Monday, April 09, 2018

Australia: Grandparents' education gives year 3 students huge boost

The Leftist morons below have just rediscovered IQ but don't know it.  IQ is a huge influence on educational success and is strongly inherited genetically.  So of course high achieving people will tend to have high achieving children and grandchildren.  The various "explanations" put forward below for the relationship are therefore supererogatory and pointless, though they may have some marginal explanatory power.

Most amusing is the apparent belief that schools can somehow make up for a disadvantageous ancestry.  Since there is not yet any known way to genetically engineer a high IQ, the expectation is not so much optimistic as plain stupid.  Leftism  is a terrible blight on the brain

A student's year 3 NAPLAN scores can be significantly impacted by their grandparents' level of education, with new evidence showing that educational disadvantage is multi-generational.

Having four family members with university degrees can place a student 1.4 years ahead of their peers who have no family members with high attainment by year 3.

The study, which looked at the NAPLAN numeracy and reading scores and family background of 5107 infants aged between three and 19 months and 4983 children aged between four and five in 2004 over a decade, found that "grandparent educational attainment is associated with grandchild test scores independent of parent education" where both grandparents have high attainment.

Lead author of the study, Kirsten Hancock, a senior research fellow at the Telethon Kids Institute, said the findings have implications for both schools and families.

"It has implications for the current generation of parents, knowing that what they're doing now not only affects their own children but also generations down the line," Ms Hancock said.

"Not everyone's going to go to university but valuing education and supporting their kids is really important."

Ms Hancock said the study also "helps to show what schools are dealing with".

"There is a wide range of backgrounds that kids come to school with and it's difficult for schools to overcome that," Ms Hancock said.

"Something like 20 per cent of a child's waking hours are spent at school each year, so what happens there has to be pretty good to offset all these other things."

The study found that grandparents can contribute to their grandchildren's education directly through financial or other support, or by promoting the value of education within the family and providing access to useful networks.

It also found that grandparents' ability to contribute differs by country, and that Australian grandparents have plenty of opportunities to provide a financial boost by helping with school fees and costs or supporting extracurricular activities.

"Enrolment in private education is also substantially higher in Australia than in other countries, with almost 40 per cent of students attending non-government schools compared with an OECD average of 15 per cent," the paper states.

"Grandparents may also help parents to secure housing in the catchment areas of desirable public schools, either by providing financial support, or by providing free childcare that enable parents to generate more income and have greater choice with respect to housing."

The advantage provided by well-educated grandparents and parents tends to be concentrated in some families, with people with high educational attainment likely to partner with people who have similar levels of attainment.

"Such a concentration of human capital may contribute further to educational inequalities in subsequent generations," the paper states.

Ms Hancock said: "We haven't had the data to prove this in Australia before now. "For children who come from these strong educational backgrounds, they're doing pretty well. But it's difficult for schools to overcome and they need significant resources."

The latest NAPLAN results show that students across all year levels are far more likely to achieve scores in the top bands for all five NAPLAN domains if one parent holds a bachelor degree or higher.

This was especially evident in the numeracy test where 33.4 per cent of year 3 students with parents who had a bachelor degree or higher achieved a band 6 or above, compared to 13.2 per cent of those with parents who had a diploma and 2.7 per cent of students whose parents only reached year 11.


No Excuse Possible for Anti-Jesus Views of Professor at Catholic College

Sometimes there is no explanation for some actions. It can’t be a question of ignorance. It can’t be a mistake in judgment. It’s plain wrong, and the person does it anyway.

Such is the case of Prof. Tat-Siong Benny Liew. He is chair of New Testament Studies at the Jesuit-run College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Massachusetts.

An article by Elinor Reilly ’18, on pages 5-7 of the March 2018 issue of The Fenwick Review, quotes Prof. Liew writing that Our Lord Jesus Christ was a “drag king,” a “cross-dresser,” and a man with “queer desires.” He eroticizes the relations among the Three Persons of the Blessed Trinity, Our Lord’s miraculous healing of the Centurion’s servant, His washing of the Apostles’ feet, and the Crucifixion.

Throughout, Prof. Liew uses unrepeatable language that he certainly knowingly offends God and devout Catholics. And yet he does it anyway.

It is impossible for this scholar not to know what has always been taught about Our Lord. He is a man of studies; one who has been fully exposed to the New Testament and Church teaching on the Gospels. He has to know that his position is a direct challenge to the Church’s official interpretation of Scripture and traditional beliefs on the Redeemer. Nevertheless, he presents his position without fear of reprisal. He makes no effort to hide his unorthodox beliefs.

On March 30, 2018, Worcester Bishop Robert MacManus declared these Gospel interpretations to be “false,” “perverse,” and “blasphemous.”

It appears that Prof. Liew has not disavowed these blasphemous writings or shown any remorse for them.

It is part of the frenetic intemperance of the educational establishment that there are no standards which cannot be overthrown in the name of academic license (please don’t call it freedom). For these academic license-worshippers, neither truth nor error exists. One is free to present the most outrageous thoughts and make believe they are worthy of serious consideration.

There is no Church authority, not even a bishop, who can restrain such offensive imaginings. And anyone who feels wounded in his Faith is labeled intolerant, a rigid bigot, and is academically excommunicated and damned.

In this manifestation of extreme individualism, the academic license-worshipper sets himself up as the standard of all things. Everything and everyone must adapt to him. Yet he bows before no one; no, not even God.

However, there are other tragic conclusions to take.

If Prof. Liew speaks without fear of dismissal from a Jesuit college, it is because he knows there are many others in Catholic academia who think similarly. He knows there is collusion for his academic license. He knows his colleagues harbor sympathy for his ability to show off his outlandish beliefs. He knows that he is not shunned or ostracized by his academic peers for his unorthodox views. He knows that he continues tranquilly to chair his New Testament Studies department at a Jesuit-run university.

Also, he knows there are administrators who certainly have heard of his offensive positions and activities. And he knows they do not fire him or remove him from his rostrum of influence over the souls and salvation of young Catholics.

No, Prof. Liew is not alone in his heretical views on Jesus. His training and education must have had those of similar mind who encouraged him in his research and writing. He quotes others with equally twisted interpretations of Scripture. It is impossible not to conclude that significant sectors of the Catholic teaching establishment have long been undermined by those holding and openly espousing unorthodox positions. Things now have reached a point where once hidden views are unashamedly promoted.

Similar considerations can be made about others associated with the theological formation that Prof. Liew today imparts including those bishops and priests that gave free reign to such licentious and false studies. The same goes for the theologians who develop these perverse doctrines hoping to subvert Catholic theology into homosexual ideology.

All of this is a reflection of a great crisis that has long festered inside the Church, destroying morals and Faith. Indeed, already fifty years ago Pope Paul VI mentioned that “the Church finds herself in an hour … of self-destruction.” Forty-six years ago he said that “the smoke of Satan has entered into the temple of God through some crack.”

Today, this “self-destruction” rules at all levels.

That is why it is important that faithful Catholics protest when unorthodox views are presented openly. Their prayerful voices can be a cry of alert that denounces error and forces the other side to rethink. Above all, their prayers serve as needed public reparation for the unspeakable blasphemy against Our Lord. They also implore God to intervene and set this wayward world aright. 


When Ideology Collides With Good School Governance

Should schools be focused on providing children with a good education in a safe environment, or should they be laboratories of partisan political agitation? The answer, of course, should be obvious. The National School Boards Association states that “education is not a line item in your school board’s budget, it’s the only item.” The principles of “governance and leadership,” such as those articulated by the Pennsylvania School Boards Association, make no allowance for focusing on anything other than educating children. Most schools adopt policies protecting students from any attempts by faculty or staff to indoctrinate them toward any partisan or ideological positions.

So when the needs of education and the drum beats of political ideology collide, the former should always prevail. As designed by Pennsylvania (where I’m a sitting school board president for a small rural district in the western part of the state) and many other states, local school governance must surely be close to an ideal concept. Residents are elected by other residents and are given responsibility for a very narrow range of activity and held accountable not only at the ballot box but also in the grocery store aisles, concert seats, and game bleachers.

In other words, school governance is designed to be a targeted, pragmatic, and highly accountable enterprise. Most of the time, that’s exactly what it is. The vast majority of items taken up by the vast majority of school boards are unaffected by the broader ideological or political considerations that often infect our national policymaking.

Of course, that’s not always the case. Local school boards do sometimes navigate ideologically charged national political debates. I and my fellow board directors have been in this position many times, involving such subjects as debt, taxes, church and state, health care, and more. I’ve written previously about our school district’s encounter with anti-fracking activists, who relentlessly maligned board members’ intelligence and integrity. It wasn’t the first time. It won’t be the last.

But with the recent school shooting in Florida and the flurry of high-profile news and activities we’ve seen in its aftermath, we appear to have reached some kind of tipping point in the annals of ideology versus school governance.

Let’s face it, there is high emotion built into the topics of gun control, gun violence, school safety, etc. Mass shootings exacerbate tribal divides and accentuate policy differences. That said, nowadays there appears to be something uniquely intractable about the gun control debate. National Review writer David French — not someone prone to hyperbole — even argues that of all issues, this could be the one that “breaks America.”

So while there’s always a certain possibility of clashes between ideology and good school governance — especially given the expanding range of topics now heaped under the rubric of “education” — the potential today appears to be reaching unprecedented levels. This is certainly driven at least in part by school shootings and society’s attempt to grapple with them.

Unfortunately, we’ve seen evidence that many school districts are wilting under the pressure to allow ideology to undermine their core missions. An object lesson in this is the National School Walkout that took place earlier this month. Advertised and obsequiously covered in much of the media as a grass roots, “student-led” movement, the whole event was orchestrated by Empower, the youth wing of the Women’s March. Yes, THAT Women’s March, an unapologetically progressive movement with an undeniably far-left platform and a penchant for outrageous and aggressive tactics.

As for the “walkout” itself, consider what schools were being pressured to do: permit students to leave the school building en masse at the same exact time as hundreds of other schools in the country, thus allowing a massive disruption of the school day and (ironically) putting students in potential danger. In addition, schools were effectively expected to facilitate and enable the exploitation of the opportunity to promote aggressive gun control and convey a blanket demonization of the NRA, the GOP, and anyone who doesn’t sufficiently support every radical gun control idea.

And this brings me back to the basic principles of school governance. When an ideological or partisan political initiative collides with a school’s fundamental mission to maintain an atmosphere conducive to good education in a safe environment, erring to the side of the latter is not a “nice-to-do.” Schools do not have the luxury of spending their time, energy, or resources agitating for changes to the U.S. Constitution or federal or state HIPPA regulations, just to name a couple of examples. They must be much more narrowly focused on things they can do to maximize student safety and student educational outcomes.

Needless to say, there was no mass walkout in our district. Students were allowed to gather briefly and quietly in the school gymnasium to pay tribute to the slain Florida students. But school wasn’t disrupted; children weren’t allowed to endanger themselves while under our watch; and there was no blatantly partisan posturing by anyone.

It would have been easy enough to follow the crowd. Those who think we should have done just that ought to consider the unwieldy precedent that would have been set by allowing students to create anarchy in the school for any ideological reason they like. And they should remind themselves about the legal and moral requirements of good school governance. All these things considered, there should be ample common ground upon which to gather for the right reasons.


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