Thursday, March 14, 2019

New push for children to start school at the age of three

This push is basically bullshit. Finland does not start kids at school until age 7 and they have famously good results.  Let me quote just a small excerpt from someone who has surveyed the evidence on the question:

"University studies are often quoted to support the perceived academic benefits of preschool. What is not often mentioned is that whilst these studies demonstrate preschool in a favourable light when compared with an impoverished home environment; preschool environments and results do not compare favourably with the average home environment.

Even Professor Edward Zigler, credited as “the father of Head Start” a well-respected American preschool program admits “there is a large body of evidence that there is little to be gained by exposing middle class children to early education…(and) evidence that indicates early schooling is inappropriate for many four-year-olds, and that it may be harmful to their development.”

So what about the long-term academic effects of preschool? The longitudinal studies, often quoted to argue an academic advantage provided by preschool for lower socio-economic groups, actually also show that this “advantage” disappears by grade three.

If preschool were truly beneficial in terms of giving children a head start, those places with some form of compulsory preschool should do demonstrably better academically. The evidence does not bear this out. The two states of America which have compulsory preschool, Georgia and Oklahoma, have the lowest results for fourth grade reading tests in the country."

So why the deception?  The push is in fact just a push for free child-minding

Children should start school at the age of three to give them the best start in life and to stop Australia falling behind Europe and China, leading experts claim.

Lobby groups are urging the Federal Government to boost funding for more children to have access to school earlier.

More and more private schools and early learning centres are offering 'pre-kindy' which exposes children to play-based learning so they are better prepared for when they start school.

Many programs have lengthy waiting lists and now an initiative led by the Early Learning Benefits campaign wants extra funding so more children have access to pre-school education. 

'We have some children already having access to high quality learning, but many are missing out … equity is a big issue,' Early Childhood Australia CEO Samantha Page told The Courier Mail.

Latest statistics show only 58.5 per cent of three-year-olds in Australia are enrolled in pre-school programs, compared to 95-100 per cent of children in France, Denmark, Norway, Israel and Spain.

University of the Sunshine Coast senior lecturer Dr Ali Black, said international research showed children introduced to high quality education earlier were more likely to go to university, gain better jobs and even own their own homes.

They were more resilient, had better social skills and had fewer behavioural issues.

Australian Catholic University early childhood specialist, Laurien Beane, said the push would follow the lead of cutting-edge Scandanavian countries, who have invested huge resources to educating kids from birth to the age of five.

'We invest in the 5-18 age group and it starts too late … that's why as a nation we are languishing so far behind a number of other countries,' Ms Beane said.

Ms Beane said the main objectivity of early education was not about literacy and numeracy but to foster curiosity, creativity, imagination and social development. Children would typically attend two days a week for five-and-a-half hours.

They would have lessons in music, literature, languages, as well as more social-based lessons about respecting others and regulating emotions.

Ms Page said Labor made a commitment in October to extend funding to early education for three-year-olds by 2021.

Some parents say they feel pressured to be in favour of the push as primary schools are likely to give preference to children attending pre-kindergarten programs. Other fears include schools will favour children in those programs to boost rankings and funding.

Childcare and early learning provider C&K is among those leading the way with pre-kindergarten rooms, like Banyo in Brisbane's north.


Bill Shorten to push through a $2,200 pay rise to 2.3 MILLION Australian workers

This is a good recipe to send a lot of businesses broke and their employees onto the dole

Labor Opposition leader Bill Shorten has attacked 'fat cat' bosses as he throws his support behind a union proposal to increase the minimum wage by $43 a week.

The Fair Work Commission would have to deliver a $2,200 annual pay rise to 2.3 million low-paid workers if Mr Shorten's union-backed plan is successful.

However, small business owners and employer groups are opposed to Shorten's plan, which comes as his party leads the Coalition in polls.

'I love this argument put aside by the bosses of Australia, the fat cats, the top end of town,' Mr Shorten said.

'They say if we pay the poorest workers in Australia a bit more, that's out of control. But how is it that the executives are happy to take more and more in corporate profits?'

The Fair Work Commission, which sets the minimum wage, is an independent body that operates under the Fair Work Act 2009.

Mr Shorten has suggested a Labor government could use 'another tool or mechanism ... to change legislation' to boost the minimum wage instead of relying solely on the commission.  

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry is against governments using legislation when the rate of pay rises has been set by an independent body for more than a century.

'No one in Australia should be forced to work below the poverty line but that is exactly what the current minimum wage guarantees,' Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) Secretary Sally McManus said.

The ACTU is pushing for a six per cent rise to the weekly minimum wage equating to $762.20 a week, up from $719.20, this year.  

A living wage is 60 per cent of the average national median wage, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

The ACTU wants a further 5.5 per cent increase in 2020 to $852 a week to achieve their living wage target. 

Australia's minimum wage is $18.93 an hour or $719.20 per 38 hour week before tax.

Council of Small Business Australia CEO Peter Strong said the idea is 'impractical' for small businesses and would make goods more expensive for consumers. 'We're not against pay rises. This isn't a war between employers and employees. Staff know to have a job the business needs to be profitable,' he said.

'A lot of small businesses would need to retrench by cutting down hours or letting staff go.' 


Conservative university students seek debate on immigration but just get screamed at

University students boasting a politically incorrect sign at a controversial 'change my mind' event on campus have caused an uproar. Members of University of New South Wales' Conservatives set up a desk at the Kensington campus, in Sydney's Eastern suburbs, with a sign reading 'our immigration level is too high' on Tuesday.

The club encouraged fellow students to approach the desk to debate the provocative issue and change their minds.

The UNSW Education Collective, a campus collective that fights for progressive issues, denounced the message both on campus and on social media.

'We had a good go at them but it seemed like they weren't willing to change their mind?' the collective wrote with a picture of the event.

The collective called the conservatives 'campus incels' and apologised for making their 'small brains hurt'.

'Maybe the government should tax corporations to fund decent public infrastructure and services instead of beating up racist BS about over immigration,' the collective wrote.

The 'change my mind' campus initiative was introduced by American right-wing podcaster Steven Crowder, who suggested male privilege was a myth outside Texas Christian University in February 2018.

Mr Crowder shared the image to twitter, where it became a meme and an incentive for other right-wing students to debate social topics.

The conservatives re-shared the collectives' Facebook post and said their stance on immigration was not linked to their views on race.

'It was a pleasure to be visited by members of the UNSW education collective at our 'Change my mind' event today,' the conservatives said. 'Granted, their screaming in our faces was not as effective at changing our minds as a little calm discussion might have been.'

'We would also like to politely clarify that our position on immigration has absolutely nothing to do with race.'

The group signed off their post by welcoming more 'interesting' discussion at other events later in the year.  

The event has been met with a number of responses on social media, with some questioning how the UNSW Education Collective handled the situation.

'Why do you think it's cool to personally attack people for their political affiliations and opinions, how is it at all useful to anyone to call theses guys 'incles' and collectively mock them online,' responded one person.

'Reasonable political discussion is healthy but all I saw were people attacking them, pretty sure I heard someone get called a racist and now incels,' commented another.

One social media user said: 'It's not conservative to say our immigration level is too high. It's not about race it's about population.'

UNSW, one of Australia's top universities, encourages diversity and inclusion on campus.

'UNSW will be recognised as an international exemplar in equity, diversity and inclusion. Our success will have been built upon embracing the diversity and cultural richness of our communities and ensuring that our staff and students can achieve their full potential regardless of background,' UNSW 2025 vision says.


Why aren't the politicians listening? Newspoll shows eight in 10 New South Wales residents DON'T want a population increase - as immigration soars to a record high

Residents in Australia's most overcrowded city are skeptical of high immigration with eight in 10 opposed to a faster rate of population growth.

A Newspoll of more than 1,000 voters in Sydney and regional New South Wales found 25 per cent of respondents wanted Australia's immigration pace to be slashed.

Another 55 per cent wanted immigration to stay where it is, meaning 80 per cent of people surveyed in Australia's most populous state didn't want the pace of population growth to accelerate beyond a recent record high.

Just 16 per cent of those participating in the Newspoll survey, published in The Australian, favoured a higher immigration rate.

In 2018, a record 832,560 permanent and long-term migrants decided to call Australia home, marking a 7.1 per cent increase compared with 2017, official statistics released in February showed.

With the number of people leaving Australia for good taken into account, the nation's annual net immigration rate stood at 291,250, the highest in four-and-a-half years.

The vast bulk of new arrivals settled in already overcrowded Sydney and Melbourne.

High population growth from skilled migrants and students has been credited with stopping Australia's economy from slowing down.

Australia's population growth
1881: 2.3 million

1918: 5 million

1959: 10 million

1981: 15 million

1991: 17.4 million

2004: 20 million

2013: 23 million

2016: 24 million

2018: 25 million

Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics; House of Representatives Standing Committee for Long-Term Strategies, December 1994

When immigration was taken out of the equation, Australia last year fell into a per capita recession for the first time in almost 13 years.

Economic output, or wealth generated by every Australian, shrunk by 0.1 per cent in the September quarter and by another 0.2 per cent during the final three months of 2018, Australian Bureau of Statistics national accounts data released this month showed.

This was the first per-capita recession since 2006, when interest rates rose three times.

NSW Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian has called on her federal Coalition government counterparts to reduce Australia's net annual immigration rate.

Over-development in Sydney has been a key issue during the state election campaign, with voters in NSW heading to the polls on March 23.

Sydney is already home to more than 5.5million people, making it Australia's most overcrowded city.

Australia's net annual immigration rate averaged 70,000 during the 20th century but soared above 100,000 in 2002.

It climbed above 200,000 in 2012.


WA govt axes deal with wave power company

The WA government has axed its funding deal for a wave power project in the state's south after the proponent, Carnegie Clean Energy, ran out of cash.

Australian Associated PressMARCH 12, 201912:52PM
The West Australian government has decided to stop subsidising a company that planned a wave power project in the state's south but has run out of cash.

Carnegie Clean Energy was in October handed a $2.625 million payment despite not meeting targets for the Albany project and last week posted a $45 million half-year net loss, revealing it only has $1.68 million left in the bank.

On Tuesday, regional development minister Alannah MacTiernan said the WA government had terminated the funding agreement.

"We have concluded they are unlikely to meet their obligations under the agreement," Ms MacTiernan told reporters.


 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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