An Education Diversion to Financial “Doom & Gloom”

Amidst the doom & gloom of the financial & housing markets, I thought I’d take a quick stab at the subject that attracted me to Blogocracy (& from there Blogocrats) in the first place… Australia Politics.

Now, I’m not the most informed in the realms of current politics, which was why I started visiting the blogs (so I could be informed by people with more time than I had to chase things down) but, as I understand it, there are a couple of things going on in the Aussie Political Environment worth commenting on other than “financial roonation”.

A resident troll decided that Rudd’s “Education Revolution” was a great topic to distract us from other things and (after I located some Billy Goats Gruff) I thought about what said revolution is currently doing.

My personal experience is only in the primary school sector (as my children are a bit young for high school), but Rudd’s financial stimulus is doing wonders both for the school and the local building companies. My partner in crime (a.k.a. “The Missus”), an active member of our P&C, tells me that we have something along the lines of $3 million coming into our school. This is being used for everything from some much needed classroom upgrading, a decent hall for the school children, and something to do with the computer classroom.

On the other hand, I have heard we have a large drop in the number of places sought after and awarded to our Australian University students. Having alot of faith in at least one of our erstwhile institutions (having attended for an engineering degree), I am somewhat worried by this.

And aside from the stimulus money coming in, what has Labour done so far for our education revolution? I’m happy to be getting money for all the school-attending children, and I fully intend to bill ATO for some of a computer purchase I made for the kids. But where is the revolution; because (as the financial doom & gloom threads repeatedly show) “throwing money at things doesn’t fix them”.

So guys, what are your thoughts on Rudd’s Revolution? Was it all hype for a nation weary of Howard’s lack of investment in public schools, or am I missing some important changes that really do change the system for the better?

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103 Responses

  1. What’s in this for Scotch and MLC?

  2. Ben,

    I think the “Education Revolution” was a nice catch cry prior to the election, however the ground has shifted dramatically since then.

    At that time, the GFC wasn’t even a speck on the horizon.

    I’m not personally concerned that Rudd’s promise of a laptop (or PC) for every student hasn’t really eventuated (yet).

    I think we are faced with much more serious issues which the Government is focused on.

  3. What’s in this for Scotch and MLC?

    Not sure I understand the question… Who or what is “Scotch”, and how does it relate to education?

    Or are you yanking my chain again (I know MLC are a superannuation fund)?

    Oh, and @reb, I know that the finances are in bad shape (believe me, I’ve got it drilled in nice and good); but giving Labour the same standards against which we are judging Costello – if they didn’t see the financial crisis coming, they should have.

    Seriously though, I’m seeing good things happening for the education of my kids currently, but nothing along the lines of a “revolution” or even a major upgrade. Simply alot of money that probably should have been given to them earlier. Thought that might turn this thread into a State Govt vs Federal Govt issue!

  4. Good post ben.

    Scotch, MLC

    (Perhaps Tom should have mentioned Cranbrook or some other needy but non-Melbourne educational establishment.)

  5. Hello Ben. Firstly I have to own up to having started out as a primary school teacher in Victoria, later an educational psychologist and later a disability advocate. In between a Shire Councilor (Lilydale Vic) and VIP mum of 3 now all big kids..whoops, plus hubby.

    I am pleased to know that the Rudd stimulus is providing results. Hubby was on the P&C at Birmingham PS Mt Evelyn Vic and the only way to find out what is really happening is to be there.

    Primary is VIP as if you don’t start out well then you don’t end well. A child can learn in a run down old shed (such as Aborginal children) however this doesn’t promote pride.

    I said a bit this morning re post-grad..if anyone wants to read (yawn)..it’s at: Min, on March 18th, 2009 at 11:33 am on the Federal Legislation thread.

  6. Don’t be so gloomy Ben (wink)

  7. Hi Bt,
    Just when i think im getting the idea of whats happening i see a fresh news headline that throws me off again. So i have taken a i dont care attitude towards it as of yesterday.

    i will still read what John and everyone else wrights just to see if its going to effect my corner, other then that i have stopped worrying about it.
    —–
    John, lol.
    that fit in well.

  8. While Rudd’s and Gillard’s revolution has many dimensions, I’ll just focus on one aspect, namely the development of a national curriculum.

    Currently each State and Territory has an QUANGO devoted to the development of curricula that are to be used within that State or Territory, (usually) used by both State and Non-State schools. Development of curricula is both time-consuming and expensive because it involves a high degree of expertise and almost endless consultation.

    To ‘invent the wheel’ seven or eight times within a nation of 20 plus million is madness particularly when different types of wheel result. It should be pointed out at this stage that the wheel invented is but a ‘framework’ which is then taken by teachers within a school and modified to suit their circumstances.

    The development of national curricula ‘frameworks’ is eminently sensible and yet is ‘revolutionary’. It minimises the trauma students and parents face when they move across States and Territories. It also allows economies of scale in the production of resources as well as the frameworks themselves.

  9. Nature 5, on March 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm – the development of a National Curricula is VIP.

    Examples: a Year 12 graduate from Victoria would struggle in their 1st year of uni in NSW as the standard of mathematics in Victoria is so much lower. A Yr 12 graduate from NSW would struggle coping with 1st year at a university in Qld for English.

  10. Hey Ben, I like your curiosity. I too have been wondering what’s ACTUALLY happening. Far too many PR-glosses, and too little substance to make judgements. I’ve heard, through a friend who works in a local school, that that particular school has about $2m to spend, and has just been notified (in the last week) but has only about 2 weeks to determine how it will be spent, and then notify the Department. I don’t mind a revolution here or there, now or then, but what about some decent forward planning?

  11. Pete, I would suggest that no schools who have been allocated X dollars would have any problems in working out how to spend it because year after year, after year, after year one puts in applications for funding. A new toilet block, a replacement for the demountables, replacement play equipment or maybe even a school hall.

    Principals might have put in these applications for funding for over 10 years. Forward planning? It’s about finally funding just basics such as toilet blocks.

  12. Pete, two weeks ?
    i guess that normal practise but it shows a big floor,
    not to mention they have to show they need it all by listing stupid expences.

    I saw an add on T.V not long ago that has Anna Bleigh saying its in labours DNA to care about schools and such(yes it’s true). it was enough to make me re look over librals pollicies and try and find something i like.

  13. When all this “education revolution” collapses under multi layered, bureaucratic indecision, guess who will be to blame?

    The same person that came up with –

    • That enduring policy called – “Medicare Gold” (worth its weight wasn’t it?)
    • The original draft of the ALP industrial relations policy that Rudd personally had to bail out, and redraft.
    • The bizarrely named “award modernisation” process that will add significant costs to retail, hospitality etc, at the time that the government is spending billions to stimulate this sector.
    • The back down and non delivery on each of the above policies.

    Yes, it is of course the former darling of the left, the former pin up girl of the politically correct, the former potential leader of the ALP.

    Why on earth is this woman allowed near a policy without the supervision of a responsible adult?

  14. Tom..well that was pretty crook wasn’t it. Medicare Gold, guaranteeing health care for the over 75’s.

    I remember the blogs at the time..how dare these old f*rts try to jump the queue!

  15. Nature 5, on March 18th, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Succinctly put, N5

    Haven’t heard the term QANGO (no U BTW) for some time (although they always exist!)…

    QANGO – Quasi Autonomous Non Government Organisation

    We now have a National Training System (begun in 1992 by PJK) with National Competencies, National Standards in Assessment and Training – called Training Packages but really “curriculae” – plus an Australian Qualifications Framework (eg Certiificates I, II, III, IV, Diploma, Advanced Diploma in the Vocational Education and Training (VET) sector and thence to Uni’s – Bachelor Degree, Grad Dip, Masters Deg., Phd.

    Training Organisations are registered and audited under the Australian Quality Training Framework…

    It is not just a paradigm, it is a working functioning process….aimed at skills and business learning in the workforce…

    …all we need to do is tag primary and high schools on the front of VET with similar quality requirements, foundation documents and curriculum and we will have a National Learning System from Pre school to PhD…

    Unfortunately schools and teachers don’t like it (universities are slowly embracing it) because it is competency based upon criteria – (eg an individual achieves against defined, detailed outcomes) , rather than “norm’ referenced where classes, schools or areas achieve loosely defined outcomes often in different ways and to different standards…

    …competency based assessment can highlight failures in the system rather than blaming the learners…eg a consistent failure of individulas in one class compared to a similar group can indicate an issue other than the learners…

    A National School Curriculum is required but there are other issues that will need to spin from it…for it to work

  16. It wasn’t simply the concept of Medicare Gold, it was the costings, the planned roll out. The entire ill-conceived package was a complete disaster. It was the brain child of Ms Gillard. So she can accept the blame for it’s rejection by the electorate. It sunk and has never re emerged.

    It was one of the disastrous policies that helped the ALP loose the 2004 election.

    She is a complete waste of space.

    Actually wasted space doesn’t do any damage, so apologies to all those wastes of spaces that may take offense at being compared to Julia Gillard.

  17. TB Queensland, on March 18th, 2009 at 4:07 pm Said:

    Unfortunately schools and teachers don’t like it (universities are slowly embracing it) because it is competency based upon criteria – (eg an individual achieves against defined, detailed outcomes)

    I can understand why teachers aren’t keen TB, because these days they have children with a range of disabilities in their classrooms.

    It only takes a couple of low functioning kids and the teacher and the school are given a black mark and threatened with funding cuts, although how less funding guarantees better outcomes, I’m buggered if I know.

    I’m not suggesting that all teachers are excellent or even competent, but I’d say the majority are. It’s not a profession I ever wanted to enter.

    Teaching must be one of the most stressful occupations around and you’ve got to be pretty dedicated to want to stand in front of 30 odd ankle biters every working day. My daughter’s year 7 teacher had a complete mental breakdown; the kids drove him mad….literally.

  18. Isn’t this, Neil’s hobby horse?

    Car 57 where are you?

  19. btolputt, schools follow policies and procedures like any organisation/business. Sometimes people are not aware of the internal workings of schools, especially on a managerial level.

    Each manager of a faculty puts in an Action Plan every year outlining a program for that year. This also includes requests for resources and funding for special projects/equipment.

    Each school has various stakeholders where submissions and requests are addressed. These includes P & C, Workplace Health and Safety Cmte, IT Cmte, Building Maintenance processes, Asset Mgt plans, Building contingencies etc. All these co-exist with the everyday running of a school and with the teaching and learning that happens.

    In Qld, each school conducts a detailed review every 3 years – like an assessment of “where they are, what they are doing and where they would like to go”. This focuses schools on a medium-term vision where the school’s priorities can be set out and worked towards.

    Many schools have put in submissions for Water Tanks, Solar Energy and Computers (BTW the guidelines are one computer (access) between 2 students in Yrs 9-12. Not every student gets a laptop.). Then it is up to the various committees in the school to interpret this to meet their needs (i.e. shared computer labs, laptop access, classroom micro labs etc.). It is correct that parents can get assistance in buying technology-related resources for their child for home use.

    Under Anna Bligh’s government, we have seen a move to modern classrooms. Classrooms can now be set up with: electronic whiteboards, data projectors, laptops for teachers, access to assistive technologies – digital microscopes, editing equipment, data loggers, graphic class pads etc. Schools are planning more and more to move to ‘wireless’ internet in classrooms and staff areas. This in often in response to new marking procedures like software to mark student attendance in ‘real’ time and systems to notify parents by mobile phone when students are not in class of a morning etc. There is also a host of software and e-learning resources available. Some schools are offering courses they could not normally do through Virtual Schooling Services (students have a class over the phone and use an e-learning site during the lesson. It is run like a University-style structure but in a high school setting).

    Qld teachers have access to a virtual learning space on the internet where they can set up ‘virtual classrooms’, participate in cross-school on-line projects, connect with experts for projects, and join learning communities on-line and do courses for Professional Development. Gone are the days of hand-written reports with reporting being done through a secure internet program.

    Teachers also have access to Assessment Banks and all the Syllabus information at the click of a button. Sharing of resources between teachers and schools is promoted.

    This is just the tip of the iceberg. Schools are finally being recognised as dynamic learning spaces that need to keep up with general trends in society. We cannot stay in the past.
    N’

  20. Jane, on March 18th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Agree, Jane, but the kids who need help don’t get it ’cause they are all bundled together – what about those kids who need help because they are gifted?

  21. Furthermore, more focus on children’s access to media is necessary.

    If you’re a parent you might find this worth reading/scanning. We have a self-interested media that tends to scapegoat educators & generalises about the education system but rarely examines its own role in the educating of children…& the obvious deletarious effects.

    The Influence of Media Violence on Youth:

    http://72.14.235.132/search?q=cache:S_-8PLrPXJcJ:www.psychologicalscience.org/pdf/pspi/pspi43.pdf+youth,+effects+of+media+%26+education&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=au

    “Teaching must be one of the most stressful occupations around and you’ve got to be pretty dedicated to want to stand in front of 30 odd ankle biters every working day.”

    true jane, smaller class sizes would help. As does one on one tutoring…the Rudd government is now prepared to fund such. The Howard government blew it in that department.
    N’

  22. TB Queensland, on March 18th, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    QANGO (no U BTW)

    Spot on! Noticed after posting but today other priorities. But you are correct.

    You say it’s:

    aimed at skills and business learning in the workforce

    Indeed! That’s where it should stay. It’s about training the ox to pull the yoke. It’s certainly not ‘education’.

    all we need to do is tag primary and high schools on the front of VET

    Please! What nonsense! A defininition of education based on ‘fitting in’. LOL.

    As for:

    Unfortunately schools and teachers don’t like it

    Well thank the deity for that. Simply, ‘competency based’ approaches are about ‘training’. About establishing floors but they are rarely about ‘excellence’ or ‘blue skies’. Indeed they are not about ‘education’. They are about mediocrity.

    Enough for now. A child awakes.

  23. Jane – “My daughter’s year 7 teacher had a complete mental breakdown; the kids drove him mad….literally.”

    Do teachers have to undertake psych tests? Most organisations use them during the selection process.

    No use even allowing people to consider teaching if they aren’t suitable, can’t accept the pressure, the annoyance. No use considering it if they don’t have empathy for children.

    My observation is that teaching has developed into a clique, rather than a profession. The demographics seem pretty narrow these days. Part of this is the remuneration, it’s too low. People are attracted to teaching for the wrong reasons. They are usually attracted to the holidays and hours in the first instance, rather than because they enjoy teaching.

    Nasking – “The Howard government blew it in that department.”

    I’d like to understand why so much of the blame for the incompetent delivery of state services is allocated to the previous federal government.

    The previous governments deserve the opprobrium for their handling of employment conditions etc. BUT state governments are responsible for schools, hospitals, public transport, roads, and utilities. Each one of these essential services has been run into the ground.

    But for some reason, on this site, it is not the fault of the level of government directly responsible for the delivery of these services.

    Perhaps Nasking, you would explain why this is the case.

  24. And just to chime in on the above. Competency based training is fine for imparting identifiable skills and assisting to provide understanding of defined process.

    It is entirely unsuitable for developing independent and critical thinking. It is not good for complex analysis, it is unsuitable for developing leadership.

  25. One last thing. Can you get a high distinction using competency based training ?

  26. Tom

    That’s funny.

  27. Tom of Melbourne, on March 18th, 2009 at 10:57 pm Said:

    Competency based training is fine for imparting identifiable skills and assisting to provide understanding of defined process

    Yea! And put so well. Me bad! My respect grows and grows. And finally:

    It is entirely unsuitable for developing independent and critical thinking. It is not good for complex analysis, it is unsuitable for developing leadership.

    Absolutely! Suitable (perhaps) for ‘skill’ development but certainly not for ‘conceptual’ development.

    As for:

    Can you get a high distinction using competency based training ?

    Why would one bother? LOL. Tom, like are you Black or White? One or Zero? Right or Wrong? Good or Bad?

    So many questions. So few answers. Lol.

  28. I said a bit this morning re post-grad..if anyone wants to read (yawn)..it’s at: Min, on March 18th, 2009 at 11:33 am on the Federal Legislation thread.”

    Hi Min

    I made a comment at 8.03PM on the FL thread. You may not agree with my comments but it is my honest opinion.

  29. Tom, do you secretly have a thing for Julia Gillard or what?

    For such a waste of space she seems to have been doing a fine job of turning your lot into chopped liver on the floor of Parliament on a regular basis.

    In case you don’t do so already, you really oughta watch question time every now and again so you can get an idea of who’s doing what to whom in Parliament.

    Gillard’s a killer.

    She regularly serves-up their own testicles to poor bastards like Joe Hockey and even Mal himself. What’s more, I’ve yet to see anyone on the Opposition Front Bench take her down.

    Maybe that’s why you love her so much. The Red-Headed Dom with the whip and acid tongue. She’ll give you a right flogging, alright.

    See, I can always tell a fellow Private School Boy (Scotch or MLC indeed. What about St Kev’s or Loreto Manderville Hall).

  30. Evan, a couple of days ago you sad “the Democrats prostituted themselves”.

    I asked for your reason. It seems widely inaccurate to me, though probably closer to the mark than most of your commentary. But you ducked a response.

    Why would you say this? Please provide some rationale for yet another ill informed comment.

    Your view of Julia Gillard is another example. My commentary goes directly to her competence in policy development. She has a hopeless track record. You commentary goes to her ability in political whining, and possibly her ability to hire a joke writer. She is a dud in policy. And her job relates to policy rather than carping in parliament.

    You continually miss the point.

  31. Tom of Melbourne

    You stated the other day that Gillard is a policy dud, and yet there is no evidence of this.

    The only thing you could highlight in all her policies is the merging of all state awards for hospitality into one. Not an easy task, and also something that is currently being worked through. It is not a completed policy yet, so cannot be argued in the context you are.

    Now compare this with the dogs breakfast of a policy they are trying to replace, and see how it stacks up.

  32. Tom R – “You stated the other day that Gillard is a policy dud, and yet there is no evidence of this”

    Tom this is what I’ve posted here – March 18th, 2009 at 3:47 pm –

    “When all this “education revolution” collapses under multi layered, bureaucratic indecision, guess who will be to blame?

    The same person that came up with –
    • That enduring policy called – “Medicare Gold” (worth its weight wasn’t it?)
    • The original draft of the ALP industrial relations policy that Rudd personally had to bail out, and redraft.
    • The bizarrely named “award modernisation” process that will add significant costs to retail, hospitality etc, at the time that the government is spending billions to stimulate this sector.
    • The back down and non delivery on each of the above policies.

    Yes, it is of course the former darling of the left, the former pin up girl of the politically correct, the former potential leader of the ALP.

    Why on earth is this woman allowed near a policy without the supervision of a responsible adult?”

    I think Medicare Gold, the entire re write of her original IR policy, the belated back down on award “modernisation”, the lack of identifiable progress on an “education revolution”… is reasonable evidence.

    She’s chalking up the failures pretty quickly.

  33. So, to defend it, you use Medicare Gold and the same one I stated twice.

    As I said, this is a work in progress, and so far, the good far outwweighs the bad, and the bad is being attended to.

    If only the previous government had addressed any issues with their policies before implementing them.

  34. Well Tom R, Julia Gillard hasn’t had that long to make more stuff ups.

    So if you want to count –

    • inadequate drafting of policy in opposition 2 years ago,
    • then incompetent drafting of legislation in government during the past year,
    • then the belated realisation that there were some serious economic consequences to the legislation, requiring a back flip

    as a single error, then I suppose you are far more tolerant of incompetence than I’m willing to be.

    We’ll see whether she maintains this track record with the “education revolution”.

    But I also want to provide a reminder to Evan to justify his comment, explain Evan – how did the Democrats “prostitute” themselves?

  35. TB Queensland, on March 18th, 2009 at 6:53 pm Said:

    Jane, on March 18th, 2009 at 6:26 pm

    Agree, Jane, but the kids who need help don’t get it ’cause they are all bundled together – what about those kids who need help because they are gifted?

    Wholeheartedly agree, TB. Bundling all the kids together in one over-sized class regardless of their abilities and then chucking in teachers who are only trained to teach mainstream students is ludicrous. Sadly, all done in the name of cost reduction. Who cares about the students and those who have to educate them?

    There are too many people around who don’t value education and unfortunately, quite a few are in government and a lot are parents.

    A first rate education system should be mandatory, it’s an investment in our intellectual capital and we’re ignoring it to our detriment.

    Tom of Melbourne, on March 18th, 2009 at 10:37 pm Said:

    My observation is that teaching has developed into a clique, rather than a profession. The demographics seem pretty narrow these days. Part of this is the remuneration, it’s too low. People are attracted to teaching for the wrong reasons. They are usually attracted to the holidays and hours in the first instance, rather than because they enjoy teaching.

    Tom, I’d agree some people are attracted to teaching for the wrong reasons, but the same is true for every profession and plain old job.

    Is psych testing done for everyone enrolling for a degree course? Isn’t the selection process if you’ve got the TER, you’re in? I’d say most of us don’t know whether we’re suited to a profession or job until we’ve done the work.

    Nasking – “The Howard government blew it in that department.”

    “I’d like to understand why so much of the blame for the incompetent delivery of state services is allocated to the previous federal government.”

    I’d say it’s because the Howard government had very little interest in having a well educated and informed populace. Investing in the intellectual capital of this country was a very low priority as far as I could see and we’re paying the price.

  36. Nature 5, on March 18th, 2009 at 10:32 pm
    Enough for now. A child awakes.

    You wrote that while asleep?

    Your ignorance of competency based learning leads me to believe you see yourself as an “educator”…

    …I might remind you that demonstration to a level of competency in reading, writing, mathematics, comprehension, science, history, geography, art, music and any number of subjects are easily assessed and desirable…

    …competency assessment can also be used to identify those learners with exceptional skills and knowledge ability and those who need assistance – its treats a learner as an individual and not part of the herd…

    …contrary to educationalist beliefs…

  37. It is quango or quango btw, the original British usage being quango; and even competency-based learning schema include qualitative dimensions, as admitted, which become more important as learners move up through the ranks, where those dimensions come to be valued and evaluated in the form of ‘original contributions’ and not ‘replications’, imho. Think of it a bit like a continuum, perhaps, where it’s not about ‘the learner’, but about ‘evaluation’ when it comes to grading and gradients.

  38. Hi Neil. That’s a bit of the problem with the day shift..all the interesting stuff that happens in the evenings.

    You say

    This new ALP policy wants to increase the number of research students.

    ..I’m assuming that you are fine with Aussies, it’s importing them. Research students are here on student visas and return to their country of origin following the completion of their studies. And sometimes even completing studies can be a hurdle..for example, one of Erin’s housemates is a Japanese lass and she was awarded a PhD scholarship, however her student visa had expired and it took 2 months and numerous applications from UQ to allow her to stay (Erin provided a character reference). This lass is hoping to become a permanent resident and will be an asset to this country.

    And again from: http://www.alp.org.au/media/0309/msimmc160.php

    Removing building and manufacturing trades from the Critical Skills List, such as bricklayers, plumbers, welders, carpenters and metal fitters. The list will now comprise mainly health and medical, engineering and IT professions.

    There is nothing re scientists. However, you could be right that Dr Ezza (daughter) may indeed struggle to find a job. However, this will be due to a lack of will of government and industry to tackle the issue of alternative fuels rather than competition from imported scientists.

    But having said that it is my opinion that we need far more investment post-graduate education. I offered, that Austudy be made available to all post-graduate Australian students rather than not available until you turn 25yrs.

  39. Min, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:07 am

    The distinction between Youth Allowance (available to 16-24 year olds, or those completing their courses after then, but commenced under YA) and Austudy being the tests for independence and means/assets, where Austudy presumes independence and doesn’t inquire about parental assets and means.

  40. “I’d like to understand why so much of the blame for the incompetent delivery of state services is allocated to the previous federal government.”

    Your perception is not mine Tom. I’ve lived in a few countries & do not agree w/ your view that the QLD government has overall provided “incompetent delivery of services”. Consider the millions of new QLDers who have arrived here over the past decade and the increase in demand for hospital & educational services and how few actual problems the mass media has been able to pinpoint. Much of it is hyperbole…or sabotage by those w/ self-interest as far as I’m concerned.

    You’re attempting to create a “strawman” argument. Perhaps you read too much LABOR STATE BASHING media. Your generalisations indicate such.

    “My observation is that teaching has developed into a clique, rather than a profession. The demographics seem pretty narrow these days. Part of this is the remuneration, it’s too low”

    Yes, you seem like the kind of fellow who would be interested in “remuneration”. As in “Performance pay”. Based on BS national tests…wherein toff private schools ensure students are EXEMPTED for the most paltry of reasons. Anything to STAMP w/ FAILURE a lower socio-economic based school that assists poor migrants & the under-privileged to climb the ladder of opportunity w/out kowtowing to the toff mob. Anything goes in that world where children are to be turned into a COMMODITY & MILITARY MACHINE to SERVE the wishes of a privileged elite.

    If there is any clique Tom it is that of the “Too rich for my own good, sip, sip, gawd! not more taxes to pay for the dregs of society to be educated, aren’t they meant to be leaving school at fourteen to pick up after me?” group.

    You certainly seem to relish your role as THE TROLL on this thread Tom. I got to thinking of Three Billy Goats Gruff.

    I see that a former Nat is working overtime to stop the stimulus payments to the WORKERS…& Jeff Kennett is also stomping his feet.

    Yes, I can imagine what QLD will be in store for if the LNP wins:

    In office, Kennett immediately instituted one of the most radical budget-cutting and privatisation programs undertaken by any Victorian government, in an effort to improve the State’s economy[citation needed]. Having assumed office, the need for such radical action was reinforced when Kennett and his new Treasurer Alan Stockdale discovered that the outgoing Labor government had left them with $2.2 billion budget deficit, a net public sector debt of $33 billion and budget sector debt of $16 billion. To combat this debt, some fifty-thousand public servants were retrenched between 1992 and 1995. Moreover, in the first three years of the ‘Kennett Revolution’ (as the Premier himself came to term it), government funding for the public school system was slashed, with 350 government schools closed, and 7,000 teaching jobs removed. Other highly controversial moves included the sacking of 16,000 public transport workers.

    And that extra dosh came in so handy down the road:

    The Kennett government also embarked on a series of high-profile capital-works projects, such as the restoration of Parliament House (never completed), construction of a new $250 million Melbourne Museum, and a new $130 million Melbourne Exhibition Centre (still known colloquially as ‘Jeff’s Shed’). Other projects, made possible in monetary terms by the early cutbacks and budget restructuring, included a $160 million expansion of the National Gallery of Victoria; $100 million for refurbishment of the State Library of Victoria; $65 million for a new Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC); and $130 million for the construction of a new civic square on the site of the old Gas and Fuel Buildings, to be known as Federation Square. The poaching of the Formula 1 Grand Prix from Adelaide in 1993 was a particular coup for Kennett, who had worked hard with his friend Ron Walker to reach a deal with Formula-1 boss Bernie Ecclestone over a period of months.

    The most controversial project of the Kennett era was the $1.85 billion Crown Casino, a gambling and entertainment centre on Melbourne’s Southbank. Initial plans for a casino had been made under the Labor government, however the tendering process and construction occurred under Kennett. Allegations of financial inconsistencies in the tendering process (which eventually saw longtime Kennett supporters Ron Walker and Lloyd Williams successful) were to dog the Kennett government for many years, despite the verdict of an enquiry which found no wrongdoing on its behalf.

    (Quotes all Wiki pedia)

    Sip, sip…priorities eh Tom?

    N’

  41. Nasking, I’ve no idea what you are on about. You seem to have attributed a range of thoughts and opinions to me, that I had no idea I had.

    Misrepresentation of the opinions of others is very poor form.

    Please point out where I’ve reflected favourably on the legacy of Kennett.

    Where did this bitter and bizarre nonsense come from – “Too rich for my own good, sip, sip, gawd! not more taxes to pay for the dregs of society to be educated, aren’t they meant to be leaving school at fourteen to pick up after me?” group.

    More strange bile that can hardly be attributed to anything I’ve said – “Anything to STAMP w/ FAILURE a lower socio-economic based school that assists poor migrants & the under-privileged to climb the ladder of opportunity w/out kowtowing to the toff mob. Anything goes in that world where children are to be turned into a COMMODITY & MILITARY MACHINE to SERVE the wishes of a privileged elite.”

    You’re the one that said – “The Howard government blew it in that department.”.

    I simply pointed out that this is schools are a state responsibility, and perhps you should direct your criticism to the level of government actually responsible. As are roads, public transport, hospitals. Generally state services are hopelessly dilapidated, though perhaps you think they’re in marvelous shape.

    You need to either justify how these comments can be related to an opinion I’ve posted, or admit you are a deliberate BS artist.

  42. Ah, here we go:

    TOM says:

    “Evan, a couple of days ago you sad “the Democrats prostituted themselves”.

    I asked for your reason……But you ducked a response.”

    Well, I’d gone offline and don’t blog too well when away for the ‘puter.

    As for my response: Do you recall the GST and the deal the Dems did with the Government of the day to pass the Legislation? What was that, if not politically prostiuting oneself?

    After all, as I recall it they were agiainst the Tax in principle, then for it with appropriate sweeteners. Meg Lees’ finest hour.

    That in my view, turned them into political tarts of the Sen Harradine variety.

  43. Evan, I presume that you think that the ALP have a mandate for winding back the Workchoices legislation. I’d agree that they do, they went to the election with this policy and they won.

    They are entitled to have their election policy introduced, entirely in accordance with the policy they took to the electorate for endorsement. Minor parties should not hold up any legislation that is in accordance with the stated policy they took to the election.

    Minor parties have a duty to ensure they meet the commitment, not obfuscate, not expand, just hold them to it.

    As I recall, the Liberals went to the election in 1998 with a policy to introduce the GST, whether you like it or not, they won.

    Ethically, the Democrats held that they ought to recognise the mandate, despite this being against their own policy. They copped the political backlash for this display of ethical politics.

    Far from “prostituting’ themselves, they ethically held the government to their election commitment, and moderated the excesses in the proposed GST package.

    The Democrats did not “prostitute” themselves; their behaviour was entirely contrary to this. Your silly, loose language is unfair and inaccurate.

    You should occasionally try to engage your brain before posting.

  44. Legion, the Independence Test for Youth Allowance (ie students under the age of 25yrs) is:

    You are considered independent is from: http://www.centrelink.gov.au/internet/internet.nsf/payments/ya_independent.htm

    you have worked full-time (at least 30 hours a week) for at least 18 months in the last 2 years, or
    you have worked part-time (at least 15 hours a week) for at least 2 years since leaving school, or
    you have been out of school for at least 18 months and have earned at least 75% of the maximum rate of pay under Wage Level A of the Australian Pay and Classification Scale in an 18 month period, or
    you have partial capacity to work as determined by a Job Capacity Assessment, or
    you are or have been previously married or living in a marriage-like relationship for at least 12 months, or
    you have, or have had a dependent child, or
    you have parents who cannot exercise their responsibilities, or
    you are unable to live at home due to extreme family breakdown, violence in the home, or serious threats to your health or well-being, or
    you are a refugee, orphan or someone who cannot live at home, or
    you are in State care, or only stopped being in State care because of your age.

    Basically, for students under 25yrs you have to have worked full-time for 18months – married or defacto – have a dependent child – have parents who cannot exercise their responsibilities – or you are unable to live at home due to violence.

    Hence the reason for the pizza run and students having to work as well as study. Nobody under 25yrs can access Youth Allowance unless they qualify under the above criteria. Such is the help for our uni students.

    That is correct Legion, the magic age of 25yrs assumes independence by which time a good portion of our Aussie uni students have quit.

  45. Well, TOM, if Labor has a mandate to wind-back Worhchoices, why is it that the Libs are frustrating that?

    Do you support them in doing so?

    If you take the view that politicians are elected to vote according to the principles and policies advocated by their respective parties, then the Dems should have opposed the GST in the Senate, just as the Libs are doing now to the Workchoices amendments.

    They were, after all, against it in principle.

    If you take the view that pollies of all stripes should vote according to the mandate conferred on the Government of the day on the policies it specifically announced and campaigned-upon in the lead-up to a General Election, then they should fall into line and pass whatever Legislation is proposed to effect that mandate.

    Clearly, you tend to the latter view.

    That’s fine, but it also logically leads to a requirement that ALL members of both Houses, not just those holding the balance of power in the Senate, should support whatever Legislative change has been mandated.

    The mandate argument has been around forever. Every Government uses it. Few, however, succeed in getting their political opponents to fall into line.

    And if the Libs shouldn’t fall for it, why should the Dems have done so?

  46. Evan, I’m struggling to follow your line here, but I’m entirely willing to explain my own opinion.

    I recognise that the ALP government have a mandate to roll back Workchoices. Their pre election policy was vague in some areas, deliberately in my opinion. But I think they are entitled to reform in this area, and the minor parties have a duty to examine the legislation carefully, and ensure maximum consistency with their pre election policy.

    I also think the Liberals should hold the government to the policy. Equally, I think the ALP should have recognised the mandate of the Liberals re the GST about 10 years ago.

    The major parties oppose each other and they are full of political deal makers. Don’t expect anything other than expediency from them.

    But this is not about the ALP and Liberals, it is about your entirely unfair and inaccurate comment about the Democrats “prostituting” themselves.

    This is about the worst comment that can be made about a party that considers itself ethical.

    Your comment was simply lazy.

  47. Oh look, TOM, if you’re so offended by my comment then I withdraw it.

    The Dems didn’t prostitute themselves, OK? They just cut a deal that went totally against Party policy, clearly annoying more than a few of their supporters in the process. (See shaneofqld’s comments on another thread).

    I don’t agree with you in regards to mandates requiring everyone to fall into line. That way lays a one party dictatorship for the term of Parliament.

    Sure, I’d love to see the back of Workchoices, but the people in their wisdom have given the Government a hostile Senate and the Government will just have to work with that.

    If the Government gets its dander-up, it can always call a double dissolution to break the log-jam.

    More likley, as you say, it’s all politics and deals will be made.

    But in the case of the Dems, the deal they made in regards to the GST cut directly across a policy they’d specifically taken to the people and (presumably) received votes for. By rolling-over, they let their constituents down.

    At its most basic, they weren’t elected to pass the GST, they were elected to oppose it and failed to do so.

  48. “At its most basic, they weren’t elected to pass the GST, they were elected to oppose it and failed to do so.”

    I don’t agree, I replied to Shane as follows –

    Shane, I think the Democrats could have taken the easy option and voted against the GST. But it would have been the easy option.
    How could they reconcile their position of “keeping the bastards honest’ but also blocking a key election plank of the government of the time?
    I wasn’t possible, and they were correct to take the hard edge off the original legislation, they did well in my opinion.

  49. Such is the help for our uni students.

    And what generous help it is, too, even having jumped through all the hoops. 😉

  50. The Dems position, TOM, was to oppose the GST.

    That’s what they went to the people with.

    Unless you subscribe to the non-core promise scenario, thats the policy they should have implemented.

    You speak of easy options, but the easiest option for the Libs right now is to pass the Government’s Workchoices amendments.

    After all, the present Howard-era Legislation is pure electoral plutonium: Lethal at the ballot box. On any DD on the issue, they’d be toast and they know it.

    But the’re sticking to their policies. I’ll give them credit for that.

    They went to the people with a pro-Workchoices position and a clear minority of people supported them. By sticking to that policy, they’re doing no more than what the people who elected them expect them to do.

    The hard decision for them right now is to mainatin that position. If they do so, they’ll be massacred, but will have stuck to their principles. A good, ethical Party to the end.

  51. Hi Legion. Youngest received zip zilch and zero payment through her 4 years to Honors standard. She lived on $200pw during these 4 years and this includes rent, transport (she doesn’t drive due to her eyesight) etc etc and couldn’t work part times as this is very difficult for science students as they need to be in the lab at odd hours. However, she is now on a PhD scholarship which is around $400pw.

  52. BTW “keeping the bastards honest” was not a policy, TOM, it was a slogan (like “It’s Time”).

    The Dems clear policy was to oppose the GST.

  53. Evan, you continually lapse back to criticism of the Liberals.

    I said “keep the bastards honest” was a position. I don’t think I’ve said it was a policy. Do you have a problem with the term? Or are you wishing to become yet another pedant?

    The Democrats had a dilemma, and I think they got the balance right. They moderated the harsh outcomes in the original legislation, and they allowed the government of the time to meet their mandate.

    By the way, I was a supporter of the GST from the time that Keating advocated it during the summit in the early 80s. Keating was right at the time. Are you aware who rolled him? Unions of course.

    I note that you have withdrawn your comment, so you should.

  54. “or admit you are a deliberate BS artist.

    Smelling your own offerings I imagine Tom.

    Ridiculous generalisations such as the following not only demonstrate ignorance…but also hints at the contempt you hold for present day educators, particularly public-based ones I imagine:

    “People are attracted to teaching for the wrong reasons. They are usually attracted to the holidays and hours in the first instance, rather than because they enjoy teaching.”

    Your snide comment reminds me of the backdoor agendas and mocking approach that the Howard front bench & their corporate media ENABLERS would take in the run up to the 07 election. Attempts to cloak the viciousness & the disgust for public education by way of insincere “concerns over teacher pay” failed miserably…

    Every night & weekend that I glance over at my wife hunched over that laptop…or ring her to discover that she will be home late again because she is putting 110% into her school and students…every time I feel inclined to urge her to come home earlier for the sake of her health…& then read or hear the kind of deliberate attempts to undermine the morale of the likes of her by way of such dribble as that you’ve just tried to pass off as “fact”….I not only boil…but find myself leaning further towards supporting Union militancy.

    Your response to Jane’s compassionate & heartfelt comments regarding the teacher who had an unfortunate breakdown goes beyond the pale Tom:

    “Do teachers have to undertake psych tests? Most organisations use them during the selection process.
    No use even allowing people to consider teaching if they aren’t suitable, can’t accept the pressure, the annoyance. No use considering it if they don’t have empathy for children.”

    By these words you have not only demonstrated yourself to be a “strawman” constructor…but also akin to a “time & motion” freak…you have revealed a callousness that underlies much of your discourse…they same type of coldness demonstrated by some fellow party members of John Brogden during his sad & sudden illness.

    You might try to wheedle your way out of this Tom by referring to me as a “BS artist”…& setting up FAUX arguments…but by your own words you have condemned yourself. Like many on the Right you pretend to be practical…put on the guise of ‘rational thinker’…but it seems obvious to me that you are driven by an irrational ideological bias that blinds you to your lack of compassion.

    Tom, you have studiously managed to ignore many of the valid & informative observations on education above. Next time derail another thread…the future of our children is far too important to be used as a plaything…I do not have the time or inclination to debate you on anymore “strawmen”.
    N’

  55. Well Nasking, what an odd diatribe. Bitter, inaccurate generalisations.

    You’re inclined to assign thinking and opinion without thought or knowledge.

    You prefer to use the non thinking “right” and “left” terminology and labels rather than provide any sense of rationality.

    Tell me, are the demographics of teaching balanced? Most that seem to know more about the subject than me think they’re not.

    Is the remuneration of teaching structured correctly? I’ve posted that it should be better. Most teachers seem to agree. Do you disagree?

    If people aren’t psychologically suitable for the stress and rigours of teaching, why not identify this?

    For all your false concern about “the future of our children is far too important…’ you seem to be wiling to have people teaching them that will find the job too annoying, too stressful, too unsatisfying.

    One of the reasons that the demographics are wrong, is that many are attracted to teaching for the hours and holidays, rather than because they want to teach. The work of your wife is evidence that their expectations are often misplaced.

    Once again, you are wiling to assign opinions without evidence or rationale.

    Remind me again, where have I reflected favourably on the Kennett legacy? You also mindlessly attributed this to me. You are simply WRONG!

    Weak argument, weak thinking, just weak.

  56. “Weak argument, weak thinking, just weak.”

    I just thought same about yours. Go work for Murdoch Tom.
    N’

  57. Re: Wholeheartedly agree, TB. Bundling all the kids together in one over-sized class regardless of their abilities and then chucking in teachers who are only trained to teach mainstream students is ludicrous.

    Teachers are trained to teach children of many differing abilities. The very bright kids benefit because they learn about real life. How to be kind and caring toward others who are not as brilliant as themselves. The slower kids because they are challenged to do better. For example, intellectually disabled kids do far better in mainstream schools rather than special schools.

    And no this does not hold back the brighter kids. Ewww, there is this child with epidermylosis in my child’s class and the teacher will have to spend so much more time with him that My Child will suffer from lack of attention. Been there, done that.

    I think at this time of a young man by the name of Liam Paterson who attended Birmingham Primary School in Mt Evelyn. His mum Gwenda fought long and hard to achieve mainstream schooling for him. He was a shy little bloke who wasn’t expected to live past age 13yrs, but here he is: http://www.senews.com.au/story/8688

    I don’t think that my youngest suffered one little bit by going through Primary School with Liam.

  58. “Go work for Murdoch Tom.”

    Very clever, very considered, very insightful.

    You just prefer political correctness, just unthinking left, no independence of mind. Using labels don’t get you anywhere.

    Weak

  59. Nasking – Remind me again, where have I reflected favourably on the Kennett legacy? You also mindlessly attributed this to me.

  60. “You just prefer political correctness, just unthinking left, no independence of mind. Using labels don’t get you anywhere.”

    Hey! now you’re sounding like Bill O’Reilly & Sean Hanitty & the right-wing radio jocks. No imagination Tom. Bit passe don’t ya reckon?

    “You also mindlessly attributed this to me.”

    Did no such thing. Why, are you worried about a Kennett style revolution?

    Tom, many of the queries you make regarding education are Right-Wing talking points. You know it, I know it.

    Start thinking outside of the box. And have some RESPECT for educators who work themselves to the bone…& sometimes fall ill.

    Your psych test proposal makes as much sense insurance companies demanding DNA results & denying insurance on the basis of POTENTIAL/POSSIBLE.
    N’

  61. This lass is hoping to become a permanent resident and will be an asset to this country.
    Min, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:07 am Said:”

    I am sure you are correct. But what would be your opinion of a japanese movie actor wanting to come here and compete with our own movie actors for jobs in the Australian film industry??

    We are a small country with 21M people and scientists from Russia, Poland, china, japan and whatever all want to come here and get employed in Research. Not the odd one or two but thousands. We have many people in this country with PhD’s who cannot get jobs. They do not migrate to another country but have to pick a different career.

    I always wondered why Tim Dunlop got into blogging. Was it because there were not enough jobs in his area of expertise and so he did something else or just wanted to try something different.

    Also your link was a little bit deceptive. Labor says they are going to cut back on skilled immigrants migrating here but they greatly increased the level in the first place. the cutback is still higher than the previous govt.

    It just sound like the ALP wants to outsource into an area where we have no skills shortages

  62. Neil

    Please point us to the evidence that we have “many people in this country with PhD’s who cannot get jobs”.

    You keep repeating this statement but I have yet to see any evidence to back up this claim.

  63. What? It’s a right wing talking point to favour higher salaries for teachers? The right question the current demographics of the profession? Better tell Min, I note a comment she made about this recently (hence my reference earlier to those that may know more about this subject).

    It is a right wing opinion to recommend to potential teachers a career in education based on empathy, and emotional orientation (rather than simple academic results)??

    Best you take up this nonsense with those in charge of selection into medicine. You see doctors have traditionally had good intelligence, but no ability to empathise or communicate with their patients. They are now requiring more than raw academic ability to get into medicine. Some emotion and empathy is now sought!

    This is also probably another “right wing” plot.

    Speaking of plots, you’ve obviously lost yours. You’re just posting nonsense now.

    But I’m off, so play by yourself.

  64. Please point us to the evidence that we have “many people in this country with PhD’s who cannot get jobs”
    joni, on March 19th, 2009 at 6:26 pm Said:

    I was hoping you would not ask this question as i do not have a reference. It is well known that we have a shortage of medical doctors especially in country areas. However we do not have a shortage of PhD’s. I am sure you have heard of stories of people with PhD’s driving cabs in New York. There is a worldwide glut of PhD’s

    Mins youngest is about to find out. Tim Dunlop would also know. Did he get into blogging because he was sick to death of academia and wanted to try something different or did he try something different because he couldnt get a job related to his training????

    At the moment you will have to trust me as i don’t have a reference.

  65. Neil of Sydney, on March 19th, 2009 at 9:07 pm Said:

    I was hoping you would not ask this question as i do not have a reference.

    No reference? No evidence? Right! On the upside you get ten out of ten for honesty but on the downside your ‘credibility’ is now in negative territory. Can you comprehend that?

    As for:

    It is well known that we have a shortage of medical doctors especially in country areas.

    Indeed there’s evidence for that. And there’s also evidence that the shortage was down to Howard’s decision more than a decade ago to cut the number of university medical places. Were you aware of that?

    Then we have:

    I am sure you have heard of stories of people with PhD’s (sic) driving cabs in New York.

    Yes I have heard the ‘stories’. But ‘story’ does not equate with ‘evidence’. For example, I have heard the ‘story’ that a certain Neil from Sydney gets on blogs and makes wild accusations without evidence. Do I believe that? Only if there is ‘evidence’. And in this case it’s self provided. LOL

    Finally, we have the money quote”

    At the moment you will have to trust me as i don’t have a reference.

    ‘Trust me’. Right. Fuck#ng unbelievable! Talk about blog suicide! Lol.

  66. but on the downside your ‘credibility’ is now in negative territory
    Nature 5, on March 19th, 2009 at 10:27 pm Said:”

    My credibility has always been on negative territory on this blog. Please tell me something something new

    “‘Trust me’. Right. Fuck#ng unbelievable! Talk about blog suicide! Lol.”

    Good, i am very happy with this comment. I have given my honest opinion and I can do no other.

    You obviously do not care about the large number of people in this country who have no support from the NTEU who do not give a stuff about the very large number of foreign scientists in this country.

    We have many PhD’s in this country devestated that Russians, Chinese, Poles and whatever get jobs in Australian Science while they become sales reps selling centrifuges, balances, pH meters and whatever while Russians do the research and the NTEU (ie. National Tertiary education Union) does not give a stuff.

    There are a lot of PhD’s in this country who cannot get a job and therefore have to pick a different job. Tim Dunlop could be one. i do not want to speak for Tim Dunlop and have no right to do so but i would like to know why he started blogging rather than to get a job based on his PhD.

    Mins youngest is about to find out what getting a job in research is like. I would like to know Mins opinion.

    As for my credibility i do not care. i have given my honest opinion.

    Furthermore the NTEU can go and get stuffed

  67. On what evidence is your opinion based Neil?

    Without evidence for your assertions it can only be assumed that you make it up as you go along – therefore, zero credibility.

    Do you have information to support your claims?

  68. It’s OK Neil. I have it right here:

    Neil’s Evidence

  69. Do you have information to support your claims?
    RN, on March 19th, 2009 at 10:55 pm Said:”

    No I do not. I am the evidence.

    We have many people in this country terrified to speak out because they may lose their contracts. The NTEU is a total waste of space.

    You speak out and your contract is not renewed and some Russian who is willing do anything to get a research job gets the contract.

    Research scientists go on strike and guess what, we will employ some Russian who does not go on strike.

    We have many devestaed people in this country with PhD’s who cannot get a job. And the NTEU does not care.

    Like I said before I have no right to speak for Tim Dunlop, but I would like to know why he got into blogging.

    The only evidence I have is Minss youngest. She will know what it is like to get a job in Australian Science.

  70. Neil,

    I thank you for your honesty that you do not have any evidence. But then you continue to make statements like “There are a lot of PhD’s in this country who cannot get a job and therefore have to pick a different job.” How can you continue to make sweeping generalisations like that if you admit you do not have any evidence?

    I believe that Tim’s PhD was actually on the role of citizens in public debate and so he did find work in his field.

  71. How can you continue to make sweeping generalisations like that if you admit you do not have any evidence?
    joni, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:08 pm Said:

    People are terrified to speak out. Like most things if you don’t speak out you lose your job anyway.

    “I believe that Tim’s PhD was actually on the role of citizens in public debate and so he did find work in his field.”

    Maybe so. but what did he really want to do?? Perhaps he wanted a lectureship at Adelaide university but could not get one so he picked a different job. Who knows???

    Furthermore the NTEU can go and get stuffed

  72. Neil,

    Oh come on. Why would they not speak out if they did not have a job in the first place? Does not that put a big hole in your argument?

  73. Oh come on. Why would they not speak out if they did not have a job in the first place? Does not that put a big hole in your argument?
    joni, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:33 pm Said”

    I guess you are right. But what i say is true. i also do not understand. We have lots of people with PhD’s losing their jobs and they pick different jobs. They are then replaced by Russians and Aussies do not complain.

    Please explain this to me???

  74. Tony, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:00 pm Said:

    It’s OK Neil. I have it right here:

    Really? A person with a poster in the good old USA is evidence? Again it’s unbelievable?

    Talk about grasping at straws

    And then we have Neil of Sydney, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:08 pm saying:

    I am the evidence.

    Say no more.

  75. Say no more.
    Nature 5, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:40 pm Said:”

    Yes unfortunately deadbeat, i am the evidence.

    Furthermore you can go and get stuffed

    I have given my honest opinion.

  76. Neil

    I give up. You keep saying these statements of “lots of people with PhD’s losing their jobs” and there is no evidence.

    How can we explain if there is no evidence to support your argument?

    I may as well say that there are lots of people with a habit of making silly unsubstantiated statements on blog losing their jobs and they pick different jobs. It is just as valid as your statement.

    I – like others – have now concluded that you are just making these statements up and so there is no point in trying to continue.

    The problem with arguing with an idiot is that they drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  77. I give up. You keep saying these statements of “lots of people with PhD’s losing their jobs” and there is no evidence
    joni, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:47 pm Said:”

    You are correct. and you know i have no credibility on this blog. Everybody thinks i am an idiot.

    I have no evidence.

    I am the evidence.

    However it is true.

    Actually my only hope is Min. Her youngest is doing a PhD. Mins youngest will know ( i hope) what i say is true

    Aussies with PhD’s who cannot get a job pick a different career

    You have the choice to believe what I am saying or to disbelieve what i am saying.

    People are scared to speak out.

    Why don’t you e-mail Tim Dunlop and see what his opinion is

  78. Neil, how about some evidence on Tim Dunlop for you?
    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/author.asp?id=285

    Tim Dunlop is a writer based in Adelaide. His PhD dealt with the role of intellectuals and citizens in public debate.

    and from Tim’s blog:
    Friday, September 26, 2008

    It was during that latter o/s stay that I first discovered blogging and I was attracted to it because it meshed so well with what I had just spent the previous fours years of my life writing about in my PhD thesis, the relationship between citizenship and public debate. So I started a blog to see what it was all about and how it might work and it was the success of that led to me being offered the gig here at News.

    and here:
    Tuesday, August 28, 2007

    It’s precisely the sort of project I was interested in back when I was doing my PhD, which was essentially about the role citizens in public debate, the very thing that got me interested in online communication in the first place.

    It seems to me his blog related very well to his PhD…

    Now how about you provide some evidence for your assertions?

  79. Now how about you provide some evidence for your assertions?bacchus, on March 20th, 2009 at 12:42 am Said”

    I told you I have no evidence.

    However it is a little strange that someone with a Ph D would run a blog. You would have to ask Tim why he did this.. Humans are totally dishonest. He “may be” and that only and allegation, but he may be too ashamed to admit he could not get a job in academia.

    Tim is a human being and he is as fallably as all of us.

    However it is a fact. We have many people in this country who have to pick a different job in science and nobody cares.

    And the NTEU can go and get stuffed.

  80. Neil try this article then:
    Postgraduate destinations: employment characteristics of Australia’s postgraduate completers.

    At a broader level, the most recently published unemployment figures looking at the Australian population (people aged 15-64) show that just 2.2% of those with a postgraduate degree (masters degrees or doctorates), 2.4% of those with a graduate diploma or graduate certificate and 2.4% of bachelor degree graduates were unemployed. Of those who had not completed any post-secondary education , 7.3% were unemployed, while the same figure for the population as a whole was 5.0% (ABS, 2006).

    Comments Neil?

    You also seem to be under the misapprehension that PhD graduates only work in academia – in fact only 44.6% of research masters/PhD graduates were concentrated in education, mostly (38.1%) working in higher education. (from the linked article)

  81. Comments Neil?
    bacchus, on March 20th, 2009 at 1:35 am Said:”

    Yes sure deadbeat. i clicked on your link and it looked too complicated for me.

    I was talking about people doing SCIENCE. You know Biology, Biochemistry, Physics etc.

    I am talking about my experience.

    We have people in this country balling their eyes out. They cry for many hours. After crying for many hours they make a decision to pick a different career.

    We then have Russians, Chinese, Poles, japanese etc getting the research jobs.

    As Min said, “Min, on March 19th, 2009 at 11:07 am Said:”

    “..for example, one of Erin’s housemates is a Japanese lass and she was awarded a PhD scholarship, however her student visa had expired and it took 2 months and numerous applications from UQ to allow her to stay (Erin provided a character reference). This lass is hoping to become a permanent resident and will be an asset to this country.”

    I actually have no problem with this. But there are thousands of people like this.

    This is something I have a problem with.

    Most russians come here like this. The pay in russia is very low. They can get jobs but do not like the salary. So they come here.

    Russia is rich wealthy, has many time zones, has lots of oil. Why should the Aussie tax payer give Russian scientists jobs???

  82. Ok Neil, enough of your BS:

    ATN Response to House of Representatives Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Innovation Inquiry into Research Training and Research Workforce Issues in Australian Universities.

    Urgent action is required to renew the nation’s academic workforce. Over the next decade it is expected that 40% of the academic workforce will retire. With the average time of 7‐10 years required to support researchers through their PhD studies this means that effectively a whole generation of potential academics has been “lost”. Compounding the crisis is the high rate of employment of bachelor degree graduates with 85% obtaining fulltime employment (many in their final year of study) and a further 10% engaged in part‐time employment1. This represents the strongest graduate employment rate since 1990. Additionally, this strong employment factor has been supported by an increase of 5.4% in the median commencing graduate salary of $43,000 (up from $40,800) for those aged under 25, in the period 2006‐2007. Traditionally, post graduate research degrees are favoured by those intending to pursue a career in research and in the context of this report, an academic career within a tertiary institution. Yet, in 20062 of those graduates with a PhD or masters by research degree only 38% were cited as employed in academic or research institutions. More significantly is the downward trend from 2005 where 42.6% of graduates were employed in higher education. Thus, the competition for PhD graduates, coupled with the ageing workforce is a significant barrier in the capacity for universities to adequately produce the highly skilled research workforce in the numbers required to compete in a knowledge intensive global economy. While the recently announced relaxation of the APA(I) rules to allow scholarships for quality international students is welcomed, there is a need to dramatically increase the number of International Postgraduate Research scholarships to meet the demand by high calibre prospective international students. This results in international candidates seeking opportunities elsewhere, to Australia’s detriment. Given the shortfall in Australia’s per capita PhD numbers compared to other advanced economies, the ATN supports the notion of a single pool of funding for HDR student scholarships open to both domestic and international students ‐that is conducive to attracting the best talent globally to Australian
    universities. A relaxation of visa rules is also required if we are to be seen as an attractive migration destination for highly skilled researchers and other highly educated individuals from overseas.

    Researcher supply and demand – Group of 8 backgrounder:

    The current rate of domestic PhD production is 4,250 per annum. However, that output flows from a commencing cohort in 2001 of 4,758, which was 5% higher than the 2006 commencing cohort. Thus, the trajectory for PhD output is 4,002 per year. Moreover, 72.6% of HDR graduates (3,086 per annum) currently enter non-university occupations. If there was no increase in general labour market demand for PhD graduates, the supply to the academic labour market would amount to 906 per year. Hence, there is a projected shortfall of 809 PhD graduates – 47% per annum on average – against the current level of the academic workforce with PhD qualifications.

    For Australia to be internationally competitive in an environment confronting complex challenges there will need to be a much greater expansion of high-end knowledge skills in the general workforce.

  83. What is wrong with you people? Are the Aussies, the laid-back, but hotheaded rebels (who remind me so much of America in her younger days), mind controlled now?

    DO YOU NOT SEE YOU HAVE GIVEN UP EVERY FREEDOM AND EVERY RIGHT TO YOUR LIMEY-LIKE GOVERNMENT? AND NOW THAT YOU HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO TAKE ALL OF YOUR FREEDOMS, HAVE ALLOWED THEM TO CENSOR YOUR INTERNET SO YOU WILL HAVE NO FREEDOM OF THOUGHT OR COMPARISON OF THOUGHT, WILL NO DOUBT ALLOW THEM TO START MICRO-CHIPPING YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN – JUST LIKE THOSE FREEDOM-LOVING LIMEYS ———— ARE YOU SAFER? THE STATISTICS SAY JUST THE OPPOSITE (ONE BEING THE STEADILY RISING VIOLENT AND GUN-CRIME RATE). REALLY? ARE YOU SAFER.

    RISE UP PEOPLE WHILE YOU CAN. YOU OUTNUMBER “THEM”.

    Though I know you won’t – unlike you forefathers – you have become sheep.

  84. Neil

    You’re no idiot, dogmatic and narrow minded at times (aren’t we all), but no idiot. Although we’ve disagreed on many occasions don’t think I consider any less of you or your intelligence. We all have our opinions and worldviews and simply because you may not hold any tertiary qualifications or academic achievements doesn’t make you any less worthy or entitled to have a say.

  85. “Yet, in 20062 of those graduates with a PhD or masters by research degree only 38% were cited as employed in academic or research institutions. More significantly is the downward trend from 2005 where 42.6% of graduates were employed in higher education.”

    “Moreover, 72.6% of HDR graduates (3,086 per annum) currently enter non-university occupations.”

    I think this answers my point. Why do so many graduates leave and pick other careers????

  86. Robert, on March 20th, 2009 at 3:22 am Said:

    Though I know you won’t – unlike you forefathers – you have become sheep.

    Baah!

    (Bugger, must be from living so close to those damn Kiwis)

  87. Ducks, Sheep, Camels, Bears…. no wonder it smells in here

    😉

  88. I think this answers my point. Why do so many graduates leave and pick other careers????

    Because that’s where they choose to work and where HDR graduates are employed… See tables 3 & 4 from this pdf:
    http://www.go8.edu.au/storage/go8statements/2007/Backgrounder_No_3_Research_Training.pdf

    Tables 3 & 4 key points:
    • Just over one in four HDR graduates take up jobs in education and university research.
    • Almost one in four find work in scientific organisations.
    • Half the HDR graduates are distributed in professional jobs across the private and public sectors.
    • The proportion of HDR graduates entering university jobs is highest for those fields that are most recently professionalising (e.g. Accounting, Law, Nursing, Social Work,) as well as for fields that underpin basic science (e.g. Mathematics).

    You say you are the evidence. Do you know a person who is working as a cab driver who can’t find work in academia in their chosen discipline? Is this what has led to your mindless. uninformed rants here? Maybe there’s a reason, other than foreign students or graduates, that’s stopping this person gaining the employment they desire?

  89. lol joni

    And I thought it was just me

  90. The other thing about many phd graduates is that for them, a phd is not an end in itself, these are often people who value learning above all else.

    I recall Tim Dunlop mentioning that starting the blog was as much for himself as anything else, that he hoped to learn through the discussions that went on there.

    That is what some people cannot understand, the goal is to learn, not simply achieve.

  91. “Tables 3 & 4 key points:
    • Just over one in four HDR graduates take up jobs in education and university research.”

    They leave because there are no jobs. So some get jobs as sales reps selling scientific products. Some become school teachers. There are increasing numbers of school teachers with PhD’s. Some get jobs in patent law. To get a patent the patent lawyer needs a PhD. However in the three examples I gave this is not their first choice job.

    “I recall Tim Dunlop mentioning that starting the blog was as much for himself as anything else, that he hoped to learn through the discussions that went on there.”

    And maybe he was too embarrassed to tell the real reason

  92. “Though I know you won’t – unlike you forefathers – you have become sheep.”

    There’s only one major sheep herder out there Robert…he lives in your country but uses his Australian media to transform people into sheep:

    The Courier Mail in Q:D is one of his PROPAGANDA organs…and today Rupert Murdoch & his minions demonstrated their desire to be sheep herder & Kingmakers again…by way of the BIASED editorial…and the Front cover that read ‘Voters Dump Labor’ in huge print…YET, I don’t remember the election having happened yet.

    And most bloggers even don’t have the courage to stand up to Murdoch’s empire…guess there’s not enuff jobs going outside the Murdoch empire?

    Baaaaa…..the sound of sheep across the globe. As they are sucked into the media BLACK HOLE.

    N’

  93. Is it shearin’ time yet, I’m bloody hot?

  94. Don’t think I’m liking where this is heading either.

    I thought this government was about getting rid of fast food advertising, not promoting it.

  95. It’s all about money & backdoor privatisation for the Murdoch team:

    “Business groups have applauded media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s call for companies to be more involved in public education.”
    (Mon Nov 24, 2008…ABC News)

    I bet they have…yep, bring on the fast food & drink vendors into QLD schools again.

    Here’s a gutsy view posted on Matt’s Notepad, November 24, 2008:

    Mr Murdoch has appealed for big business to play a more active role alongside governments, in ensuring that schools are giving people an adequate education.

    I have to assume by that statement he means an ‘adequeste corporate education’. I have spoken before on why involving private business in the education system is an extremely bad idea and Murdoch speaking up for it only makes me that more steadfast in my position on the topic. It leads directly to corporations havings completely undue influence on what gets taught while getting incredible amounts of good publicity while doing so.

    REMEMBER THIS:

    “Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man”
    (a Jesuit quote used in Michael Apted’s 7 Up etc. series of docos)

    And ask yourself why the Murdoch media, including The Courier Mail, is so interested in bringing down Anna Bligh.

    NO LONGER EYES WIDE SHUT

    N’

    .

  96. “McDonald’s has the support of Federal Education Minister Julia Gillard”

    Not surprising.

    Gillard supported Murdoch on his BASHING PUBLIC EDUCATION lectures. She’s obviously a sell out. Shame on her.

    N’

  97. Neil of Sydney on March 20th, 2009 at 8:29 am re: being employed in research and other academic pursuits…and..Why do so many graduates leave and pick other careers????~~~

    Maybe it’s because they get paid more in the public sector.

  98. Some interesting…& quite funny comments regarding the McDonald’s Maths initiative…

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2009/03/20/2521556.htm?section=justin

    IT’S AN EDUCATION REVOLUTION…munch munch munch…

    I’ve just gone GREEN federally.

    Starting to think that Fed Labor doesn’t give a sh*t about childhood obesity…just like Clinton…in the pocket of the Coke & Maccers machines.

    Dirty rotten scoundrels.
    N’

  99. Hello Neil re: Mins youngest is about to find out what getting a job in research is like. I would like to know Mins opinion.~~~

    Daughter as mentioned is on a PhD scholarship and so no problems at all about getting a job in research..because she already has one. She was also offered 3 placements in the private sector after obtaining her Honors but decided on continuing in the research field.

    Australia’s problem is getting enough scientists because we train so few of our own. And this starts at high school level with so few kids taking senior science. This is an old link, but the best that I can locate: http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Schools-hit-by-science-teacher-shortages/2005/04/19/1113854198776.html

    The situation certainly hasn’t improved since ’05.

  100. Daughter as mentioned is on a PhD scholarship and so no problems at all about getting a job in research..because she already has one.
    Min, on March 20th, 2009 at 12:13 pm Said:”

    What till she finishes her PhD. Furthermore a scholarship is not a job. A PhD scholarship only lasts for 3 years and it pays about 24K/year and then ends.

    “Australia’s problem is getting enough scientists because we train so few of our own. ”

    This is not true. We have many more PhD’s than we need in science. Furthermore it looks like Gillard is going to import even more.

    We do have a shortage of medical doctors. We do not train enough of our own so we have to import

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