Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Death of the Twomey Report

The Twomey report has been a rallying cry for teachers in WA when seeking salary increases. With Lance Twomey speaking in favour of the proposed EBA3, it pretty much rings the death knell of the wage claim. Without that report, there is no direct, researched support for increases of wages in Western Australia. If the union was serious about real wage change, it would have a well researched document of its own that could not be derailed like the Twomey report.

To some extent I'm glad because teacher concern about wages has removed many education issues from the agenda such as new courses of study in year 11 & 12, inequity of current grading of students in disadvantaged areas, teacher training, the development of real and useful professional development and modernisation of curriculum.

As state school teachers we need to imagine a government education system as a safety net in metropolitan areas and a limited service to rural areas. The changes to the EBA have targeted these two areas with significant pay rises. If this trend continues, these fringe services may become well enough paid to make them attractive. University entrance would be further restricted to those that can afford private education or be in the far end of the IQ spectrum capable of gaining scholarships.

I wouldn't be surprised if an 'ABC learning' type organisation starts entering the system and managing larger state schools on a profit basis. This sounded like what was described by the opposition in their education policy.

With current social changes and the reduction in public amenities provided by government, I can't see a return to well funded high schools with teachers and students able to rival private/independent schools in the near future.

As much as I would like and endeavour to make so.

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