AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 198 #.
13 MARCH 2007
PUBLIC EDUCATION LOBBY GROUPS:
STARK CONTRAST BETWEEN FEDERAL AEU AND ACSSO
DOGS are wondering just what has happened to ACSSO, the Australian Council of State School Organisations. DOGS, were involved with ACSSO in the mid 1960s and have followed its decline since the mid 1970s. DOGS feel justified in declaring that the current leadership cannot be compared as a fighting force for public education with earlier leaders such as J. Dunn, J.Wood, R. Kitchenn, F. Jensen and others. Some of these leaders were partly responsible for the establishment of DOGS.
Where are the ACSSO pamphlets like Jack Dunn's "State Aid for Non-State Schools is Dangerous" ( 1964) and Ron Kitchenn's "State Aid for Non-State Schools"(1971). They are not to be found anywhere near ACSSO's website. Nor is there anything resembling them there.
DOGS realised that ACSSO was nobbled by Joan Kirner when she landed on a career, first on the Schools Commission and later in the Labor Party.
DOGS also understand that Terry Aulich, the Executive Secretary of ACSSO has already had a career in the Tasmanian Labour Party.
In stark contrast, a reading of the Australian Education Union website indicates that the Federal Teachers Body is in strong support and promotion of public education.
A comparison of just two declared positions this year reveals the basic difference between the stance taken by the two peak bodies
Reaction to the Federal Announcement of the Extra $181 million federal funding to schools
AEU Position is one of standing up for Public Education
The strong AEU position is clearly reflected in the Titles of just two of their Media Releases.
A few quotes from the AEU 19 February 2007 News Release indicates their strong concerns.
" An announcement of $181 million extra federal funding for schools just further exposes chronic under-funding of Australian public education...AEU Deputy Federal President Angelo Gavrielatos said that while any money was welcome, the figure fell far short of what was needed.
'The $127 million public schools will get out of this funding announcement doesn't even get close to what schools need....
The Federal Government has decreased funding of public schools so that now nearly 70% of Australian children receive only 35% of the Federal Government's Education spending....
Election year window dressing like this announcement will not address that imbalance.'"
A few quotes from the AEU 27 February 2007 News Release :
"The Australian Education Union said today new school enrolment figures were the inevitable result of the Federal Government's funding policies which were starving public schools of resources....
Federal Education Minister, Julie Bishop should be working to ensure all schools are properly resourced, rather than making things harder for working families by systematically under funding public schools"
Where is ACSSO on Supporting and Fighting for Public Education?
On 20 February ACSSO got out a Media statement entitled: "Parents Praise Extra Funding for Public Schools"
A few quotes say it all:
" The peak Body for Parents in Public Schools has praised the Australian Government for injecting new capital funding into State Schools.
ACSSO President, Jennifer Branch said the scheme was an excellent way to ensure that parents and parent organisations had a real say in setting school priorities....It is also a fair scheme because the submission from each school are assessed by independent panels composed of principals and state representatives of ACSSO, the national parent body. "
For over 30 years DOGS , even before the advent of Joan Kirner onto the ACSSO scene, DOGS declared that one of the most effective methods used by political parties and clerics has been to neuter public education representative bodies by co-opting parent representatives into committee sitting within the administration of smaller and smaller amounts of public funding. This takes time, energy and clarity of thinking away from the defence of the public education system itself. What is the use of their aspirations and potential careers if the concept and system of public education is no more?
The ACSSO media statement and website material supports this analysis.
2. Kevin Rudd's Education Revolution
AEU Position is one of standing up for Public Education
The AEU position is clearly stated in their Parliamentary Brief entitled "Hands Up" Issue Number 11, March 2007.
The AEU quickly picked up the disastrous approach adopted by both Kevin Rudd and his Shadow Education Minister, Stephen Smith:
" Federal Labor is reminded that the most important and valuable national asset of all is public education....on 23 January 2007, Kevin Rudd failed to acknowledge the critical social benefits which are derived from the provision of high quality public education. It is crucial that in pursuing education reform the emphasis is not confined to standards of achievement but also includes the building and maintenance of a cohesive, viable, and democratic society. The role of public education in achieving this must be acknowledged....
However, by continuing with the theme of refusing to distinguish between public and private schools, Federal Labor is failing to acknowledge that the almost 70% of children in public schools clearly have the greatest need of increased investment. Without adequate funding for public education Kevin Rudd's policy aimed at ensuring that every Australian has the opportunity to realise his or her full potential will not be achieved. ...
Federal Labor must recognise and clearly articulate a primary obligation and commitment for the provision of high quality public education. Failing to do so would represent an admission that the ALP is either incapable or unwilling to guarantee the provision of public pre-school to Year 12 education of the highest quality in every community across the nation
The AEU will continue to campaign for:
Where is ACSSO on Kevin Rudd's Education Revolution?
Let ACSSO speak for itself. On 24 January 2007, ACSSO (Terry Aulich Executive Secretary and Jennifer Branch, President) issued a Media Release entitled
" Parents Welcome Rudd's Revolution". DOGS quote.
" Australia's peak Public School Parents body , ACSSO has praised labor Leader Kevin Rudd's decision to make education a key issue for the coming federal election....We are impressed that Kevin Rudd sees education as an investment not just a cost burden," Ms Branch said....Ms Branch criticised the nit picking and tinkering that has been a feature of the education debate so far. ...Ms Branch said both parties will need to take parent organisations into their confidence and involve parents at an early stage of policy development...We want a new parent-school partnership in education planning and we insist on being consulted", she said".
There is a consistent theme through ACSSO Media Releases which reflect a concern that it is more important to be "consulted" than fight for the public education system itself. Experience has indicated that "consultation is the step before co-option, and means less time and energy for fighting for public education." 'Jennifer Branch and Terry Aulich completely fail to inform their constituents - the parents in our State Schools, what is actually going on. In this they are in stark contrast to the AEU.
How could ACSSO's Executive Secretary and President miss the point that the ALP does not even consider a public school as fundamentally different from a private school.? Unfortunately a quick read of the ACSSO website reveals minimal if any promotion or concern for the well being of public education. system. DOGS have not forgotten Jennifer Branch's support of the Chaplaincy scheme which undermines the basic secular provisions of public education. If it continues it will be used to destroy the public education system as we have known it for 135 years.
dogs congratulate the federal aeu in their fight for public education.
dogs CALLS UPON acsso TO GO BACK TO WHAT SHOULD BE THEIR FIRST AND FOREMOST TASK:
DEFENCE AND PROMOTION OF THE PUBLIC EDUCATION SYSTEM
PUTTING BODIES on "CONSULTATIVE" COMMITTEES SET UP BY POLITICIANS AND BUREAUCRATS TO DELIBERATELY COMPROMISE AND NEUTER PARENTS AS A FIGHTING FORCE FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION.
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|Last modified:Tuesday, 20 March 2007|