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Keep socialist blog En Passant going - donate now
If you want to keep a blog that makes the arguments every day against the ravages of capitalism going and keeps alive the flame of democracy and community, make a donation to help cover my costs. And of course keep reading the blog. To donate click here. Keep socialist blog En Passant going. More... (4)

Sprouting sh*t for almost nothing
You can prove my 2 ex-comrades wrong by donating to my blog En Passant at BSB: 062914 Account: 1067 5257, the Commonwealth Bank in Tuggeranong, ACT. More... (12)

My interview Razor Sharp 18 February
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp on Tuesday 18 February. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/18-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-g20-meeting-age-of-enttilement-engineers-attack-of-austerity-hardship-on-civilians.mp3 (0)

My interview Razor Sharp 11 February 2014
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace on Razor Sharp this morning. The Royal Commission, car industry and age of entitlement get a lot of the coverage. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2014/02/11/john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-2/ (0)

Razor Sharp 4 February 2014
Me on 4 February 2014 on Razor Sharp with Sharon Firebrace. http://sharonfirebrace.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/4-2-14-john-passant-aust-national-university-canberra-end-of-the-age-of-entitlement-for-the-needy-but-pandering-to-the-lusts-of-the-greedy.mp3 (0)

Time for a House Un-Australian Activities Committee?
Tony Abbott thinks the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is Un-Australian. I am looking forward to his government setting up the House Un-Australian Activities Committee. (1)

Make Gina Rinehart work for her dole
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Sick kids and paying upfront

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Save Medicare

Demonstrate in defence of Medicare at Sydney Town Hall 1 pm Saturday 4 January (0)

Me on Razor Sharp this morning
Me interviewed by Sharon Firebrace this morning for Razor Sharp. It happens every Tuesday. http://sharonfirebrace.com/2013/12/03/john-passant-australian-national-university-8/ (0)

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From Melbourne Storm to schools – money wins

The News Ltd owned rugby league team the Melbourne Storm and the school league tables in today’s News Ltd owned newspaper The Australian have a common message – money wins.

Rugby League’s response to the dictatorship of the free market was to impose a salary cap on the clubs, a cap which is really a wage freeze on the players.

The Melbourne Storm had two sets of books and spent millions more than the imposed limit. And surprise surprise, they played in the last 4 grand finals, winning two.

What do The Australian’s school league tables tell us? That scholastically selective well-heeled private schools perform better than underfunded public and poor private schools.

The tables tell us nothing about the ability of teachers and their schools to improve the ability of students in reading, numeracy and the like. It does tell us that the rich get a better education system than the poor.

Labor is doing nothing to challenge this systemic reinforcement. Labor’s My Schools website and the consequent league tables actually encourage the discrimination.

The tables reinforce in parents’ minds that the well funded and expensive schools are better and that paying for their kids’ education is a good investment.

Rudd Labor not only accepts this idea, its policies are about accelerating the commodification of education.  Under Labor, Commonwealth expenditure on private schools as a percentage of all spending has increased while that on public schools has fallen.

Teachers have rightly banned the NAPLAN tests while market terrorists like Rupert Murdoch’s Australian parade the results as some sort of justification for the class bias in education and the ongoing rule of the bourgeoisie and their richly educated children.

Maybe it’s time we had a salary cap on spending on well off schools to even up the competition. Or perhaps a radical idea like even more spending on poor schools (both public and private) at the expense of rich schools.

But that would only be part of a real education revolution.  Taxing the rich and the bosses, the people who benefit from an educated working class, to pay for increased spending , increased funding for educational infrastructure like libraries and increased real wages for teachers would be a good first step.

The struggle for a better future for education begins with teachers beating Rudd Labor’s NAPLAN tests and its organised scabbing against the bans.

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