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The school system in Australia is actually a travesty.

So, as I was looking through Twitter this morning, I saw that Labor had released a statement praising the standard of Australian students as amongst the best in the world.

"The Minister for School Education, Peter Garrett, has welcomed the results of the 2009 OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which revealed that Australian students remain among the top academic performers worldwide. "

When I saw that, my heart soared. As an avid propagator of education, I thought that those figures were quite significant, considering my latest loss of faith in the intelleigence of the Australian populationn (think Carrie Bickmore and the soon-to-be-infamous Oprah Report of the Australian way of life; the current douchebags at the head of federal politics; and many, many disappointing people updating their blogs and Facebooks and Twitter accounts daily).

But I digress.

According to this report, a group of 14,250 Australian 15-year-old students from 353 different schools took part in the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), and "performed well above the OECD average in all three assessment areas,”, according to Mr Garrett, our newly appointed Minister for School Education. What I find most amusing about this report is the blatant political spin on results which were, in fact, quite dismal for the country Australia has the potential to be.

As I was browsing the net and doing my morning read, y'know, I came across a vastly different interpretation of the issue from The West Australian. In their reniditon of the events,
'Australian teenagers' reading and maths skills have plummeted in the past decade', scoring 13- points less in reading, and 10-points less in mathematics since the year 2000. Science remained unchanged.

To me, this indicates a problem which has steadily plagued the Australian primary and secondary education system for years: government schooling does NOT receive anywhere NEAR enough funding from the government, remaining at the discretion of the State governments rather than Federal.

Private schools, on the other hand, continue to flourish despite the current government's pledge, and really, their PLATFORM, of evening out the score between private and government schooling. News flash, Julia and drones: creating a website which details the amount of revenue generated by private schools exposes the injustice, but it doesn't actually do anything to fix the problem. Investing actually money, time and thought into the physical reality, for example, does.

The West Australian also reported that '
Geoff Masters, who heads the Australian Council for Educational Research, which manages the tests in Australia, said though the nation achieved above the OECD average, the literacy decline was concerning. He said the achievement gap between students from wealthy and poor backgrounds was equivalent to almost three years of schooling. This put an "unacceptable proportion" of 15-year-olds at serious risk of being unable to read well enough to find work.'

What. the. hell. So what this basically means is that children whose parents are not filthy rich will miss out on countless job opportunities because their standard of education is well below par in relation to the private school system. Now, I don't know about you, but to me, that is so disgusting AND embarrassing, especially as it is occurring within a nation that claims to be based on egalitarian values and an all- encompassing 'working class system'.

Give me a break, Labor and Liberals (or Laberals, as one of my wise professors coined them) - you both only look out for the future of the 'upper' working-class. Labor, you are particularly disappointing: to abandon the future of those who have least opportunity is an act so despicable it makes me want to become an anarchist.