I’ll agree, in part. There is a problem with ideology in our classrooms: neoliberal ideology. The educational fad du jour is called Positive Education. As a former history teacher, allow me to give you a brief lesson.
There is a common thread in the ultra-conservative anglo speaking world which is the promotion of the uncritical glorious history of Western Civilisation. In Australia, it has been heavily promoted by the Ramsay Foundation and politically forced on us by the LNP in the systemic teaching of history in the country.
Under such circumstances, reviving the political and moral imagination is more crucial than ever in order to resist the assassins of memory and social justice who have turned critical education and thinking into a crime.
Science and secrecy are two words that rarely go well together. Yet remarkably, our peak scientific institution, the Australian Academy of Science is deliberately engaging in secrecy, aided and abetted by the Australian National University. Transparency Warrior Rex Patrick tells the story.
4.5 mill Americans are privately educated. The Swiss are complaining about their fees rising to $750 per semester. Australian private schooling is $45,000 pa. Plus “living costs”
Some recent U.S. figures to consider in relation to Swiss costs although not always in the same category: The cost of private nursery school in New York City has been reported to be at around $40,000. Private schools, non-boarding, are in the $50,000 range, and private universities at $75,000. To calculate: A child starting nursery school at age two would cost 3x$40,000=$120,00; 13x$50,000=$650,000; 4x$75,000=$300,000; a total over one million dollars including a bachelor’s degree for a child’s education
Education should be subversive. It should give us the intellectual tools and vocabulary to question the reigning ideas and structures that buttress the powerful. It should make us autonomous and independent beings, capable of making our own judgments, capable of understanding and defying the “cultural hegemony,” to quote Antonio Gramsci, that keeps us in bondage. In Wilson’s play, Bynum teaches Loomis how to discover his song, and once Loomis finds his song, he is free.
These ‘exclusive’ schools argue that it is for them to decide which students they exclude and the circumstances in which they exclude them – and not for any regulatory authority, in this case local councils.
Private Education divides a Nation Systemically and Culturally. Secularism promotes Unity and accepts Diversity
The US education system is being desecularized as public money floods into private religious schools. This mix of religious conservatism and free-market fundamentalism threatens to unravel public education.
Ron DeSantis, is the governor of Florida, although he’s this Trumpian, maybe alternative to Trump from the right wing, was educated at the best schools in America. What is it? Harvard and Yale.
Jim Mamer: Harvard.
Scheer: And yet he mangled history so badly, and in your column, you raised a question of whether it was out of ignorance or malice or what have you, but really, tell us about the state of historical knowledge among young, well, any Americans. You’ve been at it for a long time and you just pointed out these blatant errors. So let’s go there. Do we Americans really know anything about our history, the world’s history, and whose fault is it?
Fahrenheit 451- Radical Christians with their ISIS-based model state and religious police are coming your way
In combination with other recent laws restricting public schools from discussing LGBTQ issues or racism — including Florida’s 2022 “Don’t Say Gay” law (HB 1557) and “Stop WOKE Act” (HB7) and its 2021 ban on teaching “Critical Race Theory” — this has led some school districts to advise teachers to box up their classroom libraries until each book is vetted. Others have instructed teachers to stop buying or accepting donated books for their classrooms until at least January, to give the district time to hire mandatory new staff to serve as “media specialists” who review each title.
Meanwhile, Tertiary Institutions are rolling in dough and cutting tenured staff.
Since when has Australia stopped investing in Education? Sixty Years ago you could work in a bank having passed 3rd form. Today you need a degree to meet and greet customers? Branches are being closed at a rapid rate and telephone contact with a branch is nigh on impossible. Everyday banking has become increasingly online.
Selling and designing a matrix of connected products and debt creation is the main goal along with hidden fees extracted from systems that maintain ever-increasing flow from were to syphon fees. Gone are the days when bankers came to primary schools and handed out piggy banks, Now it’s more likely credit cards but even they are being done away with for mobile phones you buy yourself on a plan.
People who choose to study are carrying larger debts – and for much longer than ever before
The real issue here is not “parents’ rights” but children’s rights. In most cases, the parents’-rights gambit is rhetorical sleight-of-hand meant to distract people from what’s really going on, which is adults depriving vulnerable children of the resources they need to grow into healthy adults. Book bans, “don’t say gay” laws, crackdowns on school newspapers and right-wing takeovers of school boards: It all serves the same purpose. For all the talk about “liberty” and “choice” that anti-education activists engage in, the end goal here is to limit the freedom of thought, and the freedom of life choices, that kids can have as adults.
Anarchistic Education Florida and Arizona where anything goes
“With this report,” added Burris, “the Heritage Foundation puts its values front and forward — that schooling should be a free-for-all marketplace where states spend the least possible on educating the future generation of Americans, with no regulations to preserve quality.” It’s no accident, Burris added, that Heritage’s top two states, Florida and Arizona, were ranked as the worst on the Network for Public Education’s own report card this year.
“These two states now have such a critical teacher shortage, due to their anti-public school agenda, that you do not even need a college degree to teach,” said Burris. “Parents who are looking for the best states in which to educate their children should take this report card and turn it on its head.”
Instead of being interrogated by appropriate QCs and chased up with a sharp summons, these managers only grow in number, the mold of administrative disaster, undermining academic health at every turn and creating the next absurd brand they call a “university”. With each semester, new positions are created with names disturbingly reminiscent of industrial cleaning products: DVCs, PVCs, Deputy PVCs and what not. These fatuous appointments are subsidised, in turn, by the labours of ailing, overworked staff, contemplating ruination, dejection, and suicide.
The education system has been in sharp decline in inverse proportion to the financial returns being hailed. Throwing public money at these beggars in surplus, an otherwise sensible proposition that could shield the sector from the ravages of impudent investment decisions, looks less appealing on closer inspection. Without deep, remorselessly brave reform, one that directly decapitates the officialdom of university management, good money will be thrown after ill-gotten gains.
Critics like to paint a picture of debtors as overeducated elites demanding a handout while idly snacking on $15 avocado toasts. But I’ve worked hard and lived modestly, and my debt is still haunting me — even after the White House’s partial cancellation.
ON IT GOES, the Liberal Party attempting to recast Australia into its own image.
And if there was to be such an image, it would be an alabaster statue of a tall and impossibly noble-looking Captain Cook, in a huge tricorn hat, sword gallantly outstretched, with a knee-high leather boot grinding into Australia’s virgin soil a dusky native’s head.
Yes, the Liberal Party is trying to change the history books again.
Enter MP Stuart Robert, stage right. Stage Far-Right, to be precise.
The Liberal Party claims its ethos is “free thinking” individuals. It’s reality is to create and action Institutional systems to produce the opposite. Single-minded thought is a priority and Education is their training ground. Education to teach individuals to think freely is in no way on their agenda and resistense begins in primary schools. Training not learning the emphasis and a strict control of history the planned method. History turned into myth and learned as truth. Hitler, it must be reminded, had exactly the same program in mind.
Everyone has an opinion about what should go into history curriculum. Politicians are especially good at expressing theirs. The acting federal education minister, Stuart Robert, has announced a delay in approving the revised Australian Curriculum until at least April. This means the ongoing debate about Australian history in the curriculum is likely to be dragged out to the eve of the next federal election. History curriculum is political but should not be used as a political plaything at election time. The federal government and Western Australian government are concerned that the revised history curriculum is “very busy”. Robert said Western civilisation “is well and truly back in the curriculum, but it remains quite cluttered”.
First, we saw the Ramsey Foundation’s incursion into universities with bribery and their Western Civilisations degree. Now News Corp and Google have moved in on Melbourne University’s Business School. and the L-NP removal of research funding to the commercial sector. What we are seeing is the replacement of an Indpendant Tertiary Institution with the Trump University model being deployed in Australia? We know how well that went. Will shares too be issued sometime soon? The division between private and public seems to have been accelerated by this L-NP.
Why then are we as journalism academics concerned? There are several reasons. The first and most obvious is the incursion of a high-profile and controversial media company into the higher education sector and the extent to which that is funded by a large disruptive digital search company.
The LNP lacks originality and plays Simon Says with Republican America. Tudge and now Robert simply the L-NP lacks any imagination when it comes to policies.
He’s calling on right-wing parents to report teachers for any lessons they deem “divisive.” As these previous reports show, that’s an expansive ask, as many parents clearly think it’s “divisive” to admit segregation happened, slavery was real, or the Holocaust was horrific. Youngkin’s intent is quite clearly to scare teachers into simply not teaching history, at least not in any way that’s truthful or remotely educational. Or to scare teachers into not teaching literature that humanizes people of color or LGBTQ people, or men who like poetry for that matter. As usual, despite their denials, Republicans really are behaving like the deplorables their critics say they are.
Australia’s LNP is increasingly adopting the same policies as the Republican’s in the USA. Along with banning of teaching subjects, sacking teachers, removing books, privatising media and ridding us of the ABC all have been central policies for over 8 years. Now they want our defamation laws changed, made easier and even suggest that taxpayers fund actions taken to sue by their MPs. Parliamentarians who already have privilege. But want it stretched beyond parliament in order to shut down criticism. It has become a priority for the Morrison Government whose standing and opinion in the eyes of the public in the polls has become lead.
Experts say trend is accelerating as groups push for bans of works that often address race, LGBTQ issues and marginalized people Adam Gabbatt @adamgabbatt Mon 24 Jan 2022 21.00 AEDT Last modified on Mon 24 Jan 2022 21.01 AEDT Conservative groups across the US, often linked to deep-pocketed rightwing donors, are carrying out a campaign to ban books from school libraries, often focused on works that address race, LGBTQ issues or marginalized communities.
The Republicans demand stricter Voting ID and like good camp followers Australia’s LNP suggest the same. Republicans demand stricter education measures Australia’s LNP fight for the same. Morrison is against Lockdowns anti-mandates all Republican Trump decrees Morrison adopts the same plan. It looks like a game of Simon Says. Does the Morrison government have any original policies?
The assault on teachers in this country by Republicans continues as a new bill proposed by Florida State Rep. Bob Rommel would allow cameras in the classroom as well as put microphones on teachers to monitor what they say.
Understanding Scott Morrison and Aland Tudge’s ideological purification, “the intellectual blockade,” Their underlying dream of a a One Party LNP State in Australia by taking over every cultural institution and controling citizen;s thoughts. In simple terms their approach is not original but historically known as Fascism and Mussolini’s dream.
CRT is not is a disease or a conspiracy hovering behind any teacher or book that suggests that racism is a problem in the 21st century.
Even if critical race theory were exerting some massive influence on K–12 education in America (it isn’t), and even if critical race theory had as its aim the instilling of shame in white students (it doesn’t), none of its efforts would compare in scope the determination with the systematic and successful 75-year campaign by Virginia and other southern states to control what was taught to students, and what students, Black and white, were allowed to read and think about race and racism. When we consider Virginia parents complaining that they “weren’t raised that way,” this history needs to be considered.
In fact, a rigorous program of ideological conformity has been a part of southern culture since the 1831 Nat Turner rebellion in Virginia. On the excuse of preventing more slave revolts, not only were antebellum schools and universities purged of antislavery teachers and books, the very mails were censored to ensure that no antislavery publications reached Dixie.
The Tudge plan is to do just that for White Christian British history and do away with any notion that the historic truth lies elsewhere.
Blessed are the rich, for theirs are the taxes of the poor! Elite private schools gorged themselves on JobKeeper despite their profits, on top of Pandemic stimulus payments, and as well as trousering a bigger slice of the federal funding pie at the expense of public schools. Trevor Cobbold investigates the latest hand-outs.
That’s how terrorism works and how the silence grows wherever the forces of zealotry and fanaticism dominate a culture. It’s beginning to seem a bit Brown Shirt-y in this country, verging on Third Reichian, a place where neighbors fear neighbors and teachers teach warily, succumbing to fear as the great silencing settles over us.
Because in a real meritocracy— in a society that looks to its future productivity and social cohesion— plum jobs are available to all who strive, irrespective of their postcode or school. In a real meritocracy, the state does not actively encourage educational segregation whereby some schools have leaking roofs and others their own weather station, and then declare, as has federal Education Minister Alan Tudge, class warfare “over”. In a real meritocracy, no class of people can unselfconsciously assume they own the future.
When Fran Bailey moved from Brisbane to Melbourne in 1970, one big cultural difference stood out between the two cities. “I was constantly amazed at how often I was asked what school I went to,” says the former Liberal MP and Howard-era minister. “You would be invited to someone’s house for dinner and you would meet people and they would invariably ask.”
In Ray Bradbury’s 1953 book Farenheit 451, Captain Beatty states that, ‘A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it, take the shot from the weapon. Breach one man’s mind. Who knows what might be the target of the well-read man’. In this dystopian novel, Beatty is justifying the burning of books. While Farenheit is a novel, there is a long history of book burning going back centuries. The burning of books is intended to control knowledge, to prevent free thinking, to make sure everyone thinks the same and an affront to liberalism. Book burning is a political issue, and similarly, the 21st century equivalent is Internet Censorship, which, in a political context, has became a hot topic since the propagation of mistruths became so visible during the Trump Presidency.
Moving away from the debate about what is or isn’t “critical race theory” and instead focusing on what lawmakers are actually trying to do — replace factual information with fake history — helps recenter the debate on what’s really going on. After all, the only reason Republicans and right-wing pundits lie about what is and isn’t in the public school curriculum is because they know they can’t win the debate by being honest. The truth terrifies them, which is why they go to such lengths to conceal it both in public debate and in our public schools.
This weekend, teachers in more than 30 cities protested against new laws that would limit what they can say in the classroom about racism in the United States. The laws—in Texas, Idaho, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Arizona, North Carolina, and other states—have emerged since George Floyd’s murder in Minnesota, after more teachers expanded lessons about systemic racism. Many of the laws ban schools from exploring “critical race theory,” which holds that any study of American history must acknowledge that racism is deeply embedded in government policies and the legal system. Some of the laws are even more broad, seeking to restrict lessons that focus on marginalized groups or equity. There’s money behind them, too. A new political action committee, the 1776 Project PAC, is fundraising to support school board members and others who push similar bills. The conservatives cheering these new restrictions likely took a recent cue from former President Donald Trump—who during his term accused schools that teach kids about slavery of spreading “hateful lies” and insulting the country’s founders. Trump created the 1776 Commission to promot
Lee’s book is laden with research – podcasts, budget reports, soul-jarring statistics (to choose just one: in 2019, Australia’s four richest schools spent more on new facilities and renovations than the poorest 1,800 combined). But Who Gets to be Smart is light on listening. This book yearns for interviews, for the voices of those who are falling into the dark of education’s ever-growing equity gap: parents of children with disabilities, who have to fight for inclusive teaching; Indigenous students who quietly learn to dream smaller; the vast army of casual adjuncts, keeping universities open but teaching for crumbs; the principals of public schools struggling to repair the toilets when the private school down the road has on-site baristas; the women who’ve dropped out of higher ed because Covid-era caring commitments have made study untenable. Seated next to a high-profile vice chancellor on a plane, Lee delights in reading his emails over his shoulder, but she never asks him a question. That feels like a metaphor, too.
The question opponents of critical race theory don’t want us to ask is: How did the past affect the present? What parts of the ugly side of our history have we retained, even unintentionally? Understanding these lessons is the whole point of studying history. We do a disservice to our own history if we do not study all of it, in all of its complexity, in order to secure a better future.
Perhaps most blindingly, Exterminate All the Brutes vibrantly illustrates the role of culture in perpetuating myths of supremacy. Movies, yes; Peck has plenty to say about the images we’ve been served up for virtually all of cinema’s history. But also photographs, and stories, and speeches, and songs, and phrases like “brutes” and “savage,” even the tying of darkness to something brutish and bad and uncivilized. What we see, say, and hear, the pictures we look at and the casual phrases we throw around — they all make it possible for us to accept what seems like it ought to be unacceptable. If a culture is made up of the things that people create to make sense of the world around them, then the opposite is also true: Culture tells people what they ought to believe, and if you tell people long enough that their genetics entitle them to rule over and to “civilize” others, they’ll believe it.
By 2029 public schools will be underfunded by $60 billion; private schools overfunded by $6 billion. In the decade to 2019, private schools received an extra $2,164 per student, public schools just $334 per student. The huge costs to society as a result of such disadvantage includes higher unemployment, poor health and low economic growth but Minister Alan Tudge claims the school funding wars over. Trevor Cobbold reports.
By undermining humanities education, the Morrison Government is helping create a superficial society, which opens the door to far-Right extremism, writes Alex Hipgrave. AS STUDENTS across Australia begin a new academic year, it may be apt to re-examine the role of our schooling system in shaping societal attitudes and how capitalism undermines education.
Year 12 leavers will be competing with people who are already on Jobseeker and who will no doubt get priority with employers eager for the $200 subsidy per worker. What a terrible message to send to youth, writes Bruce Mackenzie, that they first have to go on unemployment benefits before they are likely to be offered a job.
The LNP have been in control for most of the past 20 years and have successfully created disadvantage for most of the nation compared with the rest of the world. But then it’s easier to control the disadvantaged isn’t it? (ODT)
The declining performance of Australian school students is in the spotlight again. But is there anything governments can do to arrest the decline?
According to the latest results from PISA 2018, the average reading levels of Australian 15-year-olds fell by the equivalent of three-quarters of a year of school since 2000. Mathematics levels fell by one-and-a-quarter years of school since 2003. And science levels fell by almost a year of school since 2006. Very few countries recorded such large falls in performance.