Friday, March 10, 2017
NSW selective schools cater to the brightest students -- Asians
Amusing. An Asian writer below is complaining that Asian students ace tests of academic ability. So much so that schools for the gifted are dominated by Asian students. How could it be otherwise? East Asians simply have markedly higher average IQs. People are just going to have to cope with that.
It's true that Asians "cram" a lot and thus get top exam results but such cramming will not help bring higher scores on an admissions test -- which will largely be an IQ test.
In both Sydney and Melbourne, Asian enrolments make up more than 80 per cent of the school community in virtually all selective schools.
In 2016, selective schools made up eight of the top 10 schools in the Higher School Certificate leaderboard. This is not surprising, as selective schools are government schools designed to cater for gifted and talented students with superior academic ability and high classroom performance.
Unlike other government schools, they are unzoned, so students can apply regardless of where they live.
But these public schools are increasingly bastions of inequality, rather than simply havens for the gifted and talented.
Figures from the government’s MySchool website show that in NSW, selective high schools are among the most socio-educationally advantaged in the state, surpassing even prestigious private schools.
The levels of advantage within selective schools are perhaps even more stark when we compare the students falling within the top quarter of socio-educational advantage (Q1) with those in the bottom quarter (Q4).
In 2015, an average of 74 per cent of students in Sydney’s selective schools were drawn from the most advantaged quarter, compared to only 2 per cent from the bottom quarter.
More than half (56 per cent) of Sydney’s selective schools had no students at all from the lowest quarter in 2015.
What’s more, this inequality has grown noticeably in just five years, with 2010 figures showing a (slightly) more balanced distribution.
On average 60 per cent of selective school students came from the highest quarter, while 9 per cent were from the lowest.
There are signs that other states are moving towards the NSW model. Victoria now has four selective schools, whose enrolments are similarly polarised, though not to the same extent as in NSW.
As public schools designed to cater for gifted and talented students, selective schools should be accessible to high achievers regardless of family background.
The MySchool figures raise serious questions about how accessible or meritocratic selective schools really are. They have become more inaccessible in recent years, almost completely so to the most disadvantaged groups.
Entry to selective schools is becoming increasingly competitive, with growing evidence that success is reliant on months or years of training through academic tutoring centres. Sometimes this begins in early primary school.
In my research with students and families in selective schools in Sydney, interviewees explained that many tutoring centres offered programs specifically focused on the selective schools test.
This kind of academic tutoring, designed solely to improve students’ test-taking skills, is quite a different phenomenon to the traditional tutoring undertaken by those who might be struggling in a particular subject area.
Academic tutoring is particularly popular among east and south Asian migrants to Australia, who are often accustomed to the practice in their home countries.
As a result, selective schools, as well as being increasingly dominated by the socially advantaged, are also now dominated by students from Language Backgrounds Other Than English.
In both Sydney and Melbourne, these enrolments make up more than 80 per cent of the school community in virtually all selective schools. At James Ruse, the figure was 97 per cent in 2015. I have previously analysed some of the social implications of this ethnic imbalance, from self-segregation in the playground to hostility from Anglo-Australian parents who accuse Asian-Australians of “gaming the system”.
The demographic profile of selective schools therefore reflects Australia’s skilled migration policy, which overwhelmingly selects highly educated, professional migrants.
These middle-class migrants, keen to see their kids do well, but also anxious about their place in a new society, have sometimes been unfairly demonised as “tiger parents”. But their behaviour is a logical response to Australian education policies that increasingly emphasise competition and schooling hierarchies.
Ultimately, most students sitting for the selective schools test this week will be unsuccessful in securing a place. And based on current trends, we can confidently predict who will be successful: the majority will come from the most advantaged groups in our society, often from Asian migrant families. Virtually none will be from the most disadvantaged groups.
Selective schools were set up to provide opportunities to the gifted and talented, not just the wealthy, gifted and talented.
Pick your statistic: Was recent weather unusually hot?
The authors below have picked statistics that appear to show that recent times in Australia were unusually hot. As with most Green/Left claims, the key is to look at what they did NOT say. And it stands out like dog's balls what they have done. They have discussed summer only. What about other recent seasons? Were they unusually hot too? They probably were in parts but it's the average that matters and the BoM tells us that 2016 was only the 4th hottest year for Australia. So overall, there is nothing to get heated about. It's just the usual dishonest propaganda below
Scientists have confirmed what anyone who lived through the past summer knows to be true - climate change is driving hotter and longer summers that are becoming "the new normal", according to scientists, with worse to come unless tough decisions are made.
The summer of 2016/17 produced not only Sydney's hottest summer on record, Canberra's hottest summer for daytime temperatures and Brisbane's hottest summer in terms of mean temperature, but Queensland's second hottest summer on record and the hottest summer temperatures on record for almost 45 per cent of NSW.
Scientists have called it "the angry summer" as more than 205 records were broken in just 90 days, according to a new report from the Climate Council.
"We are into the latter half of the critical decade, and temperatures are continuing to increase and extreme weather events are worsening. Climate change is increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves and warm spells. Hot days and heatwaves, like those experienced in the 2016/17 angry summer, are becoming the new normal, and even more extreme heat is on the way in future unless rapid and deep reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are achieved around the world," the report warned.
The reports authors, which include Professor Will Steffen, the inaugural director of the Australian National University's Climate Change Institute, warned that Australia will continue to warm up throughout the 21st century and experience increasingly severe impacts.
The ‘absurdity’ of Australia facing a natural gas shortage
It's absurd all right. But the chief absurdity is that NSW is sitting on huge reserves of gas but will not let anybody drill for it. Queensland drills for it. Why not NSW next door?
THERE are warnings today our gas supply could soon fall short, forcing Aussies to swelter through summer. But an expert says it’s “a total failure” we’re in this position.
The idea of a shortage in Australia — the largest gas exporter in the world — is an “absurdity”, according to energy analyst Bruce Robertson of the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis.
“We are swimming in gas, the idea that we cannot provide for our own population is just a total failure of our energy policy,” Mr Robertson told news.com.au.
The Australian Energy Market Operator on Thursday warned of future power supply shortfalls, which could cause blackouts in South Australia, NSW and Victoria unless gas production is boosted and supplied to electricity generators.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will hold meetings with the chief executives of east coast gas companies soon to address what he’s labelled as an “energy crisis”, laying the blame on state governments for not allowing the development of gas resources.
“We are facing an energy crisis in Australia because of these restrictions on gas,” he said in Sydney on Thursday.
But Mr Robertson disagreed and said the problems Australia was facing were due to companies sitting on gas reserves and not releasing enough of their product.
“There’s plenty of gas around, even on the east coast,” he said.
”Companies are sitting on permits, not developing them and restricting supply so they can make a lot of money.”
It’s created the bizarre situation that sees Australian gas being sold in Japan for a wholesale price that is cheaper than the price it’s available for in Australia.
This is despite the fact it costs an estimated $3.70 a gigajoule more for the gas to be shipped there.
Mr Robertson blamed state and federal governments for failing to develop a proper energy policy in Australia to avoid these problems, despite being warned as far back as 2009 that this could happen.
Part of the problem dates back to the approval of three export terminals in the Queensland port town of Gladstone, which allowed companies on the east coast to ship their gas overseas for the first time.
Mr Robertson said a government report Blueprint for Queensland’s LNG Industry published in August 2009 noted that allowing gas to be converted from coal seam gas into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export, might not deliver enough gas for domestic use.
It advised the Queensland Government, under the leadership of Labor’s Anna Bligh at the time, to ensure there was enough gas available to met domestic demand. It listed options including holding back production in certain areas to supply Australia’s needs.
“There is a real problem that the availability of gas in the ground may not translate into gas supplied to the domestic market,” the paper stated.
Despite this potential problem being flagged, Mr Robertson said the government took a “cavalier” attitude of pushing forward with the project.
He said any other country that allowed a company to dig up its resources and profit from this, would also have ensured its own domestic supply was covered.
“Australia is unique in its sheer stupidity in allowing companies to exploit our resources and not insist they provide for our domestic market,” he said. “We are uniquely stupid.”
The Santos liquefied natural gas plant in Gladstone, Queensland has enabled companies to ship gas from the east coast of Australia overseas. Picture supplied by Santos
The Santos liquefied natural gas plant in Gladstone, Queensland has enabled companies to ship gas from the east coast of Australia overseas. Picture supplied by SantosSource:Supplied
CAN WE FIX THIS?
Mr Robertson said there needed to be transparency around how much gas could be produced by existing reserves, something that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission also noted was lacking in its 2016 report.
The ACCC found gas was being removed from the Australian market and shipped overseas instead, leading to uncertainty about future gas supply on the east coast.
Suppliers had also taken advantage of this uncertainty to increase prices.
Mr Robertson said a global glut of gas, which is predicted to continue until 2030, had added to this because companies were under more pressure to make money domestically.
This is helped by the fact there is little competition in Australia so companies can charge higher prices locally.
“The market on the east coast is controlled by a cartel of producers and is restricting supply to the domestic market to drive up the price, and they’ve been very successful at doing this,” he said.
Mr Robertson said this problem could be solved, but required political will to crackdown on the cartel behaviour and force companies to provide information about how much gas they could actually provide.
“The government has to step in and it has to step in forcefully, to ensure the national interest,” he said.
While there’s much discussion of an energy crisis in Australia at the moment, Mr Robertson said it was going to get a whole lot worse.
“People will get made redundant, people will lose their jobs, there will be blackouts. All these things will happen because the government’s let a cartel run riot,” he said.
“The government has got to act and it’s not and there’s no sign they will. And we’ll bumble on in an energy policy void.”
'I was wrong': Pauline Hanson backs down on anti-vaccination comments - after calling government's no jab no play policy a 'dictatorship'
Pauline Hanson has apologised for likening a federal vaccination policy to a dictatorship after previously insisting there was a test for immunisation allergies.
The One Nation leader earned a rebuke from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and doctors on Sunday when she slammed the 'no jab, no pay' policy where family payments of up to $15,000 a year are withheld if parents fail to have their kids immunised.
But on Thursday the Queensland senator offered an apology, explaining she had wrongly believed there was a test that could indicate if a child was allergic to vaccinations.
'Yes, I do apologise if that be the case, I am wrong, alright,' Senator Hanson told Sunrise presenter David Koch on Thursday. 'I was of the opinion, that I did read, that that was the case. Apparently it's not. 'I have heard a couple of doctors have said that there is no test.'
On Sunday Senator Hanson, whose four children were vaccinated, hit back at ABC Insiders presenter Barrie Cassidy for suggesting vaccinations saved lives. 'That's a dictatorship and I think people have a right to investigate themselves,' she said. 'I hear from so many parents, where are their rights?'
Senator Hanson described the 'no jab, no pay' policy introduced by Tony Abbott's government as an affront to civil liberties.
'What I don't like about it is the blackmailing that's happening with the government - don't do that to people,' the Queensland senator said.
The Prime Minister rebuked her on the same day. 'It is a vital health objective to ensure that everybody is vaccinated,' Mr Turnbull told reporters.
'If parents choose not to vaccinate their children, they are putting their children's health at risk and every other person's children's health at risk too.'
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here