An Open Letter to Students in Australian Schools

15 / 11 / 2012

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Adam Smith laments the current state of school education in Australia. He calls for better community attitudes and resources for our public schools, and a reduction of standardized tests in place of nurturing individual gifts and talents. His piece is an ‘Open Letter to Students in Australian Schools’.

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To the 3,541,809 students in 9435 schools in Australia,

I wish I could promise that no matter where you live, no matter which school you go to, you will receive an education that equips and inspires you for the rest of your life. I wish I could promise that no matter how you learn or where you learn, your education will give you the skills you need to succeed. I wish I could promise that at the end of thirteen years of schooling, you will be confident and ready to embark on a combination of work and further learning that will give you the chance to live the life you want to live.

Sadly, I can’t promise any of this. Sadly, despite the many billions of dollars spent on school education in Australia, too many of you are missing out on the type of education you deserve. Sadly, because of the narrow ways we define and measure success, too many of you will leave school feeling like you’ve failed and have limited choices in front of you, whereas the opposite is in fact true.

It’s time to reassess the purpose of school education and question what your school should be offering you. The world has changed and continues to change rapidly. Our schools traditionally have not, and do not.

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demo opzioni Photo courtesy of David Flam schneider anyoption To some, a good education is something they believe money can buy. More than ever before, a growing number of families contort their finances to send you to a top tier independent school in the hope that this will give you the best possible chance to succeed. Every parent wants to do ‘the best’ by their children. However, how can we be sure you’re getting ‘the best’? What is ‘the best’? Is ‘the best’ a high score that will allow a seamless transition from school to university entrance? At what stage in Australia’s history did we decide that the core purpose of school is university entrance? And if it’s not, why is the single most dominant measure in the later years of schooling geared solely around this?

Tastylia (Tadalafil) Buy 20 MG Today more of you than ever have left the public school system in favour of attending an independent or catholic school. Today our state and federal governments subsidise the latter at a higher rate than ever before. The impact of this is a system of public education that is widely regarded as where you go if you can’t afford ‘the best’. This is one of the greatest myths in our nation today. Our public schools, in many cases, set the bar for what high quality education looks like. Faced with limited funds, the mandate to welcome and accept all students, and an increasingly competitive marketplace, our public schools are performing well. We must remember that our public schools don’t just teach the public, they create the public. Our public schools mirror the richly diverse make up of our society and should be recognised for the fundamental role they play in shaping the future of our nation.

buch für binäre optionen You should know that our way of structuring and resourcing schools in Australia is unlike anywhere else in the world. We bypass equity and funding schools based on need, and instead preference an approach that is unfair, expensive and ultimately protected because it’s the way we’ve always done it. Furthermore, it is thought to be political armageddon for any party who tries to seriously change this. Meanwhile, the majority of you, particularly those in our public schools, are missing out. We have unbelievable situations where our government will invest half a billion dollars in providing chaplains in schools (schools that should be secular) but many of you who need academic or social support to help you succeed go without.

www 24option com demo The promise that we should be making to you in 2012 is that your time at school will genuinely prepare you for a rapidly changing future. The skills most valued by business and industry continue to be out of step with what many schools are explicitly offering you. Equally, the complex social challenges our world will continue to face will require bold new responses that come from being able to engage and mobilise people around knowledge and action.

demo su iq option One of the challenges with making a transition from the education you get to the education you deserve is deciding how we will measure both your personal success and the success of your broader school community. Our country is currently obsessed with wide-scale standardized testing, which is a little strange given that there is no evidence, anywhere, that more standardised testing makes any positive impact on your learning. The danger here is that our schools are avoiding what is difficult to teach and what is difficult to test. This is in the interest of no one. We’re caught in the conundrum of trying to work out if we measure what we value or we value what we measure. I would argue that we focus too much on what we currently measure and don’t place enough value on understanding your unique talent, ability and potential. We claim we celebrate difference, yet channel you through the same system, at the same pace, at the same time as those who just happened to be born in the same year as you.

binäre optionen profitabel You will only get the education you need and deserve when we as a nation prioritise public education and see that our public schools must set the baseline for excellence. You will only get the education you need and deserve when we are brave enough to redefine what learning looks like, sounds like and feels like in the twenty first century; when we have the social, economic and political will to promise you an education that equips you for life. Without condition and without exception.

binary options forex peace army The challenge now is making this happen and considering the role you must play in calling for this change. Education is in need of new champions and advocates, none more important than you.