Queensland rejects Gonski reforms
THE Queensland Government has vowed to develop its own education reforms as it refuses to be "told how to do our job by people with a horrible track record of doing theirs".
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek, in a speech to more than 1200 state principals on Thursday, rejected the Federal Government's Gonski reforms, arguing states should be trusted to set customised education policies to suit their schools.
He said the Federal Government had a track record of meddling in education with little to no impact on student outcomes.
"Despite an 87% increase in money from the Federal Government over the last 10 years, standards have continued to slide," he said.
"It should ring alarm bells that anyone who has responsibility for a school is unanimously opposed to Gonski.
"The states are against it, the Catholics are against it, the Independents are against it."
Education Minister Peter Garrett said it was a "dark day" when a government "ignores its responsibility to provide a quality education to all students".
He said the Gonski school funding model and the National Plan for School Improvement followed the most comprehensive school funding review in 40 years.
"None of this is in the best interests of Queensland school students where thousands of students are below minimum standards in literacy and numeracy," he said.
Queensland Greens Senate candidate Adam Stone said the Queensland Government's decision to "slap together" its own school funding scheme cast further doubt over the future of the Gonski reforms that "could do so much for Queensland's schools.
"The Gonski Review's needs-based funding model holds particular promise for Queensland's schools," he said.
"As the most decentralised state, many of our schools are rural and regional and the Gonski Review found that those schools often experience greater educational disadvantage.
"The Gonski reforms would see them receive greater funding to match their greater need."
The Queensland Teachers' Union is now seeking an urgent meeting Mr Langbroek to clarify whether any other federally imposed education policies would continue to apply to Queensland state schools.
QTU President Kevin Bates said abolishing the NAPLAN system could save more than $10million, freeing teachers and students from "the yoke of high-stakes test preparation".
He said the comment also placed a cloud over the My School system and the nationally set curriculum.