5 AUGUST  2008





More than Time to Impose a Commitment Test:

A 'commitment' test should have been applied to personnel in our  public education systems throughout Australia.  In the present highly competitive situation it is more than time to turn public school system personnel into an effective fighting force. Not surprisingly, private school operators overwhelmingly require commitment to the particular school's aims and philosophy as a condition of employment, whether the person is a director, bureaucrat, principal, teacher aide or other staff member. The Public School System should now do likewise.

 Intolerability of Current Situation.

The current situation is intolerable. One pressure group, the private (Church) schools, is represented by persons who are required to be committed whilst public schools are represented by persons who are not required to be committed and in fact some are best described as covert or overt private school agents or party political promoters.

Imposition of a Commitment Test is Grounded in Logic and Practice

Imposition of a commitment test is grounded in logic and practice. A commitment test is the wise fighting and competitive strategy. It will maximise the chance of maximum effort and outcome both in quality and quantity and will minimise the chance of interference with the maximum effort to preserve, promote and obtain the strongest possible public education system.

Why is Commitment required in Sport, Private School Systems, Business, War and Politics?

Why does the football coach require total commitment from the footballers in the quest to win the Grand Final? Why does the Roman Catholic Church require commitment from the lowest to the highest paid personnel and positions in their education system? Why does business require commitment from its managers? Why did the Allies in the Second World War expect total commitment from the free world in the fight against their foes? Why did the Victorian ALP pass the Equal Opportunity Bill and sign it into Law, but exempt political Parties and church schools from the operation of the Act?

 Some Thoughts on Why Commitment is Required.

  • A committed person is a better and more convincing salesman and saleswoman. People will judge a person by his actions rather than words. Observers will be highly suspicious and critical if a person gets their money from one organisation but promotes the competition and/or patronises the competitor. For example, if a person gets his pay from the Public System but sends his children to private schools. The failure of public school employees to send their own children to public schools is doing the utmost damage to public schools.

  • Committed personnel are more likely to have consistency, strength and depth in the application to the task.

  • With a committed workforce, fellow workers-team members can have greater faith in their fellow members that the other persons will perform their task to a maximum effort and therefore they can concentrate on their particular part of the task. This lifts the overall effort and quality of performance.

  • With a committed workforce, personnel are less likely to have disillusioned, disinterested persons affecting the general morale and attitude of the rest of the workers.

  • If all personnel are in accord with the aims, less mental energy and time is wasted in internal friction. This permits more time and effort to be spent on overall objectives of an enterprise.

  • With a committed group of people, one is able to have a more open and frank discussion of all options because there will be less fear of offending people and less fear that certain people will reveal plans, strengths and weaknesses to the opposition. A committed workforce assists in the elimination of listening posts.

  • Committed personnel means that there is less white-anting of the enterprise or fifth-columnist-style activities.

  • Confidentiality in important matters can be retained more easily with committed personnel.

  • A committed person will engender more sincerity, trust and effort in others.

  • If a person is really committed to the outcome of the enterprise in which they are involved, there is a greater chance of providing inspiration and optimism in others. A committed person also provides a proper model for others.

The above commitment test was first proposed by the DOGS in  June 1986. The value of such a commitment test was placed in a paid Advertisement on the back page of the journal of a Victorian public school interest group. A prominent bureaucrat in the Victorian Education Department who sent his children to private schools put pressure upon the leaders of the above interest group. The  DOGS paid Ádvertisements were downgraded and discouraged . Finally, the DOGS took their money elsewhere.

 Elements of the Public Education Commitment Test

The Public Education Commitment Test involves the eightfold definition of public education, namely: an education system which is public in purpose; outcome; access; ownership; control; funding; accountability and provision.

The Victorian Situation

Since the public launching of the DOGS in 1967, there has been no Minister of Education in Victoria willing to commit herself or himself publicly to the historic elements of the above public education commitment test. This situation has been further exacerbated by the failure of the checks and balances of a democratic society to promote and protect the cornerstone of its future. There has been almost no promotion or protection offered public education from:

  • The Age,

  • The Australian

  • The ABC

  • Academia

  • Administrators or even

  • The AEU (Australian Education Union ) leadership in the Victorian branch.

Since the re-structure of the Education Department in 1982/83 DOGS have been unable to obtain a public commitment  to public education from any administrator in the public system. The DOGS have also been continually disappointed by the leadership of the  AEU Victorian branch but not  the New South Wales  Teachers Federation. In the 1980s DOGS  discovered that  the Victorian unions were supporters of an integrated public/private system and more recently, persons in leadership position are in support of public / private partnerships!

The failure of commitment to public education by politicians, administrators and unions representatives is in stark contrast to their major opposition in the church school sector. This is clearly illustrated by a list of the eight Directors of the Catholic Education Commission Victoria Limited. The Chairman is a bishop, two other Directors are a Monsignor and a 'sister'. Four Directors of Catholic Education come from the four Dioceses of the Victorian Church, and the Deputy Chairman is the business manager of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

The Church schools know the basics of  fighting their competition.

Why has public education been placed in such a ridiculous position ?

The current position is a recipe for disaster and destruction. Can anyone think of any other organisation, political, sporting, unionist, business, that would tolerate the position that public education has suffered and is suffering in Victoria?

Public Education Supporters must demand that public education must not be hobbled in this way. A commitment test in word and deed should be applied immediately to those involved in public education.




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Last modified:Monday, 11 August 2008