AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 185#.
17 JANUARY 2007
BAD NEWS FOR AUSTRALIAN PUBLIC EDUCATION:
KEVIN RUDD APPOINTS STEPHEN SMITH
MINISTER FOR EDUCATION
The appointment of Stephen Smith as shadow federal Minister for Education by Kevin Rudd is bad news for Australian Public Education.
Stephen Smith is both a private school product and ideologue.
According to WHO'S WHO IN AUSTRALIA 2005 p. 1742, he is a product of the Christian Brothers School, Highgate. Moreover, as a parent he is a patron of the Roman Catholic School sector.
According to the Australian 12 December 2006, p. 6,
Stephen Smith is the father of two. who sends his teenage children to Catholic schools.
Within days of his appointment, Stephen Smith commenced to promote Roman Catholic values and ideas together with the 1970's ALP disastrous nonsense about "needs" which was really"greeds" for the Church School faction.
On December 12, Stephen Smith backed the "parent's choice" of a public or private school based on their children's "needs". He further added that
" he was not concerned about the old divides between public and private schools. "
" I'm much less concerned about the label on the archway on the school when they walk in than I am about the quality of education when they walk out".
" I am a very strong believer in choice, whether the kids go to the private schools, religious schools, or secular schools. My very strong view is that the Commonwealth must fund schools on the basis of need and on the basis of fairness."
Clearly, Stephen Smith is Jesuitical in his approach, and trivializes the fundamental differences between public and private schools. His ideological sectarian petticoat is showing however. He does not even mention "public" but only "secular" schools and once religious chaplains are imposed upon our public schools, there will be few "secular" schools in Australia.
He peddles the discredited ALP Needs approach of the
1970s which has legitimated the "leaky sieve" funding of education - the
billions of dollars currently diverted from the public to the religious
Stephen Smith would do well to go back to the 1970s and read what Senator Ryan and her colleagues said about the purpose of the Needs policy.
DOGS note that in his past political life, Stephen Smith has honed his political skills as an apparachik in the ALP machine. In common with the recently appointed Victorian Minister of Education, Mr John Lenders, he was a Secretary of his State ALP. It should also be noted that he was the Shadow Minister for Health and the Ageing, and in the recent re-shuffle, requested the Education portfolio - and was given it. DOGS wonder whether he will follow his fellow ideologue, Abbott and impose his views on the Australian public schools as Abbot is doing with public hospitals and pregnant women?
In the coming election year of 2007, public school supporter should be telling Kevin Rudd to sack Stephen Smith and appoint a public school graduate, supporter and promoter. Otherwise, they can start looking to the Greens, the Democrats and the newly formed Secular Party.
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|Last modified:Tuesday, 16 January 2007|