From: "Russell Coker" <russell(a)coker.com.au>
I think that a large part of the solution to the
current situation is in
removing some students from the regular school system. I'm sure
here went to school with some kids who never had a chance of going to
university and probably weren't going to pass year 12. Having such students
in school only make things worse for everyone else.
The "separation of kids" is one of the main differences between my
upbringing in East Germany (where more or less all kids stay together
until year 10) and the West German (and now in all of Germany) where
most states separate kids after year 4, in three different school
To end up in the "low end school" (Hauptschule) is more or less the
entry ticket to a failed life. There you have "no future kids". Why
bother to learn? Take your drugs and learn for an underworld career.
The selection is only partially based on merits. Everybody knows that
well-off parents have more means to ensure their kids avoid these kind
of schools even if they are not that bright. And the kid with he black
fingernails is more likely to be there even if it's smarter than the
Yes, having all kids learning together has some downsides but it has
upsides too. School is social education too, and it is good to know
how other people fare in life, what there problems are etc. Social
separation happens anyway, by location, and the last years of
houseprice explosion will speed up this process.
Personally, I enjoy to see my kids growing up with a positive
attitude. As most Australian kids do, I believe. I haven't seen many
12 years old who already feel that they are "the leftover" of a
society that doesn't need them.
That is good for everyone. It makes living in Australia a pleasant experience.
My daughter learns in a public college, in a SEAL program (selected
entry accelerated learning). The separation is much less intrusive
than separation by school, and it seems to be the best of two worlds
for her: an inclusive school and a challenging, stimulating learning
environment. These facilities are there for all kids, not just the
SEAL classes, as art curses, sport hall, science labs etc.
BTW: The inclusive Australian education system fares better in
international comparisons than the separating German one.