HSC starts: open season on education in the media

19 Oct

It seems to happen every year. I am so sick of it. Naturally, you can rely on Naomi Robson to give it the full shock horror those bloody wankers are ripping mums and dads off treatment, and that’s what the promos promised so therefore I switched channels before the Robson impersonation of Brooke Vandenberg could leap out of my new television set to do nasty things to my blood pressure.


You can get a glimpse of the depth and quality of Naomi’s Today Tonight by scanning Our most popular stories. Since I didn’t watch last night’s story, I can’t really comment on it, except that I gather it raised the issue of whether repeating grades may sometimes be beneficial, to which I would in fact say “yes, but…” There are cases where repeating may well be good for a student, and it is true that we have lost sight of that in recent years. On the other hand, there are students who could repeat Year One for the rest of their lives, sadly. It is all somewhat more complex than you would ever know from shows like Today Tonight. NOTE: one of the two images on this page is Naomi Robson, people’s tribune, and the other is the probably fictitious Brooke Vandenberg. You decide. Hovering over each image may give a clue.


Meanwhile, the Herald this morning tells us that HSC English is not a playground for rampant Maoism! Amazing, eh!

The federal Minister for Education, Julie Bishop, has accused state curriculum boards of harbouring Maoists and left-wing ideologues, citing a Marxist critical reading of Othello at one private school in NSW as evidence.

The head of the Australian Council for Educational Research, Geoff Masters, said concerns about critical readings and postmodernist interpretations of literature, such as those at SCEGGS, had been overstated. “I wouldn’t share a concern there is any deep problem,” he said.

See also:

  • Five things Feminism has done for me, a rather wonderful post by British crime fiction writer John Baker. Relevance? Here is a writer acknowledging that the kind of critical thinking we here in NSW have been exposing our students to in the new HSC is actually of benefit both in the “real world” and in the realm of imaginative writing. Of course John is not writing about the new HSC, but if ever I needed to convince a sceptical HSC student that what we are doing is worthwhile and on target I could do worse than point him (and it probably would be a “him”) to this entry, so thanks, John!

    On this site:

  • Right-wing non-news story #20563.
  • Agreeing with Kevin Donnelly.
  • Elizabeth Butel on Text Messages.
  • Reactionary myth-makers and education.
  • Elite girls school ‘kills the study of literature’. “What a stupid, stupid story! It beggars belief completely that anyone would be surprised by this, or even call it news! Where have these people been for the past five years: under rocks?”
  • In fact, go the whole hog if you are interested by clicking my education tag!

    Official source:

    I do also recommend that you download from the Department of Education, Science and Training the report Australian Certificate of Education: exploring a way forward. It is more interesting than much that Minister Bishop has said lately. It is an important contribution to the debate.

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    3 responses to “HSC starts: open season on education in the media

    1. Jim Belshaw

      October 19, 2006 at 11:48 am

      Neil, as I indicated on a post, you keep on distracting me! While I agree with your main thrust, there are a couple of areas in the supporting stories where i might mount a counter case. Time, where art thou?

    2. Ninglun

      October 19, 2006 at 2:15 pm

      I am shepherding a few anxious HSC candidates right now, of course, one of whom has been ringing/emailing me four or five times a day! I wish them well.

    3. marcelproust

      October 19, 2006 at 5:20 pm

      HSC mania is such a joke! In my own experience, exams when I got to uni were much more of a challenge, especially with the temptations of university life.
      People think that the HSC will determine their life, but there is almost nothing that a mediocre (OK: bad is something different) result in the HSC can send wrong that a good result in first year uni cannot fix up. Of course, the problem is, especially from the point of view of committed parents and families who can offer their kids the leg-up of a better school and structured support, that you generally will have to get the good result in first year uni by yourself.

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