Don’t split the “no religion” result with joke answers

The fact that government gives any privileged treatment for religion in 2011, rather than leaving them to compete in the hallowed marketplace of ideas on their own merits, obviously annoys many of us.

Hence the many suggestions you’ll have seen around the internet for what to put in the “religion” box on the Census tonight:

  • Jedi
  • Ceiling Cat
  • The Flying Spaghetti Monster/Pastafarianism
  • Lord Cthulu
  • HOUSING THE BLOODY HOMELESS

But there’s another option – a better option, that will result in your lack of religion actually being meaningfully counted: simply tick the “no religion” box. Instead of your response being dismissed as silly kids playing silly pranks (and increasing the share of the actual religions), you’ll be counted as one of the many Australians who will probably not appreciate government giving religions special privileges over the rest of us.

In an age where, at the behest of people like Jim Wallace (who have somehow managed to convince politicians that they speak for everyone who marks “Christian” in the census), governments are:

The above happens largely because of all the people who tick “Christian” or a particular denomination just because it’s the one in which they were raised, even though they have little contact with it in their daily lives and certainly do not endorse what is put on their behalf by those like the Australian “Christian” Lobby.

Just like your vote, your census form is powerful. Please don’t waste it.

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73 responses to “Don’t split the “no religion” result with joke answers

  1. This is disingenuous in the extreme. It completely ignores solid, valid reasons for providing a true result. Worse, it makes the statement that census data will be used to ‘privilege’ religion, which is demonstrably untrue.

    Census data is accessed by a number of parties, and for reasons that go far beyond enshrining discrimination. It was census data that contributed to the overturning of archaic anti-witchcraft laws and allowed pagans to openly practise their religion. City planners use that data to determine if a planned religious school is really needed in a given area before approving a private organisation’s application. Et cetera.

    There’s absolutely no excuse for people like Jim Wallace to misrepresent census data – the ACL has been influential in any number of dreadful government decisions. They key word is ‘misrepresented’, though. Anyone who does even the smallest research can uncover the deception in Wallace’s numbers. The way to counter exploitation is by exposing this kind of behaviour – not by throwing out a valuable resource.

  2. Who said anything about “throwing out a valuable resource”?

    I’m saying mark it accurately, not with joke answers.

    And it is not “demonstrably untrue” that census data is used by the religious lobby as part of their – presently successful – cases to privilege a certain religion. It is quite true that the census figures are part of their case, and it is quite true that governments keep pandering to them.

    PS Religious schools are an objectionable idea, full stop. All kids have a right to a decent, objective, first-rate education, not one in which school time is squandered indoctrinating them with their parents’ beliefs.

  3. “The way to counter exploitation is by exposing this kind of behaviour – not by throwing out a valuable resource.”

    It may be “valuable” to know how the various groups break down. “No Religion” lumps together humanists, atheists, agnostics, jedi, etc. Out of the standard answers, only Christianity breaks it down further into Catholic, Anglican, Greek Orthodox, etc. Islam is one category, with no sub-categories for Shia and Sunni for example.

    I’m all on board with having the question redone to stop the privileging of Christianity, which is apparently the only religion with sects according to the ABS. But there’s nothing we can do about it this census. “No Religion” should be used instead of joke answers in the meantime.

  4. Religious schools are an objectionable idea, full stop. All kids have a right to a decent, objective, first-rate education, not one in which school time is squandered indoctrinating them with their parents’ beliefs.

    Well, they may be objectionable to you Jeremy but at the moment the public schooling system can’t get within cooee of the private schooling system for the teaching of values, ethics, comraderie and compassion, let alone the three R’s.

    Yes, as an atheist, I feel somewhat hypocritical about sending my kids to private religious schools but when they both come home with glowing reports and I hear the teachers at their schools talk about the kids and the school in positive and encouraging terms, I’m okay about it.

  5. The viral email urging people to mark “Chistian” to prevent Mosques being built in your neighbourhood exposes how far the religious right are prepared to go. There’s no fear of distorting the census results for personal gain. Precisely why people should be honest and thoughtful about their response.

  6. “at the moment the public schooling system can’t get within cooee of the private schooling system for the teaching of values, ethics, comraderie and compassion, let alone the three R’s.”

    Pretty damning indictment on the public system.

    Pity people just pull their kids out of it rather than demanding better of their government.

  7. Pity people just pull their kids out of it rather than demanding better of their government

    What, and expose your kids to a second rate system, while you lobby the government to improve the system?

    Jeremy, parents have been lobbying for improved public education for decades. There was discussion about class sizes, teacher / student ratio, etc, etc, when I was in primary school. As far as I can see things have gotten worse, not better.

    Yeh, it’s a damning indictment on the public system. I’m not happy that the public system is so poorly funded and resourced but I’ll be buggered if I’m going to use my kids as some sort of political pawn.

  8. “Jeremy, parents have been lobbying for improved public education for decades. There was discussion about class sizes, teacher / student ratio, etc, etc, when I was in primary school. As far as I can see things have gotten worse, not better.”

    I’m willing to bet that many of the I REFUSE TO PAY MORE TAX! TAX CUTS OVER PUBLIC SERVICES! voters are parents. Parents who don’t care about the public system because their kids aren’t in it.

    “What, and expose your kids to a second rate system, while you lobby the government to improve the system? “

    Oh, of course – I have no problem with people acting that way on an individual level. The problem is when they then vote as if the public system didn’t matter.

  9. “can’t get within cooee of the private schooling system for the teaching of values, ethics, comraderie and compassion, let alone the three R’s.”

    The funny thing is, whenever a public school does get the above right, religionists then scream about leftist socialist mind control from teachers imposing their viewpoints on the poor kids. Paging SB …

  10. religionists then scream about leftist socialist mind control

    Well you get a small group of extremist wankers on both sides…

    I’m willing to bet that many of the I REFUSE TO PAY MORE TAX! TAX CUTS OVER PUBLIC SERVICES! voters are parents. Parents who don’t care about the public system because their kids aren’t in it.

    No doubt; but I don’t support them nor speak for them..

  11. “I have no problem with people acting that way on an individual level.”

    I do.
    At least half your education at school comes from your classmates. And half your privilege comes from your social connections. By sending your kids to a private school you are denying them a healthy dose of realism and understanding of the world at large, and you are giving as much to those kids whose parents cannot afford the private system.
    I have met far too many kids from privileged private schools who utterly believe they are just ‘better people’ than those who attended a different school.
    It is segregation, pure and simple, and is a cancer in our country.

  12. It is segregation, pure and simple, and is a cancer in our country

    That could possibly be the biggest load of bollocks I’ve ever read, in any comment section of any blog, in the entire history of the internet.

    Mate, you need to get out more…

    This is not Eton we’re talking about. This is your average local, private school. Oh yeh, I forgot, my kids are transported to the school in the back of the Roller by the chauffer after receiving breakfast from the butler and being dressed by the nanny…

    What did I say previously about extremist wankers?

    Grow up…

  13. @ph

    but at the moment the public schooling system can’t get within cooee of the private schooling system for the teaching of values, ethics, comraderie and compassion

    Can you provide any evidence at all for your statement?

  14. Governments are also continuing to provide tax exemptions for religious organizations, even when they run businesses as large as Sanitarium.

  15. Sorry to go off topic Jeremy.

    I agree, just be honest in the Census. If you don’t go to church, say so. No biggie…

  16. ph, try getting an atheist or muslim kid into a christian private school. If that ain’t segregation, then what is?

  17. Rhys; read my post. I am an atheist. My kids are deciding in their own time.

  18. Did you get an exemption from attending mass and religious instruction at the school for your kids? Because I don’t remember my private school days as allowing anyone from being exempt from the sect’s propaganda.

  19. I can’t think of a bigger oxymoron than “Average, Local” and “Private school”.

    Isn’t the whole point that they’re NOT average? Isn’t that what you’re paying fees for? And they’re not catchment schools, are they? So they’re hardly local, either.

    Uniquerhys – Any chance you could think of a catch-all Cliche other than the “Cancer in our society” one? Last time I checked Private schools didn’t metastatise throughout our society. Nor do they actually kill people. And I sure as hell didn’t get the 10 centimetre scar on my arm from a Private School.

  20. Rhys,
    I said I’m an atheist. My partner’s not and my kids are still making up their minds. I wouldn’t want them to be exempt. I think it’s important they make up their own minds in their own time. As I did.

  21. everydaykeri – I can’t take credit/blame for the cancer comment – it was milfot. I do think some parents (not ph apparently) use private school to achieve a form of segregation though, protecting their spawn from being exposed to other people and ideas. I went through private school myself – got a big shock about how the world actually was when I went to uni.

  22. ph..Just had a quick squiz at your blog, great photos by the way!
    I take it you are from Adelaide? If you spend a bit of time in Sydney or Melbourne or more recently Brisbane and you may get a very different view on this topic.
    I understand your point of view, lots of parents get tetchy when I suggest their choices around their children actually have an effect on the kind of world they live in. (I know, right?!)
    I not not taking this view to some kind of illogical conclusion, this is something I see around me happening right now. I am certainly not being an extremist when I say these small decisions slowly add up to irrevocably change the kind of open classless society we took for granted as children.
    I also don’t blame you for not having the foresight to understand that your total selflessness for your children can grow up as meanest kind of selfishness in their own lives.
    Not saying this is you, but certainly represents a good swath of parents I know, even those who are highly principled and trying their hardest to be good people. It is amazing the level to which people will willingly blinker themselves around the subject of their children.

    ps.. For the record I also happen to think it is entirely safe and good to expose your kids to a variety of different views on things, I have no problem with religion being taught in school (by Teachers) provided they are given instruction in philosophy as well.

  23. Milfot – it’s ironic that somewone with your name opposes private schools.

    The Milfot Academy is one of the most prestigious private schools out there – the children are taught to be neither seen nor heard.

  24. BTW who is this “theconsciencevote” clown?

    Given what she wrote she can’t possibly have understood your original article Lefty.

  25. Oops. Sorry.

    I agree with the segregation bit. Not just that, but it shelters children terribly. A lot of the Privately educated people I know are incredibly sheltered, or had a massive culture shock once they got out of the education system. To some extent, some of them continued to be sheltered at Uni when they went to the exclusive Uni, and stayed at the exclusive College, but that can’t last. The sense of entitlement, however, tends to be harder to wash away.

    As for Private Schools being “local”, I can’t think of a single one that isn’t in a fairly well-to-do suburb. Can anyone else?

  26. I met my first “out” atheist at uni. I almost reached for a cross and a bottle of holy water on the spot when he told me what he was. That is what 16 years of “Christianity, you’re soaking in it” family life and private schooling will get you. He’s now a good friend, and one of the main reasons I lapsed into man-the-barricades-atheism myself.

  27. A lot of the Privately educated people I know are incredibly sheltered, or had a massive culture shock once they got out of the education system.

    Perhap’s there’s a very different ethos between the Eastern state private schools and the experience I have had here in Adelaide. I know plenty of people from both public and private schools and, with the occasional exception, I find it very hard to seperate them. My kids have been to both and apart from improved grades and willingness to attend school I don’t think they have changed in their personality and they certainly haven’t become “elitist” by any stretch of the imagination.

    As I alluded to earlier, we’re not talking Harrow and Eton here.

    “As for Private Schools being “local”, I can’t think of a single one that isn’t in a fairly well-to-do suburb.”

    Well, define “well to do” Keri, but I can think of plenty in the southern suburbs of Adelaide; a long, long way from the “leafy east”.

    “great photos by the way”

    Thanks Milfot. Whilst I disagree with what you say, I apologise for referring to you as an extremist wanker…

  28. Come off it Keri and Rhys

    Are you seriously arguing that attending a private school is a disadvantage to children? That they are so sheltered by the school that they are unable to successfully integrate into society afterwards?

    Private schools offer a better standard of education than public schools, and better prospects for future success. Surely that’s just accepted fact?

  29. that is pretty funny mondo, i had never heard of that school
    …must be my second-rate education 😉

  30. narcoticmusing

    Mondo, it is not accepted fact. Indeed, I’d disagree with your assertion that private schools offer a better standard of education than public schools and better prospects for future success. One only need look at the disproportionate drop out rates of private school students at university level – if they still succeed, that success was purchased not earned. Now many also go on and be successful which is great too. But many, do not earn their success.

    The point here is, is that the private school methodology of coddling students and teaching them to the test means that they may get great HSC/VCE marks but they cannot apply this to novel situations. Admittedly, it is difficult to collect reliable data on this properly because private schools have a very clever mix of paying students and those that were poached from public schools – this skews the data so that it appears that the private schools are adding more than they really are and it gives the impression on the poor poached school that they gave less. Thus, do not believe the ‘we are so successful’ boasting of a private school when they have spent more than a public school’s entire budget in marketing, tutoring and poaching.

    As someone that has seen the education system from multiple angles that most probably haven’t had the benefit of, I would recommend a private school at primary level (esp a Catholic primary school) but a large public school at secondary level (large will give you a wider choice of subjects) if you really want the best education for your children (that includes both the official and unofficial curriculum).

  31. “do not believe the ‘we are so successful’ boasting of a private school

    I’ve seen the improvement in my kids which is my primary concern at the moment, despite Milfot’s dire warning that they may grow up harbouring the “meanest kind of selfishness”…

    And yes, my kids have been to both.

  32. Indeed, I’d disagree with your assertion that private schools offer a better standard of education than public schools and better prospects for future success.

    If our public schools already deliver a better standard of education than our private schools then WTF are we talking about?

  33. Sorry Milfot – I was making an Arrested Development joke about The Milford Academy.

  34. narcoticmusing

    ph – while it is a great thing your children are doing so well, I’d suggest that your own literacy/education level and the fact that you pay so much attention to their performance/well being is a greater indicator of their success than which school they attend. This is a much more significant cause of ‘private school children’ performing well – they have, dare I use such simplistic terms, better parents. Parents more engaged with them, more interested in them. These kids will out perform other students in any school setting. It is easy to add value to a child who has learned to value learning. (In summary, kudos to you ph for being a good parent 🙂 )

    Mondo; our public schools provide significant additional value to students. The issue is that with proper resourcing, the bang for buck would be significantly more. We know that good facilities can increase pride and participation. Also, for those particularly vulnerable kids, additional funding would enable a more appropriate classroom setting. Nevertheless, if the public schools can run on the fumes of an oily rag, then what is the justification of funding private schools whose children already have the advantage of parents who are more educated, with a better social economic status; and give a shit.

    The role of the State is to support its citizens; when there are limited funds, this support should go first to support the vulnerable, not the rich. All doing the latter does is increase the social divide.

  35. Glad it is helping, and as long as it is your primary concern and not your only concern, ph…

    It just seems so easy to fall into the “i have to get a 4wd because they are safer even though they are more likely to kill someone else in an accident” thing. Undeniably true, and the more people that drive them, the truer it becomes. Then before you know it, if you want to drive and stay alive…

    The thing is, I don’t want to see Australia turn into a two-tier society. I want everyone to have a chance at least to learn and discover the world around them and to get a job or start a business based on their ideas and their interests and their hard work and intelligence rather than who their friends are and what school they went to. Or at least to have a chance of having the right friends…

    Brisbane was just as you describe Adelaide back when I lived there, though these days from what I hear the good public schools are dropping by the wayside one by one. So my warning may have been a little over the top dire in your own particular situation. But I think education is one of the more important things in making a good society, (It is no accident that a good rounded education is one of the first things cut when fascist / corporatist / communist governments come to power.) and I think segregation is one of the most insidious forms of oppression.

  36. Splatterbottom

    Brendan O’Neill has an interesting take on this issue here.

    Narcotic, in NSW it is the state selective schools which “poach” the best students, and it shows in the results. In your terms, this skews the data, making parents forget about other benefits of schooling which government schools are unable or unwilling to provide.

    One major reason I send my kids to a private school is because I want them to associate with a better class of person. Sadly government schools are much less likely to expel thugs and bullies. As a consequence many children sent to government schools are bullied more than they would be at some private schools. I’m also happy with the values taught at the schools I I have chosen to send my kids to and I’m happy with the high degree of parental engagement required by the schools.

    Finally, I feel socially virtuous sending my kids to private school because it costs the state less than if they had gone to government schools. Looks like a win-win situation to me.

  37. The role of the State is to support its citizens; when there are limited funds, this support should go first to support the vulnerable, not the rich.

    But Narc – according to you it is the children attending private schools that are the vulnerable ones. You have stated above that they receive an inferior education to the children at public schools.

    So if you really believe what you’re saying then shouldn’t you be advocating for increased assistance for our disadvantaged private school students? After all – they deserve an education that is at least on par with public school students.

    Or maybe it’s time you just accepted the obvious, i.e. that private schools generally offer a better quality of education than public schools.

  38. narcoticmusing

    Mondo, I understand you are trying to be irritating by purposefully misinterpreting my post to the stupidist extent possible but it just shows you to be foolish. Please point out where I said private school children were vulnerable – or, did I in fact say they had advantage at every front; which was the main source of their performance.

    Also, please advise as to where, based on your ignorant assumption that if something is privately funded it is automatically better, makes that so? Private hospitals are certainly NOT better than public, you are much more likely to have a serious incident and much less likely to be able to do anything about it. Same goes for public vs private aged care. Private schools, for all the money pumped into them, should be getting much more out of the kids (ie actual value add year on year) but they don’t – they blow the money on pretty boats and fields.

    SB – I don’t disagree with you. I think your rationale for sending your kids to private schools is completely sensible (eg. because you can afford it, it reduces the public purse drain). This is a good thing. I don’t have anything against people that send their kids to private schools; I disagree with the methodology (often right down to their cognitive theory application); management and complete lack of accountability for public funds. Further, as with ph, I dare say your children do well because you care and pay attention to them. That is not always the case.

  39. narcoticmusing

    PS. I admit I was bundling up selective and private schools as one big group there – however in Victoria, it is predominantly the private denominational schools that do the poaching, with the exception of MH.

  40. No Religion box marked, and the rest filled in – all in under 20 minutes. With a Mark I Black Biro no less. eCensus? Pfft! Make ’em work for it.

  41. “Are you seriously arguing that attending a private school is a disadvantage to children? That they are so sheltered by the school that they are unable to successfully integrate into society afterwards?

    Private schools offer a better standard of education than public schools, and better prospects for future success. Surely that’s just accepted fact?”

    No, I am not arguing that. Seriously or otherwise. You can tell, because I in no way said it, intimated it, or even touched on whether it was an advantage or a disadvantage. I’m assuming you’re trolling, because you couldn’t be that lacking in fundamental comprehension of the English language to have thought otherwise without being quite staggeringly willfully obtuse.

  42. Wasn’t Jeremy talking about the Census and religion….

    🙂

  43. Splatterbottom

    Everydaykeri, is your WordPress name a form of gloating about the frequency of certain activities (as young people are wont to do)? This augers well for a happy marriage.

  44. Put it away SB – NOBODY wants to see that!
    And don’t play with it, it’ll just get inflamed.

    ph
    Wasn’t Jeremy talking about the Census and religion…

    It’s your fault.
    You got SB started on one of his jeremiads on the unbearable wonderfulness of rich subsidised religious schools.

    And unless I find more of that cough medicine he likes, we’ll never shut him up.

    (yes, I AM still pissed off about not being able to put “Ceiling Cat” or “His Noodly Appendage” on the census – they both exist, so they don’t count as religions)

  45. narcoticmusing

    A good reminder uniquerhys and ph – brava

    Jedi … I mean, ‘No Religion’ done.

  46. Why one earth would anyone make such a leeringly creepy comment about personal matters?

  47. narcoticmusing

    And welcome to the reason why many women on the internet do not identify their gender.

  48. I’m assuming you’re trolling, because you couldn’t be that lacking in fundamental comprehension of the English language to have thought otherwise without being quite staggeringly willfully obtuse.

    Keri – you said above that private schools shelter their attendees, and you said this in apparent agreement with Rhys’ post that private school students are not exposed to others ideas and have little idea how the real world works.

    Yet now you insist that you never said, touched on or even intimated an opinion on this issue, and that you have made no comments on whether there are advantages to attending one type of school over another.

    OK Keri. I don’t want to unlease another torrent of abuse and personal degradation so I’ll let your assertion stand unchallenged.

    Intemperate abuse isn’t really my bag so I’ll catch you later.

  49. “It’s your fault”

    I know; I feel bad. Sorry Jeremy. Clearly it’s an issue.

    Now, let’s start on the root cause of the London riots…

  50. Splatterbottom

    Relax Rhiannon. It was a perfectly harmless, if slightly tasteless, pun. Certainly in my day such playful comments were not uncommon when wedding bells were in the air. In fact when, just before my own wedding, when a friend’s mother enquired about my emotional readiness for the big day I informed her that, while I didn’t have cold feet, i certainly had a red hot poker. It seems the world has since become more prudish when it comes to such matters. Perhaps this is because Shakespeare and Chaucer are less popular these days. They always had a nice eye for a ribald line.

  51. narcoticmusing

    SB, regardless of your subjective intention, the objective translation was utterly offensive. If you’d said that to one of my guests in my home I would’ve exercised my rights to kick you the hell off my property. It is shit like that that has never been appreciated; it seems you were ignorant of it when you were getting married and still are. It isn’t about being prudish – it is about knowing the limitation of your relationship with this person, who is a stranger to you – you, based purely on her gender and knowing some small tidbit of her marital status, determine that, rather than comment on her additions to the topics being debated here, instead will comment on her name, and make sexual jokes about that. Good for you. Thanks to guys like you, women can’t play MMOs without hiding their gender, women can’t post at forums like this without being anonymous – because the second they reveal who they are, their debate isn’t answered, just sex jokes.

    And don’t dare patronise me and tell me to relax. You want the freedom of speech to behave like a sexist prick, then I have the freedom of speech to call you out on it.

  52. Oh, FFS. I missed SB’s comment – SB, there are enough people out there on the internet speculating about my private life. I’m not really going to publish comments about it on this blog!

    Except that it’s too late now because everyone’s commented on it. Dammit.

  53. Splatterbottom

    Keri I sincerely apologise for any offence caused.

    Jeremy I don’t want to make matters worse and will refrain from further explanation or comment.

  54. I have no problem with what SB said. I know the spirit in which it was intended and I’ll take it that way. If a stranger said it, sure, I’d probably be a bit offended, but SB and I have been sparring for long enough to know when the barbs are pointed.

    Mondo – I very clearly didn’t state anything about the education provided at a Private School, and whether it advantaged or disadvantaged anyone. I have no idea how you could possibly thought I did. I was talking about one, very specific aspect of Private School, and didn’t actually talk about anything else. The fact that you chose to draw ridiculous conclusions from it is of course going to result in “intemperate” language.

  55. Splatterbottom

    Thank you for being so gracious, Keri.

  56. Shakespeare and Chaucer were a pair of one-trick ponies who cast transvestites as leading ladies.

    ph
    Now, let’s start on the root cause of the London riots…

    I shall go with “pissed-off plebes have had enough”.
    Yes, I know… a thread in itself.

  57. My kids don’t attend private schools because I don’t want them associating with those sorts of people.

  58. Religious schools are an objectionable idea, full stop.

    Discuss.

  59. … just before my own wedding, when a friend’s mother enquired about my emotional readiness for the big day I informed her that, while I didn’t have cold feet, i certainly had a red hot poker. It seems the world has since become more prudish when it comes to such matters.

    Or has developed a grown-up sense of humour.

  60. Religious schools are an objectionable idea, full stop.
    Discuss.

    I’ll have a go

    The fact that they get the programming in during the brains most “plastic” period? Handing down their Tooth Fairy as solemn fact?

    Or that they cost we the taxpayer more per pupil (about triple from memory) than state schools*?

    Or that they spawn alumni that are less able to cope with tertiary education** (forget exam scores – train kids to do exams and you can have any score you want)?

    *they’re disproportionately in love with the free market, because they don’t have to subject themselves to it

    **med students who believe in life after death, or “pray the gay away”, or “you can catch AIDS off toilet seats”

  61. Splatterbottom

    Lykurgus: “Or that they cost we the taxpayer more per pupil (about triple from memory) than state schools*?”

    This is about as wrong as you can get, although lefties do like to perpetuate this lie. In fact overall funding is skewed the other way. Private Schools subsidise government schools. If the private schools closed down, $3 bn extra state funding would be required. Sending your kids to private schools benefits the whole community.

  62. Private Schools subsidise government schools

    Sending your kids to private schools benefits the whole community

    I love these trashy throwaway lines. Private schooling is a more expensive system to run and the figures prove it. Having more children in public schooling is what REALLY benefits the whole community. Google “Chris Bonnor” for some REAL research into the issue, not just recycled rhetoric.

    If the private schools closed down

    Oh please … don’t use that line – I get goosebumps just thinking about the possibility! How I would love for it to become a reality and then we’ll see the real figures (and don’t use the oft-quoted, completely irrelevant example of the Catholic schools in a region of NSW suddenly closing and flooding the public system – that was, what, over fifty years ago?)

  63. jordanrastrick

    I love these trashy throwaway lines. Private schooling is a more expensive system to run and the figures prove it.

    Setting aside the merits of private versus public schooling, there is no contradiction between private schools receiving less total government funding per student, and yet costing more to run overall. The difference is paid for by fees.

  64. Splatterbottom

    RM you really do not like facts, do you?

    “I get goosebumps just thinking about the possibility!”

    Go to the bathroom and get a cubicle. After that you may be able think a bit more rationally.

    What is it about wanting to force people to do things your way? If you close private schools you will cost the government money, divert resources from areas of real need and deprive parents of their legitimate role in educating their children. Sadly, policies proffered by by the left all too often involve coercion.

  65. narcoticmusing

    Don’t want to force people to do things my way, I just want proper, fully transparent accountability for secular government funding to private institutions that are in no way obliged to educate any of the citizens that fund them by their taxes… you know, the same taxes paid by gay citizens and single mums who aren’t allowed near them.

  66. Facts? “Private schools subsidise government schools”?!

    I think you’ve got it arse-about there. Perhaps that hypothetical cubicle has your name on it. I think you’ll find plenty of government cash diverted from needy government schools to “phantom students” at certain private schools, for a start. Because how often, exactly, are private schools required to have their enrolment details checked to make sure the numbers they submit are up to date? I think you’ll find it’s a heck of a lot more seldom than gov schools. Which have to be more transparent with their finances? Private or government schools? If we want to talk about “facts”, here’s one that yes, I really do NOT like: The government funding given to private schools comes with very few, if any, strings attached – those schools can spend that money on WHATEVER THE HELL THEY WANT, and don’t have to justify any of it.

  67. Splatterbottom

    RM the fact is that private schools subsidise government schools by freeing up $3bn the government would otherwise need to find to run the extra schools.

    I don’t know how much regulation private schools get. I do know they get audited, are required to teach the government prescribed curriculum, and usually do that fairly well judging by the results. But the best way of keeping them honest is the fact that parents pay them to educate their kids. Government schools would be much better off if each of them was run by a board of parents and citizens.

  68. Government schools would be much better off if each of them was run by a board of parents and citizens.

    Um, you mean like a School Council? Like every government school in Victoria has?

    I’m glad you’re honest about not knowing how much regulation private schools get – because the answer is “not very much”. Results between like schools whether private or public are generally the same. Research has shown that public school graduates have more staying power when undertaking university study – so much for “results”.

    But the best way of keeping them honest is the fact that parents pay them to educate their kids.

    Money, yet again. Spoken like a true Sydneysider.

  69. Splatterbottom

    RM, I mean run as in hire and fire and make decisions about the way the school is managed.

    “Research has shown that public school graduates have more staying power when undertaking university study – so much for “results”

    Not my experience at all. Anyway, so what?

    As to money, clearly it shapes human behaviour. That is the genius of capitalism. On the other hand, paying people not to work grows the lumpenproletariat.

  70. RM the fact is that private schools subsidise government schools by freeing up $3bn the government would otherwise need to find to run the extra schools.

    I think that means that the government is being subsidised SB – not Public Schools. It’s not like that $3bn is re-invested into the public school system – it is pocketed by government and used for other projects.

    Claiming that private schools “subsidise” public schools is quite a bastardisation of the word “subsidise”.

  71. “Not my experience at all. Anyway, so what?”

    Your experience is wrong.

    So what? The kids who’ve made to to university from State schools are more deserving, they haven’t been spoon fed, they’re better at studying than many of their more privileged peers.

    “As to money, clearly it shapes human behaviour. That is the genius of capitalism. On the other hand, paying people not to work grows the lumpenproletariat.”

    And when the capitalists stuff the economy (the bankers and their politician mates) and jobs evaporate as a result do you propose that the unemployed starve? People wont let themselves starve if they can steal from the rich. I think unemployment benefits make sense.

  72. narcoticmusing

    The problem Bobby is that those kids that go to the private school can then buy their place in the university at the expense of the actually worthy student because, that is the beauty of capitalism. 🙂

  73. It’s only a problem if one isn’t a privileged capitalist, ie most of the nation 😉

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