She referred to disabled and autistic kids holding back the other kids in mainstream classes. A simplification to suggest that all disabled and autistic kids are in mainstream classes. She claimed to have talked to parents with special needs kids and should have known that.
If at that time she had put it in the context of extra help for those kids in mainstream classes and how some inclusiveness might have been beneficial to all kids, she might have met with a different response. In her statement, she did not put a case for additional funding. Effectively, she cast special needs kids as the problem.
In the bad old days condemning all kids with learning or other difficulties to special school streaming severely limited their development and career prospects.


Going off topic, and I don't expect this to be popular, but I don't have a problem with the pollies pay rise.
I actually don't think its enough.


I agree wit him you.

It's not the pay scale that's the problem: it's the party machines that put hacks and factotums in roles that are meant to serve the people.


I do have a problem, given they have fought the APS for 3 years over any pay rises.


That's exactly right. It's not the money it's the quality of the people there. I am not talking Hanson or Lambie at least they are representative of their supporters. But some of the others are simply being rewarded having never having had a real job


The real problem is there will be kids being held back even without autistic and disabled kids.
The question is whether it is the best option for all kids.

And whether we can trust researchers and educators on this topic, givemthat we have both been going backwards for years, and the quality of teachers skills seem to be falling.

Having said that I don't think teachers are paid enough either. There needs to be a complete change in thinking so we can turn teaching into a career that can attract the best and brightest most talented teachers.

And to do that we need to attract the best and brightest students and offer them salaries comparative to the corporate world. Not the pittance they get now.


Medicare rebates are in an 8 year freeze.


That is a real urban myth Scorpio.

Quality of Pollies, just like all other profession may vary, but I don't know any who never had a "real" job before Parliament.


Anyone who went from uni to the IPA for starters.


Hmm, who is that ?


Those jerks with their unreserved apology to the Supreme Court. In essence it was heavily qualified, casting it as a sub judice issue and knowing that the last thing the Supreme Court wanted to do was to bring down the Government. They reserve the right to make such claims otherwise, channelling Trump.
Meanwhile, Dutton can cast the blame on the asylum compensation settlement as ambulance chasing lawyers. Why then did the government settle?


Same here, I'd have to say. Brother and both of his kids are high functioning. Pretty close to certain I'd get the same diagnosis if my foibles ever got to the point of hindering every day life. So far, making very careful plans to spend as little time as possible in situations that drive me nuts, forcing myself to look people in the eye and smile and reminding myself that most people like small talk even though it's a farking pointless exercise works. Aside from that, getting genuinely distressed if things aren't done on time, ■■■■■■ off at certain sounds and hopelessly unable to focus on anything with background noise just seems to make me a little odd to most people. I'm cool with just being that.


English test for prospective citizens includes ‘politically charged’ questions on coal

Aspiring Australian citizens could soon test their English with a series of “politically charged, inaccurate and inappropriate” questions on coal, the Climate Council has warned.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton last week announced that changes to the citizenship test would include a controversial “stand-alone English test involving competent reading, writing, listening and speaking”.

The reading task contains a passage that appears to be in favour of “clean coal”, while acknowledging climate change is driven by human activity.

The passage is accompanied by the following questions:

Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie described the exercise as “beyond belief”.

“It is completely inaccurate and inappropriate,” Ms McKenzie told The New Daily.

She said the section included “politically charged, incorrect, biased subject matter that has completely suspended any notion of the truth”.

The sample test, used by the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) and written in 2009 contains several controversial passages.

One such paragraph reads: “Defendants [sic]of mining point out that, environmentally, coal mining has two important factors in its favour. It makes only temporary use of the land and produces no toxic chemical wastes.”

The IELTS included a disclaimer on the questionnaire: “This is an extract from a General Training Reading text on the subject of coal. The text preceding this extract catalogued the general belief that extracting and using coal is bad for the environment.”

Mr Dutton on Thursday said the test’s subject matter was irrelevant.

“Now there are lots of companies that do these tests; they are accredited to do these tests, but essentially there is a page of text on a particular topic and they’ve chosen this one on climate change,” Mr Dutton told Ray Hadley on 2GB radio.

“There are many other topics where you read through a page text and then you answer four or five multiple choice questions off the end of it.

“So, essentially the test is not, you know, whether you know about climate change or not, it’s whether you can pick it out of the figure – if it’s 90 per cent or if it’s 18 per cent – out of the text.”

A spokesperson for Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg reiterated the IELTS was not run by the government.

Mr Dutton has proposed new citizens would need to prove English proficiency equivalent to level six on the IELTS, a leading accredited test for study and migration.

Ms McKenzie said the Climate Council was “more than willing to assist in the provision of accurate, independent and current information relating to climate change and the role of coal in exacerbating this”.


FFS. Is there any place they're not going to push this grimy barrow?


I legitimately thought it was a spoof article. Was fully expecting it to be from the Onion


What's next? Can someone write a verse about coal and get into the national anthem? No doubt Tone would be a fan of that idea.


Well, I think way back at Federation when Sydney & melbourne agreed that neither of them would be the national capital and instead they'd build a new city in between, one of the names seriously considered for the new capital was 'Wheatwoolgold', cos those were the economic foundations of the country.

Reckon the Libs might resurrect that idea. 'Canberra' is a kinda boring name really, perhaps they could consider that 'Coalcasinoscoalpropertyspeculationcoal' might be a snappier moniker...


Why is taking so long for same-sex marriage to be made legal in Australia?


Some Indian/Sri Lankan academic reckons she keeps failing her written English IELTS tests because of a few dodgy apostrophes. She's probably still better than 98% of the population taught English grammar here.

And 99.5% of this forum.