A conclusion in search of a premise

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26 March 2018

Fairfax Media have today put a series of questions to Catholic education about a list of schools.

However, the journalist has let the cat out of the bag by saying at the end 'The obvious implication is that money is being given to the wealthier schools in order to keep fees low at schools in wealthier areas.'

Not only does that look like a conclusion in search of a premise, but the journalist further gives away the preconceptions behind the questions by saying;

'You might recall my colleague Matthew Knott wrote about this last year using 2015 data',

Linking to an article first published by Fairfax online on 22 May 2017, at the peak of the Gonski 2.0 debate, entitled 'How Catholic education sector diverts funding from low-income schools to wealthy schools'.  

If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.

And if it looks like a drop - another drop - from the Minister's office using carefully cherry-picked data, then it probably is a drop.

Not a very good drop, mind you. One of the schools being asked about closed at the end of last year, thanks in part to Senator Birmingham's funding policies. Others are threatened with closure due to those self-same policies.

Fairfax Media Limited has already won itself a reputation among some for sectarian bigotry.

Let's hope this journalist doesn't go down the same path and that Fairfax can avoid being seen as Coalition ministers' errand boys.

Further information: Christian Kerr, Media Adviser, 03 9267 4411

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