Sadly I think it is just a 3 word slogan which doesn't actually mean much. DET has never promoted state education to the masses....NEVER! until some money and investment goes into promoting our diverse, inclusive, local, free and transparent school system to Victorians they will continue to be ignorant about it. DET should be using the good news stories about students, schools and teachers to spread the message of what a wonderful system we have! Sadly DET lacks the will, imagination and probably budget to do it. The AEU says ( at PCA meetings anyway) that negotiations for the next EBA are going well and that DET is keen to get a good deal done quickly. That could if handled well kickstart a big promotion of state school education.
From the Age
It was the central plank of Daniel Andrews' election pitch: to make Victoria "the Education State".
But two years after he came to office, new research suggests most voters don't really know what the slogan means – and many believe the government could do a lot more to improve the public education system.
As students prepare to return to class this month, an Essential Research poll has found only one third of Victorians have heard of Labor's schools agenda, let alone the catch-all phrase the government uses to represent its multibillion-dollar investment in schools.
According to the poll, about 66 per cent of Victorians have either never heard about "the Education State" or aren't sure what it means, suggesting the government has work to do convincing people that its flagship policy is more than just a three-word slogan on a number plate.
After all, it's not as though the government hasn't pumped big money into public education, including a record $1.8 billion to build and upgrade new schools, plus $566 million in additional funding for students.
But the problem, according to some, is that this investment hasn't necessarily led to better outcomes, a stronger curriculum, or reduced workload for teachers, who claim they are now working on average about 53 hours a week. According to the Australian Education Union, which commissioned the poll, this amounts to about 15 hours of unpaid overtime a week.
"The clear message here is that the government needs to make sure that their investment is making a difference for our kids," said Australian Education Union state president Meredith Peace.
"Parents want to know that we have a curriculum that meets the needs of our students. And in order to do that, then the concerns about workload need to be addressed. Teachers need the time to plan and assess, so if the government is serious about meeting its commitment, then it needs to invest in the most critical resource: and that is, staff."
The poll of more than 1000 Victorians comes at a critical juncture for the government, which has been locked in enterprise bargaining negotiations with the union for almost 10 months.
Teachers have asked for a pay rise of 7 per cent a year, but workload is the critical issue, with the government being urged to inject the equivalent of about 2000 extra teachers into the system.
The poll also found that when it comes to education, a strong curriculum was a central issue, with a combined 76 per cent listing it as their "top priority" or "very important". Professional development for teachers was also high on the agenda (72 per cent) along with building and maintaining classrooms and facilities (69 per cent).
Education Minister James Merlino declined to comment when asked if the government had any plans to boost teacher numbers, just as it had with police and paramedics in recent months. And was he surprised so few had heard of his flagship agenda? He didn't answer that either, other than to say: "The Education State is more than just a set of words – it's real tangible action to build and upgrade schools and support our students and teachers to achieve their best."