Wednesday, 30 September 2015
Tuesday, 29 September 2015
Victorian schools have not had the resources they need to fully deliver the programs and support students need and deserve after the former Liberal State Government cut more than $600 million from public schools.
They failed to deliver on their promise to deliver the needs-based 'Gonski agreement'.
That is starting to change with this funding announcement by the new State Government, but now we need a long-term commitment to the needs-based plan by both state and federal governments. And together we’ll get it.
See how your hard work has paid off by using our public school search tool. You can also send a message to your school's Victorian Government MP and acknowledge this initial allocation of funding and ask them to deliver on the full Gonski needs-based agreement through to 2019.
Judy, who was listed by the US Library of Congress in the living legend category of writers and artists in 2000, also expressed concern about hearing of writers being “dis-invited” from US schools and universities for things they have written or said. “This can be over one incident in a 400-page book,” she said. “I thought the idea of education was to exchange ideas and discuss. How we learn from one another?” Nonetheless, she’s optimistic that this fearful attitude can be fought against. She has already seen professors and teachers standing up to it.
One thing Blume adamantly doesn’t want to see is a return to 1980s America, which was the worse period she has witnessed for freedom to read, and when controversial books were stripped out of classrooms. She believes there has been a return from the precipice of the Reagan era, yet there are still attempts to exert too much control. She referred, very enthusiastically, to The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, which has also caused a stir and was pulled from the curriculum in Idaho schools. What’s the problem with it I ask? “The language, the sexuality, all things related to life as a teenage boy. It’s like saying it’s a bad thing to be a teenage boy!”
“It’s the kids’ right to read,” she said resolutely as our conversation came to a close and she prepared to continue her whirlwind tour. It’s a mantra she’s been repeating for decades. At 77 and still as dynamic as ever, she shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
This is too true....
Monday, 28 September 2015
General Sir Cyril Bingham Brudenell White led Australian forces in World War I and is credited with planning the successful withdrawal of 35,000 soldiers from Gallipoli, in which not one was injured.
His legacy has been renewed in Buangor, near Ararat, with a rededication of his grave not far from where he ran a farm after returning from the battlefield.
About 200 people attended, doubling the town's population for the day.
Sir Brudenell White's grandson, Tim White, said it was important his legacy was not forgotten almost 75 years after his death.
"I feel very proud, sort of humbled ... just a real good feeling," he said.
"It's the sort of memory we want to try to revive because a lot of this is starting to slide into the background ... if you let it go it never comes back."
Sir Brudenell White retired to his pastoral property after returning to Australia after World War I but was coaxed out of retirement by then prime minister Robert Menzies, who asked him to lead the country's World War II effort.
But he was killed in 1940, when a plane he was travelling in with three Menzies government ministers crashed en route to Canberra.
His death was a great loss to the nation. ( He would have made a far more impressive wartime leader than Thomas Blamey) The air crash has been written about recently in a book by Andrew Tink called Air Disaster Canberra. He believes one of the Ministers on the plane, Fairburn,who fancied himself as a pilot took control of the plane which led to the crash.
Sunday, 27 September 2015
Saturday, 26 September 2015
From the ABC news online
One of Australia's largest providers of private vocational training, Evocca College, is facing a potential class action from hundreds of former students.
Solicitor Benjamin Kramer is preparing to file documents on behalf of former Evocca College students.
He will allege the private company breached Australian consumer law by providing sub-standard courses and using unfair marketing tactics to sign students up.
"I've been blown away by how many people have been forthcoming with their own experiences and their own claims of how they've felt they've been wronged by the school," Mr Kramer said.
Evocca largely offers diploma courses in business, information technology, community services and travel, tourism and events.
Its average student loan in 2013 was $16,878.
Its business model depends on the VET FEE-HELP funding system, where private training providers receive government funding and students incur a HECS style debt that they are not forced to repay until they earn more than $53,000.
Figures released to a Senate Committee last month show just 32.9 per cent of Evocca College students graduated between 2011 and 2014.
Mr White said that the completion rate is almost 9 percentage points higher than the industry average, and the vast majority of its students are satisfied with their course. (9% completion rate is considered good!)
Earlier this year the ABC revealed allegations from former Evocca staff and students about unethical practices and low graduation rates.
Two weeks later the federal government announced regulatory changes to the vocational training sector, including banning incentives to students like free laptops and tablets.( I wonder if our new minister will investigate further into the private training sector? I won't hold my breathe! Meanwhile TAFE is still struggling.)
Friday, 25 September 2015
Fixing schools and teachers
University fee deregulation
Future vision for education
Thursday, 24 September 2015
Environmentalists and teachers are up in arms over a new Federal Government anti-radicalisation kit that links green activism and "alternative music" to terrorism.
The Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Terrorism Michael Keenan launched the Radicalisation Awareness Kit in the form of a 32-page booklet on Monday.
Through a series of examples and fictitious case studies, the booklet aims to illustrate the circumstances which can lead young people to become radicalised.
But one surprising example cites the power of the alternative music scene and environmental activism in the radicalisation process.
The case study in the 'Violent Extremism' section tells the story of a girl called 'Karen' who becomes involved in the "alternative music scene, student politics and left-wing activism" when she leaves home.
Read more on the ABC:
Wednesday, 23 September 2015
Tuesday, 22 September 2015
Monday, 21 September 2015
Labor Party Correspondence to members ( Bill Shorten Labor Leader)
If you work hard and get good marks you should have the opportunity to go to university — no matter what your bank balance is.
With two in every three jobs of the future expected to require a degree, I want to see more Australians go to university. And importantly, finish university with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed, not a debt sentence.
That’s why today I’ve announced Labor's positive plan for more graduates, not $100,000 degrees — because that's the investment our economy needs for the future.
Investing in education is the single most important thing we can do to maintain and grow Australia’s prosperity, and secure the jobs of the future.
That's why we will introduce a new Student Funding Guarantee that will see a greater investment in every student - $11,800 per student in 2018 compared with $9,300 under the Liberals.
You can read the full detail of our plan here. But this is my main point — unlike the Liberals, we will always ensure access to university is based on hard work and good marks, not someone’s ability to pay.
Because although we may have a new Prime Minister, we have the same old policies. Malcolm Turnbull has cut deals to get the job and he's already said he supports Tony Abbott’s plan for $100,000 university degrees. The only way we can stop $100,000 degrees is to change the government.
We can— along with our policy for 100,000 students to study science, technology, engineering and maths debt free — make sure students have a quality education that supports them to succeed and to build the high-skilled, high-wage jobs of the future.
I made it clear in my first Budget Reply that higher education would be an election issue and today I delivered on my promise to you.