One of the Minister of Education’s favourite stances is to be dismayed or appalled at the attitude, comments, presumptions of those who don’t agree with her. I don’t agree with her and I am appalled/dismayed that she can have such an attitude towards education that she believes teachers should not be involved in any other aspect of schooling than classroom practice. Does she think they know nothing about the processes of learning, the effects of testing, the benefits of research, the advantages of advice, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera??? To try to eliminate them from any discussion about a matter as fraught as untested or untrialled National Standards is a stance that demeans teachers and puts the lie to her protestations about ‘valuing’ and ‘admiring’ the work that they do, and this is just the message that comes out of statements such as ‘teachers should get off the streets and back to the classroom’. She CANNOT value teachers, she CANNOT respect teachers if she maintains they should not be part of the processes that so vitally affect the way education is carried out in our country.

My hat is off to the young parents who spoke with such passion about the outrageous claim that the cuts she has made to funding to early childhood will not have a negative outcome.
The sad fact in all this, however, is that whatever politicians do in the way of imposing cuts or introdusing untried new tools or theories, schools, and the good teachers in them will make them work. I do not believe, however that this actually endorses the politicians’ actions.

My hat is also off to the young students who have taken a stance and written to the Minister about the industrial impasse that currently exists, but The Minister has labelled their actions the results of ‘brainwashing’ by teachers. Excuse me, Minister- when you make statements they are to be accepted as fact and in the best interests of all. When anybody who holds a counter opinion to yours makes a statement, it is ‘brainwashing’.

Excuse me if I’m not convinced.


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