If only Australia had a constitutionally protected right to free speech

Read the following fabulous tale from the US as written in Forbes Magazine:

A Professor Learns An Expensive Lesson About Civility And The First Amendment

Read for yourself, but here are 2 key snippets:

On November 3, the court issued an injunction that prohibits Professor Thatcher from ever again interfering with FSSL’s First Amendment rights. It also imposes some rather hefty costs on him for his illegal actions.

and

Like all government officials, professors have an obligation to respect the constitutionally protected free speech of students. Of all people, professors should be the first to encourage all students to participate in the marketplace of ideas rather than erase the speech of those with whom they differ. The professor’s actions here were wrong and flagrantly violated the First Amendment

One day Australian’s may have such freedoms.  One day I pray.

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202 Responses to If only Australia had a constitutionally protected right to free speech

  1. stackja

    1901 free speech was a given in Australia. Now we need an amendment. Expect much talk of bigotry.

  2. Gengis

    If the Prof. was not accepting BS from Green-left students that were flagrantly wrong but was shouted down, what then for free speech.

  3. Nicholas (Unlicensed Joker) Gray

    How about a Free-Opinion Right? We should all be able to express an opinion, so long as we say that it is an opinion. No ‘Safe Spaces’. No PC Universities.

  4. john malpas

    Free speech bin the USA? The colleges will tell you what you are allowed to say.

    ‘Hate speech’ verboten. ‘Non inclusive speech is verboten.. Sexist speech is verboten. ‘Racist’ speech verboten. etc etc

  5. Roger

    One day Australian’s may have such freedoms. One day I pray.

    International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 19

    1. Everyone shall have the right to hold opinions without interference.

    2. Everyone shall have the right to freedom of expression; this right shall include freedom to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds, regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing or in print, in the form of art, or through any other media of his choice.

    3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

    (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

    (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

    Entry into force, Australia: 13 November, 1980.

  6. Baldrick

    Before we can have free speech in Australia, a whole raft of State and Federal anti-free speech laws need to be removed from the statutes, starting with 18c, but then you know that’s never going to happen.

  7. Just Interested

    3. The exercise of the rights provided for in paragraph 2 of this article carries with it special duties and responsibilities. It may therefore be subject to certain restrictions, but these shall only be such as are provided by law and are necessary:

    (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

    (b) For the protection of national security or of public order (ordre public), or of public health or morals.

    It’s these wide exemptions that always gets ya…….particularly paragraph (a)…….

  8. Tim Neilson

    It’s these wide exemptions that always gets ya…….particularly paragraph (a)…….

    Like the “right” not to be offended (no matter how assiduously the “victim” sets out to take offence).

  9. Chris

    I recall that nutter Gun Control Australia’s John Crook was in the High Court found to have implied freedom of speech under the Constitution – ie imagined in there by the judges.
    I also understand that freedom did not apply in a subsequent, les politically correct cause.

  10. Roger

    It’s these wide exemptions that always gets ya…….particularly paragraph (a)…….

    They are really adequately catered for under defamation laws.

    The fact that this treaty was drafted by progressives of the day (c.1965) and promulgated by the UN really shows how draconian 18c is.

  11. Charlie

    Free Speech is an Anglo-Saxon ideal. The current demographic trends suggest we are more likely to end up a 3rd world dictatorship then get a legally protected right to free speech

  12. Barry 1963

    I was of the view that conservatives opposed a bill of rights? The Australian ran that line ad nauseam a few years back. Has conservative opinion altered?

  13. Chris

    Went reading it up and Crook was not actually applicable – the right only meant that Government could not pass laws to restrict political speech connected to elections.
    Summary at findlaw

  14. Chris

    OK, I think I better transfer all my half of the property to my wife, to protect her from people suing me for my opinions.

  15. In response to the growing number of “easily offendeds”.

    I thinking of a course to balance the diversity courses.

    Cert IV in “Toughen up”
    Resilience 101

  16. P

    Reading here has perhaps caused me to veer off topic, as it brought to my mind thoughts I read earlier this year at MenziesRC, May 9, 2017.
    Being an enormous CJ Dennis fan I remember the article well.

    ” A wowser, wrote CJ Dennis, was ‘an ineffably pious person who mistakes this world for a penitentiary and himself for a warder’.”

    “Seldom have so few been willing to speak up on the vital moral questions of the day, held in check by the sanctions imposed on those who presume to challenge conventional wisdom.
    For a moment the presentation of a free speech award to Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs last week seemed a joke, but one look into the eyes of those who awarded it suggested they were completely serious.”

    “Were Voltaire to reappear today, he would be outraged by the edifices the establishment has built to guard its moral authority. ‘He would deny all legal responsibility and set about fighting them, as he once fought the courtiers and priests of eighteenth-century Europe,’ wrote Saul. If only Bill Leak were here to draw the cartoon.”

  17. iampeter

    Nah I don’t think this is an example of a “free speech” issue at all, just an example of how far left the entire political discourse has shifted.
    Education is not a function of government, all schools should be private enterprises and all private enterprises have the right to set whatever speech codes they want.
    But no one in mainstream politics today would ever dream of opposing government run schools and so while you’re celebrating a victory over something that should never have been a legal issue in the first place, the lefts agenda goes completely unchallenged and increasingly not even recognized.

  18. Tel

    (a) For respect of the rights or reputations of others;

    NOTE: not for the feelings nor self esteem of others.

  19. Robbo

    Once upon a time, and not all that long ago, the Liberal Party proudly proclaimed that it was a Party that stood firmly in favour of the great freedoms. Freedom of speech is, of course, one of those great freedoms. Their failure to do anything, or even try, to remove the insidious attack on free speech through the infamous 18c shows that they have definitely shelved that commitment to the protection of free speech. In return I have shelved my support for the Liberal Party and will continue to do so, as well as advocate the same stance from others, until they return to supporting the right of everyone to exercise freedom of speech.

  20. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Education is not a function of government, all schools should be private enterprises and all private enterprises have the right to set whatever speech codes they want.

    Nice ideal that most Cats would furiously agree with, but education is most certainly a function of government in both the US and Oz.

    What’s your strategy to remove education from the clutches of the state?

  21. .

    I was going to bring up the limitations, however in the context of freedom of conscience; this is a more fundamental right than the right not to be unfairly discriminated against. Both can end at the Gulag or death camp.

  22. Tim Neilson

    Education is not a function of government, all schools should be private enterprises and all private enterprises have the right to set whatever speech codes they want.

    Do you think that all primary school children should be educated?
    If not, aren’t you condemning the children of irresponsible parents to a life of poverty? What’s the point of standing up for their “freedoms” if they reach adulthood illiterate and innumerate?
    If so, how do you achieve that aim without a school system that’s dominated by government (either overtly or because the taxpayer ends up paying the costs that the indigent won’t pay for their own kids)?

  23. iampeter

    Do you think that all primary school children should be educated?
    If not, aren’t you condemning the children of irresponsible parents to a life of poverty? What’s the point of standing up for their “freedoms” if they reach adulthood illiterate and innumerate?

    I certainly don’t think other people should be forced to pay for some parents being irresponsible. If this is a concern for you, you are free to open a charity that deals with helping educate children from broken homes, but you can’t force this problem on others.

  24. iampeter

    Nice ideal that most Cats would furiously agree with, but education is most certainly a function of government in both the US and Oz.

    What’s your strategy to remove education from the clutches of the state?

    Meh, I don’t think that’s very true. Just see Tim’s post.
    Tbh, I don’t think even you really believe that either, not really anyway.

    If you really agreed that the state shouldn’t be involved in education, you wouldn’t care how we go about achieving that, you would just agree that’s what we should do.

  25. Tim Neilson

    I certainly don’t think other people should be forced to pay for some parents being irresponsible. If this is a concern for you, you are free to open a charity that deals with helping educate children from broken homes, but you can’t force this problem on others.

    So you’re happy to see children condemned to poverty through no fault of their own, by being deprived of basic education, just to preserve the purity of your libertarian propensities?
    I’ve got no problem with the irresponsible parents having their welfare garnisheed or even being forced into indentured servitude to pay for it, but I don’t think we should just abandon the children involved merely to avoid having a government dominated sector of the education system.

  26. Empire

    So you’re happy to see children condemned to poverty through no fault of their own, by being deprived of basic education, just to preserve the purity of your libertarian propensities?
    I’ve got no problem with the irresponsible parents having their welfare garnisheed or even being forced into indentured servitude to pay for it, but I don’t think we should just abandon the children involved merely to avoid having a government dominated sector of the education system.

    Why conflate education with welfare? This is a mistake. I understand your sentiment, but not your solution.

    All forms of authoritarianism thrive when the state is permitted to dominate education. By all means let’s have a discussion about whether to state should be the education funder of last resort for those children burdened with useless parents, but permitting the state to define curricula and employ teachers is paving the road to hell.

  27. .

    Do you think that all primary school children should be educated?

    School is a racket. It is completely unecessary except as a make work programme and cheap babysitting/indoctrination. It could be more efficient and less than half as “long” with the same outcomes.

    If not, aren’t you condemning the children of irresponsible parents to a life of poverty?

    Moving past primary school for a moment.

    We spend 13+ years keeping children away from the labour maret and entrepreneurship. In John Taylor Gatto’s Weapons of Mass Instruction, he describes “Fat Stanley” who skipped school consistentlyfrom the age of 13. Stanley instead worked at various aunts and uncles businesses. He didn’t go to college and load himself up with 100k USD of debt with a worthless degree.

    Form the book:

    Let me tell you about Stanley, a young man I met while teaching in New York City. Stanley only came to school one day a month and got away with it because I was his homeroom teacher, and I covered for him. I didn’t do it to be a lawbreaker, but because Stanley explained to me where he was spending his time, and I agreed with him it was more educational than what went on in school.

    It seems Stanley had five aunts and uncles, all in business for themselves before they were 21 – he wanted to follow in their footsteps. One was a florist, one an unfinished furniture builder, one a deli owner, one had a little restaurant, and one owned a delivery service. What Stanley did when he cut school was to work for no pay for all these uncles and aunts, one after another. He was passed from store to store doing free labor in exchange for the opportunity to learn the business.

    “Hey, Mr. Gatto,” he said to me, “this way I get a chance to decide what business I want for myself. You tell me what books to read, I’ll read them, but I don’t have time to waste in school unless I want to end up like the rest of you – working for somebody else.”

    After I heard that I couldn’t in good conscience keep him locked up. Could you?

    I reckon that is fairly convincing.

    What’s the point of standing up for their “freedoms” if they reach adulthood illiterate and innumerate?

    That never really happened though.

    Gatto’s work is discussed on a sceptics forum and validated. He notes that prior to compulsory education in 1852, the State of Massachusetts had a 99% literacy rate.

    https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/16459/did-massachusetts-have-a-higher-literacy-rate-before-compulsory-schooling

    If so, how do you achieve that aim without a school system that’s dominated by government (either overtly or because the taxpayer ends up paying the costs that the indigent won’t pay for their own kids)?

    There is no need for state schools, state funding or state-approved schools (this is what kills of competition and “learning webs as Ivan Illich conceptualised). If the aim is merely numeracy and literacy, without any special tools or media, parents can achieve this. There is no reason why modern web services or local tutors cannot teach children. Children can learn trades from professions off their parents and entrance exams and preparation can be taught by more formal tutors and private schools.

  28. Tim Neilson

    permitting the state to define curricula and employ teachers is paving the road to hell.

    True, but if the State is the funder of last resort, an industry will inevitably spring up to satisfy the State’s choices in that matter (i.e. crony capitalism will inevitably flourish wherever the State pays for anything). The premise is that some of the parents will be deadbeats who don’t give a shit about their kids’ education so inevitably the social worker will end up making the decision where they go to school. I don’t like it. I just see it as a less bad alternative to throwing the unfortunate kids on the scrapheap like iampeter wants to.

  29. iampeter

    So you’re happy to see children condemned to poverty through no fault of their own, by being deprived of basic education, just to preserve the purity of your libertarian propensities?

    No I’m happy to see peoples individual rights protected. It’s important to not view the “needs” of one as any moral claim on another.

    Private charity is the answer to all the “but what if *insert bad thing happens to someon*”.

  30. Empire

    If you really agreed that the state shouldn’t be involved in education, you wouldn’t care how we go about achieving that, you would just agree that’s what we should do.

    Feelz count for nought. Only action can change reality.

    You’re a monumental bullshit artist whose sole objective here is to troll conservatives. You’ve never articulated a solution to anything. Manifestos are for undergraduates.

  31. iampeter

    Also just to add to the point Dot is making about the “racket” nature of education today and the fact that NO kinds are edcuated in the day-care centres that we still call schools.

    A fully privatized education system would look very different to today. You’d have study centers for moths, languages and sciences, then you’d have kids hoping over their sports centers for training and then kick on with extra curricular practice or homework or projects etc.

    It would lead to very independent and self reliant behaviors in our kids a lot earlier.

    That’s a sort of vision that I have for it in my mind. Think what a silicon valley-esques entrepreneur could do if he was free to do what was needed in education and the sky is the limit.

  32. Tim Neilson

    Dot, I agree with you about post-primary education.
    But…

    What’s the point of standing up for their “freedoms” if they reach adulthood illiterate and innumerate?

    That never really happened though.

    Never really happened where? There are lots of illiterate and innumerate youngsters in Australia (e.g. “remote indigenous communities” but not only there) and it would be a lot worse if there wasn’t compulsory education that salvages a lot of kids in that situation.

    If the aim is merely numeracy and literacy, without any special tools or media, parents can achieve this.

    Key word “can” (though perhaps the drug addled etc. can’t). What I’m referring to is the cases where that isn’t and won’t actually be happening because the parents won’t (or can’t) do it.

    I get that you and iampeter think that those children should just be left to fend for themselves – they’ll have the “liberty” to spend the rest of their lives behind the eight ball – it just seem to me that your “libertarian” purity has become a 21st century Moloch.

  33. .

    I just see it as a less bad alternative to throwing the unfortunate kids on the scrapheap like iampeter wants to.

    Emotive left-wing nonsense that has been empirically shown to be superstitious drivel.

  34. Tim Neilson

    empirically shown to be superstitious drivel.

    Links? References? Being left illiterate and innumerate as a kid doesn’t have highly detrimental effects on someone?

  35. .

    Never really happened where?

    I just showed you that Massachusetts had a 99% literacy rate before compulsory schooling and it dropped thereafter.

    I get that you and iampeter think that those children should just be left to fend for themselves – they’ll have the “liberty” to spend the rest of their lives behind the eight ball – it just seem to me that your “libertarian” purity has become a 21st century Moloch.

    Jesus christ mate give it a rest. They go to school and come out illiterate anyway.

    They have a better chance without compulsory schooling.

  36. Tim Neilson

    A fully privatized education system would look very different to today. You’d have study centers for moths, languages and sciences, then you’d have kids hoping over their sports centers for training and then kick on with extra curricular practice or homework or projects etc.

    Yes, especially the kids with drug addled deadbeat parents who won’t pay for it.

  37. .

    Tim Neilson
    #2562732, posted on November 22, 2017 at 10:04 pm
    empirically shown to be superstitious drivel.

    Links? References? Being left illiterate and innumerate as a kid doesn’t have highly detrimental effects on someone?

    FMS…

    As above:

    DISCUSSION OF JT GATTO’S CLAIMS ABOUT MASSACHUSETTS LITERACY RATES

    I even bolded it so you can see it.

  38. Tim Neilson

    I just showed you that Massachusetts had a 99% literacy rate before compulsory schooling and it dropped thereafter.

    Let’s assume that the correlation you’re asserting was valid there.
    Now, simple logic.
    “It didn’t happen in Massachusetts” does not equal “it never happened”.

  39. Tim Neilson

    Dot’s basis for education policy : “kids who don’t go to school never [his word, not mine] end up illiterate and innumerate or if they do it doesn’t have a hugely detrimental effect on their lives”.

  40. .

    Yes, especially the kids with drug addled deadbeat parents who won’t pay for it.

    Charity and philanthropy have always paid for education in Australia. You are dismissing these out of hand and presuming that education ought to be costly. The basics can be provided at low cost or at no cost by civil society.

  41. BorisG

    Form the book:

    Looks like Stanley was a rare exception, as few children have five uncles owning a business. Much more common is five unemployed uncles.

  42. Tim Neilson

    Charity and philanthropy have always paid for education in Australia.

    Yes, but not for everyone.

    You are dismissing these out of hand and presuming that education ought to be costly.

    Utterly false on both counts. I’m just dealing with the reality that we can’t assume that charity and philanthropy will always provide for every need.

    The basics can be provided at low cost or at no cost by civil society.

    The magic word “can” rears its puny head again.

    Yes, and so it should, the same way that citizens “can” choose not to drive at .2, but that’s not always what happens in real life.

  43. .

    Tim Neilson
    #2562749, posted on November 22, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    Dot’s basis for education policy : “kids who don’t go to school never [his word, not mine] end up illiterate and innumerate or if they do it doesn’t have a hugely detrimental effect on their lives”.

    That is some twisted, dishonest bullshit and you ought to be ashamed.

    Illiterate people can have successful lives, despite reduced opportunities.

    School is not a guarantee of literacy and a Western country with a similar culture to us saw a drop in literacy after compulsory schooling.

  44. Tim Neilson

    Much more common is five unemployed uncles.

    And a succession of five unemployed “stepfathers”.

  45. .

    The basics can be provided at low cost or at no cost by civil society.

    The magic word “can” rears its puny head again.

    The main reason why they can’t is that in NSW at least, the government will flatly refuse a licence to open a new school. My source is an Australian private primary principal.

    Parents can teach their children literacy and numeracy. At least 90% of parents can do this. For free.

    The rest is red pilled rage and excuses as to why we need compulsory schooling which is always costly and inevitably leads to indoctrination.

  46. Tim Neilson

    Illiterate people can have successful lives, despite reduced opportunities.

    Dodging your use of the word “never” I see. May I presume an implicit retraction of it?

    And once again the incantation “can” solves all problems.

    Yes, I knew one totally illiterate man who did have a successful life – not financially, but in his contributions to the lives of those around him (and I think his own happiness). But so can people who are blind or lame etc., and you wouldn’t allow that to happen to someone through mere neglect, I hope.

  47. .

    Dodging your use of the word “never” I see. May I presume an implicit retraction of it?

    You made it up at 10:09 pm.

    You cannot debate like an adult.

  48. Tim Neilson

    The main reason why they can’t is that in NSW at least, the government will flatly refuse a licence to open a new school.

    That is admittedly a disgrace.

    At least 90% of parents can do this. For free.

    Yes and I agree that they should be allowed to. I’m talking about the 10% who can’t or won’t. It would be good if charity solved that (though you’d still have to have some mechanism to ensure that the children turned up). I’d rather that there was some intervention to ensure that the remaining part of the 10% of kids get literacy and numeracy training – and I’d be delighted if taxpayers in general were alleviated from funding it by the parents being put into a large agricultural field in chains and a loincloth if that’s what it took to get them to fulfil their responsibilities.

  49. Tim Neilson

    You made it up at 10:09 pm.

    You cannot debate like an adult.

    Re-read your own post at 9.45.

  50. .

    “Never really happened though….”

    Yes, you’re bullshitting Tim.

  51. BorisG

    I agree with Tim that the society has decided (through democratic means) that we will not allow children without education. We will not rely on a possibility that some may get charity. And this includes gifted children which by dots generous approach can get basic literacy skills.

    That does not necessarily lead to the current system, which is wasteful and ineffective. And indoctrination is not inevitable. I studied in the USSR where indoctrination was official policy but never believed this bullshit (ok parents helped but they can also help here). But education in hard sciences I received equipped me for life.

  52. Tim Neilson

    Are you denying that your post at 9.45 contains the following?

    What’s the point of standing up for their “freedoms” if they reach adulthood illiterate and innumerate?

    That never really happened though.”

  53. .

    IT GOT WORSE AFTER COMPULSORY EDUCATION.

    FFS.

  54. BorisG

    I’m talking about the 10% who can’t or won’t.

    I’d say 10% can’t and 20% more won’t. Or the other way round, depending on the definition of ‘can’t’.

  55. Tim Neilson

    Do you deny that your 9.45 post contains those words?

    “Not Massachusetts in the 19th century” doesn’t equal “never”. Lots of kids in Australia who don’t go to school do end up illiterate and innumerate.

  56. BorisG

    But I have to agree the iampeter’s and dot’s positions are thought provoking.

  57. Tim Neilson

    But I have to agree the iampeter’s and dot’s positions are thought provoking.

    They are. I’m not saying that their view is in any way demonstrably invalid. I’m just saying that their brand of purist libertarianism leads to some consequences, such as the ones we’re discussing here, that I personally think it’s equally valid to reject even if that does mean compromising ideological purity.

  58. .

    What’s the point of standing up for their “freedoms” if they reach adulthood illiterate and innumerate?

    If more people are illiterate with compulsory schooling (proven by empirical data), it is more detrimental to their rights or more detrimental to more people.

    So no, (a non-minimal, non-optimal) amount of people being left disadvantaged by non-compulsory education never actually happened in a country with a similar culture and history to Australia. The minimal (optimum) number of illiterates were produced before compulsory education.

    To say the question at hand “never really happened” is shorthand as to how most people would understand the above.

    Not some bullshit gotcha about “(illiteracy) never happened at all by (someone elses’s) implication”.

    If anyone else thinks this clarification is fun or enlightening – my full sympathies.

  59. .

    They are. I’m not saying that their view is in any way demonstrably invalid. I’m just saying that their brand of purist libertarianism leads to some consequences, such as the ones we’re discussing here, that I personally think it’s equally valid to reject even if that does mean compromising ideological purity.

    PRE COMPULSORY EDUCATION –> MINIMAL ILLITERACY

    POST COMPULSORY EDUCATION –> MORE (SUB-OPTIMAL LEVELS OF) ILLITERACY

  60. Tim Neilson

    OK, we are making some progress. Dot has now retracted his denial that he used the word “never” and is seeking to explain it.

    Dot, do you really believe that a kid in a drug addled deadbeat household has a better chance of literacy by being left there than by being compelled to go to school? As I noted at 10.35 I’ve got no problem with homeschooling being allowed. All I’d require is that there’s adequate testing to ensure that the kid really is being educated. What I’ve been arguing against is iampeter’s original idea that we should abolish State schools. Yes, I know that you’re in favour of it, and I understand why, but I just disagree. I’ve never said that a kid should be forced to go to State school if they’re being educated elsewhere. I’m not in favour of compulsory State education, just compulsory education somewhere somehow, and in reality that requires, for some of the least fortunate, that State schooling be available.

    Also, I reiterate that Massachusetts in the 19th century isn’t everywhere. I’m no good with links, but if you research literacy rates in England during the 19th century you’ll see that the steady decline in illiteracy pre-compulsory schooling accelerated after compulsory education was introduced.

  61. BorisG

    dot, do I need to remind you that there is causal relationship between compulsory education and illiteracy?

    I think you need to understand the following: the current system provides basic education for all children. If they & their parents choose to skip it – that is their choice. But in a system you are advocating there may well be children who won’t have choice. And that the society will not tolerate. so it is not the literacy outcome per se but the safety net that is at issue.

  62. .

    Some Australian States “currently” (as of 2014) suffer a 50% illiteracy rate:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-02-20/50-per-cent-of-tasmanians-illiterate/5273416

    It is probably about the same now. This is Tasmania, not the Northern Territory with a large population of traditional and semi-traditional Aborigines living in partial autonomy from the Territory and Commonwealth; otherwise riddled with social problems.

    There is no convincing evidence that compulsory education has wiped away illiteracy in Australia.

    Quite the opposite.

    We’ve had compulsory education in NSW since 1870 and since 1868 in Tasmania – they were actually the first state to do so.

  63. hzhousewife

    Literacy is an interesting concept. I am nowhere as literate as my great grandfather, I don’t think. Or my Dad. The literature they read, English classics, they condemned to memory in a most amazing way. However, they would not have managed the digital literacy of my daughter, or even myself.
    I work with a lass who suffers minimal literacy through no fault of her own – dreadful spelling and minimal numeracy. But her attitude and diligence, and ability to connect with people in a service job, far and away, makes up for her lack of “education”. So, there’s “education” and “education”.

  64. harry buttle

    freedom of speech, secured only by laws is a mirage.

  65. André M

    Assisted Dying laws passed recently.
    The reaction amongst the millennials was predictable: https://imgur.com/gallery/7ZXQbVS

    Kindof weird we gained the right to die before we got the right to speak.

  66. BorisG

    Dot there is a wider point beyond severely disadvantaged kids. The society has decided that they create equality of opportunity by taking away the choice of parents whether to educate their children or spend money on other priorities, because kids cannot choose their parents.

    Obviosly there is no equality because outcomes still strongly depend on parents, on economic conditions
    , school quality etc… but there are certain minimum standards.

    I agree that the current system is extremely wasteful ineffective etc. but if you want to change it you need to do it within the above paradigm.

  67. Fisky

    But I have to agree the iampeter’s and dot’s positions are thought provoking.

    No, their positions are not thought-provoking at all. They have presented no evidence whatsoever that their own preferred educational approaches actually raise attainment.

  68. .

    Hmmyes Fisk. Data is not evidence. Put down the Purple Drank old mate, you’ve had enough Promethazine to last a few weeks.

  69. .

    The society has decided that they create equality of opportunity by taking away the choice of parents whether to educate their children or spend money on other priorities, because kids cannot choose their parents.

    50% of Tasmanians are functionally illiterate. Society is talking about motherhood statements. The results are an absolute failure.

  70. Ellen of Tasmania

    Fight the good fight, Dot – I’m waving pom-poms on the sideline.

    I think part of the trouble is that people are thinking of the immediate (this kid-of-drug-addicts right now) and not of the generational changes that occur in people’s thinking if they have to take responsibility for their own. Ditto with welfare. The outcomes would then be better than present ones.

    Of course there will be sad cases along the way – there is now – but private charity, private schools and an increased sense of personal responsibility will minimise that. You can never get rid of failures completely, but for those who want it, even as an adult, the world is dripping with educational options.

  71. Ellen of Tasmania

    An email from Tom Woods this morning:

    Most of you know about Jordan Peterson, the brilliant professor of psychology who generated controversy in Canada over his refusal to use the various pronouns by which transgender students insisted on being addressed.

    There’s a new wrinkle to the story.

    At Wilfrid Laurier University in Ontario last week, a teaching assistant named Lindsay Shepherd wound up before a group of university faculty and administration after complaints were filed that she had shown a few minutes of a Jordan Peterson video in a course on critical thinking.

    Shepherd had the good sense to record the interrogation.

    In the recording, the interrogators falsely accuse her of breaking the law, and then explain that of course we need to explain to students that certain ideas presented in class are wrong and must not be defended.

    Her interrogators included two professors (Rambukkana and Pimlott) and one administrator, Adria Joel (Acting Manager of Gendered Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention and Support at the Diversity and Equity Office).

    Some excerpts:

    Rambukkana: You’re perfectly welcome to your own opinion, but when you’re bringing it into the context of the classroom that can become problematic, and that can become something that is, that creates an unsafe learning environment for students.

    Shepherd: But when they leave the university they’re going to be exposed to these ideas, so I don’t see how I’m doing a disservice to the class by exposing them to ideas that are really out there. And I’m sorry I’m crying, I’m stressed out because this to me is so wrong, so wrong….

    Rambukkana: …[Peterson] lectures about critiquing feminism, critiquing trans rights —

    Shepherd: I’m familiar. I follow him. But can you shield people from those ideas? Am I supposed to comfort them and make sure that they are insulated away from this? Like, is that what the point of this is? Because to me, that is so against what a university is about. So against it. I was not taking sides. I was presenting both arguments.

    Rambukkana: So the thing about this is, if you’re presenting something like this, you have to think about the kind of teaching climate that you’re creating. And this is actually, these arguments are counter to the Canadian Human Rights Code. Even since…C-16 [the law Professor Peterson opposed], ever since this passed, it is discriminatory to be targeting someone due to their gender identity or gender expression….

    Shepherd: What I have a problem with is, I didn’t target anybody. Who did I target?

    Joel: Trans folks.

    Shepherd: By telling them ideas that are really out there? Telling them that? By telling them? Really?

    Rambukkana: Do you understand how what happened was contrary to, sorry Adria, what was the policy?

    Joel: Gendered and Sexual Violence.

    Rambukkana: — Gendered and Sexual Violence Policy. Do you understand how —

    Shepherd: Sorry, what did I violate in that policy?

    Joel: Um, so, gender-based violence, transphobia, in that policy. Causing harm, um, to trans students by, uh, bringing their identity as invalid. Their pronouns as invalid — potentially invalid.

    Shepherd: So I caused harm?

    Joel: — which is, under the Ontario Human Rights Code a protected thing so something that Laurier holds as a value.

    Shepherd: Ok, so by proxy me showing a YouTube video I’m transphobic and I caused harm and violence? So be it. I can’t do anything to control that.

    When you hear the entire exchange in the recording, where the tones of voice are present, it’s even more Orwellian. And you respect Lindsay Shepherd even more for standing up to these creeps.

    Thankfully, the recording spread quickly, and the university — along with the inquisitors who had been recorded — was promptly made to look ridiculous.

    An apology was therefore forthcoming from the university’s president — they’d been embarrassed, Lindsay said, so they had no choice but to apologize.

    Of course, the university president also took the opportunity to deplore the effects all the media attention had had on the inquisitors themselves. “I remain troubled by the way faculty, staff and students involved in this situation have been targeted with extreme vitriol. Supports are in place at the university to support them through this situation.”

    Well, boo freaking hoo.

    The funny thing is, Lindsay Shepherd is on the left. She recently noted that the huge outpouring of support she’s received has generally come from people whose ideas are unlike her own.

    “Obviously the vast majority are right wing, and that’s fine. But my question is, why doesn’t it matter for people like me who are left wing, or left-leaning, but still believe in being reasonable?”

    A good question. But to ask it is to answer it.

  72. Diogenes

    The main reason why they can’t is that in NSW at least, the government will flatly refuse a licence to open a new school. My source is an Australian private primary principal.

    In NSW there has been a massive push to the UK style regulatory regime which has , by all accounts, put UK education back many years. Prior to last year school systems – public, independent, catholic, islamic, and the alternatives (montessori/steiner etc) largely regulated themselves , with ‘light’ touch regulation of teachers (through NSWIT) and curriculum (Board of Studies) .

    With amalgamation of NSWIT & BoS into BOSTES little changed , but then that bald headed idiot from Wagga, who promptly jumped ship and got a job as an education academic at UNSW, created NESA and expanded its powers and as the year has progressed we have been on the receiving end of many more ‘directives’ – making it like the UK OfSTED.

    This will have a detrimental effect as NESA then decides which current educational ‘fad’ is the true gospel/silver bullet – just like OfSTED has and through an inspection/audit regime ensures we follow it .

    https://www.teachertoolkit.co.uk/2016/07/10/education-fads/

  73. Diogenes

    One reason for declining literacy …
    look how much crap grade 1 -2 teachers are expected to teach over the 2 years , this is NSW , all other states will be similar thanks to Aust Curriculum
    https://syllabus.nesa.nsw.edu.au/stage-1/

  74. Tim Neilson

    Ellen of Tasmania
    #2563004, posted on November 23, 2017 at 8:21 am

    At least that’s a cogent argument. I happen to disagree with it. I think that the time for people to start to take responsibility for themselves kicks in some time after primary school age, not before, and while they’re of primary school age there’s nothing wrong with intervention to require them to get a basic standard of education (not necessarily State controlled but as a practical matter that’s what it will end up being in some cases).

    We’ve had compulsory education in NSW since 1870 and since 1868 in Tasmania – they were actually the first state to do so.

    Yes, and literacy rates in both those places used to be very high. You’re assuming that the terrible decline in educational standards that kicked in around the 1970’s need be a universal trait of education. (And I stress again I’ve got no problems with home schooling done properly or with private/philanthropic education and I regard the State school system as being justifiable because we need a safety net.)

  75. Aristogeiton

    Kritarchy or death!

  76. Iampeter

    I think part of the trouble is that people are thinking of the immediate (this kid-of-drug-addicts right now) and not of the generational changes that occur in people’s thinking if they have to take responsibility for their own. Ditto with welfare. The outcomes would then be better than present ones.

    Yep exactly this. Very well said Ellen.

    And then it tends to become almost an excuse to not even bother supporting the right kind of politics.

    It’s like if you were teachings your kid to read and he’s struggling so you just give up. “Kids will never read! It’s simply impossible to be literate!”

  77. Tim Neilson

    Trying to ensure that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t get even more disadvantaged by being left illiterate and innumerate “tends to become almost an excuse to not even bother supporting the right kind of politics“.

    OK, I plead guilty.

  78. .

    At least that’s a cogent argument

    No Tim you don’t get to pull that shit here. You haven’t rebutted any argument I have made.

    Yes, and literacy rates in both those places used to be very high. You’re assuming that the terrible decline in educational standards that kicked in around the 1970’s need be a universal trait of education.

    The literacy rate in Tasmania is 50%. This is an inexcusable, third world outcome. I’m not assuming anything, I am providing shocking data you are choosing to ignore.

  79. Iampeter

    Trying to ensure that kids from disadvantaged backgrounds don’t get even more disadvantaged by being left illiterate and innumerate “tends to become almost an excuse to not even bother supporting the right kind of politics“.

    I’d argue privatizing the entire education system will drive better literacy rates, not somehow make them worse.

    If you’re concerned with literacy rates you should be calling for getting government out of education at all levels.

  80. Senile Old Guy

    The main reason why they can’t is that in NSW at least, the government will flatly refuse a licence to open a new school. My source is an Australian private primary principal.

    People, always, always check.

    Go to this list and you will find about 35 new private schools started in NSW 2010 to 2017. So “flatly refuse” seems to be rather inaccurate.

  81. .

    The 18th and 19th-century British economic and utilitarian arguments for compulsory and state-funded education are even more obsolete than arguments to have a national broadcaster.

    If you have read Gatto or his fellow travelers, you will understand the blatant evil in the education system pushed by Dewey and Bloom – to reward academics and create a class of unthinking workers. Some industrialists agreed to this and got involved. Also of importance is the imposition of the “Prussian model” of education.

    This is shocking to some but it is documented. I don’t have Weapons of Mass destruction on hand, but Gatto explains this in his podcasts and other writings, – literally an education-industrial complex. Worse still is the adoption of German regimentation and intentional dumbing down of (some) students.

    ————————————————————————————————————————–

    Bizzare and shocking facts about the US system – from a magazine piece by Gatto:

    https://www.wesjones.com/gatto1.htm

    Against School*

    John Taylor Gatto**

    The odd fact of a Prussian provenance for our schools pops up again and again once you know to look for it. William James alluded to it many times at the turn of the century. Orestes Brownson, the hero of Christopher Lasch’s 1991 book, The True and Only Heaven, was publicly denouncing the Prussianization of American schools back in the 1840s. Horace Mann’s “Seventh Annual Report” to the Massachusetts State Board of Education in 1843 is essentially a paean to the land of Frederick the Great and a call for its schooling to be brought here. That Prussian culture loomed large in America is hardly surprising, given our early association with that utopian state. A Prussian served as Washington’s aide during the Revolutionary War, and so many German- speaking people had settled here by 1795 that Congress considered publishing a German-language edition of the federal laws. But what shocks is that we should so eagerly have adopted one of the very worst aspects of Prussian culture: an educational system deliberately designed to produce mediocre intellects, to hamstring the inner life, to deny students appreciable leadership skills, and to ensure docile and incomplete citizens – all in order to render the populace “manageable.”

    ** 09/2003 Harper’s Magazine.

    * John Taylor Gatto is a former New York State and New York City Teacher of the Year and the author, most recently, of The Underground History of American Education. He was a participant in the Harper’s Magazine forum “School on a Hill,” which appeared in the September 2001 issue. You can find his web site here.

    ————————————————————————————————————————

    We cannot simply blame the 1970s and the march through the institutions as the sole culprits, despite how damaging they have been.

  82. EvilElvis

    I just showed you that Massachusetts had a 99% literacy rate before compulsory schooling and it dropped thereafter.</em

    In 1852. The parents are retards, having come through the 'education' system, who don't have the skills to teach their own children.

    Different time, different work ethic, different values.

    In saying that, a few kids I know from less than ideal homes go one of two ways. A few are street smart and certainly have brains, they'll survive and potentially flourish despite their upbringing. The others are just in the cycle, cultural normally, and will follow the hopeless parents lead.

  83. .

    Senile Old Guy
    #2563200, posted on November 23, 2017 at 11:09 am
    The main reason why they can’t is that in NSW at least, the government will flatly refuse a licence to open a new school. My source is an Australian private primary principal.

    People, always, always check.

    Go to this list and you will find about 35 new private schools started in NSW 2010 to 2017. So “flatly refuse” seems to be rather inaccurate.

    A few things:

    1. When were these places issued licenses? The minimum would have been 31 March, 2016. I was also told that the department had a very restrictive attitude within the last calendar year.
    2. Note how many already operate schools. Most of them.
    3. You cannot be registered unless you teach the official curriculum.
    4. It is also illegal to operate an unregistered school.
    5. Note that none of them are for-profit (as far as I can tell).

    “New school” was implying competition to the official crap curriculum. Don’t just check, be precise with your language! Sorry. I should have been much, much more clearer. I was implying this from the learning web concept but I did not express this to anyone else. Note that being an external expert in such a learning web would breach section 65 of the Education Act 1990 (NSW).

    Now this is the regulatory hurdle you face in altering the official curriculum:

    https://rego.nesa.nsw.edu.au/starting-a-new-school/initial-registration/requirements/curriculum/modifications-to-nesa-syllabuses

    …this is the kicker:

    how the proposed modified outcome(s) will comply with the curriculum guidelines developed by NESA and approved by the Minister

    So they have in essence all but created a privative clause. If you don’t agree with the guidelines, you cannot succeed.

    That’s not really competition. At best it might be private delivery of a state-mandated product.

  84. Tim Neilson

    I’d argue privatizing the entire education system will drive better literacy rates, not somehow make them worse.

    If you’re concerned with literacy rates you should be calling for getting government out of education at all levels.

    Privatising the entire education system would almost certainly improve literacy rates among kids who actually got educated.
    The problem is that some kids of primary school age, through no fault of their own, are stuck with parents who won’t lift a finger to educate them, and it can’t be assumed that those kids will remedy that deficiency for themselves, nor that private or philanthropic education will provide sufficient places or even if they did that they’d be able to compel the kids to attend.
    That’s why I think that State intervention in education, undesirable though it may be for all sorts of reasons, is a practical necessity to the extent of a safety net. In theory it could be done without State schools but that would inevitably lead to State influence over ostensibly non-State schools, i.e. it wouldn’t really be a State-free system anyway.
    I know you disagree, and that’s fine.

  85. .

    In 1852. The parents are retards, having come through the ‘education’ system, who don’t have the skills to teach their own children.

    What about the retard teachers who have come through the ‘education’ system?!

    Tasmania, after all, has a 50% illiteracy rate!

  86. Tim Neilson

    You haven’t rebutted any argument I have made.

    I’ve pointed out its irrelevancy to what I’ve actually been arguing all along. You’re so blinded by your own libertarian fanaticism that you can’t even read properly what anyone else is saying the moment you see the word “State”.

    I’ve said all along I’m fine with home schooling properly done, and with private or philanthropic education, and that State schools (or other State intervention in education) should exist for children who in reality don’t have access to anything else. Nor have I denied that our current State education is woefully inadequate and wasteful.

    So all your stats are just irrelevant. There are, in reality, kids in bad situations who as a matter of practical reality have only one chance of getting literate and numerate, and that’s the State system, and arguing that statistically kids overall (who may mostly be in good situations) are likely to do better away from State schools is simply a non sequitur – as I’ve made abundantly clear to those with comprehension skills I’m perfectly happy for all those kids who have the chance to be educated away from the State system never to be forced near it.

  87. .

    I’ve pointed out its irrelevancy to what I’ve actually been arguing all along. You’re so blinded by your own libertarian fanaticism that you can’t even read properly what anyone else is saying the moment you see the word “State”.

    No, they are not irrelevant:

    1. A country/State with similar culture and ethnic background to Australia going from a near 100% literacy rate before compulsory education to worsening literacy thereafter, and:
    2. Tasmania in 2014 had a 50% illiteracy rate. After 156 years of compulsory education.

  88. Tim Neilson

    Let’s sum up the current debate:

    There are two remote indigenous communities in different jurisdictions. Child A is primary school aged and lives in a drug/grog addled dysfunctional household with no-one literate or numerate in one, and Child B is primary school aged and lives in a drug/grog addled dysfunctional household with no-one literate or numerate in the other.

    Both have an equal chance of being picked up by some charitable educational project or other non-government educational venture.

    If they aren’t, Child A will be compelled to go to a State primary school, but child B won’t.
    Which child is more likely to end up literate and numerate?

    Dot says child B is more likely to end up literate and numerate, because of statistics.

    Iampeter says both kids can go fuck themselves.

    I happen to disagree with both of them.

  89. .

    To be pedantic, I am not relying on statistics at all, but rather, data.

  90. Tim Neilson

    Correction accepted Dot.

  91. Senile Old Guy

    A few things:

    1. When were these places issued licenses? The minimum would have been 31 March, 2016. I was also told that the department had a very restrictive attitude within the last calendar year.
    2. Note how many already operate schools. Most of them.
    3. You cannot be registered unless you teach the official curriculum.
    4. It is also illegal to operate an unregistered school.
    5. Note that none of them are for-profit (as far as I can tell).

    “New school” was implying competition to the official crap curriculum.

    No, dotty, you don’t get to change your statements after you make them. This is what you wrote:

    The main reason why they can’t is that in NSW at least, the government will flatly refuse a licence to open a new school. My source is an Australian private primary principal.

    I pointed out that over 30 schools had been started since 2010. I was correct and your 5 points have nothing to do with your original statement or my rebuttal of same.

    You’ve gone from “the government will flatly refuse” to “within the last calendar year”. Several of those schools I listed opened in 2017; the last calendar year. What has “for-profit” got to do with it? And, yes, surprise, several are Catholic schools, a church that has been running schools for many years.

    Of course it is illegal to operate an unregistered school. I mean, der. It is also illegal to train people to fly, without the appropriate licenses and qualifications. It is illegal to run a medical practice, without the appropriate licenses and qualifications. Likewise, they have to teach the official curriculum. That would be because the students have to pass the state run and set exams which are based on the official curriculum.

  92. .

    Of course it is illegal to operate an unregistered school. I mean, der. It is also illegal to train people to fly, without the appropriate licenses and qualifications. It is illegal to run a medical practice, without the appropriate licenses and qualifications. Likewise, they have to teach the official curriculum. That would be because the students have to pass the state run and set exams which are based on the official curriculum.

    You’re actually defending this crap?

  93. Diogenes

    Some schools, and i might add they are only private schools, offer the International Baccalaureate instead of the official curriculum . There are mappings of the IB with the national curric available

  94. Senile Old Guy

    That would be because the students have to pass the state run and set exams which are based on the official curriculum.

    You’re actually defending this crap?

    Yes, because I don’t live in a fantasy libertarian world. It doesn’t mean I think it is all good, or could not be improved, and there are problems, in some cases, major problems with parts of it.

  95. .

    Yes, because I don’t live in a fantasy libertarian world. It doesn’t mean I think it is all good, or could not be improved, and there are problems, in some cases, major problems with parts of it.

    That is a nothing answer with no substance at all.

  96. Senile Old Guy

    Yes, because I don’t live in a fantasy libertarian world. It doesn’t mean I think it is all good, or could not be improved, and there are problems, in some cases, major problems with parts of it.

    That is a nothing answer with no substance at all.

    Yes, it has substance: (a) I think your ideas are utterly impractical; and (b) I think the existing system has problems but also does some good.

  97. .

    Tasmania has a 50% illiteracy rate. That data was from 2014. The existing system is beyond “having problems”.

    The solutions are free or low cost and have worked before in the real world.

  98. Senile Old Guy

    Tasmania has a 50% illiteracy rate.

    Do you even know what that means? Here’s a post which unpicks some of the numbers.

    The core figure is 48.8% struggle at Level 3. Here is Level 3:

    Texts at this level are often dense or lengthy, and include continuous, non-continuous, mixed, or multiple pages of text. Understanding text and rhetorical structures become more central to successfully completing tasks, especially navigating complex digital texts. Tasks require the respondent to identify, interpret, or evaluate one or more pieces of information, and often require varying levels of inference. Many tasks require the respondent to construct meaning across larger chunks of text or perform multi-step operations in order to identify and formulate responses. Often tasks also demand that the respondent disregard irrelevant or inappropriate content to answer accurately. Competing information is often present, but it is not more prominent than the correct information.

    Not being able to do that does not make some-one illiterate. From the ABS:

    The 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey (ALLS) collected and assessed information on the literacy skills of Australians aged 15-74 years across a range of literacy domains: prose literacy; document literacy; numeracy; and problem solving. A health literacy scale was produced as a by-product of these. Literacy skills were assessed on a scale of 1-5, with Level 1 being the lowest and Level 3 deemed to be the ‘minimum required for individuals to meet the complex demands of everyday life and work in the emerging knowledge-based economy’ (Statistics Canada and OECD, 2005). People who attained a score of Level 1 or 2 were considered to lack the necessary literacy skills required to meet these demands.

    Without seeing what a bit of Level 3 text looks like, I can’t go further. I can quote the ABS conclusion:

    While Tasmania had the lowest adult literacy skills in Australia, according to the 2006 Adult Literacy and Life Skills Survey, improvement was evident in document literacy skill levels when compared with results of the 1996 Survey of Aspects of Literacy. Tasmania’s ageing population may be in part responsible for the lower than average literacy skills due to limited educational and labour force opportunities previously available, particularly to females in the older age group, 65-74 years, and to the effects of interstate migration patterns. Younger females were revolutionising literacy skill levels for the 25-34 years age group, out-performing males in all but numeracy.

    Literacy levels increased as the level of educational attainment increased. There were marked differences in skill levels across all scales between those people who had completed Year 12 or equivalent and those who had completed only Year 10 or below. This highlights the importance of improving retention rates of students in Tasmania to progress beyond Year 10. Further, those with sufficient literacy skills were more likely to be employed and earn higher incomes.

    Rather puts a dent in your arguments, doesn’t it?

  99. .

    Sure, if you play the definition changing game.

  100. Senile Old Guy

    Sure, if you play the definition changing game.

    How am I changing the definition by going to the original source of the 50% statistic? All I did was cite, from the source, their (ABS) definition of literacy. The 50% figure you reported refers specifically to the ABS definition of Level 3 literacy skills. You referred to 2014. I went to the 2014 ABS report that was the source of the 50% (48.8%) figure.

    Getting a bit desperate here, dotty.

  101. .

    It means they can’t read the instructions for S3 or S4 medicine.

    That is dangerously illiterate. You cannot handwave this away. Tasmania is the second highest per capita spender on education.

  102. Senile Old Guy

    It means they can’t read the instructions for S3 or S4 medicine. That is dangerously illiterate. You cannot handwave this away.

    I am not handwaving anything. S3 and S4 are pharmacist only medicines, requiring prescriptions. The patient should not have to understand the instructions because they should be explained by the doctor and pharmacist.

    50% of Tasmanians are not illiterate: they can read and understand at Level 1 and 2 but struggle at Level 3.

    Tasmania is the second highest per capita spender on education.

    So? Where did I say anything about that? In most places in Australia, there have been only small changes in literacy rates over the last decade. And it is well known that funding bears little correlation to outcomes in this country.

  103. .

    Having to rely on a better-educated person to explain exactly what the datasheet says because you cannot read it is a sign of illiteracy. It is also dangerous illiteracy. What happens if you forget what you were told?

  104. Ellen of Tasmania

    Yes, because I don’t live in a fantasy libertarian world.

    S.O.G. – Neither do I.

    The problem here is that you are assuming there could be no standards, no way of testing them and/or no way of reaching them without government busy-bodying.

    I simply disagree. Private companies produce excellent educational material, private companies can administer testing and various private educational institutes and businesses can insist on certain standards or scores from certain tests to be part of their programmes.

    That would be because the students have to pass the state run and set exams which are based on the official curriculum.

    I had a discussion with a Liberal Party bloke who rang me for my views (ie. he asked for it!). Tasmania is in the process of changing its homeschooling regulations and, to keep it short, the new laws are woeful. One of the eligibility tests will be around how the home curriculum aligns with ‘official curriculum’.

    I asked the guy, “How much are they going to care about my child’s maths proficiency and how much are they going to care about whether or not I’m teaching the PC version of environmentalism, sex education etc?”

    He got my point – even agreed. (Note: These new regulations are coming in under a Liberal government.)

    The problem is that some kids of primary school age, through no fault of their own, are stuck with parents who won’t lift a finger to educate them

    Tim – I don’t disagree with you on that. It’s just that parental irresponsibility can be subsidised or unsubsidised by the tax payer, and I would rather it be unsubsidised. First, because whatever you subsidise you get more of, and secondly, I want those parents held completely accountable for their own children. That includes their financial welfare.

    Once that is in place, I think there will be, over time, more parents who either from their own sense of love & responsibility, or because of social pressure, make the effort to see their children get adequate education. If they don’t, they’ll have no one to blame but themselves (ask teachers how many parents think it’s all the school’s fault that Johnny can’t read), and they’ll bear more of the financial implications of such failure.

    It’s a longer term way of looking at things. Tough love, being cruel to be kind, teaching people about honey in the mouth & gravel in the stomach, reaping what you sow and all the other proverbs that flesh out this idea. Is this hard on some children? Yes, sadly, I think so. But I also think it is kinder to many more children over a much longer period of time.

  105. Senile Old Guy

    Having to rely on a better-educated person to explain exactly what the datasheet says because you cannot read it is a sign of illiteracy. It is also dangerous illiteracy. What happens if you forget what you were told?

    They CAN read it; they may not understand all of it. What happens if they cannot read it because the print is too small*? What happens if they break their glasses? I guess they could ask a friend or relative.

    Someone who reads, and understands, to Level 2 is not illiterate. That was your claim: 50% illiterate.

    Now it is a “sign of illiteracy” if they have trouble understanding instructions on S3 or S4 data sheets for prescription drugs. But keep at it, those goalposts won’t move themselves.

    * The print seems to be getting smaller and smaller; perhaps they are cramming more and more information on.

  106. .

    You are shifting the goalposts.

  107. Iampeter

    Iampeter says both kids can go fuck themselves.

    Its the other way around. I’m arguing to get government out of healthcare which will help all the childrens, in the long term.

  108. Iampeter

    I meant getting government out of education…

  109. Senile Old Guy

    S.O.G. – Neither do I.

    The problem here is that you are assuming there could be no standards, no way of testing them and/or no way of reaching them without government busy-bodying.

    Where did I write that? To get, say, the SACE, students have to fulfil the relevant state requirements. Saying that does not even imply that the SACE is good, or that someone has to go to a government school to pass the requirements. As Diogenes (?) said, some schools teach to the IB, which is a qualification developed by an international organisation. Since I have been aware of the IB for a long time, I know that standards do not require governments.

    I simply disagree. Private companies produce excellent educational material, private companies can administer testing and various private educational institutes and businesses can insist on certain standards or scores from certain tests to be part of their programmes.

    But you are disagreeing with something I never suggested. This is what I wrote:

    Likewise, they have to teach the official curriculum. That would be because the students have to pass the state run and set exams which are based on the official curriculum.

    No mention of schools, state or otherwise. And there was this:

    It doesn’t mean I think it is all good, or could not be improved, and there are problems, in some cases, major problems with parts of it.

    Now that is certainly vague about “it” but it was the education system. Regardless of who does the teaching, the state creates and certifies the qualification, up until Year 12. I am not saying they do it well, or that it could not be improved, or even that it is fit for purpose. I am just stating a relevant fact.

  110. Senile Old Guy

    You are shifting the goalposts.

    And you criticised me for making empty comments.

  111. .

    If your concern is about disadvantage Old Guy, and only 10% or so of Australians live in “disadvantage”, and “only” 47% of Tasmanians who have significant schooling or have left school cannot read a medicine leaflet or directions on a bottle of poison; more illiterates are being created by public education than there would otherwise exist in the worst unregulated scenario.

    It might be great they can read a very simple book to their young children but not being able to understand instructions that are of significant safety value to them without the help of another adult is as good as not being able to read at all. These people give medicine to their children after all.

  112. Senile Old Guy

    If your concern is about disadvantage Old Guy, and only 10% or so of Australians live in “disadvantage”, and “only” 47% of Tasmanians who have significant schooling or have left school cannot read a medicine leaflet or directions on a bottle of poison; more illiterates are being created by public education than there would otherwise exist in the worst unregulated scenario.

    You have no evidence to back up the claim that there would be fewer illiterate without public education. And there is no suggestion that a large percentage cannot read directions.

    It might be great they can read a very simple book to their young children but not being able to understand instructions that are of significant safety value to them without the help of another adult is as good as not being able to read at all. These people give medicine to their children after all.

    Level 2, which most attain, is more than a “very simple book”. And we do not know whether or not they can understand instructions. What we do know is that, contrary to your original claim, that they are not illiterate: that was your claim, 50% illiterate.

  113. Ellen of Tasmania

    Where did I write that? To get, say, the SACE, students have to fulfil the relevant state requirements.

    I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to accuse you of saying something you didn’t.

    If you know that there are and could be better standards and requirements without the government, then surely the ‘libertarian fantasy world’ isn’t so fantastical after all? It was that which made me think you considered the government vital in the process. If they pay the piper then they will indeed call the tune.

    That tune will be the ‘official curriculum’ and I have mega-big problems with that, as I said.

    I am not saying they do it well, or that it could not be improved, or even that it is fit for purpose. I am just stating a relevant fact.

    But if you are saying all that – and of course it is a fact right now – why is it libertarian fantasy to wish the government would get out of what they are doing so badly? Why is it fantasy to suggest that there is enough evidence from history and current programmes (eg. the whole low-cost private schools movement in 3rd world countries) to say that private enterprise does it better for more people? And if better – why can we not work towards that better?

    What am I missing in your argument?

  114. mh

    I haven’t read all these comments, but can a libertarian on this blog give an opinion on which country or region in the world today they believe is closest to the libertarian ideal?

  115. .

    “They can read a book, but they can’t understand instructions…”

    Jesus. What do you think “read” means; it is beyond sounding words out.

  116. .

    You have no evidence to back up the claim that there would be fewer illiterate without public education.

    There is enough to compare to come to that conclusion.

  117. .

    If you know that there are and could be better standards and requirements without the government, then surely the ‘libertarian fantasy world’ isn’t so fantastical after all? It was that which made me think you considered the government vital in the process. If they pay the piper then they will indeed call the tune.

    Obviously, it isn’t. Most parents can teach their children to read and write. Even the “stupid” ones. It is an important skill, but not a highly developed one requiring specialised teaching.

    But if you are saying all that – and of course it is a fact right now – why is it libertarian fantasy to wish the government would get out of what they are doing so badly? Why is it fantasy to suggest that there is enough evidence from history and current programmes (eg. the whole low-cost private schools movement in 3rd world countries) to say that private enterprise does it better for more people? And if better – why can we not work towards that better?

    It is indeed a very guarded and biased position to take. Only literal meanings, direct evidence, no comparisons and assumptions justifying the status quo cannot be used as a baseline.

  118. .

    If Old Guy went on to investigate the definitions he quoted instead of making assumptions about, even in 1997, this was awful:

    ————————————————

    http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/[email protected]/Previousproducts/4228.0Media%20Release11996?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=4228.0&issue=1996&num=&view=

    MEDIA RELEASE

    September 08, 1997
    Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
    124/1997

    Australians’ literacy skills put to the test

    Almost half of Australians aged 15-74 (6.2 million people) have ‘poor’ or ‘very poor’ prose literacy skills. Another 35 per cent (4.7 million) could be expected to cope with many of the demands of daily life, but not always at a high level of proficiency. Some 17 per cent (2.3 million) could be considered to have prose literacy skills of a high order.

    ………………..

    On all three literacy scales, some 2.6 million people aged 15 to 74 are at Level 1 (very poor literacy skills), and could be expected to face considerable difficulties in using many printed materials that are encountered in everyday life. About 3.6 million people are at Level 2 and could be expected to experience some difficulties. Level 3 is the largest category – the skills of the 4.7 million people at this level would enable them to cope with many printed materials, but not always at a high level. Some 2.3 million people are at Level 4/5, representing good to very good skills and the ability to manage the literacy demands of everyday life.

    ———————————-

    That is absolutely woeful and backs up what I’m saying about Tasmania.

    Keep in mind NSW (largest state) had compulsory education since 1870, Tasmania, 1868.

    Note:

    “High levels of formal education are not necessarily reflected in high literacy abilities – less than half (48 per cent) of people with a degree or postgraduate qualification are at Level 4/5.”

    Public education is an expensive failure and it ought to end NOW.

  119. .

    This is absolutely appalling: in 2011-2012, 12% of native English speakers in Australia only had “Level 1” literacy skills.

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/[email protected]/Lookup/4228.0Main+Features702011-12

    That is they: “could be expected to face considerable difficulties in using many printed materials that are encountered in everyday life…”.

    The vast majority of these people were educated in the 1950s onwards, to Year 9/10 or equivalent.

  120. BorisG

    dot, first of all calm down please. People are trying to have a debate and it is normal they have differences of opinion. Raising the voice usually means you run out of rational arguments.

    also, I think your data won’t convince anyone because they don’t show causation. In Tasmania literacy rates are low, but in Finland and Japan they are high. So it is not the compulsory education that is the problem, but the way it is implemented.

  121. .

    I am presenting overwhelming evidence in the face of pedantry and equivocation. I may have hurt people’s feelings because they might be teachers or said a few things which are shocking.

    School is a massive waste of time. The outcomes are pathetic.

    also, I think your data won’t convince anyone because they don’t show causation

    Totally wrong, the Massachusetts example shows causation.

    So it is not the compulsory education that is the problem, but the way it is implemented.

    You just claimed I couldn’t show causation. How can you assume it?

  122. BorisG

    Totally wrong, the Massachusetts example shows causation.

    No. Just because literacy rates decrease AFTER introduction of something, does not mean BECAUSE of it. BTW do the data include native Americans?

    How can you assume it?

  123. BorisG

    am presenting overwhelming evidence in the face of pedantry and equivocation. I may have hurt people’s feelings because they might be teachers or said a few things which are shocking.

    Not at all. People are presenting logical arguments (unlike most on cat). Your inability to see others’ point of view (which is by far the POV of the vast majority) is frankly disappointing. That does not mean they are right but their angle is slightly different.

  124. BorisG

    How can you assume it?

    I don’t. Literacy rates vary between countries with compulsory education, and in many countries lead to high literacy rates. How can then compulsory education be the problem?

  125. Fisky

    I’d argue privatizing the entire education system will drive better literacy rates, not somehow make them worse.

    Really? Why would you argue that?

  126. DM of WA

    Fisky
    #2564084, posted on November 24, 2017 at 2:26 am
    I’d argue privatizing the entire education system will drive better literacy rates, not somehow make them worse.

    Really? Why would you argue that?

    Because the state education system has been captured by special interests – specifically the bureaucrats
    and the teachers’ unions.

  127. BorisG

    Because the state education system has been captured by special interests – specifically the bureaucrats and the teachers’ unions.

    This may be so but does not address Fisk’s question

  128. Fisky

    Because the state education system has been captured by special interests – specifically the bureaucrats and the teachers’ unions.

    But that’s not the reason for declining literacy levels. Bureaucrats and unions were a big thing 50 years ago too. What’s changed is instructional methodology for teaching reading. And it’s arguably worse in some parts of the private school system.

  129. iampeter

    Really? Why would you argue that?

    Because when privatized people are driven by the profit motive and the only way to make as much money as possible is to provide the best possible goods and services.
    In the case of education that means the best possible level of education for the kids.

    I think its great that the Cat has so many leftists posting here, asking the same questions as what you would get from socialist, university students. Allows us to have these debates without having to go to the Huffington post.

  130. mh

    …can a libertarian on this blog give an opinion on which country or region in the world today they believe is closest to the libertarian ideal?

    * crickets *

    Maybe the libertarians on this blog will join the real world soon, instead of the realm of fantasy.

  131. .

    No. Just because literacy rates decrease AFTER introduction of something, does not mean BECAUSE of it. BTW do the data include native Americans?

    Yes it does; there is enough data to see a structural break (Chow test).

  132. .

    mh
    #2564417, posted on November 24, 2017 at 11:42 am
    …can a libertarian on this blog give an opinion on which country or region in the world today they believe is closest to the libertarian ideal?

    * crickets *

    Maybe the libertarians on this blog will join the real world soon, instead of the realm of fantasy.

    The real world is that public/compulsory education is a demonstrable, epic failure.

    The more money you spend, the worse outcomes you get.

    It does nothing demonstrable for the indigent in a general sense (only anecdotally).

    It has a tendency to become more regulated over time.

    These regulations tend to worsen outcomes.

    It is all but illegal to teach anything other than the official curriculum.

    The justification for compulsory education is obsolete.

    The solutions are free or very low cost and generally free to the end user.

  133. mh

    The real world is that public/compulsory education is a demonstrable, epic failure.

    Is that just in Australia? How about public education in, for example, Singapore?

  134. .

    Homeschooled children in the US probably do better on average than Singaporeans. An average Singaporean would unlikely sit in the 70-80% percentile of the US data. Sorry I cannot make a better comparison here.

    PISA tests do not count for everything either.

    The benefits of direct instruction and high standards are obvious. Private schools in Australia do this anyway. It is how they get ahead in Year 11 and 12, specifically in mathematics.

    There is no reason to make this compulsory or publicly funded, however. Quite frankly it is 200 years or so out of date.

    Furthermore, would the Singaporean system let creativity flourish? Creativity is important to solve new problems in disciplines such as discrete mathematics which is one of the foundations for computer science, for example.

  135. Empire

    But that’s not the reason for declining literacy levels. Bureaucrats and unions were a big thing 50 years ago too. What’s changed is instructional methodology for teaching reading. And it’s arguably worse in some parts of the private school system.

    An inferior instructional method was substituted for a successful method. Why did that happen? Because bureaucrats and unions agitated for it and won.

  136. mh

    Homeschooled children in the US probably do better on average than Singaporeans.

    Why would you begin your post comparing apples with oranges? Do you really think that “public/compulsory education is a demonstrable, epic failure” in Singapore? I doubt that Singaporeans do.

  137. iampeter

    The position of conservatives seems to be one of “freedom is futile…there are no examples of it working…what about poor people?…ergo we need gov run schools”.

    That’s fine if that’s your position, just don’t pretend you’re an alternative to the left.

  138. mh

    The position of conservatives seems to be one of “freedom is futile…there are no examples of it working…what about poor people?…ergo we need gov run schools”.

    iampeter, can you name a nation state that comes anywhere close to reaching your lofty libertarian standards? Surely it’s not too much to ask for an example of where this Libertarian Wonderland might be?

  139. .

    Why would you begin your post comparing apples with oranges? Do you really think that “public/compulsory education is a demonstrable, epic failure” in Singapore? I doubt that Singaporeans do.

    Why are you conflating data with your presumptions?

  140. .

    mh
    #2564679, posted on November 24, 2017 at 3:25 pm
    The position of conservatives seems to be one of “freedom is futile…there are no examples of it working…what about poor people?…ergo we need gov run schools”.

    iampeter, can you name a nation state that comes anywhere close to reaching your lofty libertarian standards? Surely it’s not too much to ask for an example of where this Libertarian Wonderland might be?

    This is so undeniably insipid.

    Please stay in the LNP so you don’t infect the ACP.

  141. iampeter

    iampeter, can you name a nation state that comes anywhere close to reaching your lofty libertarian standards? Surely it’s not too much to ask for an example of where this Libertarian Wonderland might be?

    Yes, everything in the world that works is a consequence of the extent to which individual rights are protected and everything doesn’t work to the extent that they are violated.

    By calling for rights violating, gov run education, you are calling for things NOT TO WORK in education.

    The reason you’re even asking the question is because you’ve never stopped to actually understand how anything in the world works on even the most basic level.

  142. Tim Neilson

    That’s fine if that’s your position, just don’t pretend you’re an alternative to the left.

    I don’t give a shit whether I’m an “alternative to the left”. I’m not going to change my view to conform (or not conform) to some label.

    Furthermore, would the Singaporean system let creativity flourish?

    Those goalposts are moving at relativistic speeds now.

    Yes it does; there is enough data to see a structural break (Chow test).

    This is absolutely correct! Correlation equals causation! Just like we all know that eating more ice cream makes you more vulnerable to shark attack.
    You KNOW it makes sense!!!

    Why are you conflating data with your presumptions?Homeschooled children in the US probably do better on average than Singaporeans.

    World class achievement in consistency here.

  143. .

    Tim – your attempt at humour is a failure and it reflects your ignorance.

    A Chow test does show causation. No one ever said it shows correlation, that is precisely how it shows causation: a sudden change in slope. The data is time series so it is suitable for causation proving techniques. A Chow test is the first phase of “intervention analysis”.

    (Correlation in addition to cointegration shows causation otherwise – I recommend Applied Time Series Econometric Analysis by Walter Ender, published by Wiley, any edition is good).

    There is nothing inconsistent in what I said about comparing the US to Singapore – the US homeschooled kids are in the 70th to 80th percentile of other American kids.

    You want to discuss pedantry rather than the justification for public education.

    The justification doesn’t exist. You haven’t rebutted a single criticism of public/compulsory education that has been made.

    Here they are again:

    The more money you spend, the worse outcomes you get.

    It does nothing demonstrable for the indigent in a general sense (only anecdotally).

    It has a tendency to become more regulated over time.

    These regulations tend to worsen outcomes.

    It is all but illegal to teach anything other than the official curriculum.

    The justification for compulsory education is obsolete.

    The solutions are free or very low cost and generally free to the end user.

  144. Fisky

    By calling for rights violating, gov run education, you are calling for things NOT TO WORK in education.

    But there are lots of countries with government run education that are doing splendidly. So I think your weirdo ideology is leading you astray yet again!

  145. Fisky

    I’d argue privatizing the entire education system will drive better literacy rates, not somehow make them worse.

    But there is no evidence that private education has a higher effect size on any given individual student than a public alternative.

    So this is yet another area where libertarians are fact free in lalaland!

  146. Fisky

    An inferior instructional method was substituted for a successful method. Why did that happen? Because bureaucrats and unions agitated for it and won.

    Not exactly. The changes in instructional ideology came from Initial Teacher Education and academia, and filtered their way through the system until an entire generation of newly graduated teachers knew nothing else but the official constructivist position. There have been some fitful attempts to reintroduce synthetic phonics, but the bulk of resistance is from academia, and because academia have an effective chokehold over teacher accreditation, it is very hard to change anything.

  147. Fisky

    In order to discover where education has gone wrong, you have to look at the interplay between academia and the consulting industry, which has led to utter disasters like the Reading Recovery program being flogged to schools and delivered by teachers who don’t know any better. Once the link between Initial Teacher Education and teacher accreditation is broken, it will be much easier for schools (public and private) to get around the Constructivist firewall.

  148. Fisky

    The Catholic Education system is arguably more evidence free than the public school sector. I would never send my kids to a Catholic school unless I was absolutely certain they knew what they were doing. Sadly, most don’t.

    http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/victorian-teachers-score-f-on-literacy-test-20160809-gqoo32.html

    The ‘reading wars’ have been reignited by claims that primary school teachers are still not teaching students how to read and write properly.

    Around two thirds of nearly 500 Victorian Catholic schools are still teaching Reading Recovery, a program which was found to be ineffective for most students in a recent NSW Education Department report.

    But Catholic Education Melbourne’s executive director, Stephen Elder, who confirmed the figure, said that Reading Recovery was used “as just one of a range of literacy programs”.

    It comes as research shows that a majority of 78 Victorian primary school teachers had “limited” knowledge about fundamental components of literacy and language instruction, including phonics – a teaching method that matches letters and sounds.

    Reading Recovery is a very stupid whole language based program that has been a total flop wherever tried. Sadly, it has been extensively used by the Catholic sector.

  149. .

    There have been some fitful attempts to reintroduce synthetic phonics, but the bulk of resistance is from academia, and because academia have an effective chokehold over teacher accreditation, it is very hard to change anything.

    Why do lefties hate phonics?

  150. Fisky

    It’s not just lefties that hate phonics. It’s pedagogical “progressives” across the political spectrum. They believe that phonics is based on a traditional model of teacher-led instruction, which they hate, in contrast to child-centred methodologies.

    The great irony is that their preferred alternative of Whole Language requires the rote memorisation of hundreds of “sight words”, overloading working memory far more than the systematic instruction of 46-odd letter-sounds ever would.

  151. Empire GTHO Phase III

    Fisk

    Does it run even deeper than that?

    When I started school I struggled with reading. We used phonics. At some point I got the code and never looked back. I was fascinated by etymology and wanted to understand the history of the words I was reading.

    I don’t think that would have happened with whole language. With that crank method words mean what the teacher says they mean. That slots in nicely with a year zero doublespeak control of language and discourages critical thinking.

  152. Fisky

    Empire I think that is reading too much into it. Child-centred pedagogy aims to be open-ended, free from adult control – children are naturally good, curious beings who must be left uncorrupted, etc. Related to this is an “acquisitional” approach to reading based on a belief that it can be picked up naturally, just like speech.

    That’s where this stupid ideology comes from. It has it’s roots in Rousseau, the worst philosopher of the Enlightenment.

  153. Fisky

    The reason you’re even asking the question is because you’ve never stopped to actually understand how anything in the world works on even the most basic level.

    Bwahahahaha! Iampeter, there is no one on this blog with LESS life experience than you have.

  154. iampeter

    Bwahahahaha! Iampeter, there is no one on this blog with LESS life experience than you have.

    Says the guy arguing for government run schools and at the same time thinks he is fighting against the left.

    XD

    Even teenagers are less confused about politics than you.

  155. mh

    By calling for rights violating, gov run education, you are calling for things NOT TO WORK in education.

    iampeter, Sticking to my example to dot above, do you really think Singapore’s education system does NOT work? Singapore is not like Australia where whatever mistakes we make we can still keep digging up rocks and selling them to someone. Singapore would quickly go into decline if it’s people were pig ignorant. How is Singapore’s public education system not working? And is Singapore’s education system rights violating?

  156. mh

    By calling for rights violating, gov run education, you are calling for things NOT TO WORK in education.

    I have not been calling for anything. I was just looking for some evidence from the libertarians that all government run education anywhere in the world is a “demonstrable, epic failure”. I have raised one example of government education -Singapore- where I very much doubt it is an epic failure. But I am not calling for more government, just challenging ‘libertarian’ sweeping statements, and so far getting few facts from those libertarians to support their arguments.

  157. Fisky

    and so far getting few facts from those libertarians to support their arguments.

    Don’t hold your breath waiting, MH!

  158. .

    I’ve backed up everything I’ve said (not to the precision I like in some cases). I debunked some rank ignorance that was delivered in a backfiring and twee barb. I provided data. I went to the legislation and gave links.

    Most opposing liberalisation just prefer state intervention in education. You think done properly it benefits the right and thus society.

  159. BorisG

    Fisk, may I ask: why on this thread you appear to be making rational arguments and appear much more informed than anyone else, while on more political threads you speak in bigly slogans and agree with cranks?

  160. BorisG

    I’ve backed up everything I’ve said

    Dot let me try, but please be patient. Let’s assume that you are right about Massachussets. I don’t believe in 99% of anything (like elections in Egypt) but let’s assume that is correct. The problem is that what you are advocating a massive change from the current system, a revolution. Drastic steps require drastic evidence. evidence from 1852 won’t do, since the society has changed beyond recognition. You are unable to name a country or region where the model where private education has shown success. The only contemporary information you mentioned is from home schooling but this is skewed because it has a huge selection bias. A distant friend of mine has told me he has home schooled his two kids and they are now excelling in university but he is professor of pure math so I don’t think this counts. What you suggest is very interesting but no one will agree with this even theoretically until there is evidence that it works in the first world country or region today. One city will probably do. without this, sorry no.

  161. Fisky

    I’ve backed up everything I’ve said (not to the precision I like in some cases). I debunked some rank ignorance that was delivered in a backfiring and twee barb. I provided data. I went to the legislation and gave links.

    Unfortunately, dotty, you haven’t demonstrated any awareness at all about the most salient factors that actually drive student achievement. You seem to think the most salient issue is public vs. private ownership of schools. Unfortunately, that doesn’t even feature in the top 100 of Hattie’s effect sizes. Religious schools have a positive effect size, but below the average effect of 0.4, single-sex schools are even lower, while charter schools make NO difference to student learning at all.

    The top 10 effects on student learning are ALL based on instructional effect and that is where we should be focussing our efforts on school reform, not on stupid peripheral issues such as whether a school is public or private. It makes virtually no difference on an individual student’s learning whatsoever.

  162. .

    Boris, your criticism is not as robust as you think. On the other hand, it is not unreasonable to demand more evidence.

    You are smearing the credibility of the data whilst at the same time “assuming” it is correct Boris, then you want to torture Sagan’s bold but unjustified (and quite silly) claim so that it segues into a rubric to judge the data.

    That is not credible. Either evidence from 1852 is correct or it isn’t, you can’t assume it is true then declare it “won’t do”, as the focus of the debate after it went OT was about literacy (the main purpose of primary education).

    That is what the data supports – an argument to stop compulsory education to increase literacy.

    “Society changing” simply makes the economic arguments for compulsory or state-funded education worse. They are obsolete. It is not costly to give a child a basic education (if it ever was). Books are no longer indivisible and costly as books were over 200 years ago. A qualified public goods argument (if it ever was valid) no longer applies. Arguments about merit goods suffer from bias of the person making the inquiry if they are specific to content.

    You assert I have not proven my point, this is false: outcomes worsened after compulsory education. Otherwise, you dismiss homeschooling off an anecdote (!) after believing “drastic evidence” was not present. That is inconsistent. Furthermore – having a tertiary education, let alone a professorship is not a guarantee that you will be a great teacher. The reason why homeschooling works is that the parents own the result.

    Of course, there is selection bias; that is the entire point. You do not bother to specify how there is selection bias. You seem to imply that bias invalidates the data. This is not necessarily true and sometimes selection bias is beneficial. The only basis you have to rebutt the efficacy of homeschooling is anecdotal that only the elite can engage in such activity.

    As to saying “no”, no one has proven that public/compulsory education has bettered outcomes, furthermore, no one has nor probably can prove using marginal analysis, that it leads to better results, on the raw data or adjusted for spending. The data bears out that more spending is negatively correlated with results.

  163. Fisky

    The hilarious thing about Dotty’s bizarre solution of homeschooling is a) it has a very low effect size, and b) it actually contradicts the evidence on why lowering class sizes (as unions like to advocate) has virtually NO impact on student learning.

    Let’s say you cut class sizes in half, giving each student an average of 4 minute’s individual face time per lesson with the teacher. This is actually quite ineffective as opposed to effective interactive whole class teaching of say 20-30 minutes, followed by another 20-30 minutes on task.

    The other problem is this – even if we radically tried to reduce class sizes, we would have to hire twice as many teachers. How would we do this? By radically reducing the minimum ATAR score for teaching courses!!! Which will have a poor impact on learning. The overwhelming majority of people simply aren’t cut out for teaching. So taking this to the radical extreme of getting every parent to educate their own child, is flat out insane.

    Of course, libertarians reject marginal analysis so they wouldn’t be able to understand what I’ve just written.

  164. Fisky

    The reason why homeschooling works is that the parents own the result.

    Unfortunately, mass homeschooling will require every parent to have equal or better curriculum knowledge than a teacher. It will also require parents to invest 3-4 hours per day on schooling their kid. Every household.

    So it looks like libertarians have not only rejected marginal analysis, they also dismiss the division of labour.

    Libertarian economics – rocking like it’s 1400!

  165. Infidel Tiger

    Class sizes are irellevant. Better that one good teacher teaches a 1000 students than some swivelled eyed idealist personally tutors 1 kid.

    Class size obsession is leftism.

  166. Fisky

    Fisk, may I ask: why on this thread you appear to be making rational arguments and appear much more informed than anyone else, while on more political threads you speak in bigly slogans and agree with cranks?

    Boris, that’s because the political arena is not amenable to evidence or facts. We have to just accept it for what it is, a tribal shit fight.

  167. .

    Fisk you’re as ideological as you make others out to be. If you want to be condescending you can do so to yourself as well.

    Hattie’s list shows that “whole language” has a positive effect (however small), yet you reckon it is discredited and it negatively affects outcomes so far to the point that you won’t send your kids to a school that teaches with it. That is a fairly dramatic statement. Yet you rely on this list to berate others and steer the debate in a manner you desire.

    I’m not telling teachers how to do their job. That’s the point. Education is better off non-compulsory and not taxpayer funded. Good teachers can pay attention to Hattie – if the bureaucracy disagrees now (NSW Dept of Ed curriculum guidelines for example), there is no recourse. You just have to go along.

    Reducing public spending on education is a good thing. There was never any justification to make high school one year longer in Australia, nor is there much justification in sending ALL children to school before they are seven. Education could be provided much cheaper EVEN if it remains compulsory and taxpayer funded.

    Two points emerge from the last paragraph:

    1. Arguing to start children later is a good counter-argument anyway to the insane idea of taxpayer-funded (and I worry, eventually, compulsory) “schooling” for three-year-olds.
    2. If the system is private, you won’t get rules that set ages for beginning school. The schools can assess when the children are ready. There is also no requirement to stay in school for longer than necessary.

  168. .

    Unfortunately, mass homeschooling will require every parent to have equal or better curriculum knowledge than a teacher. It will also require parents to invest 3-4 hours per day on schooling their kid. Every household.

    That is nonsense which IT sort of showed perhaps without realising, but god forbid parents actually spend time with their own children.

    Class sizes are irellevant. Better that one good teacher teaches a 1000 students than some swivelled eyed idealist personally tutors 1 kid.

    Class size obsession is leftism.

    That’s true. That is what privatisation can allow. That is what modern technology and economies of scale allow.

    You are not going to get class sizes of 1000+ plus with compulsory or state-managed education.

  169. Oh come on

    Hattie’s list shows that “whole language” has a positive effect (however small), yet you reckon it is discredited

    Dot, if you’re familiar with Hattie, you’d know that he makes the point that just about every instructional approach has a positive effect. He’s concerned with efficacy.

  170. Oh come on

    Whole Language is discredited in that it leaves vast numbers of students behind.

  171. Fisky

    Hattie’s list shows that “whole language” has a positive effect (however small), yet you reckon it is discredited and it negatively affects outcomes so far to the point that you won’t send your kids to a school that teaches with it. That is a fairly dramatic statement. Yet you rely on this list to berate others and steer the debate in a manner you desire.

    Dotty, you don’t understand how effect sizes work. A 0.4 effect means a year’s progress for a year’s input. Any intervention below that is INEFFECTIVE because the output is less than the input.

    I’m not telling teachers how to do their job. That’s the point. Education is better off non-compulsory and not taxpayer funded. Good teachers can pay attention to Hattie – if the bureaucracy disagrees now (NSW Dept of Ed curriculum guidelines for example), there is no recourse. You just have to go along.

    I’m glad you’re not telling teachers how to do their job, because you don’t know anything about education.

    Reducing public spending on education is a good thing. There was never any justification to make high school one year longer in Australia, nor is there much justification in sending ALL children to school before they are seven.

    There is a whole book by Charles Murray, called The Bell Curve, explaining why not going to school is a really dumb idea (amongst other things) .

    Education could be provided much cheaper EVEN if it remains compulsory and taxpayer funded.

    But education is expensive precisely because it is not wholly evidence based. People spend most of their time arguing about stuff like school funding and technology in the classroom, which are peripheral issues. At the same time, I don’t think the libertarian movement has much to offer, given their enthusiasm for charter schools and vouchers, which are also ineffective.

  172. Fisky

    Also, given that the window of opportunity to teach a kid to read is K-3 (after which the overwhelming majority of children will never learn to read if they haven’t already done so), I suggest everyone ignore Dot’s argument for not having under 7s in school.

  173. Fisky, have you noticed that iampeter literally has nothing to say about whether this or that system or mode of teaching delivers better results with individual students, and so he tries to turn the discussion to one about something completely unrelated to that question, that allows him to pontificate about Objectivist ideology. And he has the gall to be an empiricist of some sort!

  174. Fisky

    Dover, Iampeter is about 19 years old and has swallowed Randroidism after being indoctrinated at an O-day stall, but has no other life experience to speak of.

  175. Tel

    There is a whole book by Charles Murray, called The Bell Curve, explaining why not going to school is a really dumb idea (amongst other things) .

    When you compare the achievements of home schooled kids against government schooled kids, I’d say the statistics are not in Charles Murray’s favour there. It’s not even a subtle shift where you have to grub around with confidence factors. Now I get that government schools will say that it’s an unfair comparison and not everyone has the resources for home schooling… but Internet is cheap and resources are becoming more available every day. Basically technology left the schoolhouse behind and people are just waking up to that.

  176. Iampeter

    iampeter, Sticking to my example to dot above, do you really think Singapore’s education system does NOT work?

    The political question is: do you support government run schools or not.
    Once the discussion moves to discussing which types of government type schools “work” and such, you’ve conceded that you support government run schools.

    So on yet another issue, those who claim to be against the left, quietly agree with them and move onto irrelevant technical discussions.

  177. Iampeter

    Dover, Iampeter is about 19 years old and has swallowed Randroidism after being indoctrinated at an O-day stall, but has no other life experience to speak of.

    The sad thing is Fisk, dover, et al are far removed from their teens and so don’t have the excuse for the scope of ignorance on display, nor the triggered ad homines and derailment of countless threads because they don’t know how to articulate any political ideas.

    I mean this kinda says it all:

    Boris, that’s because the political arena is not amenable to evidence or facts. We have to just accept it for what it is, a tribal shit fight.

    lol so Fisk rejects the idea of evidence and facts a in politics, conceding he knows nothing about the topic, but then proceeds to discuss irrelevant technicalities with the tone of an expert.

    In this way people who don’t know anything about politics, have entire threads where they pretend to talk about politics, only stopping briefly to chase away any sane people that might have interesting points to make.

  178. entropy

    I am aware of many home schooling successes, probably surpassing formal education outcomes. I also know a family where it was definitely the wrong thing to do and will cause problems for the kids their entire lives.

    Why do you think a voucher system would be a problem, Fisky?

  179. struth

    Just want to say that I also am against publicly funded education at all, and there is no situation that justifies it.
    It costs nothing to teach and learn the basics anyway and the cries above about da poor kiddies is a limp excuse.
    The very worst case scenario would see an adult educate themselves later in life if their parents failed them.
    I reckon you could learn basic English and maths in two years of part time schooling and with the net never leave home.
    And there’s plenty of completely illiterate people that have come out of our government indoctrination centres now.
    So there is no excuse for taxpayers funding it in any form whatsoever.

  180. entropy

    Also, I think age at starting school should be based on some kind of assessment, not a rigid date. I am pretty sure while my middle daughter was fine at five, the other two kids would have been better waiting a bit.

  181. struth

    Also you only have to look at the empty classrooms in aboriginal communities where school is compulsory to know there is no such thing as compulsory when parents don’t give a shit.
    Government funding education or having anything at all to do with it is the primary, the absolute catalyst , reason for the downfall of this country.

    It all starts in our schools.
    All of our problems are caused by it.

  182. The sad thing is Fisk, dover, et al are far removed from their teens and so don’t have the excuse for the scope of ignorance on display, nor the triggered ad homines and derailment of countless threads because they don’t know how to articulate any political ideas.

    You’re not fooling anyone, iampeter.

  183. Ragu

    So the argument was that because kids are dumb and they are parented by dumb people (adults that have come through the system) we need more state intervention to prevent kids from being dumb.

    It entirely misses the point that a formal education is an adjunct to being raised. So I find it disturbing that people here think that a state education is the only thing that can make a person smart.

    Every aspect of high school is geared toward people ‘understanding texts’ or some such nonsense when a majority of kids aren’t bound for tertiary education

    Texts at this level are often dense or lengthy, and include continuous, non-continuous, mixed, [what?] or multiple pages of text. [what book doesn’t contain multiple pages?] Understanding text and rhetorical structures become more central to successfully completing tasks, especially navigating complex digital texts. Tasks require the respondent to identify, interpret, or evaluate one or more pieces of information, and often require varying levels of inference. [what?] Many tasks require the respondent to construct meaning across larger chunks of text or perform multi-step operations in order to identify and formulate responses. Often tasks also demand that the respondent disregard irrelevant or inappropriate content to answer accurately. Competing information is often present, but it is not more prominent than the correct information.

    That reeks of bullshit because it is. Why would you pay for that? Why would you be surprised that people aren’t that great when they are tested against such impenetrable bullshit?

  184. .

    Dotty, you don’t understand how effect sizes work. A 0.4 effect means a year’s progress for a year’s input. Any intervention below that is INEFFECTIVE because the output is less than the input.

    Don’t attempt to be condescending Fisk. You’re not up to it.

    You are twisting this concept so you can look like you’re winning an argument.

    An effect size of 0.4 is average in education. You’re not telling the whole story some effects that in the long run score lowly, have a much higher effect in the short run. An average effect size does not imply a negative ROI at all.

    You don’t understand effect size at all yet come in here and pontificate to the point where you declare two totally different positions on education – from here you think you have a moral grandstand to bash everyone who doesn’t like a compulsory education that is pre-1970s.

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest that beginning reading too young can be counterproductive over many years. There is also evidence to suggest starting children at school very young makes them unattentive for the rest of their schooling. Now, where did Hattie rank attitudes of learners? Fairly high.

  185. .

    Basically technology left the schoolhouse behind and people are just waking up to that.

    Hopefully, this will eventually destroy universities as well. They belong in the 1300s.

  186. mh

    iampeter, Sticking to my example to dot above, do you really think Singapore’s education system does NOT work?

    The political question is: do you support government run schools or not.

    You said it did not work, now you cannot back up your statement.

    Next.

  187. Fisky

    An effect size of 0.4 is average in education. You’re not telling the whole story some effects that in the long run score lowly, have a much higher effect in the short run. An average effect size does not imply a negative ROI at all.

    I haven’t claimed that an average effect size has a negative ROI. I think you are suffering from reading comprehension difficulties that are very common among autistic students.

    You don’t understand effect size at all yet come in here and pontificate to the point where you declare two totally different positions on education – from here you think you have a moral grandstand to bash everyone who doesn’t like a compulsory education that is pre-1970s.

    Ummm, what two different positions would those be? Not making much sense here Dotty!

    There is plenty of evidence to suggest that beginning reading too young can be counterproductive over many years. There is also evidence to suggest starting children at school very young makes them unattentive for the rest of their schooling.

    Go ahead and provide the evidence if you think you’ve got it! I don’t think you will though.

  188. Fisky

    Why do you think a voucher system would be a problem, Fisky?

    There is very little evidence that vouchers have an impact on student learning, as the CIS have admitted

    There is conflicting evidence about the impact of school vouchers on student achievement. 147 Overall, it appears that there is no significant link, either positive or negative, between vouchers and student outcomes, as the impacts vary depending on the context and implementation.

    The problem is that many private schools adhere to a dumb constructivist ideology that is particularly damaging to the most disadvantaged students.

  189. Iampeter

    You said it did not work, now you cannot back up your statement.

    Next.

    Did I? I read back and I can’t see where I said that, but if I did, that wouldn’t have been the point I was making.

    To clarify, my position is: government should not be involved in education.
    Why? Because I believe the function of government is to protect individual rights, which means the courts, the police and the armed forces and nothing else.
    So to be clear: I would oppose government run education even if it worked because it is immoral to force some to provide for the lives of others.

    So that’s my position. What I was asking you is: what is your position on the gov education? For or against?

  190. .

    Fisk, I’ll take a lesson from you on comprehension when you understand that “the output is less than the input” is the very definition of a negative ROI. If you can’t do basic arithmetic, don’t write an essay about empirical research.

    I outlined your positions before. They don’t make sense and as below, your citing of Murray and Hattie is inconsistent and convenient.

    Plenty of evidence regarding school starting age, here is a start:

    http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/discussion/school-starting-age-the-evidence

    https://theconversation.com/hard-evidence-at-what-age-are-children-ready-for-school-29005

    At the same time, I don’t think the libertarian movement has much to offer, given their enthusiasm for charter schools and vouchers, which are also ineffective.

    Total nonsense and even Murray who you quote as an authority regards them as beneficial.

  191. Fisky

    Fisk, I’ll take a lesson from you on comprehension when you understand that “the output is less than the input” is the very definition of a negative ROI. If you can’t do basic arithmetic, don’t write an essay about empirical research.

    Dotty, nice try on trying to pull me up on a semantic point, but my meaning is clear enough – I am saying that you get less than a year’s learning progress for a year’s learning input, for interventions below an effect size of 0.4. That is not the same thing as a negative effect size, dotty.

    I outlined your positions before. They don’t make sense and as below, your citing of Murray and Hattie is inconsistent and convenient.

    There is nothing inconsistent between Murray and Hattie. Murray’s thesis is that finishing school is vital to your life prospects. I’m very surprised to see libertarians claiming that going to school is not necessary, given the massive negative consequences generally faced by high school dropouts.

  192. .

    No one claimed there is inconsistency between Murray and Hattie, rather your use of them as an authority, in either case, is inconsistent and convenient.

  193. mh

    So to be clear: I would oppose government run education even if it worked because it is immoral to force some to provide for the lives of others.

    Starting to wriggle there, iampeter. Too funny!

  194. .

    This article shows one of the most conclusive charts regarding public education at all, or reducing spending back to pre-welfare state levels:

    https://fee.org/articles/the-failure-of-public-schooling-in-one-chart/

    The idea that Peter is “wriggling” because he also has a moral objection to compulsory/publicly funded education is absurd.

  195. Fisky

    This article shows one of the most conclusive charts regarding public education at all, or reducing spending back to pre-welfare state levels:

    But how do you know that reducing spending back to pre-welfare state levels will improve attainment?

  196. Fisky

    Starting to wriggle there, iampeter. Too funny!

    Yes, I did notice that, mh! Iampeter is now arguing that you are not allowed to support a given policy if it involves public spending, never mind if it works.

  197. .

    Fisky
    #2566855, posted on November 26, 2017 at 4:23 pm
    This article shows one of the most conclusive charts regarding public education at all, or reducing spending back to pre-welfare state levels:

    But how do you know that reducing spending back to pre-welfare state levels will improve attainment?

    What the hell is this, a welfare state outcome trap? A bureaucratic version of the liquidity trap?

  198. BorisG

    Boris, that’s because the political arena is not amenable to evidence or facts. We have to just accept it for what it is, a tribal shit fight.

    Good point.

  199. BorisG

    To clarify, my position is: government should not be involved in education.
    Why? Because I believe the function of government is to protect individual rights, which means the courts, the police and the armed forces and nothing else.
    So to be clear: I would oppose government run education even if it worked because it is immoral to force some to provide for the lives of others.

    OK this is a brave and coherent position. But I happen to disagree. I am more concerned by the outcomes than ideological purity. And so, I am sure, so most Australians. Are then all of them socialists? Leftists? perhaps. I am ok with that. I do not care about labels.

    Dot is also trying to provide an utilitarian argument. That even outcomes may even be better. I am not convinced and Fisk’s position appears to be more compelling. I also feel that Dot’s position is more ideological while Fisk’s more pragmatic. But I admit I am out of my depth compared to these two to argue anything.

    Thanks guys for an interesting debate. I feel I learned some things and need to read more. This seldom happens on Cat.

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