Have we been betrayed?

2 08 2010

Autonomy in staffing, along with inadequate budgets, has led the decline of qualified TLs in Vic, Tasmania, and the ACT. Is it now the end of qualified teacher librarians in NSW,  SA, and Qld?  Julia Gillard’s announcement yesterday, Empowering Local Schools,  promises increased autonomy to all state school principals in their staffing and budgeting.

Julia, why the time and effort of holding the Federal Inquiry into School Libraries and Teacher Librarians in every state and territory over the past four months with its 382 submissions and hundreds of witnesses?  Why not wait for its Report?

1) Why aren’t you waiting for the National Partnership Agreements’ evaluation your release claims have been successful (They were supposed to be two year trials)?

2) Why aren’t there  studies which show local autonomy in staffing and budgeting by principals has ANY influence in improving student achievement?  (Gillard’s fact sheet which accompanies the release states there is evidence in the 2008 OECD document, Education at a Glance, but I can’t find any correlations there, only evidence of greater decentralization worldwide.)

3) Why are there no guarantees to retain specialist staff such as qualified teacher librarians, which studies have shown DO influence student achievement?

Leonie Trimper, President of the Australian Primary Principals Association has stated in their media release, “Ensuring that appropriate resources flow from the good intentions of this policy will be critical to its success in practice.”

This is exactly what must happen to avoid following the decline of school library staffing with the devolution in staffing and budgeting in Tasmania and Victoria and the ACT.  Limited staffing budgets  have forced principals to cash in qualified teacher librarians for cheaper options.

What will make this devolution in staffing any different, Julia?




2 responses

2 08 2010

Unfortunately the ALP backroom strategists are failing on almost every front. The basic problem is that Labor has abandoned its heartland and attempted to engage the Business sector. They have failed on both counts. If they would only keep faith with their faithful backers, they would find a solid voter base. Let’s hope they come to their senses. Many of the faithful will never give their vote to the Libs… but the Greens may find themselves in a position of control. Julia and her cohort, after ousting Kev, will need to listen to the groundswell. Once again politics comes before principle, when politicians make a stand. And the genuine supporters are abandoned and left on the pyre of expediency. And we had such hopes and dreams. Now they seem smeared with the muck of expediency and political greed. No wonder the electorate is capable of abandoning the People’s Party. When we have promises, they are taken away. When we have progress it is abandoned. When we have hope, it is dashed.
Ignore your constituency at your peril, JG et al., and so say all of us.

3 08 2010
Kerrie Brownscombe

Perhaps we are tying the government down by insisting on teacher -librarians. Perhaps we should insist on library staffing who hold a recognised degree or diploma in Librarianship.

I can work as the librarian at my school because I hold a degree in Librarianship, but since I can’t be registered as a teacher I can only be paid as an ancillary.

We need to be careful and clever in the demands we make and the lines we draw in the sand. Otherwise we may be discounted completely.

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