Well done Hekia Parata. You received letters from people who were teachers, written as private citizens from their home addresses, and you chose to look up their teaching details and reply to them via their Boards of Trustees or Principals. It was a hideous breach of privacy and a truly underhand thing to do, and I wondered what on earth possessed you to do something that was clearly in bad faith.
Today it clicked.
Thanks to that vindictive move, even more teachers are now too scared to be vocal against the government’s education policies in case it stops them finding work. Or worse still, in case they lose the jobs they have. They are mute to say how appalled they are that our education system is under attack, through lies and statistical manipulation, by a government hell-bent on undermining the profession for heaven knows what reason.
Is this the country we want? Where we pretend to have freedom of speech but in reality one word out of line and you’re out on your ear?
It sounds more towards fascism or communism than it does towards a modern and fair democracy, and it scares the heck out of me.
Teachers are not evil.
Teachers are mostly good at their jobs, work hard, care for their students, and want more than anything to get on with their jobs without being used as political footballs.
Yet almost every day we see more on the news from this government about how we are failing, how they must keep tabs on us, how parents should be wary of us.
Teachers, you cannot let these bullying tactics turn you into fearful mutes, otherwise before you know it we will have here the situation they have in the USA, that was heralded as a great move forward and has turned into a right royal turkey.
You don’t have to rant, or scream or run naked through the streets. But you owe it to yourselves, your profession and your children to at least calmly and quietly try to put the record straight by talking to people about the issues. Ask them if they know the poor success rate of charter schools elsewhere. Ask them if they realise that National Standards data won’t inform them about their kids’ progress at all. Tell them that National Standards won’t explain how far a child has come in that year, so won’t indicate how well a teacher or school is doing. Just calmly alert people to the fact that there are issues here and that people should be asking questions.
It’s not a party political thing.
It’s not a personal thing.
It’s about protecting the quality education we already provide for our kids. Promoting and extending the things we already do well. Adding to an already wonderful system, rather than undermining it at every turn.
No-one should think twice about singing that aim from the rooftops.
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