Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Knowledge is Power‏

I suspect this cartoon may soon end up on a few dart boards throughout the many teachers' staff rooms in the state of N.S.W. ...boy!, I hope so. I don't say that flippantly either, because I am very concerned about the standards of teachers and teaching methods and curriculum in all of our schools. I have a few friends who are teachers. In fact one of my best friends is a teacher in a western Sydney Public High School and I am sure he will pull his hair out and curse me when he sees this, as he and I have very different ideological views about the state of our Public and Private education systems. Nevertheless, he is a friend and we can always agree to disagree.

With that said, I will pose this question. Can we, as a responsible society, that has for so long taken for granted our very hard-fought and won freedom, allow that freedom to be eroded over time by radical socialist movements? You see, freedom cannot exist when information (not of a national security nature) is being withheld from the public by the government, information that would simply provide the public, in this case parents or guardians with school age children, the choices that they need to make in order to secure the best possible education outcome for their children.

Bur we see here that teachers are resisting that. They don't want parents to be able to evaluate schools on the basis of their exam results.

Some use the independent system (like me) and the transparency of performances is obviously clear when you are shopping around for a school that has a high academic result for its students. This information is actually available on a state to state public school level of academic achievement yet to my knowledge you still cannot tell if the particular school, classes or even the teacher are performing a a satisfactory level and thus can be trusted to EDUCATE YOUR CHILDREN!

I have heard the argument from the other side of this debate and I can not see any legitimate concern other than there are teachers who feel that they are above performance rating. Naturally this is the reason for the current NAPLAN boycott. Just about every workplace has some kind of testing and assessing criteria that sorts out the wheat from the chaff. Here too and especially with the important role that educators have in the lives of children and young adults, there must be a form of accountability and I would also say reward for genuine excellence.

The current system of "education revolution" is continuing to turn so far to the left that it will not be long when have mandatory carrying of Mao's Little Red Book.....or is that already happening?

This is a state issue really and the NSW Teachers Federation Union is actually taking on Julia Gillard (Federal Minister for Education and everything else). It seems it may be payback time for this union, considering the enormous amount of support that it provided the Federal ALP during the 2007 Federal election.

I would say that Gillard would be leaning to support her traditional comrades but it is very close to the next election and this is a Labor Heartland issue. If she is sniffing the political wind correctly, as I believe she is, then she will certainly be between and rock and a hard place.

Trust ends at the door folks. I trust my Mum and certainly family members and close friends, everyone else needs to prove their worth or worthlessness, otherwise I don't want to know you or put my children's lives in your hands.


The Weasel said...

Well put, ZEG, and allow me to add some details for you. I cannot publish this under my own name but there is no reason why the public cannot know this. Fairvale HS in the met south west of Sydney is slightly below state average in Math, but substantially below state average in all other areas. The Math faculty is competent and apolitical, but the other faculties are not. One of the social science teachers in '07 told a year 10 class in a 40 minute soliloquy that what they needed to know for their school certificate exams was that the ALP are great supporters of the underdog, with heroes like Whitlam, Hawke, Evatt, and Keating while the Libs never had a stand out socially conscious politician. The sixties hippy movement was for peace and were right to get the world out of Vietnam and to support the Vietnamese government of today. In historical terms, the ALP have always supported the workers. Nuclear power needs to be banned. Global warming is a fact. etc etc
The science faculty has substantial inertia and requires rules about the kind of pen used to rule margins in books. They too believe in global warming and the enlightenment of ALP government.
The English faculty refuse to 'teach to a test' to let the kids results improve. The result is that while in Math the good kids do well, for reading and grammar the good kids are as clueless about the work as the strugglers. There is a literacy/ numeracy faculty devoted to not improving results for year sevens so as to justify their work in future years.
All of this will become apparent when the results are posted by the government.

glenisd said...

I am mystified as to why such a good Komrade as Julia is so determined to have this website. My worry is that the website will be like the teachers and post erraneous information so that Public schools will seem to be doing better than Private schools.
There has to be a leftist reason and no one is telling the public as usual.

The Weasel said...

Now that the results are in I can add. The website does not show enough information for parents. Some of the comparisons are ridiculous (Camberwell, a top Victorian school with a single student school?). Parents are not allowed, as teachers are, to see how students are doing internally in a school. So that comparing numeracy results with literacy results, although broadly allowed, is not broken down for particular students. So that the top numeracy students of a school cannot have their literacy results correlated. This is because badly taught students who are good may be good at numeracy, but lacking in literacy. Which would be seen in public schools, not the better run private schools.