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Day to Day Politics: Pyne didn’t even read it.

Thursday 4 May 2017

An observation.

”Life is about perception. Not what is but what we perceive it to be”

As Kaye Lee wrote in her piece on Wednesday, Pyne declared the Gonski needs-based model a ‘‘shambles’’ and promised to go ”back to the drawing board” to create a new system.

Apparently, the model is no longer a shambles but a blueprint for the future.

The Government is asking us to believe, just as it did with the words of debt and disaster, that a report the then Education Minister Christopher (The Fixer) didn’t think worth reading is now somehow the answer to our education system.

At the time the Coalition were trying to hoodwink the Australian public into believing that they were offering the same deal as Labor on education, (which demonstrably they weren’t) Christopher Pyne admitted that he had never read the ”Gonski Report”.

This still applies. The deal announced Tuesday is not the same as the one put forward by Labor. Nothing like it. That is not to say that any progress has been made.

For example, it is the first time the conservatives have acknowledged the need for equality of opportunity in education and that Private Schools get more than their fair share of Commonwealth funding. If this plan elevates low socio-economic status schools, while protecting others, and cutting unsustainable subsidies to the most privileged that will be a good thing. If that is the case why didn’t they do it years and years ago? The rich have been receiving unsustainable subsidies to the most privileged for far too long.

One has to wonder if Turnbull hasn’t taken it up to the extremists in his party and convinced them that the headmaster knows best. Next thing they might surprise us with a Negative Gearing going over.

Labor’s first blush reaction was more emotive than political.

Shorten tweeted: “Australians will never trust the Liberals when it comes to properly funding schools. When they think they can get away with it, they’ll cut.”

Having had the argument of elitist bias taken away from it Labor’s first reaction appeared puny and inadequate until an angry Tanya Plibersek stepped up to the blackboard, chalk in hand, accusing Turnbull of ”smoke and mirrors” saying that the plan obscured the fact that it really ripped $22 billion out of schools over a decade.

It’s an ongoing debate. The Coalition have always insisted that the money was never there in the first place but have never proven it so.

If Labor were to borrow the money would it be good debt? There is certainly a dividend at the end.

Of course, there has long been an argument over how Labor’s 10-year pledge would be funded, so that debate is far from settled.

There is no doubt that Turnbull has wrong footed Labor on one of its strengths and the electorate may see it as the sensible centre and the perception that the rich are being subjected to a dose of equality social science.

An observation.

”There is no greater need than the need for equality of opportunity in education”

The Catholic Church however is more than angry at the LNPs plan saying that they would have to close schools and increase fees. Various views abound. A friend on Facebook said that:

”Abbott Cut Education funding by $30 billion Turnbull is putting some Back ! Here are some more Facts on Turnbulls Gonski 2.0Despite his spin, Malcolm Turnbull is still effectively abandoning the most disadvantaged schools and their students.

He is also moving away from the key principle of Gonski – that state and federal governments work together to make sure no child misses out at school.

Under his system, the federal government will provide 20% of the Schooling Resource Standard for public schools yet 80% of the SRS for private schools.

The 20% and 80% figures appear to be have plucked from the air, with no educational justification, or consideration for how much funding these schools are receiving from state governments.

For instance, we don’t know what will happen to schools in the NT, which have high levels of need and are currently receiving 23% of the SRS.

State governments still haven’t been consulted on how the system will work, or how schools will be funded next year.”

People may not take much notice but this is yet another example of how Turnbull is seeking to change the perception people have of his party. Presenting policies in a sloppy chaotic fashion without much detail but at the same time making sure they understand the ideology.

Cross bench Senators have said they will need much more detail before committing but the Greens, bless their educational souls, sound somewhat receptive.

The Government’s plan will see 24 independent schools in the eastern states suffer a direct funding cut over the next decade, and a further 353 will not receive as much money as previously forecast.

Just over 9,000 schools will be better off over the decade. But the important point is by how much. However, until the details are made public, like many other policies, we will shall just have to wait and see.

With cuts to preschool, university funding and the demolition of TAFE the Government doesn’t have a good record with education.

This plan might also give the states some certainty but it’s really a ”Clayton’s Gonski”.

As I said at the start:

”Life is about perception. Not what is but what we perceive it to be.”

My thought for the day.

”For the life of me I fail to understand how anyone could vote for a party who thinks the existing education system is adequately funded and addresses the needs of the disadvantaged”.


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  1. Max Gross

    Transparent, peer-reviewed, evidence-based LNP policies? Gone-ski!

  2. lawrencesroberts

    This is the three card trick (Gonski Variation) Mr Trumble is a con-artist, rather like that chap in America. No wonder he is wealthy.

  3. freefall852

    Pyne is ever the little kid who brings his bat and ball to school that he got on his birthday but will only let his “best friends” play with it…His “best friends” change from week to week…but he still lets them play with it.

  4. Matters Not

    Re Turnbull and Gonski:

    Advocates for schools have long been categorised as belonging to one of two camps: those who believe that reform is something carried on inside the school gate (most governments fall into this category) and those who believe that you won’t improve our schools unless we also address the structural and framework issues including how we provide and resource schools

    That they now recognise that resources play a role in the delivery of a quality education is an big advance from the Pyne era. The Age of Aquarius?

    CHRIS BONNOR. School funding: Grattan’s timely circuit breaker

  5. lawrencewinder

    Better dressed than usual but still another shambles of a faux policy from the ruling rabble…pea and thimble, smoke and mirrors, just the normal “Ooh, look at all the money we’re putting back … but not as much as we cut…or in the same place.” And a distraction to TAFE and tertiary funding cuts…

  6. helvityni

    You will not have good schools, unless you have good teachers, so educate them first ,make universities affordable, and make teaching a respected, valued profession…

    Good teachers are needed to make schools better,fancy top-class sporting fields tennis courts, swimming pools make sports-men/women…

    And of course physical fitness is important, so start by getting the kids to walk to school… 🙂 Make sure kids eat healthy nutritious lunches…no junk food to be sold at school canteens…

    Every school ought have a good library.

  7. David Bruce

    Maybe the Institutional frameworks of schooling need to be reconsidered. The basic school classroom hasn’t changed for more than 100 years! This doesn’t justify the current LNP policies on Education, nor the direction they are headed. If we had leaders, instead of party hacks, in Parliament, maybe the debate about life-long learning, and learning how to learn, would more relevant and enlightening?

  8. Ross

    Even after 40+ negative polls in row I doubt the coalition has had an electoral and moral epiphany and are now going to pour money into public health and education. That’s just not the IPA way.
    Best wait for the system matter experts to dissect the details.

  9. amethyst3009

    I agree with David Bruce.
    Since ‘free compulsory, secular’ education was introduced in the 1880s, there has been no real change to the ‘system’. Children are still ‘dealt with’ in batches, based on their birth date. They start on the education conveyor belt at 5 and emerge at 17-18 as adult-ready! In traditional schools there is little room/time to teach children based on their ability, apart from the teachers’ methods of ‘differentiation’ (teachers providing different materials for different members of the class.)

    We need a whole re-think about possible ways to engage the modern generation in school. (Perhaps a look at the methods of the Scandinavians?)

    Anecdotal, I know, however, a child of a friend of mine attends a community school, which has quite bizarre methods, to the usual system of education:
    The school spends most of its money on teachers and has an overall ratio of 8 students to each teacher.
    The buildings are adequate but not ‘flash’.
    The students spend most of the day outside in the yard, climbing trees and playing.
    The students are not in year groups and they interact with all ages and all teachers.

    This boy, who is nearly 7 has a huge vocabulary – recently explaining to us what was meant by ‘perpendicular’, can read well, is able to have a conversation with everyone/anyone, understands mathematical concepts – place value, fractions…

    The education debate is much, much wider than the narrow implementation of Gonski (which is a good start), but only scratches the surface of a much more thorough look at the whole picture. I believe that the ‘batch’ system of education has outlived its usefulness. Students need to be in classes which cater for their abilities not their age.

  10. wam

    spot on helvityni surely nobody who has been in a year 12 senior high class room would say most year 12 students will gain from this experience and will benefit from university.
    The labor hecs gave ‘poor’ students equality the vice chancellor’s greed gave poor students debt.

    ps lord, wonder if a ‘black’ you didn’t see in your youth fits one of these case studies?
    A: admits child abuse videos but only for curiosity – suspended sentence
    B: traffic offences – man with liver cancer 9 months to live – sentence 15 months gaol – too ill for Isa gaol so sent 1900 km from family to prison. That’s equality in the Australian culture???
    pps methinks the church protesteth too much? The rabbott, little billy. old tomato head and the pynenut are jesuit educated. Albo. cormann are catholic educated and trumble, like blair, is a convert. With that base it is unlikely the church will be asked to pay???
    ps any of the diludbransims catholic??

  11. Phil

    So what’s the difference here?

    Well, Labor sees education as about positive student outcomes and overall societal advancement.

    LNP sees education as private profit and student debt wherein the social compact is the problem, not the solution.

    The marketing (propaganda) smarts behind the Liberals have been assiduously working on capturing the ‘Gonski’ label, thus neutering it. Now the new LNP ‘Gonski’ is good but utterly different – more draconian – more putrid – more toxic.

  12. Pingback: Our self-righteous 'know all' Prime Minister - » The Australian Independent Media Network

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