Mike's Minute: We know our kids better than the unions do

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 18 September 2018, 9:25AM

If you missed our friend from the education union yesterday, you missed another reminder of why education is where it is, and why we have so many frustrated participants.  

The union's utopia is that every kid in the country goes to their local school, and every school that they go to is the same.  

The same quality, the same results, the same outcomes, outlooks, and aspirations.  

That way we wouldn't, as parents, be looking to send our kid across town, or across the neighbourhood, to another school because it's better.  

So their answer is to only fund kids in schools that go to the local school. In other words, take away the choice of parents.  

Why? Because they know best.  

You might have noticed that their view is a similar view to authoritarian countries.

And if you follow their line of thinking, we could also do away with names for schools too. We could call them State School 234, State School 398, State School 433.  

The fatal flaw in all of this is, of course, the human condition.  

Humans aren't robots, talent isn't plugged in via a chip, desire is god given. In other words, as every parent knows, a school is the product of its community and the individuals who run the establishment.  

And you can give them all $1000 to run their school but given the human condition, some will use that $1000 better than others. And so will develop the inevitable outcomes we see today, and for that matter have seen as long as I have been involved in education.  

I was going to go to an out of zone high school. Why? Because it was widely known to be superior in certain aspects of the curriculum I was interested in, and it was single sex. I didn’t have a local single-sex option.  

In our kids, each one of them has required different levels of attention and support. Each one has had different interests and areas of excellence, and as a result, each of them has been to a variety of schools.  

The Unions argue we, as parents, choose these so-called 'better schools' because they might have as the union rep yesterday put it, "a lick of paint.

That alone tells you their real view of us. We're fools who wouldn't have a clue. They're the experts and if you could just leave it to them, we'd all be immeasurably better off.

Also as a parent, I have seen schools turned around by the key ingredient in such matters, the principals.  

Two schools we have been involved with have tangibly been improved over very short periods of time, simply by installing, what you'd loosely call, a rock star principal.

These are the driver's parent flock to, and they flock to them because we have the best interests of our kids at heart, and we know our kids better than the unions do.  

The unions understand one thing, a one-stop communistic sort of shop that fits all kids.

And that is why unions still struggle for survival, they are hopelessly ideologically driven, and dangerously out of touch.

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