Students are not guinea pigs for Latham’s education vanity project


The Greens have today published a dissenting report to the Parliamentary Inquiry into “Measurement and outcome-based funding in New South Wales schools” firmly rejecting the right-wing dominated committee’s proposal to impose ever more testing on public school students in NSW and to punish teachers.

The report bears little to no relation to the majority of the evidence received in the inquiry and is little more than a vanity project by Chair Mark Latham. It has been backed in by right-wing Government committee members who support a market-based approach to education that will allow them to cut ever more funding from public schools.

The Chair’s foreword is usually a measured summary of the inquiry but in this report is a 5 page litany of complaints about everything from play-based learning, the development of general capabilities and emotional intelligence in students, flexible learning spaces and the idea that schools should work to foster student wellbeing.

Greens MP and Education Spokesperson said:

“We reject the conclusions of this report which do not reflect the evidence received but instead detail the Chair’s ideological approach to schools.

“This is an angry and out-of-date approach to education that seeks to take students back to the bad old days where education was more about memorising facts rather than critical thinking or collaboration.

“Children aren’t economic units to be constantly measured. All the time used with ever more tests is time away from meaningful learning in the classroom and community.

“Constantly measuring children will basically see these children used as guinea pigs for this new regulatory model. Education is too important for these kinds of experiments

“This committee is trying to move the goal posts away from needs-based funding as proposed by Gonski, and instead to pretend that differences in student outcomes are solely a result of teachers not being motivated enough.

“Performance based pay for teachers is widely discredited and it fails to recognise the richness and complexity of teaching as a vocation.

“Classrooms across regional NSW continue to swelter through the summer and have inadequate access to textbooks and technology and Mark Latham wants to tell us that those kids are doing worse than kids in Willoughby because their teaches aren’t trying hard enough. It’s disgraceful,” Mr Shoebridge said.

The report is available hereOur dissenting statement is at page 178.

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