[Offtopic] "Australian Teacher Magazine" Editorial
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Sep 3 23:55:16 EST 2009
"Australian Teacher Magazine" Editorial www.ozteacher.com.au
Shut up and do as you're told...
Tuesday, 25 August 2009 23:45
AS an independent publication, its our job to dig deep for the truth.
But government spin and the reluctance of educators to speak out against
what they see as unjust or wrong remains a constant source of frustration
Recent reports that the Victorian Government threatened to revoke school
funding if principals spoke out against a national computers-in-schools
program come as little surprise. The constant spin and rhetoric in
government media releases is enough to make us gag - on our lunch.
Predictably, Education Minister Bronwyn Pike says it is "nonsense" that
principals cant speak out in Victoria. We beg to differ.
There may be no direct 'gag order' on teachers and principals, but
subconsciously, educators know better.
The government line is sacrosanct at least in public forums, such as
newspapers. Our news feature on school mergers in the August edition of
Australian Teacher proves that. Teachers unhappy about a spate of school
mergers in Victoria and South Australia spoke freely off-the-record, but
some declined to have their names printed. They were reluctant to
jeopardise their careers and really, who can blame them? The squeaky
hinge may get the oil, but if you are a public servant, you are often
better off keeping quiet. That holds true no matter which state or
territory teachers live in.
This kind of fear does not bode well for our democracy. We need brave
people to hold our politicians accountable.
We applaud any educator willing to stand up and be heard. In fact, we
have all kinds of avenues to encourage it.
Our Teacher Forum page (p.12) features letters to the editor
and 'Chalkie', a thought-provoking anonymous column written by teachers.
We are also launching a secure online forum where teachers can discuss
issues of importance, be it politics or pedagogy, as well as a social
networking site, just for teachers.
Our website (www.ozteacher.com.au) is now updated daily, providing the
most complete source of education news from around the country.
We are genuinely interested in representing teachers' concerns and
holding governments accountable. We invite teachers to anonymously submit
their views to us. As the largest independent, national magazine for
teachers, we are ready to stand up and fight for your concerns. But we
need your help.
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