Computers Don’t teach. Teachers Do

Posted on Sat 04/02/2016 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

Is anyone surprised? But how many went along with this expensive fraud?

LaptopsInClassThe headmaster of Sydney Grammar School, John Vallance, … said the Rudd-­Gillard government’s $2.4 billion Digital Education Revolution, which used taxpayer funds to buy laptops for high school students, was money wasted. “It didn’t really do anything except enrich Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard and Apple,’’ he said…

Dr Vallance regards­ laptops as a distraction in the classroom. “We see teaching as fundamentally a social activity,’’ he said. “It’s about interaction ­between people, about discussion, about conversation…”

These wasted billions help to explain a seeming paradox. Funding for education has gone up:

Spending by all Australian governments grew by 37 per cent, in real terms, in the ten years between 2002-03 and 2012-13 This has been driven largely by State and Territory policy decisions to decrease the teacher to student ratio, as well as the increase in the average length of service of teachers and increases in student numbers. During this period, funding growth has far outstripped student growth. Growth in student numbers has been averaging 0.8 per cent, while funding has grown by an average of around 4 per cent per year for government schools and around 5 per cent for non-government schools since 2000-01.

But standards have fallen:

Australian 15-year-olds’ scores on reading, maths and scientific literacy have recorded statistically significant declines since 2000, while other countries have shown improvement.

Lowering the sizes of average classes has turned out to be another “reform” with minimal benefits. For a start, increasing the number of teachers means having to accept more of the less skilled.

So don’t accept this lazy kind of education politics:

The Gonski education plan … would cost an extra $4.5 billion in 2018 and 2019. That’s strongly supported by The Australian Labor Party. Teachers and their unions have recently stepped up a campaign calling for the government to stick to the Gonski funding plan.

Don’t measure education reform by the extra dollars. Measure it by better teaching that’s proposed – and by the results.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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