Teachers' Christian Fellowship of NSW

A gong for Gonski

Disclaimer: This article is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of all Teachers' Christian Fellowship members.

In the last TCF News I wrote about the problems of school education and what might be needed for reform, Going backwards: 20+ years of a focus on literacy and numeracy. Since then the Gonski report has been delivered and what a disappointment, given the radical nature of his first report that challenged the funding of schools and the share between sectors.

This report drifts into satisfying the political masters. It gives a "new" direction about individual learning targets expressed in levels of achievement divorced from grade levels. But it maintains the ability of governments to monitor school performance by schools reporting on student achievement of those levels. It retains an unhealthy focus on literacy and numeracy in which the levels of achievement will become the curriculum. It also underestimates the resources needed to change teachers and give them the support they will need. The problems are deeper and more widespread and need a radical multifaceted approach. Changing the assessment system without addressing other issues is a bit like changing deckchairs on the Titanic – watching school education go down from a different perspective.

John Gore