Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Private school kids earn more, live in better suburbs and are happier on average, new analysis discovers

I am myself a strong supporter of private schools.  I sent my son to one.  But I feel bound to report that the findings below are not as strong as they appear.  Parents of private schoolkids tend to be richer.  And richer people tend to have other important advantages, such as better health and higher IQ.  And such traits have a strong genetic component. So the advantages described below could possibly be entirely due to genetics, not schooling type. 

It is just very hard to separate out the two possible factors responsible for the advantage. From other studies, however, both schooling type and genetics are involved in the better results from private schools

The one undoubted advantage of private schooling is social contacts. Your kid will make friends from other better-off  families, which will almost certainly be advantageous in various ways.  At the risk of being extremely corny, there are many situations where "It's not what you know, it's whom you know".

One aspect of that is that private school graduates tend to meet mainly one-another on occasions where the mating game is afoot.  Your schoolfriend's kid sister can often seem very attractive, for instance. So they intermarry, which in turn preserves health and IQ advantages into subsequent generations.  You will tend to get smarter, healthier and probably more tractable grandkids, which is very pleasing

PRIVATE school kids grow up to earn more, live in better suburbs and be happier than their public school peers, a new national study has found.

Curtin University analysis of more than 17,000 Australian adults shows independent private school male graduates earn 15 per cent more than those from government schools. The research, by Associate Professor Mike Dockery, also shows female graduates earn 19 per cent more compared to those from government schools.

This higher household income “can be largely attributed to the greater educational attainment achieved by those who went to independent schools, with some contribution also associated with having come from a family background of higher socio-economic status,” Associate Professor Dockery said.

“It seems likely that there is a causal relationship in which attending a private school increases the propensity to enter university, which in turn contributes to higher wages,” he said.

Independent school graduates also live in more wealthy, up-market suburbs.  “One way or another, private school graduates sort their way into more prestigious neighbourhoods,” he said.

“This may reflect a number of factors: higher preferences for living in such areas, marrying more affluent partners, or the effect of maintaining geographically close networks with family and peers who disproportionately reside in more prestigious neighbourhoods”.

Catholic private schooling is also beneficial, bringing with it higher average household incomes of around ten per cent, which is mainly due to higher educational attainment.

However, Catholic school graduates have a bonus which is not shared with their independent-school peers: they have higher life satisfaction than those from state schools. “This apparent Catholic school effect on life satisfaction is possibly associated with religiosity,” Associate Professor Dockery said.

The research from the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education found men who went to independent schools did not share this greater life satisfaction compared to those who went to government schools. Women who attended independent schools, on the other hand, were marginally happier.

The Herald Sun reported recently the annual fees of top private schools is more than $30,000 and rising at triple the cost of inflation.


Conservatives should force Liberals to emulate John Howard era or start their own party

IT’S time for the real conservatives within the Coalition to put up or shut up.

In the wake of the historic Brexit vote in the UK and Donald Trump’s extraordinary triumph in the US, there’s never been a better time for disaffected conservatives to take the Liberal Party back from the hopeless bedwetters who are spooked by gallery chatter and Twitter storms.

If they can’t bring the party back to something resembling John Howard’s Liberals, then perhaps it’s time for the birth of a new conservative force that unashamedly stands for freedom of speech, small government, lower taxes, border protection and energy security.

Australia has already felt a hint of the anti-establishment phenomenon sweeping the Western world. Millions of voters abandoned the major parties in the latest federal election, including more than one million conservative voters who cast their ballot for non-Coalition candidates. The birth of an organised, viable alternative — let’s call it the Conservative Party — would give those on the centre Right a real choice rather than wasting their votes on minor parties or independents as a protest against the Liberals.

The Conservative Party would also present an alternative for disaffected Labor supporters unhappy with the party’s lurch to the far Left. Labor in 2016 is a vastly inferior version of the party led by Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.

It’s not only the Coalition that has lost support from once rusted- on supporters — the past two federal elections have seen Labor’s primary vote plummet to levels not seen since the 1930s.

An Essential Report poll released this month showed that the majority of Labor voters were against the party’s opposition to tough new border protection policies. Indeed, 52 per cent of Labor voters backed the Coalition’s lifetime ban for boat arrivals, and only 38 per cent opposed the move.

Voter loyalty is at historic lows. In the 1980s, a whopping 72 per cent of the electorate always voted for the same party, compared with only 46 per cent in 2013, according to Australian Election Study surveys. The Greens may only receive about one in 10 votes, but they have managed to pull both the Coalition and Labor to the Left, to the detriment of both parties and the country.

Though they fight and carry on like overtired toddlers, there are few differences between the Coalition and Labor. Both favour policies that add to the national debt, spending more than the country can afford, and crucially both have signed on for emission targets that destroy jobs and increase energy costs.

It seems absurd that a country blessed with vast natural resources, including coal, gas and other fossil fuels, has citizens who can’t afford to heat their homes in winter or cool them in summer owing to crippling energy costs, which are set to soar further in coming years.

In the past two decades, America has dramatically reduced its dependence on Middle Eastern oil by significantly increasing local production via fracking. Fracking now accounts for almost half of all crude oil production in the US, up from less than 2 per cent just 16 years ago.

While other countries capitalise on their natural resources, we opt for higher priced and less reliable options.

The Andrews Government has announced a permanent ban on fracking and coal-seam gas drilling in Victoria, and the Coalition supports a ban on onshore conventional gas extraction until 2020.

What choice do long-suffering voters have when every major party has policies that will see energy prices continue to rise?

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi launched his Australian Conservatives brand in July and has already signed up more than 50,000 online supporters.

Though it was set up to rival GetUp! in raising funds and promoting conservative ideals, it could quite easily morph into a political party that gives voters a clear option at the ballot box.

Any new conservative force will likely be dismissed by the Left-wing media as some “angry white male” aberration — the support for Brexit and Trump was dismissed in similar derogatory terms — but a sound conservative movement would have widespread appeal and be inclusive of women, migrants and anybody fed up with the prevailing PC culture infecting public discourse.

Even Trump, whose intemperate language about Mexicans and Muslims outraged progressives, received more votes from people of colour, including Hispanics, than his purer-than-the-driven-snow predecessor Mitt Romney.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s impersonation of a conservative leader continues to be about as convincing as Kevin Rudd’s pretending to be a fiscal conservative while blowing a huge Budget surplus on pink batts and $900 cheques.

Even if Turnbull does have a late awakening and starts embracing conservative values, he is never going to win over the base, which sees him as a duplicitous dud who consistently undermined and eventually knifed a first-term PM, only to scrape in with a one-seat majority against opposition as underwhelming as Bill Shorten’s.


Wake up, Australia. Victim feminism does not resonate with female voters. Just look at Hillary

Millions of American women rejected victim feminism and voted for Donald Trump, especially white, non-college-educated women.   

Exit polls show 53 per cent of white women in total chose Trump over Hillary Clinton, and 62 per cent of white women without a degree.

They know how unfair it is that the men they love have been cast as the arch villains of Clinton’s elitist brand of feminism, castigated for enjoying patriarchal “white male privilege” when their jobs are gone, social norms destroyed and their children are dying of drug overdoses.

But Australia’s misogyny crowd are slow learners. They are the ones who keep pretending that domestic violence is the domain of “white male privilege”, and that affluent feminists are its primary victims.

Clueless Gillian Triggs, for instance, missed the lesson of the US election and kept shrilling for victim feminism when she hailed Clinton as a “beacon” brought down by “abuse of a woman with quite exceptional experience... simply on the basis that she’s a woman.”

Melbourne University Publishing’s leftist chief executive Louise Adler declared she “fears for the world” over Trump, a man “of bigotry and racism”.

And Destroy the Joint founder Jenna Price moaned: “There are still different rules for men and women... Rules which make it possible for a man to become president but not a woman.”

No, there are just voters, including vast numbers of women, with more important concerns than breaking a glass ceiling just for the sake of it.


Christmas carol ban is out of tune with society

Victoria’s public schools are the frontline in the war on Christmas.

In an extraordinary decision of the Andrews government, Education Minister James Merlino issued a diktat to state government schools that has the effect of banning Christmas carols.

You may need to read that sentence one more time.

In an attempt to secularise public schools, a directive was issued last month to the principal of every Victorian public school. These new rules restrict the way in which teachers, parents and volunteers talk about religious ideas in our state schools. The most shocking aspect of the rules is that the teaching and singing of traditional Christmas carols will now be banished from the classroom.

“Praise music”, defined as “any type of music that glorifies God or a particular religious figure or deity” will be banned from music classes beginning in January. This is the last year parents will be allowed to volunteer their lunchtimes to teach kids Christmas carols for the end-of-year concert.

Most children aren’t even aware there’s a religious dimension to Christmas carols. It’s Christmas, and singing carols is just what people do. Silent Night has taken on its own significance beyond anything that may be characterised by some government bureaucrat as “praise music”. Christmas carols now form a unique genre of music, and removing them from schools has the same effect banning any other genre of music would have; it ignores an important part of the complex tapestry of musical history.

In fact, the motivation behind a ban on Christmas carols today is remarkably similar to that which parents and teachers of children growing up in the 1950s and 60s shared in relation to rock ’n’ roll. Sixty years ago, older generations worried Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry would lead a generation to juvenile delinquency. Today, the concern is that Christmas carols may lead to alarming ideas about religion and the meaning of Christmas. Christmas carols are the new subversive influence on youth that parents and teachers should be concerned about — a nonsense idea ironically given life by the fact the elite are attempting to ban them.

Of course, the government hasn’t banned all Christmas carols, just those that refer to God. So while drab, contemporary Christmas songs such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer will be spared, the traditional carols — those that drip with a rich Christmas spirit — such as Once in Royal David’s City, Hark! The Herald Angels Sing and O Come, All Ye Faithful are verboten in Victorian public schools.

But it’s far bigger than all that. This is a cultural turning point. The Victorian government isn’t just banning Christmas carols; this is an attempt to strip away the meaning of Christmas. It’s an overt attack on one of the most significant events in the Christian calendar.

The decision goes to the heart of good education. Christmas, and all the ceremony and custom associated with it, has been a significant religious and cultural ritual for 1700 years. A ban on these traditions is a denial of our history. Suppressing aspects of the Christmas celebration denies a cultural heritage that has formed the basis of Western civilisation and that underpins our understanding of life and liberty.

A well-rounded education should include lessons on Christianity and its contribution to who we are today. We can’t expect the next generation to defend the values of Western civilisation if they don’t know what they are.

The inflammatory decision of the Andrews government to ban Christmas carols in Victoria’s public schools must be reversed immediately. Former Victorian attorney-general Robert Clark is to be congratulated for taking a stand on the issue. In parliament Clark called on the government to “withdraw this appalling edict and make clear that students at government schools are entitled to learn, sing and enjoy Christmas carols as they have for generations”. In the meantime, and while I’m still able to say it — merry Christmas!


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

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