Education Minister Simon Birmingham [above] has hit out at the ABC for publishing an online tool that seeks to convince parents they've made the wrong decision in sending children to a private school.
"The piece is clearly designed to pit school sectors against one another," he said.
Users are asked whether they lean towards a government or non-government school, after which they're provided with statements that argue for the alternative. Parents are then given the options to change their mind at the end of each section, given titles that include "It's not what you know, it's who you know" and "Do you really get what you pay for?" Senator Birmingham said Australia should be proud of both government and non-government schools "rather than demean them with such rubbish"."It's deliberately provocative click bait that has factual inaccuracies. The ABC should hold itself to a higher standard," he said.
Kevin Donnelly, a senior research fellow at the Australian Catholic University, said the ABC's publication was a "perfect example of fake news" that reinforced pre-existing stereotypes.
Dr Donnelly said the use of social commentator Jane Caro, "a critic of Catholic and independent schools", to argue for public schools reinforced the ABC's intention to "make parents believe there's no benefit in non-government schools".
The Australian, Australia by Luke Griffiths
01 Feb 2018