Teachers strike out
THE future of national literacy and numeracy tests in schools is in limbo, with teachers and the Federal Government refusing to budge in the stand-off.
The Australian Education Union voted to ban its teachers from handing out the exams in protest against the government’s contentious My School website, claiming the results allow for the creation of “league tables” and unfair comparisons between the country’s 10,000 schools.
But Education Minister Julia Gillard has refused to cave to the union’s demands and is already working on contingency plans should the protest action go ahead, considering recruiting parents to help supervise the exams.
Meanwhile, the NSW Parents and Citizens Association has slammed Ms Gillard’s suggestions parents will act as strike breakers.
“It is not the role of parents to supervise the implementation of such testing,” NSW P&C president Di Giblin said.
“Such action can only lead to the driving of a wedge between the key partners in a child’s formal education experience, the parent and the teacher.”
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said he would prefer that teachers did not boycott the tests.
“Parents had a role to play in school life but shouldn’t be used to supervise exams,” he said.
“I would say to (Education Minister) Julia Gillard, run a decent education system,” he told Sky News.
“Don’t try to shove parents in to do jobs which should be done by teachers.”
Ms Gillard says there’s no way she’ll “gut” the My School website.
The opposition has called on Ms Gillard to sit down with the union and negotiate a truce.