Parents deserve better treatment

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Dear Editor,

John Gray just added his lack of respect to that being shown to the parents of Shepparton’s secondary students justifiably concerned that this complete change of education will not bring about the results bandied about by the politicians and authorities. To say parents of the students who will experience this change are speaking with petty negativity and destructive nay saying is insulting to those who have researched thoroughly the negative effect this school will have on future generations. What did you say to back up your claims, Mr Gray? Parents do not deserve your scorn or disrespect for their very real concerns and anxiety with regard to the future education of their children.

There is no proof that merged or super schools improve the academic outcomes for students. Research on merged schools across the state, on the Myschools website, Naplan results for years 7 and 9 showed no improvement against schools of a similar size and actually declined against the national average, between 2011 and 2018, whereas Wanganui Park Secondary College performed consistently across the board with no substantial decline, with a 96 percent pass rate for VCE, comparable to 99 percent for Notre Dame with higher income. This was inequitable funding, receiving no more last year than schools of smaller student numbers. Congratulations and thanks to the teachers of Wanganui Park for their diligence and the policies of vertical education and character building already in place. Yes, we need to improve the academic outcomes for all regional schools, and the new curriculum has many character building qualities, but there are no guarantees offered that the stress involved in transitioning, expending this generation’s education, to an eventual unsuitable site will have the desired effect of academic improvement.

There will be no vertical education system, no accelerated learning or SEAL program in the new curriculum and losses of electives now available. The plan is to bring below average students up to those of good standard. Those who need to be challenged most will become the class nuisances. Is that where education is heading in this state, holding back those who need to be challenged to achieve high overall results but lower standards?

Yours sincerely,

Cherril Colleen Jones

Shepparton.