Yesterday’s press release from Minister Parata about the gazetting of EDUCANZ contained made up nonsense that is comically easy disprove.
The press release, “Trailblazing professional body a step closer” contains this nugget:
Ms Parata says the Education Council is the new professional and regulatory body for the teaching profession.
“It will work with the profession to champion new ideas and excellent teaching practice and provide inspirational education leadership in the same way as professional bodies in Australia, Great Britain and the United States do.
So, let’s have a look at these professional bodies in Australia, Great Britain and the US eh.
In Aussie each state has its own Teacher Registration Board (note the name, focused on core business, contains the forbidden word ‘teacher’). Most have have elected teacher members, and most of them also have union representation. None of them have the broad mandate for ‘professional leadership’ that EDUCANZ is saddled with. Their focus is on regulation of the profession, and that’s pretty much it.
In Great Britain there are the two extremes – from England where there is no registration body at all (it was scrapped in 2012) to Scotland, which has the most autonomous and well developed teachers’ council in the world, the GTC Scotland. The GTC Scotland does indeed ‘lead the profession’ in a broad and meaningful way – but its council’s make up is very different from EDUCANZ. It has 37 members, 17 of them teachers, 19 members are elected, and NONE are political appointees.
The US, like in everything, varies widely from state to state –but the most common type of teacher registration body is a state government controlled board that certifies teachers and that’s it. The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, which covers the whole of the US, is a very different beast – entirely voluntary and not connected to government at all, teachers can choose to seek certification from them if they want to, and pay their fees accordingly.
This basic lack of knowledge from the Minister’s office is worrying. Ten minutes on google is enough to show what rubbish this international comparison, used to give legitimacy to a ill considered and unwelcome new body, is.
It’s a pity that none of the government members on the Education and Science Select Committee considering the bill last year could be bothered to do that. But as we saw clearly, most of them couldn’t even be bothered paying attention to submitters, let alone doing their own independent research.
*I haven't actually made a list of these.. but it would be close
**Image is Saltsjöbadsolyckan den 15 januari 2013 by Elgaard Holger.