons Group and direct reported to him. I find it rionic that David Kaye has not been found guilty of anything in NSW to date. All the charges brought against- him by a corrupt detective who was reported to the NSW Police Integrity Commission on 5 July 2009 after he tried to extort 30K from David- have been withdrawn. So why is this man who has completed his undergrdauate degree from Monash and psychology major from Swinburne University and is a clinical member of his professional association and has dedicated 25 years of his life to helping those members of the community who are in need of help being pursued in this sinister manner?

I for sure have nothing bad to say about David Kaye. I found him to be honorable, ethical, professional and compassionate. Do we not need more people like that providing professional services?

P Davis

Anonymous said...

I'm shocked to read these testimonials professing this 'doctors' innocence and his legitimacy. This man is an uncaring selfish fraud and was as far from professional as one could get in his dealings with me, along with a host of other things which I wont go into. He completely ruined my case as well as being caught out breeching confidentiality, which I found very distressing as I was understandably vulnerable at the time. So I was stunned to find that this monster was still working as a councilor as I thought the authorities had dealt with him a while ago and he would've changed his ways hopefully. It just makes me shudder to think what this horror has been up to in the mean time.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if we are to do the math's or the chronology according to this liar, we'd have to believe that he was given his VCE/HSC as he stepped of the plane from Turkey, as a barely sixteen year old teenager. Following that he would've had to have rushed through his qualifications at university including his masters, to be professionally qualified by the ripe old age of twenty one....doesn't sound at all possible really. Yet this crook has mentioned many times that he's been 'practicing' for twenty five years.

Anonymous said...

I know David for about 3 years.
He is a very intelligent, decent men, a doted father, a good artist and an excellent poet and a writer.
I am glad that all his charges were dismissed.

Anonymous said...

Absolute rubbish! This deluded maniac Sarikaya is a greedy self centered narcissistic fraud. Everything that comes out of this long time convicted criminal's mouth is a lie!
His deceptive nonsense has gone on for far too long.
He's never to be trusted, ever, period!!

Anonymous said...

As of 19 January 2011 Dr. David Kaye was acquitted of 5 sets of 83 false charges brought against him.

I suggest Mr. Ray that you delete the misleading deceptive and false, not to say the least, malicious information you have published on your blog. No doubt, to persist in the defamation you have been perpetuating will come to roost at your house.

Just a friendly suggestion.

Friend of Dr. David Kaye

Anonymous said...

I as one of ms Gallaghers family members i would like any one reading the post about her ongoing court case to know that this post about it being finalized and how much money she will be getting is a fauls statement and has not been finalized through the court or even talked about