Government Schools – More Than Passively Bad

An interesting article from Kelsey Grammer’s Rightnetwork from a home schooling journalist. Just a sample: Academically, we couldn’t help but observe that  our fourteen-year-old son was made to watch My Big Fat, Greek Wedding in English class because they’re supposed to be studying Homer — and Homer’s Greek, you know; or notice that he’s seen …

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Educating the Educators

GK Chesterton said ‘Without education we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.’ That is not my favorite Chesterton quote. He also said ‘A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.’ Both are apposite when thinking about contemporary government-run education. Last …

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Some Gay People Are Gay

There is no getting around reality. Someone decides it is insulting to call people whose intellectual development has been retarded ‘retarded.’ So we are told to call them ‘intellectually handicapped.’ Soon ‘intellectually handicapped’ becomes a form of insult. So we are told to call them ‘slow learners.’ A couple of years later, every time you want …

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School NAPLAN Results

I noted a few days ago that KICE – Kangaroo Island Education, had scored below average results in national numeracy and literacy testing. Results for the year three group were substantially below average. This was when compared with all schools, and with ‘statistically similar schools.’ Kangaroo Island is regarded as remote, and incomes on the island are below national …

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My School

I have followed the debate about the publication of national numeracy and literacy testing with interest. My view, of course, is that parents, the wider community and the government should have as much information as is practicably possible about educational standards, including information about which schools are doing well and why. The AEU (Australian Education …

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Another Thought on Private vs Public

The reasons private schools generally do better than public schools is not that they are better resourced. A few of the top schools are, of course. But private schools receive on average a third less overall government funding per student. Although they make up some of the difference through fees and fundraising, most private schools have larger …

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The AEU Couldn’t Lie Straight in Bed

A new report commissioned by the Australian Education Union, has found, surprise, surprise, that State schools are not receiving a fair share of Federal Government funding. This, they claim, is terrible, unfair, wrong, bad, and disadvantages families whose children attend State schools. These claims by the AEU are so misleading that it hard to see …

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What Makes Children Happy and Stable?

Having their fathers around: The report cites half a dozen pieces of research that demonstrate pretty conclusively that children do better in terms of mental health and social adjustment when their fathers as well as their mothers are involved in their upbringing. Children are 40 per cent more likely to suffer mental health problems if …

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Taxpayer Funded Stupidity

1. I had occasion to visit the regional hospital in Geraldton a couple of days ago. Staff seemed competent and concerned for their patients. So far, so good. Ouside the main entrance was a vendng machine for syringes and needles. This is a photo of the machine, and of my $3.00 worth of needles and …

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Avatar

Darn. Early previews of Avatar were stunning. But it looked preachy right from the beginning – like a magnificent sci-fi retelling of the noble green fight against logging in Tasmania. Jim Schembri at The Age has seen it, and says this is exactly right: THERE’S no argument that, as a showcase for the immersive potential …

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What is Wrong With Catherine Deveny?

Catherine Deveny, comedy writer, stand-up comedian and perpetual sad sack. I have never encountered a column writer who has such an immense talent for finding something offensive or hurtful in ordinary day to day life and human interaction. But she manages to slip beneath even her former underwhelming efforts in her column variously titled private schools muck up, watch …

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Tough Love Breeds Smart Kids

You could quibble about the headline. By tough love, the ABC reporter means parents setting boundaries and sticking to them. Children don’t seem to be smarter, just more resilient, more confident, more capable. And setting consistent rules is raising children, not breeding them. But it is an interesting story. 9,000 families were studied over eight …

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Discipline in Schools

One of my best friends is a highly intelligent and capable woman who has raised four lovely daughters, run a successful business, and is a respected teacher whose students have produced consistently good results. This will be her last year of teaching. She just does not have the energy to struggle every day with children who …

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Daycare Makes Children Fat

A study of more than 12, 000 British children between the ages of seven and nine has found that children who spend large amounts of time in daycare because both parents (or a sole parent) work, are significantly more likely to become obese, and to suffer other long term health problems. Naturally there are howls of outrage. An article in …

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The Longer They Are In School, The Further Behind They Get

Reviewing the results of the 2006 Program for International Student Assessment, Walter Williams notes: ..the longer American children are in school, the worse they perform compared to their international peers. In recent cross-country comparisons of fourth grade reading, math, and science, US students scored in the top quarter or top half of advanced nations. By …

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