Fact checking the fact checkers

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22 March 2018

When a supposed ‘fact check’ begins by getting the name of the organisation under scrutiny wrong, it’s pretty clear that what’s going to follow won’t exactly be much chop.

But as most journalists are less interested in histrionics than the history of Education Minister Simon Birmingham’s Gonksi 2.0 disaster, here’s a response to Samantha Maiden’s ‘fake news’ foot-stamping on Sky this morning.

The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria Ltd (CECV) – that’s if we actually were Ms Maiden’s target – was accused of inventing fee increases.

Instead, we simply modelled how the contents of the Gonski 2.0 package as they stood at the time would affect a string of schools across Australia using publicly available federal government data and the contents of legislation, as the graphic below illustrates:

What Ms Maiden omitted to say – in an egregious error for a Canberra Press Gallery veteran – is that after the table that so offended her was published on 20 May last year, Senator Birmingham extended current arrangements for 12 months while the National Schools Resourcing Board reviews school SES scores.

That’s a pretty major fact to forget – such a major fact that it calls into question the credibility of the rest of her ‘fact check’.

Further information: Christian Kerr, 0402 977 352

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