SUBJECTS: Teacher pay; Labor leadership
Charlie Pickering: Christopher Pyne is in our Sydney studio. Chris, you’re talking about some pretty tough love there for the education sector, but wouldn’t this actually discourage people from wanting to go into a career in teaching?
Christopher Pyne: Well, Charlie, we can’t keep doing things the way we have for the last few decades for teachers. We actually have to do something dramatic if we want to arrest the decline in our teaching and more importantly the student outcomes, which have been suffering for the last ten years.
Carrie Bickmore: You say pay good teacher more. Where’s all this cash coming from?
Pyne: The states run the schools. The Federal Government doesn’t. We need to pay our best teachers more. We need to value the work that they do. We need to create career pathways for teachers that makes teaching an attractive profession. Those teachers who aren’t performing well, they need to be managed out of the system, which would save money immediately of course.
Chris Brown: Christopher, really the question has to be, even if this policy has legs, how do you plan to sort the good teachers out from the bad?
Pyne: The Gratten Institute out of Melbourne has done a fantastic body of work on evaluating teachers, which is basically peer review, parent review, student review and principal review and obviously there’s weighting given to those reviews, but there’s many methods for evaluating teachers and I’m quite happy to accept the work of the Gratten Institute with respect to that.
David Hughes: Christopher, if they’re no good let’s sack them. Fair enough, but what about politicians who say ridiculous things? Maybe we should sack them as well. I’ve got an example from today.
Christopher Pyne: Now, we all know Julia Gillard is as popular as anthrax in Australia right now.
Hughes: That disease has killed millions of people, Christopher.
Pyne: It’s a figure of speech to say she’s not very popular. What Joel Fitzgibbon was saying about her on Q&A last night was that it was time for her to go. Politicians can be chucked out every three years and I guess elections are as stressful for politicians as the night before ratings is for television presenters.
Hughes: Yeah, but we don’t have to bring anthrax into it alright.
Pickering: Minister, thanks for speaking to us tonight.