Wednesday, August 03, 2016

In which the pond berates dumb students for pleading poverty ...

There has been great distress at the dire results produced by a testing regime universally acknowledged to be an an impeccable way to measure the state of the student nation.

Naturally the pond was eager to improve the diabolical situation and so was most anxious to read Kevin Donelly's proposal to strip huge amounts of funding from private schools rolling in the taxpayer loot that's lavished on them ...

After all, if poverty and funding haven't got anything to do with it, why give the rich more cash?

Let them learn with a bowl of gruel, the pond says, let them do a Dickens and lift themselves up by their boot-polished laces and if they moan and complain and whinge, and worry about losing the swimming pool, why a sharp rap on the knuckles should set them on the straight and narrow path ...

That and a rigorous pond-approved Donnelly curriculum ...

Of course the pond is fully aware of what's needed in such a curriculum, but are the nation's students?

They might discover the basics in We are a Christian nation under threat ...

Yes that should suit the pond's introductory Paranoia 101 to a T. It's sure to become an important part of the first year introduction to high school ...

But it's not just learning fear (how being dubbed national failures enhances the flow of the fear juices), there are constitutional elements to the course ...

The British common law system and Westminster form of government that we have inherited are based on Christian values and beliefs. That's why parliaments in Australia begin with the Lord's Prayer and the Preamble in our Constitution refers to "Almighty God".

This means ruling out Roman and Greek history, but who cares what those ancient pagan tossers actually thought or contributed there, remove that badge referring to Almight Zeus at once.

And there's a touch of geography ...

There's no doubt that geographically we are part of Asia and that migrants from around the world are vital to the nation's future. At the same time, there is no denying that we are a Western, liberal democracy where Christianity is the major religion and where Islamic terrorism represents a significant threat. 
If we are to remain a peaceful, prosperous and welcoming country, like the British prime minister argues in relation to England, we need to acknowledge and celebrate Australia's Judeo-Christian heritage and what makes this nation unique.

Yes, there's no room for secularism in this rigorous curriculum ...

There are some in Australia who argue that we are a secular nation and that there is no room for Christianity; especially in relation to being involved in public debate. They are wrong. The freedom to hold and to express religious views and beliefs is guaranteed by international covenants and agreements In addition to being the source of our rights and freedoms, Christianity also contributes to community health and welfare.

Indeed, indeed. We should also make some room for some science ...

Yes students, remember, Christians might be dumb, but Islamics are just as dumber, so there!  That's what makes the Judeo-Christian heritage so valuable.

You can crib some more of that excellent science in the rest of that piece here.

Now there are some who might wonder what sort of Australia that Donnelly lives in ... well, to make it to the second year of high school, here's another crib to help ...

Indeed, indeed.

Students, you can find the rest of that text here. Make sure you learn it all by heart, and you will surely advance in fair Australia ...

Now it has come to the pond's attention that there are some students who are sneaking off and reading scurrilous, ill-informed texts outside the strict curriculum.

Be aware that if the pond catches anyone reading Tony Taylor's Australia's 'Judeo-Christian heritage' doesn't exist will be heading for a fail, while reading Chloe Patton's Curriculum review: where did 'Judeo-Christian' come from? will be marked down as the equivalent of reading Mein Kampf in Germany ...

But enough prep. Now we're on to basic economics.

If students living in poverty would be ever so kind and form a strict line and prepare to march in strict order - we know who you are, we know you're all losers - it's time for a dose of reality.

This, like cod liver oil, is much better than a dose of gruel and certainly much more character-building and fortifying than a petty flourishing of sordid cash ...

Yes, in Tamworth, you can piss in a paddock for free, so what's all this talk of toilet blocks that work and such like, and air conditioning and so on and so forth when anyone with initiative would be stealing bundles of newspapers and making themselves a decent coat.

What's that you say? They're Christians and believe in creationism and haven't yet learned about insulation.

Never mind, there's no way to insulate themselves against the joys of poverty and Donnelly ...

Yes freedom, freedom from money and case and care and red-tape - because students are nascent Republicans tortured by red tape and the dead hand of bureaucracy - and simply can't wait to embrace a way forward with a rigorous essentialist curriculum, naturally with a proper Judeo-Christian focus and spirit of course ...

Well we've about run out of fresh Pope and Rowe for the day, so here's an uplifting American cartoon for the poverty-stricken students who made it this far...

Now don't go looking at the pond with doe eyes. If your parents had the good sense and style to have been born in Woollahra with inherited wealth, we wouldn't have to put up with the squawking. And no, there's no more gruel for you ...


  1. I like the remark that Catholic schools outperform government schools.

    Not in the far west where they struggle to make the top 50, let alone the top 20, in the State.

    It seems that the more the Catholics flail at their ever decreasing influence over public life, the more they accelerate the process.

    Flail on Dr Donnelly, flail on.

    (Relatedly, I hear the Catholics do a mighty good flailing in the Philippines. However, they may be going too far at the moment)

  2. Sayeth the Dunnelly: "Multiculturalism is based on the mistaken belief that all cultures are of equal worth ..."

    Actually no, Kevvy, multiculturalism is really based on the correct belief that all cultures are equal before the law. In short, if believers in any given culture do not disobey the accepted Code of Lawful Behaviour known as Staute and Common Law, then they are free to believe whatever crap they choose to believe. Even your brand of nonsensical crap, Kevvy, even yours.

    Otherwise, we also have: "Early preschool intervention programs in Finland, one of the top performers in international tests, ensure children begin their formal education well prepared and motivated to learn."

    Right, so that's why the ultra well educated Finns let Nokia collapse and die; it's because their education makes them highly capable of intelligent action. Such is life, eh.

    1. Oops. "Statute and Common Law"

    2. I liked Staute and Common Law, GB. Sounds like a comfy snug where a barrister can relax with a pint of Guinness after a hard day in court.

      While we are talking about Finnish education, I wonder if Kev is aware that Finland has almost no private schools. Establishing a new one requires Cabinet approval. Oh, and they have a strong teachers union, low student-to-teacher ratios (to which they attribute their PISA success, especially in science), and rigourous "no child left behind" programs (that actually work).

      Its worth noting that Finns rate teaching at #1 on the list of most prestigious professions. They aren't paid especially well, but that doesn't stop them from getting 10 times as many qualified applicants (5 year masters degree) as there are jobs. Finnish teachers also have fewer contact hours (ie more prep time) than most others and, anecdotally, smeg-all paperwork to worry about. The attrition rate is something like 0.4% per year (85% teach their entire working life) compared to Australia, where around 40% quit within the first five years.

      Seems pretty obvious that if you look after your teachers a bit better (job satisfaction, not just $$$), PISA scores and other such ephemera will look after themselves. Now if Kev could suggest how to achieve that in good old lower-middlebrow Australia, where we would rather mock teachers and whinge about schools than do anything constructive, he might just earn his pay.

      But "collapse and die" might be stretching it a bit, GB. Nokia might be a quarter the size it was, but it has bounced back to be a $30 billion company with 100,000 employees. Following their crisis, they focussed on network hardware and having recently engulfed Alcatel, they are doing nice business selling to Malware's National Pneumatic Tube Messaging System (probably some nicely repouss├ęd copper pipes).

    3. True, FD, I confess to seeing Nokia mainly from the viewpoint of its mobile phones business - and that, I maintain, did "collapse and die" unless you consider MickySoft as a life saver. But if so, it's an American lifesaver for a now American enterprise.

      It's interesting to compare various "education regimes" - Finland, from your description, appears to at least have a 'teacher friendly' one. But I do truly wonder just what the outcome of all of this is - are Finns any 'smarter', or better at business or government or sport or entertainment that Aussies, for instance ?

      I first went to school at age 5 in 1948. My school education, as best I can tell, was fine going from 1948 through to 1960 when I got through Matriculation (ie the then Uni entrance exam).

      I don't find, for all our lack of PISA and NAPLAN back then that there's any apparent difference - either for better or worse - in the 'outputs' of school education back then compared with now. What I most see is a lot of genuine ignorance in so-called education experts (eg KD) and a great deal of 'fad surfing' in the education profession.

      And yeah, a drop or two of Staute now and then is good. :-)

  3. Replies
    1. Yeah, well - looking forward to a future post - what would the Jensenists say to that for the census ? Magician or not, Nicene or never, it's all a tick in the same box, I guess.


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