Richer people have brighter kids who behave better -- so schools where they go are more desirable -- and Leftists hate that
There is no dispute that unruly students produce undesirable schools. But the deliberate destruction of discipline in schools has made the quality of student behavior very poor in the typical State school today. Enforcing behavior standards has become largely impossible for State schools.
So the quality of the behaviour in a school now depends mainly on the homes where the students come from. The children of richer families tend to be brighter and better behaved. So the best schools are now mostly in affluent suburbs.
And the Left want to destroy that. They have destroyed the discipline that once made all schools pretty equal so now they want to destroy the main remaining influence that creates good schools
The most sought-after public high schools and their strict catchments are creating a worsening cycle of segregation, effectively locking out poor students and giving wealthy families almost exclusive access to their "better" local schools, research reveals.
Limiting school places means children from higher socio-economic families go to popular high schools, which are in catchment areas with higher levels of income, higher proportions of Australian-born residents and higher proportions of those who identify with "no religion" on the census.
"One of the greatest challenges this country faces is the lack of equity between higher socio-economic families and lower," said Chris Presland, the president of the NSW Secondary Principals' Council. "And this [research] shows that issue transcends public and private schools but is within public schools too."
Emma Rowe, lecturer in education at Deakin University and Christopher Lubienski from the University of Illinois, published the new research in a paper titled Shopping for schools or shopping for peers: public schools and catchment area segregation in the Journal of Education Policy.
The academics examined levels of segregation in the catchments of public high schools, which they categorised as "popular" (full with waiting lists), "balanced" or "rejected" (where places are available), and looked at whether school policies contribute to segregation.
The paper found there was a "rather straightforward link between the affluence of a community and the desirability of a community's school".
"It is generally accepted that most private schools are segregated across the lines of race and income but our study showed that public high schools are also highly segregated," Dr Rowe said.
"Particular parts of the population can't access certain public high schools. The gap between the well-resourced schools and the less-resourced schools is growing, which is problematic for educational equity and access."
David Hope, the president of the Northern Sydney council of P&C associations, said: "In recent times the department have enforced boundaries much more strictly. It's better for kids to be in environments where there's a mixture of backgrounds and abilities and it's better for [cohesion]."
Dr Rowe said if a parent wanted their child to attend a popular school, they would plan for it for many years and were often prepared to move neighbourhoods for a school.
"In other countries, there is minimal difference between schools so parents send children to the nearest school. In Australia, parents perceive schools to be so different to each other that they will sell their house and relocate for what they perceive to be a better school. This behaviour is quite normalised," Dr Rowe said.
The paper suggests that schools should make at least 10 per cent of places available to students from outside the schools' immediate catchment areas.
Dr Rowe said: "As part of this, we need to implement blind selection processes for a proportion of places available in a school, rather than competitive access based on testing, academic or sporting merit".
But NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes said that children had a right to places at their local schools and that new school funding arrangements were accounting for inequality divides.
"Public school enrolments tend to reflect the socio-economic status of their local community," he said. "The move to more needs-based funding includes an equity loading for socio-economic background."
Mr Presland said Australian catchment "shopping" was driven partly by parents with "scant information" exaggerating perceived differences between schools but also Australia's school funding policy: "An unofficial motto in Finland is the best school is the closest school. In Finland they don't have private schools. No other country in the world does what we do in terms of funding private schools to the extent that we do".
The paper says Australian education policy agenda "pushes and promotes parents to avoid low-performing schools, and be active and engaged in choosing the 'best' school,"
"For these reasons, the My School website was introduced in 2010, to enable parents to make more informed, calculated and rational choices, using the best available data."
Dr Rowe said education funding policies, rather than parents' choices, were responsible for the problem.
"Government policy around schooling has positioned parents within a competitive environment, where things like the My School website actively encourage parents to compare schools and make a choice," she said.
"These policies actively encourage parents to choose the 'best' school and look for any kind of competitive advantage they can acquire for their children."