OCTOBER 10 2008







Julia Gillard Bad News for Public Education from the Beginning:

Unfortunately for public education, Julia Gillard has been in bed with big business from her very first engagement as a Minister of the Crown. Very few people other than members of the DOGS are aware that her first official speech was to the Australian Industry Group on December 3, 2007. This speech is  absent from her Media Release list.

 Straightaway she declared that she was going to ignore the old battles between public and private schools . She has fulfilled her promise to the point of trying to wipe out the concept of public education from the Australian scene , both past and present.

Gillard and the Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS)

On the UBS website readers are  told that the Union Bank of Switzerland was formed in 1912.

The bank also claims to be

  • one of the leading financial firms serving a discerning international client base

  • a leading global wealth manager ,

  • a leading global investment banking and securities firm, and

  •  one of the largest global asset managers. In Switzerland, UBS is the market leader in retail and commercial banking.

In a News Release dated 5 October 2008,entitled New York City Chancellor of Education to Visit Australia, Julia Gillard promotes both the UBS and Joel Klein, Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education. Readers are informed that:

UBS, a leading financial firm has generously offered to sponsor Mr Klein's visit and I welcome the active involvement of UBS in promoting the importance of education.

Building strong connections between businesses and schools is essential to building a thriving and productive education community

Highlights of Mr Klein's itinerary will include a major public address and dinner with leaders from the business and school sectors.

DOGS note that if Mr Klein was so important for Australian education, let alone public education, then our government should have financed his visit rather than accept the largesse of a global bank. DOGS further object to UBS supporting the visit to Australia of an overseas visitor whose visit will not be in the interest of public education.

Who is Mr Klein?

According to Julia Gillard, Mr Klein "is sure to bring energy and a new perspective to the current debate about how to improve schools in Australia." Julia Gillard appears to think that  "Joel Klein fits in with the Rudd goals for 'quality education" in Australia ....making schools more accountable for their teaching and learning...and academic and cultural change in schools."

Mr Klein fits in with Rudd's mantra that parents and children should "walk with their feet "and where, despite their best efforts, schools are not lifting their performance, the Commonwealth expects education authorities to take serious action - such as replacing the school principal, replacing senior staff, re-organising the school or even merging that school with other more effective schools...Tough action is necessary"   ( See Rudd's address to the National Press Club 27 August 2008) .

Mr Klein has been  criticised in Australia. DOGS refer readers to one such criticism on the Save our Schools website  under the heading Gillard's School Reporting Model is a Triumph of Ideology over Evidence and other articles at http://www.soscanberra.com .

Julia Gillard  the National Australia Bank (NAB) Partnership:

Julia Gillard promoted a NAB partnership project in Australian schools In a Press Release dated October 3, 2008 entitled Schools First in new $15 million NAB Partnership . The initiative is aimed at "building stronger partnerships between schools and local communities". The project was developed by NAB in partnership with Melbourne CARES, The Foundation of Young Australians, and the Australian Council for Educational Research. Julia Gillard further noted that one of the ideas presented in the Australia 20 20 summit was the creation of a co-ordinated partnership between Australia's top 200 businesses and our schools.  She said:

The Schools First initiative is exactly the kind of visionary national collaboration that will help that to happen.

She continued:

The Rudd government, in partnership with business and the broader community, wants to ensure that every Australian child receives a world class education and every school is a great school.

What she did not tell the taxpayer/citizens is found by reading between the lines.

The Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

According to the website of What is Schools First? at www.schoolsfirst.ed.au , the ACER is a partner and will continue to review successful school and community partnerships, adding to the evidence that such partnerships can improve student learning and indirectly build community capacity.

Who will be paying for this research?

DOGS note that the Board of Directors of the ACER includes Professor Brian Caldwell as Deputy Chair, Dr. Brian Croke, Executive Director of the Catholic Education Office and Tony Mackay, Vice President of the Incorporated Association of Registered Teachers of Victoria. For information on Brian Caldwell and Tony Mackay we refer readers to Press Release 241 www.adogs.info/pr241.htm and  Press Release 244  www.adogs.info/pr244.htm and Press Release 155 at www.adogs.info/pr155.htm

What Kind of Partnerships?

In a scheme which appears to involve  NAB subsidisation of public as well as private education, questions should be asked about the kinds of partnerships that will be encouraged.

Is this another version of Gillard's merging of the public into the private sector?  Will it be a variation of Gillard's $800,000 Family-School Partnership Bureau which involves combining of  the Australian Council of State Schools Organisation ( ACSSO) and the Australian Parents Council (APC).  Julia Gillard announced on 18 February 2008 that this new Bureau would work with organisations across the country in developing and encouraging effective partnerships betweens schools, parents and the broader community. The question is: What types of partnership?

DOGS believe that Julia Gillard is doing a Schools Commission exercise, attempting to effectively push public and private lobby groups together to the grave disadvantage of public education.

Foundation for Young Australians

 We notice that, amongst the partnership with NAB is an organisation,  Foundation for Young Australians.   On their website we note that an organisation called the Education Foundation has formed an alliance with the Foundation for Young Australians. In the process it appears that the Education Foundation is now found at the same street address and email address as the Foundation for Young Australians. They also share the same Chief Executive Officer. We are led to believe that the combined organisations will have a greater capability to advocate in ways that make a real and positive impact on the lives of young Australians. The increased focus is consistent with both organisations' beliefs in enhancing opportunity through learning and skills development. DOGS wait to find a reference to commitment to public education in this new group. We refer readers to our Press Release 244 at www.adogs.info/pr244.htm to get some background on the Education Foundation. We noted in the earlier release that the Education Foundation was attempting to re-define public education to include private education.

Federal Liberal Party Supports NAB "Schools First"

When the federal liberal party supports an idea in the education field as a "terrific idea ," you know public education is in trouble. According to a Liberal Party News Item, October 2, 2008, the Honourable Christopher Pyne, MP, Shadow Minister for Education Apprenticeships and Training said:

"I, (Christopher Pyne) think it is a terrific idea and when the Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard announces it to-morrow I will be leading the applause.

According to Christopher Pyne,

"This new initiative will endeavour to foster stronger partnerships between schools and local communities.

DOGS believe that this proposal will promote the unity of the graveyard for public education with the stultifying of the promotion of public education because public education must keep the community peace.

Public Education Should be Supported by Company Taxation not Company Charity

Since 1985, the rate of company taxation in Australia has fallen from 46% in 1985 to 30% in 2008. This does not compare favourably with Japan and the USA where company taxation on January 1, 2008 was 40.69% in Japan and 40% in the USA. Taxes have increasingly fallen upon the individual income earner and consumer.

Budget papers indicate that in the year 2007-2008, individual taxation yielded $126.1 billion; company represented $64.7 billion and GST $44.4 billion. Taxpayer may remember that the GST was the tax we had to have for a quality public education system. So why can't the public schools get the at least $2.9 billion extra per annum they estimate as a minimum requirement?

 Imagine if the NAB had contributed at the rate of even 35% company tax, not even 40% required in the USA. There would be at least an extra $10 billion per year from company taxation  for education, health and welfare. Instead of forcing the companies to pay a reasonable tax rate to assist education, Julia Gillard grovels to the NAB for a mere $5 million. But if the ALP required NAB to pay only 35% company tax another  $500 million would be available from the public Treasury to pay for Education.

So, why grovel for a mere $5 million and abdicate responsibility for a first class public education system, when she could obtain 100 times more, namely $500 million from the NAB for the public Treasury with a 35% company tax?  

The ALP should Stop Running the Nation State like a Party Political Machine

 DOGS call upon the ALP to stop relying on hand-outs to run the nation state. Gillard and Rudd might think it is OK to grovel to banks and other businesses to obtain finances to run the ALP. But it is irresponsible and an abdication and abnegation of responsible government to place reliance on private investment for a public system of education.





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Last modified:Friday, 10 October 2008




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