staringclown

Gonski

32 posts in this topic

It's going to cost 5 billion. It's a good investment in the future prosperity of the country that benefits all.

I didn't realise that the public school system had lost so much confidence until a recent thread.

Up front I will declare that I personally favour an excellent public school system.

My reasons are:

If we don't have one we condemn ourselves to being a low income, middle ranked country with no innovation.

We aren't harnessing our human capital for the best outcomes.

The future will be more technologically complex than now.

The two factors above will be required if we are to maintain the services and lifestyle we have now.

Henry and his successor Parkinson are sounding warning bells about new taxation to sustain current expenditure.

So there's two choices. Cut services further or raise taxes.

Every time raising taxes is mentioned the media/liberal party go berserk. Every time a cut to a concession is mentioned vested interests go berserk.

A rational debate seems difficult to achieve but deep down everybody knows something has to give but nobody wants to pay.

People that send their children to private schools demonstrate that they are prepared to pay extra for a perceived advantage for their own offspring and I understand this. If I had children I would no doubt want the best for them and would undoubtedly make the same choice. An ideal policy in my view is one that harnesses self interest to achieve a public interest. Still it is a choice on the part of parents and in my view it should be a choice that should be based solely on perception and not reality.

Regardless of generalisations about left v right we should find the money (a lousy 5 billion compared to 30 billion per year in tax concessions on selling the family home for example) to fund a productive investment in the future. Thoughts?

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I'm feeling too sick to add anything of any use (and some might say I'm too stupid anyway). A couple of quick points:

1. I think politicians' knee-jerk solution to improving education (and health) is usually to throw more money at it. This then goes to (mostly) useless things like extra school halls, extra layers of admin staff etc.

And then the politicians can wash their hands of it, saying that they have spent so many billions on it so they have done their bit.

2. A lot of subjects can be taught just as well with a chalkboard and a competent teacher as any other method. I think generating a sufficient supply of competent teachers is the key, don't worry too much about school halls, fancy multimedia gizmos etc. I don't have a clue how to achieve that though (I'm just an IT arse-breather after all ... there, that's my passive-aggressive contribution for the evening).

Edited by Turkey

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you dont get anything good by throwing money at it. i went thru the public school system, and sure the teachers though the problem with the system was what they had to work with, but so did us students. gotta be able to test and fail the teachers as well as the students.

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I'm feeling too sick to add anything of any use (and some might say I'm too stupid anyway). A couple of quick points:

1. I think politicians' knee-jerk solution to improving education (and health) is usually to throw more money at it. This then goes to (mostly) useless things like extra school halls, extra layers of admin staff etc.

2. A lot of subjects can be taught just as well with a chalkboard and a competent teacher as any other method. I think generating a sufficient supply of competent teachers is the key, don't worry too much about school halls, fancy multimedia gizmos etc. I don't have a clue how to achieve that though (I'm just an IT arse-breather after all ... there, that's my passive-aggressive contribution for the evening).

I'm sorry that you're not feeling well T.

Gonski is from business so I'm assuming he cast a critical eye over the costs for maximum benefit. At the risk of sounding all Yes Minister - Education isn't about bricks and mortar.

You make a good point that the method of teaching should and can and should be the cost effective. I'm not sure of the best method to achieve this either. I've used guitars and bagpipes to teach sine waves. Cheap as. :) I will say that those first graphical calculators were awesome for demonstrating curves generated by equations. (circa 1984). Regular hardware upgrades shouldn't be a requirement for sure as I know what this costs. Open source? Don't run Windows on school machines.

Do we need to make the teaching profession itself more lucrative? I'd take a 10K pay cut to train up a bunch of cyber warriors.

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you dont get anything good by throwing money at it. i went thru the public school system, and sure the teachers though the problem with the system was what they had to work with, but so did us students. gotta be able to test and fail the teachers as well as the students.

As a general rule I would agree. However if you end up teaching in a school which has nothing but disadvantaged students a benchmark is going to be harder to achieve than teaching a bunch of higher socio-economic swots. What about paying higher wages to teachers who take on said disadvantaged schools as an incentive to attract better teachers rather than worse teachers? The MySchools web site has laid bare the disadvantaged schools. Everyone knows them. We knew them even when I went to school some 25 years ago.

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my advice would be to peel away those layers of bureaucracy until, like an onion, there is nothing left but tears.

seriously, teachers at secondary and primary levels spend so much time dealing with paperwork its a wonder that they have any time to teach at all. that kind of thing saps the energy out of people and eventually they become more comfortable with doing paperwork than doing their proper jobs.

it seems to me, based on my admittedly limited experience dealing with the public education system in the ACT, that most of these rules are based on the belief that teachers can't teach properly without a bureaucrat looking over his/her shoulder. basically, the higher ups seem to think that all the lower downs suck at their jobs. if someone really does suck at their job that badly--fire them. otherwise get the hell out of the way and let them do it.

reducing bureaucracy and letting the crap people get fired and the good people get promoted would be a very cost effective way of boosting morale and making the profession rewarding--its not like these people are in it for the money, after all...

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my advice would be to peel away those layers of bureaucracy until, like an onion, there is nothing left but tears.

seriously, teachers at secondary and primary levels spend so much time dealing with paperwork its a wonder that they have any time to teach at all. that kind of thing saps the energy out of people and eventually they become more comfortable with doing paperwork than doing their proper jobs.

it seems to me, based on my admittedly limited experience dealing with the public education system in the ACT, that most of these rules are based on the belief that teachers can't teach properly without a bureaucrat looking over his/her shoulder. basically, the higher ups seem to think that all the lower downs suck at their jobs. if someone really does suck at their job that badly--fire them. otherwise get the hell out of the way and let them do it.

reducing bureaucracy and letting the crap people get fired and the good people get promoted would be a very cost effective way of boosting morale and making the profession rewarding--its not like these people are in it for the money, after all...

More local control over resources for schools would help to minimise some of the waste we saw under the centrally funded "school hall" schemes I agree. But the most socially disadvantaged schools still face apathy compared to the better off public schools (from the parents). Won't these schools continue to suffer? It's a given that we agree that the crap people get fired while the good get rewarded under any improved system.

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More local control over resources for schools would help to minimise some of the waste we saw under the centrally funded "school hall" schemes I agree. But the most socially disadvantaged schools still face apathy compared to the better off public schools (from the parents). Won't these schools continue to suffer? It's a given that we agree that the crap people get fired while the good get rewarded under any improved system.

i would certainly not complain if more resources were devoted to the schools most in need. the best way to do this (says i after drinking the greater part of a 6 pack given to me by a student today--i have taught them well...), i think is to use money and freedom as lures to get the really amazing people out there on board--the kind of people who you know are amazing after talking to them for 5 minutes.

i think those people would be more attracted by the freedom to do what they want than they would be by the money, and their concern with money would be less a matter of salaries than it would be in getting the funding to let them realise their ideas/goals, etc..

if we can have the nasty kind of interventions that we've seen in the NT and elsewhere, why can't we apply the same concept in a more positive manner? instead of trampling all over people's civil liberties we could trample all over bureaucratic rules. find some really incredible people, give them an X million dollar budget and carte blanche to do what they will. obviously the key point is making sure that you get the right people (and if the unimaginative people who run things currently are in charge of selection you can be certain you won't), but with the right people, even if they fail, it will be a spectacular, wonderful failure...

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i would certainly not complain if more resources were devoted to the schools most in need. the best way to do this (says i after drinking the greater part of a 6 pack given to me by a student today--i have taught them well...), i think is to use money and freedom as lures to get the really amazing people out there on board--the kind of people who you know are amazing after talking to them for 5 minutes.

i think those people would be more attracted by the freedom to do what they want than they would be by the money, and their concern with money would be less a matter of salaries than it would be in getting the funding to let them realise their ideas/goals, etc..

if we can have the nasty kind of interventions that we've seen in the NT and elsewhere, why can't we apply the same concept in a more positive manner? instead of trampling all over people's civil liberties we could trample all over bureaucratic rules. find some really incredible people, give them an X million dollar budget and carte blanche to do what they will. obviously the key point is making sure that you get the right people (and if the unimaginative people who run things currently are in charge of selection you can be certain you won't), but with the right people, even if they fail, it will be a spectacular, wonderful failure...

I knew I liked you for a reason urch. :)

I know some of these people. :) You will need to make it worth their while however they don't work for free but they do work more cheaply through having conviction politics. Of course that will mean a left wing bias to education as has always been the case. Anyone that is disinterested in money is suspicious to both the bureaucrat and the hard right.

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It's going to cost 5 billion. It's a good investment in the future prosperity of the country that benefits all.

Pull the other one. There is no policy that benefits all.

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Staringclown, genuine question, did you ever get the cane in the HM's office (or threat existed therein) or a ruler around the knuckles in class?

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Pull the other one. There is no policy that benefits all.

Not destroying the earth would be one, comparatively speaking.

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I'm all for helping out disadvantaged kids, but sending the best teachers there sucks them out from somewhere else.

I think that to improve the system as a whole, more good teachers are required rather than moving them from A to B.

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Staringclown, genuine question, did you ever get the cane in the HM's office (or threat existed therein) or a ruler around the knuckles in class?

Yep. The last time I got the cuts was in grade 9. Our English teacher decided to take us outside the classroom to write a story about a cloud. :wacko: We were sitting in a big grassed square surrounded by gravel paths. It was inevitable that a rock fight would ensue. One of the opposition smashed a window of the classroom of the head of the English department. She steamed out and tore our teacher a new one (which was entertaining) and four of us got 6 of the best.

We used to get the black board ruler across the back of the legs in primary. It was routine to have chalk, chalk dusters or anything else that came to hand thrown at us. In Darwin I saw a kid dumped upside down into a bin! Good times. :D

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Well what was that week all about? Reintroduce corporal punishment and give that smarmy, supercilious, smirking cretin six of the best then ban it again. Abbott can cop a thousand lines. Get your sh*t together or it's one term only.

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Yep. The last time I got the cuts was in grade 9. Our English teacher decided to take us outside the classroom to write a story about a cloud. wacko.gif We were sitting in a big grassed square surrounded by gravel paths. It was inevitable that a rock fight would ensue. One of the opposition smashed a window of the classroom of the head of the English department. She steamed out and tore our teacher a new one (which was entertaining) and four of us got 6 of the best.

We used to get the black board ruler across the back of the legs in primary. It was routine to have chalk, chalk dusters or anything else that came to hand thrown at us. In Darwin I saw a kid dumped upside down into a bin! Good times. biggrin.gif

 

I got six cuts on a cold winter's morning for writing 'I was here' on a corner of the blackboard. Ouch!

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I got six cuts on a cold winter's morning for writing 'I was here' on a corner of the blackboard. Ouch!

 

That's a bit harsh... We got busted doing circle work in a park near the school in a mates 253 monaro at lunch time. (Alas, the informant spotted our school uniforms :blush: ) Even then I only (temporarily) lost my prefect badge. You must have attended a religious school.  :o  :laugh:

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That's a bit harsh... We got busted doing circle work in a park near the school in a mates 253 monaro at lunch time. (Alas, the informant spotted our school uniforms :blush: ) Even then I only (temporarily) lost my prefect badge. You must have attended a religious school.  :o  :laugh:

Nope, it was a public school. The teacher who gave me the cuts was a well known mongrel.  :schmoll:

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Nope, it was a public school. The teacher who gave me the cuts was a well known mongrel.  :schmoll:

 

Damn. Teachers weren't allowed to give the cuts at our school. (Queensland) At least during my high school days. Primary school they would whack away with the blackboard T-square.

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My old man set the record for the number of cuts in one day at his school. I think it was just over 50.

 

Fifty is the equivalent of Nelsons navy. Good effort! Was he broken?

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My old man set the record for the number of cuts in one day at his school. I think it was just over 50.

 

I'm struggling to believe that. I think 6 was the max.

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Meanwhile, back to the Gonski topic, I'm struggling to understand despite all the money sank into education why these results:

 

OECD report finds Australian students falling behind

 

With two teenage kids in public schools (one of them a top girls school), I've noticed from their comments:

  • crap, semi-retired teachers who don't teach the subject and waffle on irrelevant matter,
  • teachers who don't know their subject matter very well,
  • teachers unable to discipline regularly disrupting students

My daughter is finishing year 10 and for the last few weeks, there has been basically no academic material being taught. This is the results of poor planning on what to do with those students now that the School Certificate has been abolished.

 

This is where I'm a strong believer in conducting performance reviews of teachers and rewarding the good ones whilst culling the bottom 10%. I might also add a politically incorrect comment that the corporal punishment for those regularly disrupting students would not be such a bad thing.

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I'm struggling to believe that. I think 6 was the max.

You don't know my old man. :)

 

I'll confirm next time I see him. BTW he wanted to break the school record, so it was a one-off.

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I don't know about others, but I hated (secondary) school. Hardly a member of my family 'liked' it. I went to both public and private schools (but not one of the expensive ones) and didn't notice a great deal of difference in quality.

 

Gets me thinking about education for my own family. TBH I'd be happy for the gubment to rip the shreds out of education funding as I don't think I'd send my children to a government-run school. Better off looking at alternatives such as Steiner or Montessori (mostly privately operated) or simply home schooling.

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