Education Abbott Style


I am currently in the middle of writing a story titled “The Priest and the Schoolboy.” At the same time, I am trying to complete a self-portrait that has been on my easel for a month. I cannot do either because I am so frustrated. No angry with this person, this characterless male we call the leader of the opposition. Only good manners prevent me from saying what I really think of him. His budget in reply speech has left me so cold that I have been forced to turn up the ducted heating higher than normal.

There is much in that speech that I could tackle and rip into. The total hypocrisy of it. For example, what ever happened to “If there is no carbon tax you don’t need any compensation. And of course he was back to “Stopping the boats” where as last week Scott Morrison was saying they would only be able to bring it back to John Howard levels.” Now Mr. Abbott is guaranteeing to bring down energy prices by 10%. Bloody hell it won’t surprise me next if he tells us that he is related to JC.

This morning as “MY THOUGHT FOR THE DAY” (something I do in the early hours) on FACEBOOK I posted the following.

“There is no greater need than the need for equality of opportunity in education”

I followed that up with ANOTHER THOUGHT

Tony Abbott last night in his budget reply speech re affirmed that the coalition supported “INEQUALITY IN EDUCATION” meaning that some children should be more advantaged than others.

How any parent/grandparent could support that is beyond me. Let alone vote for it.

The response to say the least has been overwhelming.
Here are just a few. Sorry couldn’t include everyone.

“A lot of would bes if they could bes, and their self funded retiree parents would applaud the idea of keeping working class children from an education. Must make sure there’s a ready supply of fodder for the rich to exploit in the next generation. The idea of a child. who lives in poverty getting an education is anathema to them.”

“Perhaps the children of substance are a little more equal!!!
The elites need a few thousand under educated kids to be employed as trolley collectors, checkout chicks (which by the way, the LOTOs daughters are employed after their very rich, elite education), cleaners, lawn mowers……..”

“And there’s no such thing as class warfare.”

“You only have to look at the disdain many in the middle and upper class bear for the under privileged and poor in our country to see it.”

“It’s beyond me too John. Unfortunately, I’ve seen lager numbers of parents/grandparents of kids in private schools who are enthusiastic supporters of this inequality and are endlessly recruited by private schools at any suggestion that government funding may be reduced. Hence the endless no losers policies under which the poor are inevitably off, eg “No school will be worse off”

“There are many millions of parents that support inequality in education. I am better than you John and I want my child educated are and I don’t want you dumb child being educated….. your educated dumb child is likely to be much more capable and get the good jobs and or promotions. I want my educated child secure in their position of social supremacy and I do not want competition from the lower class riff-raff. Your child’s hardship is not my problem.”

“Very true John Lord; however, there appears to be no reasoning with the pigheadedness of the LNP’s attitude of ‘elite education for the elite only”


In the year of 2013, we have the unique opportunity to reform our education system. An opportunity for every kid to receive equality of opportunity in education.

What is Gonski?

The Gonski Review was the most comprehensive investigation of the way schools are funded in Australia in almost 40 years. It was commissioned by the Federal Government and conducted by an expert panel headed by senior businessman David Gonski. The final report was released in February 2012.

For more information go here

Gonski found Australia is investing far too little in education and, in particular, in public schools.

As a consequence, too many students are missing out on the resources they need and there are growing gaps in the achievements of students from different backgrounds.
Gonski recommended a $5 billion a year injection of funding into public and private schools (75 per cent to public schools) and an overhaul of the way the money is distributed to ensure it is going where it is most needed.

That money would be invested in local schools in ways that help students learn such as:

Smaller class sizes

Extra specialist teachers in areas such as literacy and numeracy

Greater support for students with higher needs such as those with disabilities

Additional training and classroom support for teachers

Surely, we cannot allow this opportunity to pass us by. We cannot allow Tony Abbott to treat our children like pieces in an elitist game of chess. Our children should have the opportunity to receive the best possible quality education regardless of wealth, status or capability. This requires a revised education-funding model. Parents of all children are entitled to know that whatever school they choose for their children it will be adequately funded. That it will meet the needs of their children with the flexibility to cope with an ever-changing world.

One has to ask why it is that conservatives only favor quality education for those with the means to afford it. Their mindset is completely oblivious to the potential of every child regardless of socio economic background.
Perhaps they think it threatens their wealth. We must as fair minded people join with parents and grandparents and demand better education opportunities. I am passionate about it. I hope you are too.
Budget reply indeed.


Categories: Politics

13 replies

  1. The rich must continue to ensure there are poor ppl because without them, there can be no rich ppl.

  2. John, as a former teacher I always despair of such things. My teaching life started at Burnley Primary where a majority were from non-English speaking backgrounds. Many were latch-key children who aged 8yrs, went home from school to care for younger siblings while parents worked shifts in the factories. This was the reality of immigrant life in the late ’60’s and early ’70s.

    Most of the children were of Greek origin with some Yugoslavs thrown in for good measure. There was no such thing as language assistance, no such thing as remedial classes, the teachers managed as best as they could. My technique was to sit an English speaking child next to a non-English speaking one, so that the lesson could be translated. One Grade 4 class I had, over 60% of the kids spoke not a word of English. In this case, I pushed the desks together so that the English speaking child could sit in the middle to translate.

    Beautiful, brilliant children who deserved far more chances, far more help than this (then) 1st year graduate could have provided.

  3. My eyes misted reading that Min. As one who is almost entirely self educated I am emotionally attune to your words.

  4. The mantra of ‘equal educational opportunity for all’ masks some complicated but solvable problems. Teachers, for example, generally don’t operate on the principle that each child will receive ‘equal treatment’. To treat ‘unequals’ ‘equally’ is not ‘just’. Rather teachers, generally speaking, pursue equality of ‘outcomes’ rather than equality of opportunity.

    Put simply, teachers proceed on the belief that all children can and should learn particular ‘concepts’, ‘skills’ or whatever and in pursuit of that goal will treat children unequally. And so they should.

    It seems to me that equality of opportunity should always be considered in concert with equality of outcomes for all social groups.

    I notice the other day Howard said that more money for education wasn’t needed. Anyone else notice that Howard and others who make similiar claims ensure that their offspring are sent to very expensive schools. Apparently much money is necessary for the sound education of the upper classes but for the others, money is not necessary. Hypocrisy writ large.

  5. I just can’t believe what has happened to my lucky country !!! ….. so so sad

  6. wake up people These lies are the same ones that Newman told the QLD people Now look at the state of our state

  7. What is terrible, Abbott dismissed Gonski in a couple of throw away sentences. Saying the present system is not broken.

    How many believe that

    His argument being, that this governments increase spending has seen the system going backwards.

    Problem is, this is not true. The system has improved, but others in our region have done much better. We are being left behind.

    If we throw out Gonski now, it will lead to generations of the present unfair and inequitable system.

    Our children and nation will be the losers.

    One could say, the same goes for the CEF and NBN. We will end up behind in all.

    We can forget about being out in front, in te coming Asian century.

  8. Maybe Abbott should listen to the new Pope. He is demanding that the economy be for people, not the market and greedy companies.

    Yes, back in the distant past, a Pope condemned communism, which the west ran with, Trouble he also condemned capitalism at the same time. I think it could have been named Leo.

    Yes, the money system should be for the well being of people.

    Just a thought.

    A very lapsed Catholic.

  9. TA has shown the rest of Australia his true colors. Hope he keeps it up because people are starting to notice that he lacks credibility.

  10. Only credibility?How about empathy, charity, literacy, numeracy, faith hope or charity?The man is little more than a self-seeking power junkie who by his own admission will do ANYTHING to attain power, and proceed to do whatever he can get away with to please his masters at the Big End of Town.

  11. I cannot understand why every teacher in Australia would not vote for the government that supports extra funding for education as opposed to the one that says it wont spend an extra penny??? There seems to be so much ignorance and political apathy towards educational issues?

  12. sean said:

    cannot understand why every teacher in Australia would not vote for the government that supports extra funding for education as opposed to the one that says it wont spend an extra penny

    sean, Gonski and his recommendations, at the ‘intellectual level’ is beyond question. But people (including teachers) usually vote on the basis of self interest. Sad but true. And at so many levels.

    What Gonski recommends (all good) and BTW what Labor as riders to his proposals is recommending ain’t the same because what Labor is ‘demanding’ will only piss off teachers even more), should have commenced at the beginning of their term.

    Rudd knew that attacking educational ‘privilege’ and the way the ‘state’ funded that ‘privelege’ was always problematic. It’s why he promised to do nothing in his first term.

    The ‘political’ problem always limited Gonski because ‘privilege’ became enshrined in one Term of Reference which demanded that ‘no school be disadvantaged’.

    The gross inequalities of the Howard era were guaranteed by a Labor government.

    No political guts.

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