Monday, April 09, 2018

Grandparents' education gives year 3 students huge boost

The Leftist morons below have just rediscovered IQ but don't know it.  IQ is a huge influence on educational success and is strongly inherited genetically.  So of course high achieving people will tend to have high achieving children and grandchildren.  The various "explanations" put forward below for the relationship are therefore supererogatory and pointless, though they may have some marginal explanatory power.

Most amusing is the apparent belief that schools can somehow make up for a disadvantageous ancestry.  Since there is not yet any known way to genetically engineer a high IQ, the expectation is not so much optimistic as plain stupid.  Leftism  is a terrible blight on the brain

A student's year 3 NAPLAN scores can be significantly impacted by their grandparents' level of education, with new evidence showing that educational disadvantage is multi-generational.

Having four family members with university degrees can place a student 1.4 years ahead of their peers who have no family members with high attainment by year 3.

The study, which looked at the NAPLAN numeracy and reading scores and family background of 5107 infants aged between three and 19 months and 4983 children aged between four and five in 2004 over a decade, found that "grandparent educational attainment is associated with grandchild test scores independent of parent education" where both grandparents have high attainment.

Lead author of the study, Kirsten Hancock, a senior research fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, said the findings have implications for both schools and families.

"It has implications for the current generation of parents, knowing that what they're doing now not only affects their own children but also generations down the line," Ms Hancock said.

"Not everyone's going to go to university but valuing education and supporting their kids is really important."

Ms Hancock said the study also "helps to show what schools are dealing with".

"There is a wide range of backgrounds that kids come to school with and it's difficult for schools to overcome that," Ms Hancock said.

"Something like 20 per cent of a child's waking hours are spent at school each year, so what happens there has to be pretty good to offset all these other things."

The study found that grandparents can contribute to their grandchildren's education directly through financial or other support, or by promoting the value of education within the family and providing access to useful networks.

It also found that grandparents' ability to contribute differs by country, and that Australian grandparents have plenty of opportunities to provide a financial boost by helping with school fees and costs or supporting extracurricular activities.

"Enrolment in private education is also substantially higher in Australia than in other countries, with almost 40 per cent of students attending non-government schools compared with an OECD average of 15 per cent," the paper states.

"Grandparents may also help parents to secure housing in the catchment areas of desirable public schools, either by providing financial support, or by providing free childcare that enable parents to generate more income and have greater choice with respect to housing."

The advantage provided by well-educated grandparents and parents tends to be concentrated in some families, with people with high educational attainment likely to partner with people who have similar levels of attainment.

"Such a concentration of human capital may contribute further to educational inequalities in subsequent generations," the paper states.

Ms Hancock said: "We haven't had the data to prove this in Australia before now. "For children who come from these strong educational backgrounds, they're doing pretty well. But it's difficult for schools to overcome and they need significant resources."

The latest NAPLAN results show that students across all year levels are far more likely to achieve scores in the top bands for all five NAPLAN domains if one parent holds a bachelor degree or higher.

This was especially evident in the numeracy test where 33.4 per cent of year 3 students with parents who had a bachelor degree or higher achieved a band 6 or above, compared to 13.2 per cent of those with parents who had a diploma and 2.7 per cent of students whose parents only reached year 11.


So much for 'Welcome to Country!' How Aborigines are campaigning to stop tourists from visiting Australia's most spectacular mountains for 'cultural reasons'

Surely we should have a separation between church and state.  The government should not be legislating to restrict Christians with regard to what they believe and say nor should it be legislating to give force of law to the religious beliefs of Aborigines. The government should neither support nor restrict any religion.  Religion is not its province. Make Ayers rock open to all without restrictions!

Mount Warning is the first place in Australia to catch the morning sunlight and it could be the next Aboriginal sacred site where climbing is banned.

Aboriginal elders are pushing for more sacred sites across the country to be closed to climbers following the historic ban on scaling Uluru.

Mountains in several Australian states which are popular with bushwalkers and climbers may one day join the iconic rock on the banned list.

Mount Warning in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales is one such summit and St Mary Peak in South Australia's spectacular Flinders Ranges is another.

Indigenous people would also prefer Mount Yengo in the NSW Hunter Valley and parts of the Glass House Mountains in Queensland were not climbed.

There are no official moves yet to stop climbing those peaks but traditional owners have requested their beliefs be shown more respect and signs spelling out their wishes have been placed at some sites. 

Any further bans on popular climbing sites could have a serious impact on tourism operators and other small business owners.

Last year it was decided that climbing the 348m high Uluru, previously known as Ayers Rock, would be banned from October 2019.

Traditional owners had for decades asked tourists not to climb the monolith due to its cultural significance.

Calls to ban climbing at other sites have spread.

Mount Warning, near Murwillumbah, is known to the local indigenous Bundjalung people as Wollumbin and they have asked climbers not to walk up its 1,156m peak.

More than 100,000 walkers make the trek each year, many leaving rubbish such as toilet paper behind.

Tweed Shire Council's indigenous heritage officer Rob Appo recently told The Australian those who climbed Mount Warning were 'a little bit disrespectful' to indigenous creation stories.

'We'd prefer people not to climb it, particularly to the summit because that's where a lot of those stories focus on,' Mr Appo said.

The Bundjalung man said large numbers of people climbing the mountain also caused environmental damage to the area.

'People "toileting" and leaving rubbish is really a sign of disrespect to that important place,' Mr Appo told The Australian.

'It'd be similar to people going to the top of Sydney Harbour Bridge and graffitiing. That would­n't be accepted there, so why should it be acceptable for such an important place here? The sheer number of people climbing is unsustainable.'

Tweed Shire Council told Daily Mail Australia Mr Appo would not be commenting further on the issue and that it was a matter for the local Aboriginal land council, along with the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). 

Michael Simmons, whose Mount Warning Tours has never conducted summit walks, was confident climbing the peak would eventually be banned. 'I believe it's only a matter of time and it will be a situation very similar to Uluru,' Mr Simmons told Daily Mail Australia.

'But at the same time if that does happen it's important that alternative experiences are provided within the Tweed Valley.

'I think it's a matter of finding a way we can work with the indigenous people who have that connection to the valley and the mountain.

'It's our decision consciously to not take people up the mountain. At the same time I don't tell people that they shouldn't climb the mountain. For me, it's a personal decision.

'If people decide to go up the mountain in the right spirit, don't leave anything there and take some time to understand its significance, then that's entirely up to them.'

Fellow tour operator Tom Ihle of Byron Bay Adventure Tours, which conducts sunrise summit walks, told The Australian businesses would close if climbing was banned.

'It's beautiful, people should be able to see it… a ban is not the way to go,' Mr Ihle said.

The issue is extremely sensitive in communities which rely on tourism.

Last year another Mount Warning tourism operator told a local newspaper he was worried about the impact on tourism if the peak was closed to climbers. 'I would be very disappointed if they closed the mountain,' he said.

An Office of Environment and Heritage spokesman told the Northern Star there were no plans to stop visitors climbing Mount Warning.

He said: 'On-site signage advises visitors that Aboriginal people hold the summit to be sacred and they are asked to consider the Aboriginal people's wishes that they do not climb it.'

The NSW NPWS website states: 'Wollumbin is a place of great spiritual significance to the Bundjalung People. Visitors are asked to respect their wishes and choose not to climb the summit track.'

The Glass House Mountains in Queensland's Sunshine Coast region were also named by James Cook and are considered sacred by Aboriginal people.

Mount Beerwah, at 556m and Mount Tibrogargan, at 364m, are particularly significant.

Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service states on its website: 'The Glass House Mountains mean different things to different people.'

'They are an iconic South East Queensland landscape feature, a valuable remnant of our native plant communities, one of eastern Australia's premier rock climbing locations and a place of visitors to experience a challenging, but very rewarding, mountain climb within 30 minutes of the Sunshine Coast.

'But first and foremost, they are highly significant for local Traditional Owners, with a great deal of importance for the Jinibara people and Kabi Kabi people.

'We ask visitors to consider this carefully while they are here. For the Traditional Owners, these are not summits to be conquered but representations of their great cultural heritage and their place in this land.

'The Jinibara people and Kabi Kabi people request that visitors don't climb Mount Beerwah and Mount Tibrogargan out of respect for the mountains' sacred values.'

Much the same requests are made about St Mary Peak, the highest point of Wilpena Pound in South Australia's Flinders Ranges at 1,171m, to show respect for the Adnyamathanha people's beliefs.

Adnyamathanha elder Jimmy Neville told The Australian that St Mary Peak was central to his people's creation story and asked climbers not to ascend the summit.

'If people aren't going to listen to us, then yes, I'd personally ban it… I'd love to see that happen,' Mr Neville said. 'It's merely because of cultural reasons that we ask walkers not to go.'

Walking SA, the peak body that promotes walking in South Australia, describes the hike up St Mary Peak as providing 'rewarding panoramic views of the Flinders Ranges, Aroona Valley, and the salt plains to the west.'

The NSW Office of Environment and Heritage describes Mount Yengo, in the NSW Hunter Valley, as a 'natural feature of spiritual and ceremonial importance to the Wonnarua, Awabakal, Worimi and Darkinjung Aboriginal groups.'

'Mount Yengo is the place from which Baiame (Baayami or Baayama), a creational ancestral hero, jumped back up to the spirit world after he had created all of the mountains, lakes, rivers and caves in the area,' it explains.

'Baiame flattened the top of Mount Yengo when he jumped skyward and the flat top is still visible today.

'Due to the sacredness of Mount Yengo, local Aboriginal people can only speak publicly of some of its cultural associations.

'Local Aboriginal communities have requested that people refrain from climbing to the top of Mount Yengo for cultural reasons.'


Why Palestinians Need an Israel Victory

By Daniel Pipes, who was recently in Australia

The moment is right for fresh thinking in order to dispatch the old and stale Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

With Arabs focused on other issues – the Iranian nuclear weapon build-up, civil wars in Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, Turkey going rogue, the Islamist surge, and the water drought – hoary anti-Zionist taboos have lost much of their pungency. A prosperous and strong Israel has lost hope in decades' worth of "peace process." The cowboy in the White House likes breaking with precedent. And the global Left's turn toward antisemitism, exemplified by Jeremy Corbyn of the British Labour Party, adds further reason for urgency; when it eventually holds power, the implications for Israel will be dire.

Conventional wisdom holds that the Arab-Israeli conflict will end only when the Palestinians' grievances are sufficiently satisfied so that they accept the Jewish state of Israel. This paradigm has reigned almost unchallenged since the Oslo Accords of September 1993; yet, that 25-year period has also made clear that Palestinians in overwhelming numbers (I estimate 80 percent based on scholarship and polling data going back a century) seek not peaceful co-existence with Israel but the brutal elimination of the "Zionist entity." With such attitudes, it comes as no surprise that every round of much-hyped negotiations has eventually failed.

I shall propose an entirely different approach to resolve the conflict, a reversion to the strategy of deterrence and victory associated with Zionism's great strategist, Vladimir Jabotinsky (1880-1940): Israel should aim not to please its enemies but to defeat them. Counterintuitively, I shall show why Palestinians need precisely such an Israel Victory to slough off their current oppression, extremism, and violence, and to become a successful people.

An understanding of today's situation requires going back to the aftermath of World War I and the emergence of Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the first modern Palestinian leader. He initiated a policy of rejectionism, of absolute refusal to accept any aspect of Jewish presence in what was then the British Mandate of Palestine. A century later, that rejectionism remains the dominant strain of Palestinian life. Political differences tend to be tactical: Better to eliminate Israel by negotiating with the Israelis and winning benefits from them, or stick to the consistency of pure rejectionism? The Palestinian Authority (PA) deploys the first tactic, Hamas the second.

Over a 75-year period, 1918-93, the Jewish community in what is now Israel responded to rejectionism with deterrence, the policy of dissuading its enemies from aggression by threatening painful retaliation. However imperfectly applied, deterrence helped Israel evolve from the prospective prey of 1948 into the military powerhouse of 1993. Yes, even as Israel became a democratic, innovative, affluent, and mighty country, the basics stayed in place. Ideologies, tactics, strategies, and personnel changed, wars and treaties came and went, but Palestinian rejectionism stayed stagnantly constant.

By 1993, frustrated with the slow-moving and passive nature of deterrence, Israel's impatient citizenry opted for an immediate resolution with the Palestinians. In the Oslo Accords, each of the two parties promised the other what it most wanted: recognition and security for Israelis, dignity and autonomy for Palestinians.

In their haste to end the conflict, however, Israelis made three profound mistakes that summer morning on the White House lawn: (1) Granting Yasir Arafat, leader of an unofficial, dictatorial, and murderous organization, diplomatic parity with Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of a democratic and sovereign state. (2) Believing Arafat when he claimed to recognize Israel, when in fact he (and his successors) still sought Israel's elimination, now enhanced by his controlling two adjoining pieces of territory, the West Bank and Gaza. (3) Making concessions under the illusion that wars conclude through goodwill, when concessions actually had the contrary effect of signaling weakness and thereby amplified Palestinian hostility. These mistakes, tragically, turned a would-be "peace process" into a counterproductive "war process."

The study of history shows that wars typically conclude not through negotiations but through defeat and victory. According to the military historian Victor Hanson, "Conflicts throughout history become serial when an enemy is not utterly defeated and is not forced to submit to the political conditions of the victor." Defeat means giving up war ambitions. Victory means successfully imposing one's will on the enemy.

It's a simple, universal truth that Palestinians well understand. In July 2017, Fatahdeclared that the "campaign for Jerusalem has effectively begun and will not stop until a Palestinian victory and the release of the holy sites from Israeli occupation." Nor are they alone; thinkers and warriors in all eras concur on victory as the goal of warfare. For example, the ancient Chinese strategist Sun Tzu wrote "Let your great object be victory." U.S. general Douglas MacArthur stated that "It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it." Victory is an intuitive human goal that only overly-sophisticated moderns could lose sight of.

Therefore, to gain Palestinian acceptance, Israel must return to its old policy of deterrence, of punishing Palestinians severely when they aggress. One example: When three family members were murdered in July 2017 while sitting down to Sabbath dinnerin the Israeli West Bank town of Halamish, the Israeli response should have been to construct new buildings in Halamish and extend its boundaries.

That's deterrence; it's more than tough tactics, which Israeli governments already pursue; it means developing consistent policies to break rejectionism and encourage Palestinian acceptance of Israel. It implies a strategy to crush irredentist Palestinian ambitions so as finally to end the demonizing of Jews and Israel, recognize historic Jewish ties to Jerusalem, "normalize" relations with Israelis, close the suicide factories, and shutter the entire machinery of warfare. This process will be neither easy nor quick: it requires Palestinians to suffer the bitter crucible of defeat, with its attendant deprivation, destruction, and despair. Unfortunately, there is no shortcut.

A change of heart implies, not just a permanent absence of violence against Israelis but shutting down completely, everywhere from the United Nations to the university campus, the Palestinian-driven campaign of delegitimizing Israel.

If Palestinian defeat is good for Israel, it is ironically even better for Palestinians, who will finally be liberated from ugly ambitions, revolutionary rhetoric, and genocidal fantasies. An educated and skilled people can then improve its life by building its polity, economy, society, and culture. Think of this as a miniature version of post-1945 Germany. And if diplomacy is now premature, issues such as Jerusalem, borders, and resources can be fruitfully discussed after a Palestinian defeat. The two-state solution, an absurdity at present (it means asking Israel to strengthen its mortal enemy) will make good sense after a Palestinian defeat.

Like all outsiders to the conflict, Australians face a stark choice: either to endorse the Palestinian goal (explicit in the case of Hamas, implicit in that of the PA) of eliminating Israel or to support Israel's goal of winning its neighbors' acceptance. To state this choice makes clear there is no real choice – the first is aggressive, the second defensive; one is barbaric, the other civilized. No decent person can sanction the Palestinian goal of destroying a flourishing country.

Every prime minister since Ben Chifley and every parliamentary resolution and vote since his time has confirmed that Australian governments stand with Israel's drive to win acceptance (even if they disagree how this is to be achieved).

Western powers should support an Israel acting within legal, moral, and practical boundaries to take the steps necessary to win. They should move their Israel embassies to Jerusalem, reject the Palestinians' claim of Jerusalem as their capital, stand by the Israel Defense Forces when it punishes savagery, and join U.S. ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley in denouncing the "Palestine refugee" farce whereby some children born today are deemed refugees.

Starting about a year ago, the organization I head, the Middle East Forum, has not only promoted the idea of Israel Victory but organized Israel Victory caucuses in both the Israeli parliament (26 members from 7 political parties) and the U.S. House of Representatives (a bipartisan group of 33 members). In both bodies, caucus members agree that Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are premature until Palestinians accept the permanent existence of the Jewish state; and that Israel Victory is the best way forward. Our goal is for Western leaders to urge Israel to seek victory.

Even opponents of this idea recognize its impact. Writing about Amb. Haley, Palestinian commentator Daoud Kuttab wrote that she "seems to repeat verbatim the Israeli and pro-Israeli lines of people like Daniel Pipes." The Guardian newspaper, among others, suggested that Donald Trump moved the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem under the influence of the Israel Victory Project.

Following a visit to Australia earlier this month, when I discussed this idea in private conversations, public talks, and in the media, I am now hoping for the start of an Australian movement and parliamentary caucus.


New $1.2bn blowout for NSW light-rail project

Did anyone expect anything else?

Australia’s biggest light-rail ­project, from Sydney’s CBD to the eastern suburbs, is in disarray amid demands from its Spanish subcontractors for an extra $1.2 billion and NSW ­government accusations of a construction go-slow that could delay completion beyond next year.

The demand from ­Acciona — made through its lawyers and on top of a $500 million blowout ­already agreed to by the state government — threatens to more than double the original $1.6bn cost of the project linking the city to Randwick.

The latest demand sparked a furious response from NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance and is headed for a showdown in the NSW Supreme Court next Friday. Acciona’s lawyers claim the government misled the contractor on how many utility lines would have to be moved ­during construction and the complexity of the work.

The NSW government is furious over reports Acciona has gone on a go-slow, with about 100 ­people working on the project each day when several hundred should be doing so. As many workers are being deployed daily on the 12km track as are being ­deployed on the 2.7km light-rail line being built in Newcastle.

State governments around the nation have embarked on a wave of urban transport projects, including the $11bn Melbourne Metro project, Brisbane’s $5.4bn Cross River Rail and Canberra’s light-rail line.

Government sources yesterday suggested the stoush could cause a delay in the project, particularly if the dispute sent the consortium building the line into administration. Work in the CBD has crippled traders on ­George Street and disrupted traffic to ­venues such as the SCG and Randwick racecourse.

For the week ending March 22, a progress report showed the project moved only 0.4 per cent forward. This compared with ­periods last year when 3 to 5 per cent of the project was being built each week.

Only half the civil construction has been finished, several months after the total project was due to be completed.

The light rail is a signature project for NSW Premier Gladys ­Berejiklian, who announced it as transport minister.

The NSW government is also embarking on other major transport infrastructure projects, including the Sydney Metro North West, the Sydney Metro City and Southwest, and the Parramatta Light Rail.

Acciona, which reports to a private-sector consortium known as ALTRAC, sent a letter to Transport for NSW on February 22, warning of Supreme Court ­action over their demand.

The letter, ­obtained by The Weekend Australian, says: “In ­addition to the sum claimed in the commercial list statement by way of loss and damage, our client also maintains it is entitled to interest on the sum of $101m, bringing the total sum sought by our client to $1.206bn. We await your prompt response. Please note that if we have not received your client’s reply within 21 days of the date of this letter, we are instructed to finalise and file the Commercial List Statement and commence proceedings against TfNSW without further notice.”

In response, on March 22, Mr Constance wrote: “As I have previously advised you in our face-to-face meetings, the NSW government is very unhappy with your performance in relation to the construction of the Sydney Light Rail project.

“I have no doubt that Sydney’s residents and businesses are also incredibly frustrated. I recently described NSW as an unhappy customer — let me make it clear we’re now an angry customer.

“As you know, the Sydney Light Rail Project is being delivered under a public-private partnership model where Transport for NSW has contracted the ­ALTRAC Light Rail Partnership to build and operate the project.

“ALTRAC has in turn engaged Acciona to design and build the civil construction aspects of the project. Therefore there is no contract between Transport for NSW and Acciona, nor indeed between it and the state of NSW.”

Mr Constance said any issues Acciona had should be raised with ALTRAC. “You will also be aware that the contract between Transport for NSW and ALTRAC, and in turn the contract between ­ALTRAC and Acciona, spells out how the risks of dealing with utilities for the construction of the light rail are to be managed.

“Acciona negotiated and ­accepted these provisions and has since made use of them. I was therefore shocked and dismayed to be informed that Acciona … has threatened legal proceedings against Transport for NSW, based on allegations that Transport for NSW made misrepresentations to Acciona about the utilities in the lead-up to the signing of the contracts in December 2014. We have always said this is a complex project and both ­Acciona and ­ALTRAC knew this when they signed up.”

A spokeswoman for ALTRAC said last night: “The matter before the NSW Supreme Court does not involve ALTRAC Light Rail. It was filed by Acciona outside the contract and as such is for the parties involved to comment on.

“ALTRAC Light Rail is ­focused on construction of the city and southeast light rail and delivering this important piece of infrastructure for the NSW state government.”


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


Paul said...

Daniel Pipes is an evil piece of filth.

Paul said...

And I think its safe to say that many Abos are watching South Africa and licking their rubbery lips.