Thousands of trained, principled teachers in the job market can drive unprecedented education reform.
On Friday 27 August 2021, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian mandated teachers be vaccinated or lose their jobs.
This is the greatest gift to education reform in decades.
Set aside all issues about vaccine efficacy and safety, trials, bodily autonomy, misrepresentations of age-related risk and comparative risk of Covid overall.
Teachers who choose to be fired rather than take the Covid vaccine are above all else, principled. Whether their positions are informed by scientific prudence or not, they will show that they place personal integrity above their pay cheque (would that the cops do the same).
Thousands of trained, principled teachers in the job market? With newly-acquired experience in online teaching? Angry at a government and school system?
Right there is a resource to drive educational change not seen in this country.
An organising entrepreneur, some capital, some technology, and homeschooling could take off in a way that would put real pressure on our failing educational system. Yes, it is failing. It has been failing for decades.
If I am honest, even my high school education in the late 1970s/early 1980s was weak compared with earlier generations. But compared to today? We were geniuses.
Schooling with Political and Moral Neutrality
The real breaking point with the current system is not just the possibility of professional homeschooling at a higher standard than the public school system offers. It is the possibility of breaking the ideological stranglehold soft-left bureaucrats and politicians have on curriculum, and the execution of the curriculum (content of exercises, assignments, and the verbal messaging of teachers).
This doesn’t mean an expanded, professional homeschooling system has to be conservative. On the contrary, what it has to be is politically and morally neutral.
It doesn’t matter if a teacher is left-wing or right-wing; it doesn’t matter if they believe in transgenderism or believe it represents a socially-transmitted mental illness.
What matters is that as a question of duty all teachers should make a commitment to set aside their personal commitments on controversial political, social or moral questions. It is their duty to avoid influencing children on these questions precisely because they are in an unquestionable position of authority.
Teachers may see this as old-fashioned. Concepts of duty that limit someone’s expression when they are acting in a professional role are certainly uncool. But concepts of duty are precisely what restrains people with any kind of power to act fairly and impartially. Concepts of duty have driven trust in institutions. The absence of duty and restraint have created huge mistrust of all our institutions, teaching included.
I have to stress this: teachers of any political persuasion can restrain themselves and act according to their duty. A new, professional homeschooling approach will give all of them that opportunity. And put pressure on our failing public system, to the benefit of all of us.