10 Reasons Why

10 reasons why we should value public education:

  1. At a public school children are taught in common with a wide range of children from our society. They are taught that they are part of that society. They learn to understand and value children from different backgrounds and of different abilities. They learn that they are connected with people who would otherwise seem different from them. They learn not to be afraid of those who come from different backgrounds.
  2. Public schooling teaches children to relate knowledge to the world around them. It does not separate children from the world, putting them into special worlds and into special groupings. It teaches them that knowledge is not something separate, but learned in and through the community to which they belong.
  3. Public schools are resources for their communities. They provide facilities and meeting places for those around. They draw together people through the shared task of educating children and building up schools.
  4. Public schools teach that society is not made up of "special people" and others. They teach that everyone is special - and in that way your children can become special by remaining themselves.
  5. Repeated research studies by universities (most recently the University of Western Australia) show that Government school students consistently outperform those from private schools and are less likely to drop out of tertiary education than their private school counterparts.
  6. Public schools are where we are what we profess to be - an egalitarian society.
  7. Public schools are owned by the community of which they are a part. They are open to all, a genuine community resource.
  8. Parents are involved in the running of public schools, even in the selection of principals and deputy principals.
  9. Public schools provide a vehicle for the full range of people in society to gain access to a wide choice of careers and creative activities.
  10. A good public education system is society's guarantee that it has access to all the talent and ability that is within it in order to foster its economic, social and cultural goals.

In addition to educating the majority of Australian children, government schools meet the needs, policies and demands of the state for the education of such groups as newly arrived immigrants, indigenous students, distance students, disabled students, poor students and problem students. Non-government schools, which also receive funds from the same governments (state and federal), are not required to share in any of these tasks. They determine their own selection and expulsion policies and can get rid of unwanted students who may be transferred to the public system.

Non-government schools compete with the government's own system, trying to withdraw students from it. In this they are supported by a Federal Government which increases their resources at the same time as running down its own system.