Failing schools (letter)by Marcus L'EstrangeNews Weekly
, March 6, 2010
It's so sad to see the Australian Education Union (AEU) opposing the Rudd Government's recently launched My School
website. The AEU, after having spent years undermining any attempts to allow the public to compare schools and thus enable governments to allocate remedial money on a more logical basis, is now fighting the only comparison method we have left: the National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN).
Of course, NAPLAN and its predecessors' results have been available for many years; but, because of sanitised student reporting, parents were not aware of how bad their children's standards of literacy and numeracy were.
Even as a teacher, I was unable to obtain earlier NAPLAN results from my own school. So what hope would parents have?
Just look at young students working in food outlets trying to calculate change in their heads or mentally dividing a restaurant bill, let alone trying to write coherently.
NAPLAN is not perfect, but it is capable of improvement. It is the crucial start we need in order to overcome the glaring contradiction between the government's extra billions' worth of expenditure on schools and the continuing decline in students' educational results.
Until then, we will still have innumerable AEU members, from the top down, sending their own children to private schools in order to avoid the current disaster that exists in largely ALP strongholds. As even Victorian Labor Premier John Brumby himself once acknowledged: "Typically, the kids who are being failed by failing schools are Labor kids in Labor areas."
The whole reason the AEU is opposed to the Rudd Government's school performance disclosure program is that it is terrified at the prospect of Australians finding out the AEU's responsibility for today's dire state of school education.
The AEU's key policy is encapsulated in the left-wing "equality of outcomes" nonsense which says, in effect, that everyone should matriculate or, in my home state, get their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) - and, by the way, don't worry too much if students cannot read or write to anywhere near the VCE level.
Isn't it strange how, in Victoria, nearly all schools claim a 90 to 93 per cent VCE success rate, but massive differences emerge when schools' VCE Tertiary Entrance Rank (TER) scores are compared.
School-based assessment is too often not worth the paper it is written on, with subject "passes" too often scattered around indiscriminately, like confetti at a wedding.Marcus L'Estrange,
St Kilda, Vic.