April 2006
Education
Tuesday, 25 April 2006 20:57 | Written by Graham Young
These are the notes used for our on-air analysis on Wednesday 19th April. General Comments:
  1. The support for the public system has declined even more on the last survey, even though the survey was chock a block with Labor voters and teachers. Agree/Strongly Agree headed in right direction down from 42% to 28% in 12 months.
  2. Support for public v private schools for your own kids still looks around 50/50, after adjustment for Labor/Green bias in the sample (I think Graham is doing a check here), with two thirds of left wing voters supporting the public system and two thirds of coalition voters supporting the private system.  
  3. Teachers loved the questionnaire, especially teachers in Government schools. The overall numbers were up more than ten-fold on the last survey.
  4. These teachers tended to support the public system, in principal, but, in practice, thought it had had it, with insufficient funding, run down buildings, excessive class sizes, trendy syllabuses and not enough of the basics, lack of male teachers, as some of the problems mentioned.
  5. Many respondents seem to think the Federal Government is to blame for problems with the state education system … it seems the blame shifting we are seeing in health is having some benefits in education, for the Beattie Government. Which leads to the last point, due to Federal Funding of Private School education …
  6. There is perception, mixed into this framework, that the state Government has started to delay building public schools in fast growing areas, leaving the cost burden increasingly to the Federal Government and the private school system … a comment we have heard from other states. This is good news for the private school system, but makes for a pretty dismal report card for the State Labor Government, if it is correct.
Right Direction? The majority of those who strongly agree the education system is headed in the right direction also would send their kids to a public school – 31 out of a total of 42. But a very large proportion of these respondents has major concerns about the public system and simply rejects the non-public system in principle… "Schools are asked to do more and more in an environment where proper parenting has been falling away for many years. This comment from a Labor voting Teacher in the public system, who would send his children to a public school, but who went on to discuss the biggest issues facing primary and secondary schools as … literacy and numeracy, along with a lack of proper science education by qualified science teachers." This is from a rock solid Labor voting teacher in the public system! Half of those who strongly agree the system is headed in the right direction, also think it is under funded and that this under funding is reflected run down buildings, and oversized classes. Many also think there aren’t enough male teachers and that this is not appropriate for public schools, as many public school children are living with their mothers and have no male role models… "Education has been feminised too much (the pendulum thing) and boys are missing out. Outcome based education is a complete waste of time, accountability gone mad, and once again teachers are stressed and the students miss out. This is from a male teacher. This is from a solid Labor voting male teacher, who sends his kids to a private school … because I teach in a state school and the amount of time spent on a minority of kids who do not value education , for one reason or another, is ludicrous. powers to discipline have been taken away. students know they don't have to show respect, so some don't. what are you going to do about it? Nothing." Some who strongly agree the system is headed in the right direction (9 out of 42) think the public system has had it, and regard the Catholic or Private system as successful, by comparison. So, the system they are talking about is no longer the Government or public system. That’s how bad it is, for Government. For example … "I am a teacher in the catholic system and feel we haven't hit the golden secret yet but are well on our way. Children are valued as individuals, taught in a more positive, individual based manner and assessed against set outcomes. They are not judged as failures. There has been a return to some of the basics and this can only be good when included with some of the more wholistic educational practises." (This teacher, unfortunately, couldn’t spell holistic - Private system support, Liberal to Independent). Most of those who think the education system is headed in the wrong direction, support the private school education system, but many don’t… "Public education is being left behind under this (Howard) government. They say the extra funding is about providing choice to parents but one look at the fees rising consistently shows that is not the case. Meanwhile, those already disadvantaged will now fall further behind as the standard of public education falls due to poor funding arrangements. If we want to create a two-tier society then we're heading in the right direction. I do not share this (Howard) government's goals hence I strongly disagree that we are heading in the right direction." – State system supporter, Democrat to Labor This is a typical view of those who think the public system is headed in the wrong direction… "I am a secondary school teacher who has also taught at TAFE and Uni and am deeply concerned about numeracy and literacy levels, behaviour problems and a lack of focus and concentration in the majority of high school students.- Private School Supporter, Green to Green, who also said on the Private school question: My experience of teaching in public schools would not encourage me to have my children attend one." "As an after school tutor from ages 8 - 15 both in English and Maths, I am still astounded, but not completely surprised, how many children have neither the basic skills to do simple arithmetic or have sufficient grasp of basic grammar and spelling. Green to Undecided, private school supporter." "The Queensland State Government is relying on the private/church schools in meeting the needs of communities in rapidly expanding areas such as Hervey Bay. The State schools at both primary and secondary level are absolutely full to the brim, with class sizes ever increasing, but staff, both teachers and support, and resources allocated decreasing. Other to National, private school supporter. "
 
Benchmark Part I
Tuesday, 25 April 2006 18:01 | Written by Graham Young
These are the notes used for our on-air analysis on 5th April.

Dot points

  1. Sample leans to the left but is reasonably balanced by gender and age.
  2. Labor on 26%, Liberal 13%, National 22% and Greens 18%.
  3. Shows two-party preferred win to Labor 51% to 49%. Given sample bias this is a loss.
  4. Only 20% of sample said they would not preference.
  5. Strength of Coalition vote outside the South-East. In Brisbane sample shows 60% vote to Labor after prefs.
  6. Swing appears to be about 9% to 11% away from Labor on first prefs.
  7. Only 29% of voters think the state is heading in the right direction and 56% percent think it is heading in the wrong direction.
  8. Of those who think it is heading in the right direction, their answers are most frequently in the "Yes, but..." format. Significant issues for them are Health, Economy, Growth, Population, Infrastructure, Education.
  9. For those who think it is heading in the wrong direction, their issues are Health, Education, Water, Infrastructure, Planning, Environment, Growth, Population.
  10. Beattie is viewed unfavourably by 30%, unfavourably by 57%. Springborg is 33%, 40% and Quinn 11%, 54%.
  11. ALP voters narrowly prefer Beattie of Bligh 26% to 25%, Springborg easily beats Seeney 36% to 3%, but 44% don’t want any. Quinn comes in last 7% after Flegg 18% and Caltabiano 14%, but 43% want none of them.
  12. A huge hesitation negative for Labor is Beattie 116 responses, while Springborg is a negative for Nats 53 and Quinn for Libs 76 responses.
  13. The Coalition and their partners are significant negatives for National Party and Liberal Party.

Voting intention this election

First_PrefTotal
Democrats4%
Family First1%
Greens18%
Independent9%
Labor26%
Liberal13%
National22%
None of them4%
One Nation1%
Other1%
Grand Total100%

After preferences this is 51% to Labor. 20% of voters will not allocate. Greens – Highest concentrations in from city out to Toowong and Chelmer Also West End. Another concentration in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland (Maleny). National Party mostly represented outside the Eastern Corner. Two-thirds of their vote is from rural areas. Liberal Party is half Brisbane, and 50% Brisbane and one-third Gold and Sunshine Coast. Labor is half Brisbane, but only 15% from Gold and Sunshine Coasts.

2PP

Labor 51% to Coalition 49%. But in Brisbane this is Labor 60%, Coalition 40%, and even on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts ALP 57%. Strength of Coalition vote appears to be outside the south-east.

Approval of direction of the state

Those who say yes 214 Responses frequently in the “Yes, but…” format Quotes: “Overall, I agree e.g. good economic growth, stable interest rates, etc. However, the infrastructure to support the number of people now moving and living in SEQ is appalling. There is inadequate spending on roads, trains, buses. The State School system is unbelievably underfunded as, it appears, may be the hospitals too.” “Just because I believe the state is basicly heading in the right direction it certainly dosn't mean that I believe that everything is OK, far from it , there are major problems in Health, mental health, childern services, education,electricty and water an area they just addressed at all, it great to have all these people moving up hear from southern states, as long as your staying ahead of the infustructure to maintain our standard of living” Those who say “No” 415
 
Aboriginal education
Sunday, 02 April 2006 06:14 | Written by Graham Young

Posted for Bill Gale

I do not know if what I am suggesting is your line of enquiry but here goes.

Some years ago the ABC interviewed an Occupational Therapist from Western Australia who had gone to great lengths to live and then study aboriginal children comprehension.

it was a simple test. I am 75 and when a scout it was called Kim's game. I wonder if it still a test. about 25 items were set out in square say 2 ft sq. they were simple things like a peg, a pen top a rubber =, a paper clip and so on -- any small thing. The O T did the same and gave the aboriginal children a minute or two to study the items they were covered and the children asked to recall the items and a score kept. she did same for Caucasian children at another time.

the findings were aboriginal children scored poorly compared with the Caucasians. BUT when she changed the question and asked Aboriginal children What was next to the rubber their recall was far ahead of Caucasian.

she then tried with Caucasian children who had low attention span in school and had not scored well in the "recall" test by asking them "What was next to the rubber etc?" she found they performed as well as the aboriginal children.

her conclusion was that Aboriginal children need a different form of schooling and why has it fascinated me? I have a son and grandson who are very bright but fit clearly into the ones who's attention is poor and school results to match.

I have tried to get the original research because it could be fundamental to a different approach to the education of the average aboriginal child. As I said I guess this is outside your realm of enquiry but I have been busting to tell someone.