Private vs Public schools – again

And just who is Steve Biddulph (SunHerald 10 June), author of Raising boys in the 21st century.
Is he a credible author; is he an “authority” on raising boys in the 21st century; who is he to broadbrush boys at the private school to which Biddulph’s “friends” sent their son Kieran as aggressive, affluent, entitled, unanchored, with much trash-talking about girls, sharing of gross pornography, boasting about sexual experiences real or imagined. All this implicitly suggesting that none of this occurred at Kieran’s previous school – a public school…while these privileged boys were like street corner thugs.
Come on Steve, get around, talk to more people than you apparently have and you will find that there are thugs in every area, not only in privileged schools and well mannered, decent boys also in every school..
It looks to me like the old green-eyed monster – envy and it rears its ugly head every so often in the Letters pages.



What do some of our contributors to local papers  want in the future? An education system that produces all of the same?   Do we want “the great equaliser” or do we want people with different and flexible minds and able to think outside the box.
I was reminded of this with one of the letters to the Editor SMH – “I believe that ….always been the great equaliser of society” – SMH 7 May. Where will we get our rebels, our different thinkers, our philosophers, our progressives, our fighters for the rights of the disadvantaged, etc. from such an “equal” society?

School funding – again

What a lot for my mind to digest (Funding gap leaves public schools with 30% shortfall – SMH 12 April) but I think I have arrived at a kernel of truth in the mass of figures: Govt funding represented 96% of the total net recurrent income of public schools and 80%   of the net income of Catholic schools in 2016 but only 45% of total income of private schools. In 2016 the state’s private schools raised nearly $11,000 a student from fees, charges, contributions and other private sources on top of their total govt funding of $9054 a student.
Does this sound right, Paliavi Singhal, writer of the article?

School funding – yet again

There’s something a little bit haywire in an article in a recent SMH article (8/3/2018) – Funding bonanza for rich Sydney schools – Surely the figures tell us that in total, govt schools in NSW educating 788,891 students received $20,281 per student in 2017, while the state’s non-govt school network of 418,383 pupils received $10,755 per student.  Unless I am missing something state schools get nearly twice the funding of non-state schools per pupil.
I would dearly love to see an article setting out what would be the position if even half of non-state-school pupils left and walked up the street to the local govt schools.
Could I use the word “chaos”.


I found the following article interesting after all the ill-informed (dare I say – biased) stuff in the papers recently:  Published: 08 March 2018

Has debate around the Catholic Church become so polarised that it is moving towards irrational extremes, asks Joel Hodge. Source: ABC Religion and Ethics.

By no means am I advocating that the Church be exempt from robust public scrutiny. I am also not wishing to divert attention from historical abuse and grievous cover-ups in the Church. I firmly express support for the survivors who have bravely stood up to seek justice and healing.Rather, I want to avoid prejudicial scrutiny that only leads to misdirected blame. This misdirection allows all parties to avoid proper accountability.

Take the recent six-month investigation by The Age and the Sydney Morning Herald into the properties of the Church. The investigation sought to highlight issues around the transparency and accountability of the Catholic hierarchy.Yet, despite the purported aims of the investigation, there were some obvious flaws. These flaws highlight how resources and attention are being irrationally misdirected against the Church and could be better deployed.

For example, the Church was treated as one entity by the investigation, whereas, in fact, it is many different entities in Australia – dioceses, religious congregations, parishes, schools, hospitals, aged care, social services and so on. To lump all these agencies together – like lumping all the assets and agencies of the federal, state and local governments – is misleading.  Without quibbling about the actual valuations given by the newspapers, much of the reported property cannot be liquidated for obvious reasons. There are churches, hospitals, schools, aged care and social services facilities on these properties. They could not easily be liquidated without a significant social cost and, in some cases, political negotiation.

One is left wondering, then, what was the real point of the investigation?  The Age claimed it wished to highlight the Church’s treatment of claims made by survivors of child sexual abuse, as well as question the tax-free status of the Church.
There seems to be a view that, by highlighting the Church’s wealth, it will be embarrassed and pressured into giving more compensation and support to survivors. But it is the federal government that has set the limit on compensation, not the Church.

– Joel Hodge is Senior Lecturer in the Faculty of Theology and Philosophy at the Australian Catholic University.

The English Language

Andrea Demetriades – a classically Greek lovely young woman – until, that is, she opens her lovely mouth and I hear “I think Australia is doing very f…ing well”. (Sunday Life 25 Feb).
Can anyone tell me when if ever this habit of women aping the worse-spoken men of their acquaintance will pass.
I am tired of the excuse that they all speak like this…and that it’s not swearing with the young women of today – it’s ordinary language.

How sad that the beautiful English language apparently is not enough for these young people – they must throw in words long despised by the ordinary person and ignore the language that will express anything they want.

TAFE and privatisation

Angus Taylor, Minister for Cybesecurity – you break my heart – because you evidently know nothing of your job/history. Over the past years governments have taken so much money/staff from the TAFE organisation they almost killed it off in favour of – privatisation.
We had so many scandals where private “colleges” milked the system of millions and left thousands of would-be trainees desperate for jobs and qualifications not worth the paper they were printed on.
And now it’s hit you and the rest of your government that we need a good reliable system to produce the qualified young people our industries are crying out for…and you turn to TAFE. was always there producing good reliable apprenticeships with so many skills.
We got what we paid for and I hope your efforts now will produce what WE need.