EDITORIAL: Sit up straight, Mister Gonski's coming
SERIOUSLY who'd be a kid these days? It's scary out there.
Back in the day I headed off to school with nothing more on my mind than how much I was looking forward to playing French cricket using a tennis racket (think about it, the ball goes for miles) and nothing more in my Globite than a curried egg sandwich wrapped in greaseproof paper, a leaky biro and a pair of crusty Dunlop Volleys. The most danger I was in was the risk of not holding my breath when I opened the Globite to get my sandwich out after it had been sitting in the sun all morning
School used to be kind of fun but over the years the box checkers and list tickers got involved using words like outcomes, KPI's and rankings.
Kids these days get assessed, graded, appraised, poked and prodded from kindy onwards. They are NAPLANNED to within an inch of their tiny little lives, HSC-ed to the edge of their sanity, discussed on talk back radio and the telly and their Body Mass Index readings ranked.
For teachers I hear it's the same. They can't walk across the playground to get a cup of lukewarm International Roast Caterers Blend without filling in a budgeted lesson plan in triplicate complete with outcomes, permission notes, dietary requirements and a peer reviewed risk assessment.
Meanwhile state and federal politicians and media of all stripes have turned education into a political footy that they punt backwards and forwards over the top of everyone's heads like a bunch of sixth form bullies.
Kids even give each other a hard time on Facebook and get their senses warped by the general "pornification” of the internet while their mums, dads and caregivers are around less and less because they work two jobs to keep a roof over their heads.
Now we are in the age of good debt/bad debt with the investment of money in the education of our clients (oops! children) classified as bad debt apparently.
That's it Morrison! Birmingham! You'll be picking up papers all lunch time. Shorten! Unless you have something worthwhile to share with the class just shut it. Abbott! Stop smirking.
Now sit up, Mr Gonski's coming.