There are lenders that will publicize the fact that loan approvals can be guaranteed given the right circumstances, but there is a catch to the idea. Everything rests on those circumstances, so not just anyone can get the green light. It means that securing approval on personal loans with bad credit cannot be guaranteed.It is somewhat misleading to claim that guaranteed loan approval exists at all, but the reason why it is made is that, in certain circumstances, approval is pretty easy to secure. Even when low credit scores are a part of the equation, applicants can have a realistic chance of securing the funding they need.The secret? Well, it all comes down to your choice of loan application, which lending institution is applied to and the ability to accept the limits that a given financial situation places on a personal loan application. So, knowing what the available options are is important. Here are 3 of them.Loans With A CosignerThe key issue for any lender is not credit scores or even loan sums, but whether or not the borrower will be able to make the repayments. Remember, a loan is an investment for them, and they want a return on it. It is this principal that dictates whether an application for a personal loan with bad credit is a risk for the lender.The solution to this problem is a cosigner, otherwise known as a guarantor. When it comes to securing a modest loan, like $5,000, they are extremely useful. In fact, it is probably as close to securing guaranteed loan approval than a bad credit borrower is every likely to get.But there are conditions. The cosigner usually needs to be a homeowner, have an excellent credit rating and a large enough income to make monthly repayments. Their advantage, after all, is to make the repayments on the personal loan in the event that the borrower is no longer able to.Alternative Installment LoansNormally, we think of installment loans as those that require regular repayments (usually monthly) over a set period of time. But the financial strains the credit industry finds itself under has moved the goalposts a little. Now, it is a flexible solution to those seeking a personal loan with bad credit, with the loan sum paid in cash installments.This is a relatively new product, with loans of just $100 available in equal sums over a period of time – usually up to 12 months. The loan limit is usually at around $1,500, and having a source of income is essential – in fact, it is the key to securing a guaranteed loan approval.There is no need to find a guarantor, so the interest rate charged is going to be a little more, but the structure of this personal loan means the repayment term is more flexible. Once it is ascertained that the loan is affordable, then approval is practically guaranteed.Choosing a Payday LoanThis is a hugely popular option, but in terms of getting good terms on a personal loan with bad credit, it fails to impress. Bad credit borrowers frequently seek out the best bet when it comes to loans, but not always the best terms. Because a payday loan is granted on the back of an imminent paycheck, the chances of a successful application are greater.Guaranteed loan approval is not exactly given however, since usually the loan must be repaid in one payment after just 30 days. And with the interest rate very high (30%), it means a $1,500 personal loan needs $1,950 to be paid off. That is a lot to take from one paycheck, but if it is affordable, then the loan is granted.
Approved Personal Loans With Bad Credit: Some Options Are Almost Guaranteed
How to Buy a Home Without Bank Financing Using Subject To or Owner Financing Techniques
What is “Subject To”?Subject To refers to a form of financing where the purchaser buys a home “Subject To” all encumbrances (including but not limited to existing mortgages, back taxes, liens, etc.). Most commonly when you purchase a home utilizing the “Subject To” method, you can expect that the existing mortgage will be what you are taking over. So you would be purchasing the home “subject to” the terms of the existing mortgage, leaving it in place.This method is used largely in situations where the home seller is unable to sell their home using conventional means or they need to sell quickly. Because there is no need to obtain new financing, the process can be completed very quickly (in as little as 2-3 days). Obtaining a new mortgage is typically the most time consuming portion of the purchase process. You have to go through the entire approval process, qualifying for the mortgage, providing numerous documents, etc. With “subject to” financing none of this is necessary, in fact there is no need to utilize a new bank at all.Let me outline how this would work in the real world. You must first find a seller that is motivated to sell their home. Keep in mind there are many reasons a seller becomes “motivated”, not all of them are financial. A seller that needs to upsize or downsize can become motivated. Military sellers are prime candidates to become motivated, as often times they are given short notice to relocate. Sellers facing a divorce often become motivated because they just want “out”. Individuals who have received a job offer in another city or state will often become motivated. You get the idea. Be creative and you will soon be able to spot a motivated seller a mile away.After you have identified your motivated seller, you meet with them to explain what the benefits of working with you to sell their home is. You explain it in the most comprehensive format, which is calling it “Owner financing”. There is very little difference between “subject to” and owner financing”. I will explain this shortly. Everyone has some concept and understanding as to what “owner financing” is. This will help open the dialog and offer a level of explanation. Many times sellers are behind on their payments and you can explain by selling the home to you will improve their credit scores and avoid a foreclosure on their record by taking over their payments and paying on time. If they are not behind, then identify what it is that they are trying to accomplish, and explain how selling to you will help them accomplish this goal (fast sale, highest offer, no need to repair etc.).After they agree, you need to sign a contract stating that you are buying the home for a purchase price of at least the payoff amount (most times this is an adequate offer). Remember you are offering them a quick sale. The contract must state that you are buying the home “subject to the existing financing”, and that all parties understand that the mortgage will remain in the sellers’ name.This raises the next most common question I get asked, “If the mortgage is still in the sellers name, how am I the owner?”. I am glad you asked! Much like the title to your car, a deed shows ownership of a specific property. If you sell your car what do you do to transfer ownership? That’s right you sign over the title. Likewise, when a homeowner sells their home, they sign over the deed. The deed and the mortgage are two separate documents. The deed shows ownership, the mortgage indicates who owes the bank money. The bank wants something of value to ensure that they will get the money paid back that the borrower owes. That is why a bank puts a lien on the property (thus the term “subject to” the mortgage). Are you starting to get the idea here? Exciting huh? You can actually buy a home without getting a new loan, paying loan origination fees, or all of the other garbage fees necessary to close on a home with a new lender. So of course you are still subject to fulfill the obligations of the original loan agreement or the bank will have the right to foreclose on the property if payments are not made.I told you earlier there were minor differences between “subject to” and “owner financing, so let’s go over them now. First and foremost a true “owner finance” would not have an existing mortgage. The seller would own the property free and clear. So really it comes down to who you send the payments to. If the seller owns the property free and clear, you are safe to make payments to the seller. If you are buying “subject to” the existing mortgage, you do not ever want to make payments to the seller. You want to send them directly to the bank so that you know that the payment has been made. Why? Because if for some reason you send the payment to the seller and they decide not to make the payment to the bank, then you risk having the bank foreclose on the home through no fault of your own (except not listening to me!). Secondly with “subject to” the payments, interest rate, and terms are already set. With a true “owner finance”, this would all be negotiable (I recommend you start with 0% financing).Next, the closing attorney or escrow agent (title company in some areas), is responsible for carrying out the agreements in your contract. You want to work with a knowledgeable, investor friendly agent to perform these tasks. They will do a title search. This is imperative, as this will disclose any and all mortgages, liens, back taxes, etc. Remember you are taking this home “subject to” all of these things. The purchase agreement (contract) is written exactly like any other purchase agreement. You just need to add the important verbiage that directs the closing agent of your wished (see above).This is an exceptional way to buy a home without obtaining new financing. You do not have to be “qualified” to utilize this method of financing, because the loan has already been issued. All you do is set up automatic payments to go directly to the bank. Everyone is happy. The seller sold their home, you the buyer purchased a home without new financing, and the bank although they are unaware continue to receive their payments and interest (after all that is what they are in business to do). So now that you know an alternate method of purchasing your own personal home or investment properties, there is no need to participate in the so called “credit crunch” Happy buying!
How Do I Connect My iPad 2 to a Network?
To get on the web, your iPad must first connect to a network that offers Internet access. To make this easy and seamless, your iPad comes with internal hardware that enables it to detect and connect to available networks.iPad 2 comes in two versions:- iPad with WI-FI: This type of iPad can connect only to wireless networks- iPad with WI-FI + 3G: This type of iPad can connect to wireless networks and cellular networks.Understanding Wi-Fi networks
Wireless devices such as Apple iPad 2 transmit data and communicate with other devices using radio frequency (RF) signals that are beamed from one device to another. Although these radio signals are similar to those used in commercial radio broadcasts, they operate on a different frequency. The most common wireless networking technology is Wi-Fi. There are four main types – 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, and 802.11n (we will not explain these types in details, it is enough for you to know what types exist). Apple iPad 2 supports all types of wireless types which means it can take advantage of the fastest wireless networks out there, particularly those based on Apple’s AirPort Extreme wireless acces point.Understanding cellular networks
If your iPad is a second model, it means not only can your iPad connect to wireless networks and hot spots, but it also can make use of a cellular network if no wireless networks are in range. There are two specific types of cellular networks: 3G and EDGE (again, we will not explain in details). Unfortunately, although you can often ride the wireless train for free, there’s no such luck when it comes to cellular networks. Your iPad’s 3G chip won’t work unless you plug a micro-SIM into the iPad’s micro-SIM slot (located on the left edge of the device when you hold it in portrait mode).Connecting to a Wi-Fi Network
As soon as you try to access something on the Internet, your iPad scours the surrounding airwaves for wireless network signals. This dialog displays a list of the networks that are within range. For each network, you get three tidbits of data:
Network name. This is the name that the administrator has assigned to the network. If you are in a coffee shop or similar hot spot and you want to use that network, look for the name of the shop.
Password-protected. If network displays a lock icon, it means the network is protected by a password, and you need to know that password to make the connection.
Signal strength. This icon gives you a rough idea of how strong the wireless signals are. The stronger the signal (the more bars you see, the better the signal), the more likely you are to get a fast and reliable connection.
Making your first connection
Follow these steps to connect to a Wi-Fi network:
Tap the network you want to use. If the network is protected by a password, your iPad 2 prompts you to type the password.
Use the keyboard to type the password.
Tap Join. The iPad connects to the network and adds the wireless network signal strength icon to the status bar.
To connect to a commercial Wi-Fi operation – such as those you find in airports, hotels, and convention centers – you almost always have to make one more step. In most cases, the network prompts you for your name and credit card data so you can be charged for accessing the network.Connecting to known networks
If network is one that you use all the time – for example, your office network or home – the good news is your Apple iPad 2 remembers any network you connect to. As soon as a known network comes within range, your iPad makes the connection.Stopping the incessant Wi-Fi network prompts
The Select a Network dialog is a handy convenience if you are not sure whether a network is available. However, as you move around town, you may find that dialog popping up all over the place as new Wi-Fi networks come within range. If you don’t want to be bothered with constant tapping the Cancel button, there is a solution:
On the Home screen, tap Settings. The Settings screen appears.
Tap Wi-Fi. Apple iPad 2 opens the wireless network screen.
Tap the Ask to Join Network switch to the Off position. Your iPad no longer prompts you with nearby networks.
Now you no longer see the prompts, and you don’t know when you are able to connect to network right??? Here is the answer:
On the Home screen, tap Settings. Your iPad 2 displays the Settings screen.
Tap Wi-Fi. The Wireless Networks screen appears, and the Choose a Network list shows you the available networks.
Tap the network you want to use. If the network is protected by a password, your Apple iPad prompts you to type the password.
Use the keyboard to type the password.
Tap Join. The iPad connects to the network and adds the network signal strength icon to the status bar.
Connecting to a hidden Wi-Fi network
Some users disable network name broadcasting (you can’t see the name of the network in available network connections box) as a security precaution. The idea here is that if an unauthorized user can’t see the network, he or she can’t attempt to connect to it. You can still connect to a hidden network by entering the connection settings by hand. But you need to know the network name, the network’s security type, and the network’s password. Here are the steps how to connect to a hidden network:
On the Home screen, tap Settings to open the Settings screen.
Tap Wi-Fi. You see the Networks screen
Tap Other. Your iPad 2 displays the Other Network screen.
Use the Name text box to type the network name.
Tap Security to open the Security screen.
Tap the type of security used by the Wi-Fi network: WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Enterprise, WPA2 Enterprise, or None.
Tap Other Network to return to the Other Network screen. If you chose WEP, WPA, WPA2, WPA Enterprise, or WPA2 Enterprise, your iPad prompts you to type the password.
Use the keyboard to type the password.
Tap Join. The Apple iPad 2 connects to the network and adds the network signal strength icon to the status bar.
Turning off the Wi-Fi antenna to save power
If you know you won’t be using wireless for a while, you can save some battery juice for more important pursuits by turning off your iPad’s antenna. Here’s how:
On the Home Screen, tap Settings. The Settings screen appears.
Tap Wi-Fi. The Wireless Networks screen appears.
Tap the Wi-Fi switch to the Off position. Your iPad 2 disconnects from your current network and hides the Choose a Networks list.
When you are ready to resume your Wi-Fi duties, return to the Networks screen and tap the Wi-Fi switch to the On position.
Culture and Entertainment in Costa Rica
Today, we bring you a step closer to the beautiful Costa Rican culture with our discussion of the diverse cultural activities you can partake in and the varied forms of entertainment you can enjoy year round. Costa Rica offers a wide range of cultural activities that rival those in the U.S. and Europe. You will find here some of the world’s finest museums, art galleries, and theaters.When you come to Costa Rica in the rainy season, it’s best to spend your afternoons visiting Costa Rica’s museums to avoid the afternoon rain showers. For $3, you can visit one of Costa Rica’s most famous museums, The Gold Museum (Museo del Oro) located in downtown San José under the Plaza de la Cultura Park. It is famous for being home to thousands of invaluable, unique pieces of pre-Colombian gold, which date from 500 B.C. to 1600 A.D. The lighting in the museum is excellent, and the description of each gold piece is clear and available in both Spanish and English.Another museum to visit is The Museum of Numismatics (Museo de Numismática), which houses more than 4,000 unique items including the early Costa Rican coins, bills, and financial documents, all displayed elegantly and beautifully.An excellent spot for cultural and family entertainment is The Children’s Museum (Museo de los Niños) located just north of downtown San José. You can take your family and children there to see the colorful exhibits at display.Other museums you should consider visiting are: Museum of Art and Contemporary Design (Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo) – located in Barrio Amón, San José, -, The National Museum (Museo Nacional) – located in San José, Barrio La California, -, Costa Rica Museum of Art (Museo de Arte Costarricense) – located in Sabana Este, San José, -, and The National Archives (Archivo Nacional) – located in Barrio Pinto, between Zapote and Curridabat.There are also snake museums that you can go to, one of which is The World of Snakes (Serpentario El Mundo de las Serpientes), an open-air snake exhibition that is located near the Red Metal Church in Grecia, where we live, and hosts snakes from all over the world. Serpentario Monteverde Costa Rica is another snake museum worth checking out that is located in Santa Elena, Monteverde, and offers guided tours all day long. A side note on the snake population is that they do not venture to El Cajon, because the elevation of our land is over 5,000 ft. and they are not known to thrive in the cool temperatures above 4,500 ft.Not a museum person? No problem! If you’re interested in ecology and bio-diversity, then you should visit Costa Rica’s Earth University and INBioparque, the latter of which is a theme park that offers interactive experiences with nature with daily trips and tours and is located in Santo Domingo de Heredia. Another spot worth checking out is Hacienda Barú National Wildlife Refuge, an 815-acre national wildlife preserve located on the Southern Pacific Coast near Dominical that is ideal for bird watching and eco-tours.And if you really are into bird watching, you can be sure that Costa Rica is the right place for you. Costa Rica is famous for its diverse environmental conditions and factors, a reason why Costa Rica is home to over 850 species of birds (more than those in the United States and Canada combined). Eco-tourists and bird-watching enthusiasts come to Costa Rica from all over the world to watch and study the diverse species of birds. Bird watching is definitely an excellent way to spend both your early mornings and late afternoons here.Selva Verde Lodge is a world-renowned bird sanctuary that is literally an eco-tourist dream with exotic bird watching, white water rafting, and very inexpensive tours of their property, which in itself is a botanical garden where you will likely see iguanas, sloths, and the list goes on and on. Their noon time buffet is also quite an over indulgence! We’ve been there 4 or more times and look forward to our next visit.You can also go to Zoo Ave, a stunning zoo and a wildlife rescue center for injured wildlife located in La Garita, 30 minutes from San José. It is home to more than 100 Costa Rican bird species (the largest bird collection in Central America) including toucans, cranes, curassows, and parrots and is one of only two zoos in the world to display the splendid quetzals. Besides its huge bird collection, Zoo Ave houses numerous crocodiles, deer, turtles, ostriches, tapirs, peccaries, pumas, and indigenous monkeys. The price of admission is $15 for adult tourists.If you enjoy fishing, then you should be in Costa Rica! Fishing tours and inland fishing trips are widely available and freshwater angling, fly fishing, eco-fishing, and whale watching are extremely popular here in Costa Rica. The prices of fishing trips vary widely with the highest prices paid in the tourist areas. If you go on fishing trips away from the tourist areas, you’ll save a lot of money.And here is another activity you can enjoy in Costa Rica: surfing. Surfers from all over the world come here to venture into the Costa Rican water. If you’re just a beginner interested in surfing, you can go to any of Costa Rica’s excellent surf camps and schools. And when you’re better equipped, you can surf in Playa Hermosa, arguably one of the most popular surfing locations in Costa Rica. Other surfing locations to consider are Playa Dominical, Playa Tamarindo, Playa Nosara, Salsa Brava, Pavones, Playa Jacó (the closest surfing location to Grecia and San José), and Malpais.You can also choose to go to the different types of spas available in Costa Rica. You can choose to go to a Report Spa if you want to enjoy a wide range of recreational activities, including golf, tennis, horseback riding, skiing, and dancing, in addition to a renewing spa experience. You can also choose to go to a Day Spa if you’re busy and want to enjoy a spa that is designed to provide a relaxing and pampering experience that takes from as little as an hour to a whole day.Up for some after-dark, nighttime entertainment? Dining out, dancing, and going to concerts, fairs, and movies are all available options. In the Central Valley, you will find excellent eateries serving some of the most delicious meals at very affordable prices. You can have Costa Rican food, Peruvian food, Italian food, French food, Chinese food, and Mexican food. Plus, you have a 100% chance of finding the large American restaurant chains here like T.G.I. Friday’s, Tony Roma’s, McDonald’s, etc. And a real live Hagen Daz for the sweet tooth is available in Escazu.Late-night dancing in Costa Rica is a very popular way to spend your nights, as Ticos love to dance. If you’re into dancing but don’t know how to dance, you can start taking dance lessons here in Costa Rica at very low prices. You can also go to concerts and watch world-class artists, live weekend bands, and Flamenco dancers from Spain perform. Going to fairs should also be on your top to-do list – the bullfights and street dances are a joy to behold.You can also choose to spend your night watching a movie at the theater, something we used to do almost every week until we found you can rent first-run movies the same time they are released in the States. Still, movie-goers can watch first-run movies in the state-of-the-art theater here in Grecia the same day they are released in the States for $3 only, and they are all in English with Spanish subtitles.Looking for a more sophisticated way to spend your evenings? The National Theatre (Teatro Nacional), located in the central section of San José, has a breathtaking symphony hall, where shows are scheduled throughout the year and world-famous artists and orchestras perform some of the most spectacular symphonies. Entering the theater and enjoying guided tours there are free, so just enjoy!The Theater Melico Salazar (Teatro Popular Melico Salazar), located in Central San José on Paseo Colon, is also an important center for culture in Costa Rica. A wide variety of shows and performances is scheduled throughout the year including live theatre, art, and music.
The Gonski Report For Disadvantaged Children – The Problem Is The Parents As First Educators
The long awaited Review of Funding for Schooling has been completed and the Report by the panel of eminent Australians chaired by David Gonski AC has been released.In this Submission I have only focused on Chapter 3 in relation to equity and disadvantage but also have comments in relation to disabled children.I have also concentrated on western suburbs schools in Sydney as I live in that area and my children attended a western suburbs catholic school before moving to an independent school.The panel must be congratulated as the Report is both comprehensive and well researched and makes a number of recommendations that, if implemented may, to some degree, improve the educational outcomes of some Australian children.The ‘Pink Elephant’ In the Gonski ReportI believe, however, that the Report, (for whatever reason) fails to acknowledge ‘the pink elephant’ in the classroom and that is that parents are the first educators of their children. This is the foundation premise of many independent schools in Australia, including the PARED (Parents For Education) schools, which excel academically year in and year out, although they are not selective and offer no scholarships to secure bright children who will boost the overall marks of the school.Schools that acknowledge parents as the first educators of the child work in partnership with the parents so that the child receives the same message and expectations at home and at school. This applies not only to academic expectations but also to behaviour. When the parents bring the child up with the end in sight (ie. adulthood) not just the present moment, they focus on developing a strong character in the child by modelling this themselves and expecting the child to display human virtues such as sincerity, cheerfulness, generosity, perserverence, gratitude, respect, honesty and service to others. This means that it is normal for the child to do his or her best at school and in other endeavours, to respect school property, to care about the feelings of others and to help those less fortunate. This is simply the taught character of the child and it is unrelated to socio-economic status. These types of schools run in countries where the majority live well below the poverty line as we know it, such as the Philippines and these children still emerge as strong, independent young adults, full of gratitude and determination to make the most of life, despite the fact that they are among the poorest of the poor. One such school, Southridge (in Manila – Phillipines), runs a program whereby the fees of the day students are used to fund an afternoon school for students who would otherwise have to attend a poorly resourced public school and the university entrance marks of the afternoon students are actually outstripping those of the more financially privileged day students.Socio-Economic Status and Academic PerformanceThe Southridge experience shows us that socio-economic status does not have to adversely affect academic performance. In fact central to the Gonski panel’s definition of equity ‘is the belief that the underlying talents and abilities of students that enable them to succeed in schooling are not distributed differently among children from different socioeconomic status, ethnic or language backgrounds, or according to where they live or go to school’. The Report cites the findings of Caldwell and Spinks (2008) that all children are capable of learning and achieving at school in the right circumstances and with the right support.I believe that the key to success is whether the children have the right circumstances and support and this is not necessarily linked to socio-economic status, although, because of a lack of social welfare programs in Australia, it often is. For decades the children of migrants to Australia have been well represented in the lists of high achievers and their parents have generally had little or no formal schooling (which contradicts the findings of the Gonski Report p 114) and both worked long hours in manual or menial jobs for low pay. These families have always been in the low socio-economic segment but the children were, however, raised with the belief that education is the key to success and with the parental expectation that they would study hard and go to university. This was a non-negotiable given. They were also raised to respect their parents and other elders and to have an attitude of gratitude and service to others, with many migrants supporting family members back in their home countries although they had little themselves.These migrant parents had a mindset that saw the value of education. It is the same in third world countries such as the Phillipines. Parents support education as the key to a better life. Hence the success of initiatives such as the Southridge afternoon school. How many parents of children from a western suburbs high school would accept a scholarship for their children to undertake high school at say the Kings School (for boys) or Tara School for Girls (Parramatta) if it was a condition of the scholarship that they meet the requirements of these schools including:1. Having the children up by 6.30am every day to eat breakfast and travel to school to arrive by8.00am;2. Encouraging the children to do the minimum 90 minutes homework each evening (Year 7) afterarriving home around 5.00pm (This time increases each year);3. Allowing the child to devote at least half a day per weekend to homework and assignments;4. Ensuring that the child represents the school in a sporting activity which will involve driving the childto and from the venue on a Saturday; and5. Attending the school as required for meetings on the child’s progress.I believe that very few parents would accept the scholarship, as the commitment would disrupt their lives and the disruption would not be seen as worthwhile as education is not high on their list of values. As Dr John DeMartini teaches these families do not perceive education as a void, even though they did not get it themselves and therefore do not value it. As a result even if the child took the scholarship he or she would not understand why they were required to put in so much additional effort to their friends at local high schools and would resent the obligation.The Real Problem Of Disadvantage Is The Inconsistency Between Home and SchoolThe Gonski Report cites the findings of researchers Perry and McConney (2010) who found there are multiple ways in which schools with high concentrations of disadvantaged students differ from schools with high concentrations of students from more advantaged backgrounds. These include less material and social resources, more behavioural problems, less experienced teachers, lower student and family aspirations, less positive relationships between teachers and students, less homework and a less rigorous curriculumThe Report warns that new arrangements are needed to:• Make sure that Australian kids do not fall behind the rest of the world, and keep Australiacompetitive, after a decline in education standards in the past decade.• Stop the gap between advantaged and disadvantaged students growing wider.To deal with these challenges, the Report recommends introducing a Schooling Resource Standard, which would have two elements: a set investment per student, plus additional top-up funding to target disadvantage.I support the set investment per student and believe that this should be the same no-matter where the child goes to school as each child deserves equal government investment in their education. This is the key to ensuring that the educational standard of our top students does not decline.I do not agree that there should be additional top-up funding in schools to target disadvantage. Such funding perpetuates the idea that there are advantaged and disadvantaged schools and locks in the idea that children from certain schools are different and less likely to succeed than children from other schools. It also confuses education with social services. The real issue is the academic standard and mindset that each child beings to the school year they are entering, not what is on offer from the school, as most Australian schools offer enough.All Australian children should have access to the same curriculum (and they do), to passionate and experienced educators (this is sometimes achieved) and to schools that are adequately resourced (generally achieved).It is irrelevant how much money a school throws at literacy and numeracy programs as although they may improve standards from what they initially were, they will not being the participants up to the same level as children in schools where the children, themselves value education, as the child must be willing to put in the effort necessary to succeed. You get nothing if you give nothing. The child must have the virtues of perseverance and hard work and these must be taught. An education must do more than give a minimum academic standard, it must also build character. As parents are the first educators of a child and have the most influence on them, a school by itself will never over-rule the mindset taught at home and is opening itself up to student resentment and belligerence when it sends a different message to what is taught at home, as it threatens the very foundations of the child’s world.In relation to the resourcing of the schools I believe that far too much weight is placed on this. The evidence is the fact that students of correspondence and on-line courses achieve high results with no physical resources. In addition many western suburbs high schools are far better resourced than independent high schools where the parents have to contribute funds to buy equipment and build buildings and are already stretched to the limit paying fees. However the results of these well resourced high schools do not reflect the amount spent on resources. Take Glenwood high school for example. The Mindquest program is run there one weekend a term for gifted and talented children (but really any child can go and does) and I was stunned when I saw what was on offer to local children such as technology labs, sports fields, cooking kitchens, art rooms etc.It is the same with the high schools at Quakers Hill, Rooty Hill high and Mt Druitt. Despite the outstanding resources these schools are not producing results that equal independent schools or indeed public schools in more affluent areas. Why is this? It is partly because:1. the standard and experience of the teachers is not exceptional in these areas for a variety ofreasons, including the fact that these children are difficult to teach and teacher’s lose motivation;and2. the family does not put a high value on education.What is also missing is the partnership between the parent and the school. The parents are the first educators of the child but they are not educating them in the importance of education and in the human virtues necessary to build strong character and determination in the long term. You will find that in disadvantaged areas many parents do not set high standards for themselves, they have not been taught how to persevere, how to see the opportunity in every obstacle and how to sacrifice momentary satisfactions for long term gain. Take the Kings School and Tara scholarship example above. It would be very difficult for many of these parents to see the value of their children exerting effort and the whole family making sacrifices for a first rate education.Very often children in western Sydney areas arrive at school without breakfast, without their text books and not having done their homework. There are conflicting messages being taught at home and at school and no amount of education funding is going to alleviate this problem. In fact throwing more funding at children who do not have the capacity to appreciate the innovative learning programs and amazing resources being provided in schools is a waste of precious funding and the government should stop. This funding could be better spent in the independent arena and on public schools where the children have a different attitude towards education and success, to raise the standard of our highest performing students. Yes, this will increase the gap further between our best and worst students but is this a bad thing? The Gonski Report shows that the standard of our brightest students is falling. We need to raise the standard of education in our country and raise the bar even higher, to which our disadvantaged children can aspire.Change The MindsetThe key to improving the educational standards of our disadvantaged students is to change their mindset. To bombard them with positive messages about what they can achieve if they exert effort and give them role models very different to their own families and community members.The universal laws say that ‘what you see, is what you’ll be’ as your thoughts and what you focus on, shape your reality. I have concentrated on Sydney’s western suburbs as that is where I live and I have a good understanding of western Sydney schools as my own children attended one. These local schools draw students from the local area and most families have the same values and beliefs as each other and lead the same kind of lives. I make no judgment on whether the lifestyle is wrong or right I am simply stating facts as I have experienced them.These families often live in housing commission homes, or in low cost rental accommodation, they receive social security or earn basic wages, they often place little value on what is given to them because it is free and they spend most of what they earn on lifestyle and instant gratification, they do not save. The parents generally drink and smoke, buy takeaway meals and ensure that their children have the latest version of any new technology. These families are consumer driven and very focused on satisfying immediate wants and needs. Little time is spent teaching the children the value of persevering to achieve a result, or postponing something now, to get something better later on.As a life coach who deals with children on a regular basis I have spent much time searching for the answer as to what breeds success at school and I know without doubt that after the parents, the teachers have the biggest influence. The value of an experienced, passionate teacher cannot be over-emphasised and they are hard to find, as in addition to their skills they must be able to relate to the children and earn their respect. They must also have the tolerance to deal with all manner of parents and this is as difficult in independent schools as disadvantaged public schools.In western suburbs high schools whilst the majority of teachers meet the above criteria too many do not and one bad teacher can destroy a child’s whole perception of school. I have heard countless stories of young, passionate teachers who enter the public school system only to become quickly disillusioned when it takes 20 minutes to settle the class so they can begin to teach the lesson. There is much absenteeism by teachers and the replacement teachers struggle. Also many of the experienced teaches needed in these schools are jaded and opt for an easier life in an area where the children place a greater value on education and respect authority. There is no easy answer here but what is clear is that teachers must be held accountable for the performance of their students when measured against a state or national measure. If a teacher in a western suburbs high school cannot get the desired results they should be asked why? If they do not have a clear answer they should be transferred out of the school as it may well be that they do not have the ability to connect with children of that particular mindset. This does not mean they are a bad teacher, it may just mean that they are not the right teacher for that type of school.We cannot, however, afford to pander to the sensitivities of our teachers at the expense of our children. In the independent schools if the children do not succeed academically and are not taught the values that the school has promoted the parents quickly demand answers and the teacher is held accountable. The same rules must apply in the public system if we are to achieve the ‘equity’ that the Gonski Report promotes. We must have teachers of such a high calibre in our disadvantaged schools that they have so much influence on their students that they can equal the parents as the first educators.The SolutionThe Gonksi report focused on additional funding for disadvantaged students and more resources. As I have explained above I do not believe that this is the answer. We must be careful not to confuse required spending on education with required spending on social services.Our schools must offer the same curriculum to all children and be adequately resourced. I think we have achieved this. Our schools must offer teachers of the highest possible calibre who are held accountable and in this area I believe we have a way to go.Where we are failing completely is in ensuring that children from low socio-economic areas have a mindset that values education and see the unlimited opportunities available to them if they are grateful for what is provided for them and exert personal effort. We are failing to develop a positive mindset and strong character in children from disadvantaged areas.What we should be doing is trying to show our disadvantaged children a different life to the life that surrounds them daily. We need to change the mentality that these children are poor and will grow up poor and will be taken care of by the government. By showing the children a different way of life they have something to aspire to and have a new focus for their thoughts. Remember the law of attraction says that you get what you think about.The solution is not giving more money to schools (except for better teachers) but spending money on programs outside the school day that fill the child’s time and reduce the amount of time spent in the home environment that devalues education and reinforces low self worth and the ‘poor me’ mentality of limited opportunities. These programs need to involve:1. teachers from the local schools so that the children can see them as human beings they canadmire and respect and build a relationship with (pay the teachers to be involved);2. adults from similar backgrounds who have gone on to excel;3. life coaches who can work on changing mindset and seeing the opportunity in every obstacle;4. youth leaders who understand the concept of unlimited opportunity if you, yourself, take actionand promote this; and5. promoting the value of service to others as it helps develop an attitude of gratitude.It is going to be a real challenge for these children to break away from the norms of the family as any change they try to make will be interpreted by their parents as criticism of their lives and this may even lead to violence. The children need to be taught how to respond to this.The children need to be taught self worth. They must be taught that when they wake up they must make and eat breakfast as this nourishes their mind and body. They must be taught that they are valuable and worth taking care of and developing. They must be given the strength to bring new routines and processes into their homes. They must be the change that brings the change to their family and their whole community.SummaryThe government has an obligation to ensure a first rate education for each Australian child. To do this it must provide funding so that each child has access to the same high standard curriculum, the highest calibre teachers who are held accountable for their student’s results and adequately resourced schools.I believe that it is faring quite well in its delivery of the above, although more work needs to be done in relation to making teachers accountable and attracting teachers who understand that their role is to educate the whole child in terms of both character and academics.Where the government is failing miserably is in the area of social services. It is failing to recognise that parents are the first educators of the child and failing to take steps to fill the gap when a child is not taught at home that education is valuable and that human virtues such as sincerity, cheerfulness, generosity, perseverance, gratitude, respect, honesty and service to others are integral to strong character and ultimate success as an adult.It does not matter how much government funding is provided to schools for literacy and numeracy programs and what resources are provided, if the child does not see the value of education he or she will not exert the effort necessary to succeed and will not have a mental picture of himself or herself as a successful adult.The government must fund social services programs outside the school system that ensure that children are given other positive role models when their parents, as first educators, do not perform their roles well. These programs must give the children an insight into lives very different to their parents so that they can focus on achieving such a life themselves, develop a positive mindset towards success, develop an attitude of gratitude, a belief in unlimited opportunity and a desire to serve others.When a child sees the value of education and lives a life based on human virtues they become receptive to education and are far more likely to enter each academic year having achieved the outcomes for the previous year. Additional literacy and numeracy programs then have an exponential impact on increasing educational standards.Our social service programs must teach our disadvantaged children self worth and self esteem. They must be given the tools to be the change that brings the change to their family and their whole community.The government needs to stop confusing the funding of education with the funding of social services programs.