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School level hiring of teachers

Posted by Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President on 31 August 2015

The following letter was submitted for possible publication in The Australian of Monday 31 August 2015 but it did not make it into print. 

Independent public schools and teaching quality

West Australian Education Minister Peter Collier is reported as claiming that his state's system of independent public schools "is improving the calibre of teachers" (Inquirer, "Head or heart what makes a good teacher", Aug 29-30).

This is surely nonsense. Whether teachers are employed centrally by the state department or by individual schools can have no impact on the overall quality of the available teacher workforce. It will just deploy it in different ways. The most likely result is that existing relative advantage and disadvantage will both be increased.

Collier's comment seems like another example, sadly all too common in public debate about schooling, of ideology trumping logic and evidence.

Author: Garry Collins, ETAQ Immediate Past President
About: Garry Collins was ETAQ President from mid July 2005 to 15 March 2014. He taught English in state high schools for around 35 years and now tutors in English curriculum courses in the School of Education at the University of Queensland.
Tags: General news

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