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Going, Going … Gonski!

INTERVIEWER

Tonight, we’ll be talking to the Opposition Education Spokesman, Mr Christopher Whine. Good evening, Mr Whine.

MR WHINE

Good evening.

INTERVIEWER

So, is the Coalition going to commit to implementing the Gonski Report?

MR WHINE

Well, we’re not in Government, so we’re not the ones you should be asking.

INTERVIEWER

Well, let’s for the sake of argument imagine you become the Government in September. Will you commit to implementing the Gonski Report?

MR WHINE

We have to wait and see if there’s any money left after all Labor’s spending, but I suspect that a lot of the things we’d like to implement will be just too expensive given the enormous black hole that Labor will leave us.

INTERVIEWER

So what is your education policy then?

MR WHINE

We’ll release it closer to the next election.

INTERVIEWER

How close to the next election? It’s only five months away.

MR WHINE

About two weeks from the election date.

INTERVIEWER

Couldn’t it be argued that releasing a policy two weeks before the election doesn’t leave enough time to analyse it?

MR WHINE

No, two weeks AFTER the election. People will have plenty of time to analyse it.

INTERVIEWER

So you won’t be releasing your education policy until after the next election? That seems a bit odd …

MR WHINE

Why should education be any different? It’s not as though people don’t know our broad position on things.

INTERVIEWER

Which is?

MR WHINE

We think that rather than throwing money at things, we should all tighten our belts and do the things that can improve our education system without costing too much. This is not a bottomless pit and people just need to make do.

INTERVIEWER

So you’ll be cutting funding to the wealthier private schools?

MR WHINE

No, that’s the sort of class warfare that Labor indulges in.

INTERVIEWER

So, why shouldn’t they have to have cuts as well as the public system?

MR WHINE

Because they need the money. Otherwise they’d have to raise their fees and less people could afford to go there.

INTERVIEWER

So what’s your plan to help the poorer schools?

MR WHINE

When we are, we’ll have loads of policies. Like improving teacher quality.

INTERVIEWER

And how will you do that?

MR WHINE

By telling teachers the best way to teach. Which is standing out the front of the class telling them things in an interesting way. We’ll also make it easier to remove underperforming teachers. And by rewarding the good teachers. At the moment we have the absurd situation where the best teachers are paid the same as the worst. Everyone knows a really good teacher when they see one.

INTERVIEWER

And how will you determine which teachers receive performance pay?

MR WHINE

I just told you – by looking at them. Everyone knows a good teacher when they see one.

INTERVIEWER

Aren’t you afraid that performance pay might disrupt the teamwork and the sharing that’s an essential part of a good school?

MR WHINE

No, I expect it’ll make all teachers try harder.

INTERVIEWER

So how will you know who are the best teachers?

MR WHINE

They’ll be the ones getting the performance pay.

INTERVIEWER

Then wouldn’t it be easier to raise the salaries of all teachers?

MR WHINE

No, then we’d be rewarding the underperforming ones as well.

INTERVIEWER

But I thought you said you’d get rid of the underperforming teachers …

MR WHINE

Yes, but that’s just the really bad ones, not the ones who just aren’t as good as the really good teachers which we’ve identified through a totally fair process.

INTERVIEWER

Any other broad concepts for education?

MR WHINE

Well, after we’ve sold Medibank Private, then we’ll look at selling the school system.

INTERVIEWER

Selling the school system?

MR WHINE

Yes everyone agrees that private schools are the best so it makes sense to privatise the whole system.

INTERVIEWER

Well that’s worked well with Public Transport …

MR WHINE

Yes, now if something goes wrong, the State Government can just blame the private operator. And look at how much money energy companies have saved on basic maintenance since they were privatised.

INTERVIEWER

But has it improved the system?

MR WHINE

Sorry, I don’t understand the question.

INTERVIEWER

That’s all we have time for. Good night, and thank you.

MR WHINE

Always a pleasure.

 

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