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    Very Senior Member Gawain of Orkeny's Avatar
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    Default Separating school and state

    Separating school and state
    Jeff Jacoby (archive)

    June 13, 2005 | printer friendly version Print | email to a friend Send

    Three recent dispatches from the education battlefront:

    * Kansans have been debating how the development of life on earth should be taught in public schools -- as the unintended result of random evolution or as the complex product of an evolution shaped by intelligent design. The board of education held hearings in May, and is to decide this summer whether the current science standards should be changed. Kansas is just one of 19 states in which the Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design contest is being fought. Emotions have been running high, as they often do when the state takes sides in a clash of fundamental values and beliefs.

    * In Massachusetts, the Boston Globe recently reported, a father named David Parker found himself in a war with his local school board when he objected to a kindergarten "diversity" curriculum that depicted gay and lesbian couples raising children. Parker, a Christian opposed to same-sex marriage, showed up at Estabrook elementary school in Lexington to request that he or his wife be notified -- in keeping with state law -- when homosexual themes were going to be brought up in their 6-year-old's class. School officials wouldn't agree to do so and "urged" Parker to leave. When he didn't, they had him arrested.

    * Luke Whitson, a 10-year-old at the Karns Elementary School in Knoxville, Tenn., liked reading the Bible with his friends during recess. But when a parent complained, the public school's principal "demanded that they stop their activity at once, put their Bibles away, and . . . cease bringing their Bibles to school." That language is from a lawsuit Luke's parents have filed in federal court, where they are asking a judge to rule that school officials cannot prohibit religious expression during a student's free time.

    Once there was a solid consensus about how the nation's public schools should be run. In 1911, the Encyclopedia Britannica could assert with confidence that "the great mass of the American people are in entire agreement as to the principles which should control public education." But as the battles in Kansas, Massachusetts, and Tennessee -- and countless others like them -- make clear, that day is past.

    From issues of sexuality and religion to the broad themes of US history and politics, public opinion is fractured. Secular parents square off against believers, supporters of homosexual marriage against traditionalists, those stressing "safe sex" against those who emphasize abstinence. Each wants its views reflected in the classroom. No longer is there a common understanding of the mission of public education. To the extent that one camp's vision prevails, parents in the opposing camp are embittered. And there is no prospect that this will change -- not as long as the government remains in charge of educating American children.

    Which is why it's time to put an end to government control of the schools.

    There is nothing indispensable about a state role in education. Parents don't expect the government to provide their children's food or clothing or medical care; there is no reason why it must provide their schooling. An educated citizenry is a vital public good, of course. But like most such goods, a competitive and responsive private sector could do a much better job of supplying it than the public sector can.

    Imagine how diverse and vital American education could be if it were liberated from government control. There would be schools of every description -- just as there are restaurants, websites, and clothing styles of every description. Parents who wanted their children to be taught Darwinian evolution unsullied by leaps of faith in an Intelligent Designer would be able to choose schools in which religious notions played no role. Those who wanted their children to see God's hand in the miraculous tapestry of life all around them would send them to schools in which faith played a prominent role.

    Rather than fight over whether reading should be taught with Phonics or Whole Language, parents who felt strongly either way could choose a school that shared their outlook. Those who wanted their kids to learn in single-sex classes would send them to schools organized on that model; other parents would be free to pick schools in which boys and girls learned together. Some schools might reflect a Christian or Jewish or Muslim philosophy; others would be quite secular. In some, athletics would have a high priority; in others, there might be an emphasis on music, language, technology, or art. And no doubt many parents would stick with schools that resembled the ones their children attend now.

    With separation of school and state, the roiling education battles would come to a peaceful end. Robust competition and innovation would dramatically lower costs. Teachers, released from their one-size-fits-all straitjacket, would be happier in their chosen profession. Children would be happier, too -- and, perhaps best of all, better-educated to boot.
    Well im for as little governent as possible so this sounds great to me.

    Gah wrong room. Someone please move this into the backroom asap.
    Last edited by Gawain of Orkeny; 06-14-2005 at 05:43.
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    Medical Welshman in London. Senior Member Big King Sanctaphrax's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Done.
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    probably bored Member BDC's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    America needs some RE (religious education) lessons. Then you could teach all this Creation stuff and Bible read to your heart's content without everyone getting tetchy.

    Why's it anyone's business what people read at break anyway (assuming it's not porn or how to make bombs or whatever)?

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    zombologist Senior Member doc_bean's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    I don't see why you can't mention intelligent design and randomness, and while you're at it, mention creationism too.

    Let the kids think for themselves.

    As for seperating education from the state, you get the problem of financing it all, do you have to finance every little cult group that wants its own school ?

    And you need to assure that every child gets a reasonably decent education. That they at least know that the theory of evolution exists and what it encompasses, that they can write and read, and that they know history in a vaguely correct manner, and so many other things.

    But on principle, I'm for freedom of education.
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    Member Member Thoros of Myr's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    In my opinion this doesen't breed diversity. Your taking kids out of real life (all that crap) and putting them in a closed environment chosen by their parents. That's probably best for say elementary school but as kids get older I think they need and should be faced with diversity and conflict in order for them to develop a stable, tolerant mentality. I'm saying this from experiance as I was in private school from grades 6-11 and it probably hurt me as much as it helped me. Ofcourse results may vary but once I developed more of my own mind I saw the reasons why it might not have been the best thing for me.

    But hey American public schools are a mess in more ways than one. I think it would be trading some problems for others though.

    What needs to happen in schools is for the the idiotic power struggles to stop and everything be taught equally but that's probably never going to happen. I can see all the same issues being brought up even if everything was given equal play some people still will not want their kids to see images of homosexual families or bible passages.
    Last edited by Thoros of Myr; 06-14-2005 at 12:24.

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    Member Member bmolsson's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Quote Originally Posted by doc_bean
    Let the kids think for themselves.
    Wouldn't that make them go beserk and shoot everyone ??

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    Ignore the username Member zelda12's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    I agree totally with Thoros on this matter, if you split the schools you split the country and a country that fractured won't go on for very long before you have lynch mobs in the streets and riots sweeping the country.

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    Senior Member Senior Member English assassin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    An educated citizenry is a vital public good, of course. But like most such goods, a competitive and responsive private sector could do a much better job of supplying it than the public sector can.
    I think THAT statement might have needed to be proved rather than merely asserted?

    Reasons the private sector market mechanism will not work well in education:

    (1) The consumers are ill informed and ignorant. Their choices will be even worse than they usually are.
    (2) Good providers are not in fact able to upscale their operations to respond to demand for their product. Conversely bad providers are unlikely to be forced out of the market
    (3) Each consumer makes only one or two purchases, each of a period of years. Its not like buying insurance where repeated purchases each year keeps the provider on its toes.

    Of course if the kansas attempt to have ignorance and stupidity taught at taxpayers expense were to succeed you would have to conclude that the state government was indeed too stupid to be allowed to have anything to do with education, but that is hardly a positive case for it.
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    Humanist Senior Member A.Saturnus's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    As long as the taxpayer pays the school, he can decide what is taught. In addition, getting a decent education is a right for a child. There was once a school in California that switched entirely to a 'constructivist' education. So the students didn't learn facts anymore but were guided "to discover their own truths". Fortunately, since their education quickly was far behind students from other schools, the parents threatened to take their children out of the school and all went back to normal. But the problem is, what if the parents don't do that? Then you have children misseducated because their parents and teachers are idiots.

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Have a system with Public (government) and Private (church/mosque/alternative) schools.

    Let all schools get the same amount of government money per number of students. With a pool of extra money for government schools of the following sort:

    + Special Ed Schools (this should have some money from the health budget as well)
    + Academic fast stream schools.
    + Remote/Small schools.

    If you want to have your child learn your Brand (TM) of Religion then have them go to secular school. A compromise in government schools is to have a Religious (Tolerance) class which teaches the main tenants of the faiths in the local community and abroad. This class would have teachings of Creationism/Christainty/Islam/Buddhism/Pagan etc. Parents have the choice of their children attending the class or not.
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    |LGA.3rd|General Clausewitz Member Kaiser of Arabia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    THis proves that the American school system is run by a leftist communist socialistic elite intent on the downfall of American values, and Christian Values, religion, beleif, practice, and culture. It also proves that it the American school systems are a leftist attempt to stifle the rightous, right-wing elements of a developing childs mind and brainwash them into following the trotskyist ideas that they preach as if they are human incarnates of God. I hate the American school system. I really do. It preaches that kids should never drink, never smoke, but then says it's ok to do somthing immoral like premarital sex as long as we use protection. Then comes the picture slidshow of STDs. Then they begin preaching on how man evolved from amoebas and the like, and how God is a lie, and how Socialism and Communism are good ideas and Capitalism is evil, and how war is evil and the military is evil, and that it's wrong for me to be a good, right wing, conservative, Christian. Instead, they try to stifle my beleifs and force apon me the evil darwinistic, stalinistic theories of evolution and crap like that. Why, oh why, did we allow Atheism to survive after what they did in the Soviet union? Why did we allow such oppressive evilness apon ourselves? But now, it is the student body, like myself, who must pay the price and try to fix the mistakes of these neo-marxist pigs.

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    Nobody expects the Senior Member Lemur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiser of Arabia
    Why, oh why, did we allow Atheism to survive after what they did in the Soviet union?
    For the same reason that we allow nationalism to survive despite its 20th-century depredations in Germany, Italy and Japan.

    Also, you probably shouldn't lump Trotsky and Stalin into the same rant. Last I heard, those dudes didn't get along.
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    |LGA.3rd|General Clausewitz Member Kaiser of Arabia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lemurmania
    For the same reason that we allow nationalism to survive despite its 20th-century depredations in Germany, Italy and Japan.

    Also, you probably shouldn't lump Trotsky and Stalin into the same rant. Last I heard, those dudes didn't get along.
    Icepicky? lol, they were similar though ,trosky was more yay lenin and stalin more like yay power and icepicks and gulags! lol ok im ranting

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaiser of Arabia
    Instead, they try to stifle my beleifs and force apon me the evil darwinistic, stalinistic theories of evolution and crap like that. Why, oh why, did we allow Atheism to survive after what they did in the Soviet union?
    Sorry but not all people who understand Evolution are:
    a) Darwinists.
    b) Stalinists.
    c) Atheists.
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    The Blade Member JimBob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    have you had a bad experience?
    lets take this apart to digest,
    THis proves that the American school system is run by a leftist communist socialistic elite
    three instances? one of which is considering allowing Christian belief in? And did you now that communist socialist is redundant? same thing, like Coke and Diet Coke.
    intent on the downfall of American values,
    Because the American values of Justice, Freedom from Oppression, Equality and Liberty are held up by repressing queers?
    and Christian Values, religion, beleif, practice, and culture
    You do know that almost every religion has a creation myth, and that most major religions object to homosexuality, don't fret my boy, Christians aren't the only ones. Also are the schools promoting burning churches, killing priests, banning crosses, prayer, and communion?
    It also proves that it the American school systems are a leftist attempt to stifle the rightous, right-wing elements
    Only the right wing is righteous? Is it not righteous to fight for workers rights in Cambodia? And do three events prove anything? And don't worry, its not only a right wing ideas. Elements of the left are repressed too, you're not alone.
    of a developing childs mind and brainwash them into following the trotskyist ideas that they preach as if they are human incarnates of God.
    1) what exactly do public school teachings have to do with permanent revolution?
    2) children have right wing and left wing brains, wanna show me some studies?
    3) most preaching in schools is about how the US can do no wrong, ever notice how your textbooks leave out little things like haiti, panama, phillipenes, contra/anti-contra, all those wonderful things, notice how you are forced to say the pledge, and how you have to buy into the moto?
    It preaches that kids should never drink, never smoke, but then says it's ok to do somthing immoral like premarital sex as long as we use protection.
    Because alchol and tobaco have proven negative long term impacts, but sex does not if you use protection. if you dont like it dont screw, i on the other hand choose to screw with protection because AIDS sucks
    Then comes the picture slidshow of STDs
    why I use protection, damn that picture of chlamydia haunts me to this day
    Then they begin preaching on how man evolved from amoebas and the like
    dude there is about this much *sticks arms out* more proof for evolution than creation or intelligent design. believe what you want, but in science class you learn what science has proven, shall we teach the old Greek method for classification of elements? or the Bohr electron model?
    and how Socialism and Communism are good ideas and Capitalism is evil,
    most teachers have liberal leanings. liberalism supports free trade, and open markets.
    Instead, they try to stifle my beleifs and force apon me the evil darwinistic, stalinistic theories of evolution and crap like that.
    Darwin=Scientist and explorer who vistited the Galapagos and found Finches which led him to theorize that creatures adapted over time to fit in their environment, believed in evolution
    Stalin=Dictator who regularly distorted the truth, lied, burned, killed his why to power. Bloodily kept power and killed over 50 million Soviet citizens.
    Now explain to me how these relate except as a petty attempt on your part to make evolution seem evil.
    Why, oh why, did we allow Atheism to survive after what they did in the Soviet union?
    Don't blame this on Atheism. Ever talked to a humanist? Alot of them are Atheists, wonderful people. For every evil Atheism has committed, I can find you one another religion has committed. It was Stalinists who destroyed the CCCP, not any religion, it was men who craved power, don't pin that on an a person's belief.
    But now, it is the student body, like myself, who must pay the price and try to fix the mistakes of these neo-marxist pigs.
    You really think the people running the schools are structualists, I always thought of them as Situationists, or maybe Primitivists.

    The point being stop throwing around some form of communism as a label for something you don't like. I have a request for you. Tell me what a Trotskyist, and a Neo-Marxist actually fight for and then tell me how that has anything to do with the school system.

    was beaten to it, but have to throw this one in there
    Icepicky? lol, they were similar though ,trosky was more yay lenin and stalin more like yay power and icepicks and gulags! lol ok im ranting
    They were similar, Trotsky was about permantent revolution, and proletarian uprisings against the burgeois, Stalin was about taking absolute power.
    Last edited by JimBob; 06-15-2005 at 04:11.
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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    OT JimBob What is the significance of Aluminium and Iron Oxide?

    Film?
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    It's the thermite reaction. It can be quite spectacular. And shouldn't it be Fe2O3 JimBob?

    .

    Put the above two ingredients in a ceramic pot, (maybe add some oxygen rich compound to give a bit mroe fuel but it's not really needed), use a magnesium strip as a fuse (to get the required temperatures), and off it goes. But don't do it inside, from memory the reaction is at about 3500 degrees.

    Don't expect to use the pot again either, liquid iron is formed out of this.
    Last edited by Productivity; 06-15-2005 at 04:34.

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Is that the one used to be used to weild railway tracks in remote areas?
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Yeah, I think so. It would make sense, given it's a pretty portable reaction.

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    The Blade Member JimBob's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    It can be Fe2O3 but what I have read says that Fe3O4 (uses a diffrent type of iron rust) is better. Thermite is quite fun, putting about one quarter size on the hood of a car can burn straight through, of course don't do it to cars people need, better to go to junk yards and put holes in the ones that will get smashed in a few days anyway, or if someone really deserves some punishment
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    Altogether quite not there! Member GodsPetMonkey's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Quote Originally Posted by dgb
    It's the thermite reaction. It can be quite spectacular. And shouldn't it be Fe2O3 JimBob?

    Put the above two ingredients in a ceramic pot, (maybe add some oxygen rich compound to give a bit mroe fuel but it's not really needed), use a magnesium strip as a fuse (to get the required temperatures), and off it goes. But don't do it inside, from memory the reaction is at about 3500 degrees.

    Don't expect to use the pot again either, liquid iron is formed out of this.
    All I can say is thank God for schools that teach science... something like that beats the hell out of blind worship.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Quote Originally Posted by JimBob
    It can be Fe2O3 but what I have read says that Fe3O4 (uses a diffrent type of iron rust) is better.
    If I remember correctly from geology and chemistry, Fe3O4 is magnetite, and doesn't form as rust. Where are you getting such quantities of magnetite? And why are you using it for thermite reactions? Surely it's more fun as a magnet.

    I like Australia's school system GPM, it works. Even the much lambasted public schools (and I went to one of the badder ones in Perth) do a good job for the students who want to learn.

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    It couldn't have been worse then Cyril Jackson Senior High School...
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Mt Lawley actually. I'm pretty sure it routinely made the bottom quadrant in TER scores, the roof sort of collapsed on one of the rooms (I was in it at the time) and we did have that guy come onto school with a machete, among other things...

    They started rebuilding it the year after I left.
    Last edited by Productivity; 06-15-2005 at 07:31.

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Mt Lawley was a league ahead of CJ.
    Our genes maybe in the basement but it does not stop us chosing our point of view from the top.
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    Member Member Productivity's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Maybe so, but it still wasn't a great school (despite what our principal reguarly told us). But given that it reguarly got ranked in the bottom quartile of schools in WA at the time I was there, I'm using it as my reference, and saying that even if you are at a school that is regarded as being bad, it is still possible to do well under the australian schools system.

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    Member Member Kanamori's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    We really only talked about evolution in two classes: Social Studies 9 and H Bio. When we talked about evolutionism as the birth of our existence the teacher told us in a nice big preface THIS IS ONLY A THEORY...SOMETHING BETTER MIGHT COME LONG...AFTER ALL, PEOPLE USED TO DRINK RADON


    Put the above two ingredients in a ceramic pot, (maybe add some oxygen rich compound to give a bit mroe fuel but it's not really needed), use a magnesium strip as a fuse (to get the required temperatures), and off it goes. But don't do it inside, from memory the reaction is at about 3500 degrees.

    Don't expect to use the pot again either, liquid iron is formed out of this.
    I almost miss AP Chem...no I don't, but I do miss doing this when we were bored in class

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    The Black Senior Member Papewaio's Avatar
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    Default Re: Separating school and state

    Quote Originally Posted by dgb
    Maybe so, but it still wasn't a great school (despite what our principal reguarly told us). But given that it reguarly got ranked in the bottom quartile of schools in WA at the time I was there, I'm using it as my reference, and saying that even if you are at a school that is regarded as being bad, it is still possible to do well under the australian schools system.
    My sister went to Mt Lawley.

    CJ was in Ashfield, it became a senior campus after I left. Despite that my brother still got over 450 in the TEE.
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    Squid sources report that scientists taste "sort of like chicken"
    Quote Originally Posted by frogbeastegg View Post
    The rest is either as average as advertised or, in the case of the missionary, disappointing.

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