20 MARCH   2008




Private Can Never become Public

There has been a concerted effort by academics and private think tanks to undermine the public system through a redefinition of the meaning of 'public' to include 'private religious schools.

As DOGS have emphasised, public and private are like chalk and cheese. A democratic government has the public obligation to provide a public system. This means it is public in provision,  as well  is public in purpose, outcome, and access for all children, parents, teachers and others regardless of class, colour, creed, locality, or ability to pay. It is also public in  funding and accountability as well as ownership and control.

When people refer to the government, State, or public  system as free, secular and universal, they are using a shorthand for all of the above eight indicia of our current public systems. It must be secular for example if it is going to be accessible for all children and employees. Otherwise, public money is used to discriminate against children or employees on the basis of religion.

For the above reasons private schools can never be public schools or be defined as such. They are set up for a private purpose. Their outcome is also a private one. They are designed to provide children with the first class ticket to heaven and the good job and they are tribal in both nature and product. They discriminate against children and employees on the basis of class, creed, colour and ability to pay, and although they receive billions of dollars of taxpayer's money, they are not publicly accountable for expenditure of that money.

Private schools are also privately owned and controlled.

An examination of the  rhetoric  of the Education Foundation outlined below indicates that it wishes to incorporate private schools into the concept of public education.

The Aim of the Education Foundation: An Integrated Public/Private System ( Shorthand for Privatisation

 Ellen Koshland, the founder of Education Foundation declared on 1 December 2006

" Éducation Foundation Australia has come to believe that significant change will only be achieved by re-shaping our landscape around an entirely new framework of public education: one based on public values rather than one who  owns and operates the school "

Over a year earlier , The Age , a supporter and promoter  of the Education Foundation summarised the Foundation position on July 25, 2005:

Private schools would be invited into a new-look, broader public education system, under a radical plan being discussed by Victoria's Education community. The independent Education Foundation has produced a paper proposing a new definition of Public Education allowing non-government schools to operate as public schools.

Education Foundation Founder, Sponsors, Supporters, Patrons.

The Education Foundation was established in 1989 by the founder and president, Ellen Koshland who arrived from the USA in 1973.

The Education Foundation has received sponsorship from The Age and counts amongst its patrons Professor Brian J. Caldwell, Professor Jack Keating, Tony Mackay, Graham Marshall, Professor Barry McGaw and Dr. John Roskam. In passing DOGS note the connection between the Education Foundation, The Age and writers for  the Age (Caldwell, Keating and Roskam).

Education Foundation Attacks Historic Definition Underpinning the Public Education System

 Education Foundation President: Ellen Koshland: Position

December 1, 2006:

Education Foundation Australia has come to believe that significant change will only be achieved by re-shaping our landscape around an entirely new framework of public education, one based on public value rather than who owns or operates the school....

Under this new definition public education would be focussed on the achievement of public value for the community. It would be built on the principles of quality and equity and would support the rights and interest of individual students and the public good, including the wider Australian community today and in the future...reshaping the educational landscape around the concept of public value.....the experience of other countries such as Canada, the Netherlands, England, New Zealand, and Denmark is worth noting here. Public Education in these places includes provision by denominational schooling and various types of government dependent, privately managed schools. Considerable diversity is allowed as long as schools conform to the democratic standards and expectations set by education authorities.

21 July 2006

The answer, she (Ellen Koshland ) suggested lies

in a different set of arrangements and a different concept of public education that looks beyond ownership by government and instead is based on 'public value and public responsibility that comes from receiving public funding

29 April 2005

We propose a reconfigured education framework based on public values and purposes. Schools with8n it would support the public good. Such a configuration would be committed to the fostering of excellence to equality of opportunity for all and principles of access. It would place commitment on these goals rather than who owns or funds the schools.

A public education framework for the 21st century needs to ensure certain collective values. These include the delivery of a broad curriculum that supports the shared values of the society, qualities of secure environments, and assured standards and accountability for quality and duty of care.

Education Foundation Partner in Crucial $250,000.00 sponsored Australian Research Council Project.

The battle for the concept of public education is very intense, particularly with those who do not accept the eightfold historical definition of public education. This battle is for the very meaning, existence, and importance of the Australian public education idea moulded through the historic experiences of our 19th century forefathers.

The outline of the research project may appear to many to be benign for the innocent and naive supporters of public education. But the actual project activities and outcomes are a different matter.

Australian Research Council Project:

The heading of this project is Education Investment in Australian Schooling: Serving Public Purposes. In this project the Australian Government Primary Principals Association (AGPPA) and the Education Foundation are partnering with academics from the Universities of South Australia, Melbourne, Tasmania, and Queensland in a large three year research project funded by the ACR. The project will clarify and articulate the public purposes of Australian schooling. As well as informing educational policy and practice at both State and National levels, the project will result in a number of professional development resources and strategies for principals and their school communities.

Consider the implications of the following Abstract

The public purposes of schooling are central to the social and economic health of Australian society, since they provide a basis for realising the goals and aspirations of that society. This project will use the insights and current practices of many school communities to establish how the purposes of schooling are currently understood and enacted. This clearification will be used as the basis for

(a) a reassessment of refinement of such policy statements as the National Goals of Schools

(b)  professional development of activities and resources and sharing of good practice; and

(c)   the development of instruments for assessing the achievement of public purposes.


Readers  should ask themselves how the historic definition of public education which underpins the public as opposed to the private system which we currently enjoy will fare in the hands of the Education Foundation and academics like Professor A. Reid, ( South Australia) Acting Professor N.C. Cranston, (Queensland ) and Professor J.P. Keating (Victoria), and Professor W.R. Mulford (Tasmania).

Look above at the earlier statements of Ellen Koshland and ask what is likely to happen as a result of the presence of the Education Foundation's contribution to the research and outcomes of this ARC  project. 



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Last modified:Thursday, 20 March 2008