Today, I took my youngest son Louis off for his kindergarten Best Start assessment. There were no tears (not from him, anyway… I was a bit emotional). When his brother asked, “are you scared or excited?” there wasn’t even a pause before Louis answered “excited!”
Is the school right for them? Am I pushing too hard? Am I letting them slack off?
School education takes up an enormous share of parental brain space.
Every parent and carer wants their kids to be happy at school, to get a great education, to have their genius recognised, or their problems picked up early so they can get the help they need.
We want individual attention, great resources, well trained teachers who continue to get quality professional development and strong support throughout their careers.
We want our kids to be prepared for the jobs of the future, but also the world of the future.
We want investment in schools so our own kids get a great education, but we want this for our nation too. The American philosopher, John Dewey said: “What the best and wisest parent wants for his own child, that must the community want for all of its children.”
We want a great education for kids who come from difficult family circumstances, kids with a disability, kids from rural and remote communities. We want to close the gap in school attainment between Indigenous and non-indigenous kids. We want this for all our children because every one of them deserves a great start in life and the opportunity to make the most of their gifts.
But we should also want it to because there is no surer way of guaranteeing the wealth of our nation.
Malcolm Turnbull is all “blah, blah, blah” on innovation. But you can’t have innovation without education.