At least they can count imaginary genders

Caption: He’s exaggerating, of course. People have been accepted into teaching courses with entrance scores as low as 17 (out of 100).

Over the past decade, Australia has been steadily spending more and more on education. The Gillard government commissioned the Gonski plan, which urged spending tens of billions over the next ten years. Gillard was happy to oblige: raising spending by sixty per cent in a single year. Subsequent Coalition governments reduced the scale of increases, but still continued to spend more (despite Labor claims of ?cuts? to education: a less generous increase than promised is not a ?cut?, it?s still an increase).

So, what value has Australia got for its money? Quote:

Writing skills among Australian primary and secondary students have fallen to their lowest levels since nationwide testing began, prompting at least one jurisdiction to call for an inquiry. End of quote.

NAPLAN (the National Assessment Program ? Literacy and Numeracy) was introduced by Labor in 2008. These results, especially for younger students, can, therefore, be reasonably expected to show the results of Australia?s Gonski investment. Quote:

Preliminary data from the latest National Assessment Program ? Literacy and Numeracy, known as NAPLAN, has revealed some areas of improvement, such as in Years 5 and 9 numeracy and primary-level reading. However, there has been no statistically significant gains in 12 of the 20 tested domains across various year levels in the 11 years since the NAPLAN test was introduced. End of quote.

So, 23 billion dollars has bought a modest improvement, at best?

Of course, the teachers? unions are full of fury and excuses, and no wonder: all that sweet, sweet taxpayers? money is at stake. Quote:

The results are expected to factor into funding negotiations ?between incoming education minister Dan Tehan and his state and territory counterparts, with the commonwealth having pledged billions of dollars in ?additional school funding on the caveat that spending is tied to evidence-based reforms to boost educational outcomes. End of quote.

As my favourite quote from Ghostbusters goes: ?They gave us money and facilities, we didn’t have to produce anything! You’ve never been out of college! You don’t know what it’s like out there! I’ve worked in the private sector. They expect results?. Teachers? unions demand massive funding increases, and now they?re being asked to pony up with evidence to justify it, they?re not happy. Quote:

This year?s NAPLAN, which for the first time had 20 per cent of tests undertaken online, has come under fire from the teachers? union, which has deemed the ?results ?invalid??The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority?said the data had been signed off by independent experts. End of quote.

What?s particularly interesting about this result is that it is the domain that specifically tests modern education mandarins? supposed emphasis on ?critical thinking?. But what the ideologues who rule the education roost actually mean is not objective analysis or discernment, but rather ?criticism? of certain unacceptable ideas and uncritical conformism to acceptable ones. NAPLAN Writing tests ?imaginative writing (including narrative writing), informative writing and persuasive writing?: in other words, how students are able to structure persuasive and informed arguments.

As we see, tens of billions of dollars not only have not brought any improvement, students are getting worse. Quote:

Since 2011, when the current writing test was introduced, average scores for Years 5, 7 and 9 have fallen about 4 per cent nationwide. End of quote.

But, as reader Jeremy commented in The Australian: ?Its nuthin more gummint munee wownt fix?. Teachers? unions keep demanding more and more money. As I once told a gang of them who were blocking a pedestrian crossing, waving their placards and haranguing annoyed pedestrians to ?give a Gonski?, that?s money they?re taking from the pockets of working stiffs like us. What are we getting in return, I asked?

Apparently, kids who can parrot 73 genders, put condoms on with consummate skill, strap down their genitals, and write ?Kapitulizum is bad?. They just can?t read, write, or do sums.

It?s getting so bad, the teachers are going to have to write their anti-coal placards for them.