Tuesday, June 20, 2017

"A tide of privatization"?  A prejudice in search of some facts

Emma Rowe (above and below) makes a huge effort to be objective but in the end she breaks down and lets her hatred of private schools peep out.  She writes for a webzine called "The Conversation" which claims "Academic rigour, journalistic flair". I guess they do have some journalistic flair, whatever that might be, but the "academic rigour" was a laugh from the beginning.  I would call it Leftist propaganda with an occasional nod to conservatism. I guess that nod is rigour from a Leftist viewpoint.

A condensed version of  Emma's article: "Since 2010, the average independent school has increased its share of enrolments from 18% to 18.39%. That constitutes a disturbing tide of privatisation in our secondary schools" 

The poor woman is completely obsessed if she sees such a trivial change as "a disturbing tide."  An eddy, perhaps, but no sort of tide.

And to get her "tide" she had to ignore primary schools and concentrate on secondary schools only. She plainly wishes to find that private schools overall are unfairly favoured by the government but has to ignore half the facts to make her attempted case.  But Leftists are good at cherrypicking and selective vision.

And what about the fact that Australian parents contribute more towards the education of their children than parents in many other countries do?  Many would see that as a welcome reduction of the burden borne by the taxpayer.  But not Emma.  She says: "This is clearly problematic for those families with less capacity to pay."  Classic Leftist envy obliterates all other considerations. All must have prizes.  The Left must know that their pursuit of equality is pissing into the wind but their devotion to it is relentless and merciless.  Procrustes is their idol

You may have heard recently that public schools in Australia have experienced increased enrolments. The Sydney Morning Herald reported that public schools in Australia have increased their share of enrolments, “reversing a forty-year trend”.

A spokesperson from the Australian Bureau of Statistics stated that it was a “reversal of the steady drift” towards private schools. This is misleading, for two reasons:

First, the overall population in Australia has increased, which has resulted in increased enrolments for many schooling sectors. In total there are 1.28% more students (full-time) enrolled in schools.

Second, while enrolment in public and independent primary schools (excluding Catholic schools) has increased, enrolment in public secondary schools has decreased.

We have one of the highest levels of private school enrolment within the OECD, and our country also maintains the highest levels of private expenditure towards schools (contributions from households).

It is untrue that there is a reversal of the steady drift if we look at secondary schools.

As the more expensive constituent of schooling, and also the gateway to higher education, it is the secondary school where politics truly come to the fore.

When it comes to debates about funding and privatisation, the secondary school sector is far more entangled in the politics of choice.

When we are told that our public school enrolment is increasing, this may lead you to believe that our public schools are strong and healthy. This disguises the ugly truth that many of our public secondary schools are struggling, mainly due to an ongoing stream of policies that have attacked and undermined our public secondary schools.

By how much as public secondary school enrolments decreased?

Since 2010, the public secondary school has decreased its enrolments from 60% to 59.13%.

Since 2010, the average independent school has increased its share of enrolments from 18% to 18.39%.

These changes seem very minor, and when regarded in the context of population increases, are relatively insignificant.

However, when taken with a more longitudinal analysis, it is evident that the independent secondary school in Australia has continually bolstered its enrolment share.

The independent secondary school sector has experienced the largest proportional increase in enrolment from 1990 to 2016 (6.39%).

The government (public) school has recorded the largest proportional decrease during this same period (8.87%).

Evidently, there is a consistent pattern of growth within the independent sector and a consistent pattern of decline, in terms of enrolment levels, within the public sector.

It would be simplistic to argue that this is simply a matter of demand, rather than complicated by many other factors including economic, social and cultural shifts.

As education reforms bolstered funding for the private sector, enrolment levels in the private sector increased at a similar rate and time period.
Encouraging private school choice

The government has always played a role in encouraging particular consumer choices. This is no different for schooling.

Throughout the 1990s and beyond, public schools were consistently closed or merged across various states and territories. This undoubtedly establishes a sense of instability and volatility for the consumer.

Among the reasons cited for these closures was lack of enrolment numbers. Unlike private schools, public schools must consistently prove their economic feasibility. (This reason was strongly refuted by the public. In Victoria in the 1990s, it was described as “the biggest battle over education in more than a decade”.)

While the overall number of full-time secondary students grew, by 2011 the availability of public schools had declined.

The total percentage of public schools in Australia has decreased by 2%. On the other hand, the percentage of private schools has increased by 1% of the total number of schools.

We tend to widely accept privatisation of our schools. In Australia, the overall proportion of students in private schools is 35% ( but 41% in secondary school). This far outweighs the average OECD country, where 18% is the average number.

Compare this to the US, where approximately 8% of students attend private schools. In Canada, this percentage is even lower (approximately 6%), and lower again in countries such as New Zealand, Finland or Sweden.

We also have one of the highest percentages of private expenditure within the school sector. What this means is that we rely far more on a “user-pays” system than the average OECD country.

This is clearly problematic for those families with less capacity to pay.

This was noted in the OECD’s Education at a Glance 2016 report. When it comes to secondary schooling, for the majority of OECD countries, 90% of expenditure comes from government funds. But this wasn’t the case for Australia, Chile and Columbia, which “rely on over one-fifth of private expenditure at this level”.

While many other OECD countries do fund their private schools, they are also subject to a host of regulations.

When it comes to the funding private schools, Australia is classified as a “high funding and low regulation” country. In comparison to other OECD countries, private schools have little accountability in terms of how they spend their money.

Add to this a dominant cultural narrative around the superiority of private schooling, and you have a disturbing tide of privatisation in our secondary schools.

This tide of privatisation will only further entrench equity gaps for students from families who cannot afford to pay. It will also add to the household burden for those families struggling to pay their private school costs.


Over 64,000 people are living illegally in Australia including one immigrant who has avoided authorities for 40 YEARS

Immigration Department figures have identified more than 64,000 'unlawful non-citizens' who are living illegally in Australia.

Statistics show that at least two thirds of those people overstayed in the country for more than two years after legally entering Australia.

It is understood there is at least one person, who is quite possibly deceased by now, who has dodged immigration officials for roughly 40 years, the Courier Mail reports.

Numbers reveal Malaysians as the worst offenders with 9,440 citizens of the southeast Asian nation here on expired visas as at June 30.

China showed to have the second highest statistic with 6,500 overstayers which was followed by the US and UK citizens.

The list also included Indonesia, India, South Korea, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand who had between 2200 and 2800 people overstaying in Australia.

Germany, France, Japan and Fiji citizens were also singled out. 

Just under one third of the people living illegally are believed to be working.

The number of unauthorised residents in Australia has increased by six per cent, compared to five years ago.

Approximately 70 per cent of the illegal residents are in the country on expired visitor visas with 15 per cent on student visas.

Working holiday visas make up about three per cent of the figure.

An Immigration and Border Protection spokesman said they were to use 'targeted field compliance' to track those who breach their welcome.

A spokesman for Immigration Minister Peter Dutton said the number outlined was 'less than one per cent of the 6.5 million temporary entrants to Australia each year' with some immigrants only overstaying their visa allocation by a few days. 


Australians should show 'sensitivity' to migrants whose cultures 'don't value women's and child's rights' claims new domestic violence study

A taxpayer funded study has made the audacious claim that Australians need to show 'cultural sensitivity' towards migrant men who physically abuse their wife and children.

The study conducted over a three year period was funded by the Australian Research Council and points out that some human rights affect migrants' integration and 'successful settlement in Australia', specifically those in relation to women and children.

The study refers to some refugees claiming that these rights 'contravene the cultural values, norms and mores' of their ethnic groups, according to The Daily Telegraph.

Yet the study has faced strong resistance in the shape of federal Minister for Women Michaelia Cash who has stated Australia is categorically against family violence.  'Violence against women is unacceptable in any circumstances,' Ms Cash told The Saturday Telegraph.

The study has however called for 'cultural sensitivity and understanding of the impact on male refugees' who suffer a sense of separation and an overwhelming feeling of disappointment when their views are repulsed by society.

The report did point out refugees' appreciation for the factors of Australian life such as healthcare and education that were not available to them in their home nations, yet a 'major point of contention' was the differing views on women's and children's rights.

What was most upsetting for many refugees was the strong stance Australians had when it came to domestic violence. 

It will be this Australian ethos that will repel the study's findings with many in union with Prevention of Domestic Violence Minister Pru Goward who insists wife beaters must 'change their ways.'

A recent example of the nation's position on the matter was its reaction towards Sydney primary school teacher Reem Allouche telling the women's arm of hardline political group Hizb ut-Tahrir that men are permitted to hit women with sticks.

The practice was widely condemned across Australia with Ms Cash again denouncing the violence.

The research has come at a time of migrant change, where Malcolm Turnbull's government has tightened immigration by implementing an 'Australian values' test for hopefuls in search of citizenship.

The government has been accused of 'racial profiling' after grilling prospective citizens on domestic violence and forced marriage, with The Settlement Council of Australia raising concern.

The study which was orchestrated by UNSW that the issue of domestic violence could be worsened if male refugees are ignored.

It also argues that women and children who do make attempts to adopt an Australian way of life and its values will be 'cruelly punished'.

Many migrant victims of the abuse are oblivious to the support they can receive or avenues they can take to rectify their problems such as divorce according to Shakti migrant women's support group national co-ordinator Tamana Mirzada. 'Often they don't have the capacity­ to leave,' Ms Mirzada revealed.

She also pointed out seeking help indicates weakness in a marriage, something which is strongly frowned upon within their community.

Ms Cash did reiterate the constant efforts to provide ongoing support for migrant women who need it.


Queensland 2017-18 budget shows an additional 6000 public servants

The previous conservative government cut out 14,000 bureaucrats for no evident harm but Leftists love bureaucracy

Queensland's public service is set to increase by about 6000 in the next 12 months, on top of the 210,970 employed in the December 2016 quarter, budget papers released on Tuesday show.

In 2014-15 and 2015-16 the number of fulltime public servants grew by 4.3 per cent – or by 8764 – between 2014-15 and 2015-16 financial years.

It then grew by 3 per cent (6350 public servants) in the 2016-17 year, mostly in the senior levels of A08 or above. "Full time equivalent jobs are estimated to increase by around 6000, or 2.8 per cent in 2017-18," the papers showed.

"Around 82 per cent of the increase is attributable to growth in health and education.

"These additional fulltime equivalent positions will continue to reduce the number of patients waiting longer than the recommended times, will relieve pressure on class sizes and continue to student outcomes."

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said a 2.5 per wage increase policy had already been factored into the forward estimates and $300 million was set for 2017-18 year to cover additional public service wages.

In his budget speech, Mr Pitt said the government had restored frontline public servants during 2017-18 and would now operate under a new fiscal discipline requiring 1.7 per cent fulltime jobs growth.

"Population growth will track at 1.5 per cent and growth in full-time employees will be at 1.7 on average over the forward estimates," he said.

Mr Pitt said overall budget expenses would grow by 3.2 per cent over the 2017-18 financial year, with an increase triggered by the $1.1 billion costs of Cyclone Debbie in March 2016.

"Last year we introduced a new fiscal principle related to growing the government workforce in line with population growth, on average, over the forward estimates," he said.

But Mr Pitt said it would be wrong to reduce the workforce to show the impact of a natural disaster on government expenses.

"It would be irresponsible – not just socially, but economically – to slash funding for reconstruction and frontline services every time a natural disaster impacts on revenue," he said.


Clumsy comments about race from an ABC radio personality

He appeared to become flustered when challenged

Red Symons has apologised for insensitive comments he made in a controversial interview during which he asked fellow ABC journalist Beverly Wang: "what's the deal with Asians?"

The broadcaster, host of the breakfast show on ABC Radio Melbourne, offered his "sincerest apologies" on Monday morning. His interview on the ABC podcast 'It's Not A Race', was quickly condemned online and subsequently removed by the broadcaster.

"I came across as racist and I was wrong in the way I conducted the interview," Symons said. "I offer my sincerest apologies. We need to talk about these issues, but be careful how we consider them."

The interview with Wang, host of 'It's Not A Race', quickly took a turn when Symons expressed disappointment as he, too, wanted to host a show on a similar topic.

He said he would instead name it "what's the deal with Asians?"

"OK, let's tackle that. What is the deal with Asians, Red?" Wang replied.

"No, I ask the questions," Symons said. "First question is, are they all the same?"

He followed by asking if Wang thinks she is "yellow" and asking whether she would wear 'yellow' or 'white face'.

The ABC issued a statement apologising for the contents of the interview.

"ABC Radio has removed the latest episode of RN's It's Not A Race podcast and an earlier ABC Radio Melbourne segment," the statement read.


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

No comments: