Thursday, May 20, 2004

Howard's bribe political nonsense!

Almost 10,000 NSW children will be denied a bribe of $700 handed out to help them read and write because of a political bun fight between the State and Federal Governments? Or because Howard's bribe is being used as leverage to get satisfactory results from State governments about education policy?

Howard's bribe is seen as a political stunt due to bad opinion polls.

Struggling students in NSW do not qualify for tutorial vouchers offered to 8000 families across Australia, Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson has decided.

Which means that it's not envisaged that every student should be educated equally. Which also means that you can be guaranteed that we will continue to see 5 per cent of those uneducated youth - those left behind going to jail instead of University for further education.

Funds under the pilot program will not be released in NSW until it and other states measure literacy test results against national standards and report them to parents.

Parents slammed the scheme yesterday calling it "a panic move driven by bad opinion polls" and principals said the money would be better directed to schools.

"NSW [literacy test] outcomes are higher than most in Australia," Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations president Sharryn Brownlee said.

"The real problem is that instead of giving vouchers to individual parents, the Federal Government should provide increased funding to the NSW Government to expand the delivery of programs in numeracy and literacy within public schools.

"Coaching colleges and private tutors are no substitute for effective delivery of programs in public schools."

NSW Education Minister Andrew Refshauge accused the Federal Government of penalising NSW families by refusing to extend the literacy program to NSW.

"NSW has signed up to the national literacy benchmarks along with all states - making it eligible for this funding," Dr Refshauge said.

The literacy grants - for children in Victoria, Western Australia, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory only - were announced yesterday as part of a $6.8 million program.

Dr Nelson said the program could not yet be extended nationally because of the refusal of some states to reveal standardised testing results.

The money will become available to the families of Year 3 children with reading difficulties and can be used by parents to hire private tutors or provide extra assistance at school.

"We will also monitor the performance of this program over the next three years to see to what extent it has been able to raise the reading standards of children not able to meet the reading benchmark last year," Dr Nelson said.

NSW is spending $492 million on strategies aimed at improving the literacy, reading and numeracy.

By Equality Education Reporter 20 May 04

THE CARROT: Do what it is that I want and you can be educated too? That's so you can learn about being able to compromise without being able to read!

Why is it that governments cannot agree with education and cooperate with each other, instead of compromising children's education and values by using threats against each other in public? All this proves beyond a doubt that it's a political stunt by the Howard government. Howard's values?


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