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Category Archives: Education
A woman ahead of her time.
The big lesson for Australia in education is that we can ‘reform’ schools to the hilt, hammer the maths and science – but nothing will change unless we address structural and equity problems as well.
The OECD-endorsed rankings of educational proficiency recently released give the lie to those in Australia who attribute outcomes solely to levels of spending. Throwing more money at the Education Establishment will not automatically produce smarter students.
The ALP seems to have missed many points about school funding, especially the need to establish Gonski’s schools resourcing body, a proposal which has been strongly supported by the Grattan Institute.
Speaking particularly of the treatment people in Manus and Nauru, Professor Ian Webster argues that in this secular and chaotic world, the values and principles of the professional codes of health workers could be used to frame their future contributions … Continue reading
Chris Bonnor contends that the Grattan Institute report has resurrected the missing link in the sporadic implementation of Gonski.
Linda Simon says that the vocational education and training (VET) system in Australia has faced many challenges over a number of years, including cuts to funding, lack of government attention and a system that has enabled students to be rorted … Continue reading
Trump prides himself in being a change-agent, but he really wants to restore the past and protect privilege. He will also do a great deal of social damage. Analysis of the US election tells us that many American ‘working … Continue reading
The election of billionaire and reality TV host Donald Trump to the most powerful political position in the world has created global shockwaves. As countless commentators have already observed, Trump’s election is a stunning reminder of the depth of … Continue reading
Is the Hon. Simon Birmingham, Federal Minister for Education and Training, the man? In his recent appearance on the ABC’s Q&A, Senator Birmingham announced that there are private schools that are ‘over-funded’. This came as the Turnbull Government is … Continue reading
During a visit to Berlin in mid September this year I was struck by the way the venture capital and start up scene in Berlin had shifted from being something of an exotic hothouse flower to one of the … Continue reading
Last week was one to remember: one school funding revelation after another. It began the previous Friday at the Education Minister’s COAG gathering in Adelaide. One big problem, as Bernie Shepherd and I pointed out, was that the gathering … Continue reading
Beijing’s role in the Chinese community media in Australia is increasingly in conflict with its own demand for respect. Beijing is tired of foreign analysts criticising China simply for being what it is. A former Chinese ambassador to Australia, Fu … Continue reading
The nation’s education ministers have just had a day together to sort out school funding. There was considerable posturing but little agreement. And they managed to sidestep real problems and urgent solutions. They do have some awareness of the … Continue reading
The ABC Boyer Lecture series this year is being delivered by Sir Michael Marmot, the World Medical Association President and Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health at University College London .The main thrust of his lecture series has been … Continue reading
A couple of reports out on schools this week are urging policy shifts, but in different directions. The latest offering from the money-doesn’t-matter brigade comes from the Productivity Commission in its draft report Lifting the bonnet on Australia’s schools. … Continue reading
The Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) has released a report into aspects of vocational education and training (VET) in Australia. The report is entitled ‘VET: securing skills for growth’ and makes a number of recommendations including the … Continue reading
CHRIS BONNOR & BERNIE SHEPHERD. NSW public schools are bursting at the seams – but which ones and why?
A news report in The SMH August 29th revealed that more than 800 public schools in NSW are operating at 100% of capacity or more. Apparently 180 of these are stretched beyond their limits. The report listed a large … Continue reading
School education in Australia has been invaded from the west. In 2010 Western Australia added its contribution to free-market orthodoxy by declaring that its public schools would be given greater control over staffing and budgets. From 2010 an increasing … Continue reading
We are often told that we have a very egalitarian society and that social class hardly exists. It just isn’t true. A recent report on ‘Australia’s Diaspora Advantage: Realising the potential for building transnational business networks with Asia’ reveals that … Continue reading
For some the crisis in vocational education and training (VET) and the fate of TAFE was a critical issue in the recent Australian Federal elections. For others it hardly made the radar. Unfortunately a number of those others included … Continue reading
August is when the NAPLAN test results come out to schools and parents. It isn’t as exciting as the annual release of Year 12 results, but it is developing a life of its own. We are bombarded with media … Continue reading
When Labor decided to support public funding of non-government schools fifty years ago, it created a legacy that is still misunderstood.
Redesigning VET FEE-HELP In late April the Federal Government released a discussion paper entitled ‘Redesigning VET FEE-HELP’. It had become apparent that continuing legislative changes put through the Federal Parliament were not enough to prevent the behaviour of some private … Continue reading
‘The quality of a student’s education should not be limited by where the student lives, the income of his or her family, the school he or she attends or his or her personal circumstances’. This is the statement of … Continue reading
LINDA SIMON. Do the Parties really care about vocational education and training (VET) these elections?
National TAFE Day was celebrated on June 16 this year, a little over two weeks before the Federal elections. Both Labor and the Greens took the opportunity to restate their support for TAFE and launch further policies. However the … Continue reading
That Asian-Australians are making a substantial contribution to the Australian economy is a fact that can no longer be contested. This contribution is of enormous significance, especially as Australia seeks to become integrated into the regional economy. The issues of … Continue reading
For more than 60 years, since opinion polling became important in shaping election strategies, there has been for the Australian Labor Party one awkward but stubborn consistency. Rightly or wrongly the Australian Electorate, with very isolated and brief exceptions, … Continue reading
So the election is in full swing and the word ‘Gonski’ is once more up there in lights. You have to feel a bit sorry for David Gonski. His achievements are indeed stellar but his name has become a proxy … Continue reading
Hearing or reading about vocational education and training (VET) today, we expect it to be another story of rorts and wrongdoings. And it is an horrific story, a story of for-profit private providers accessing public funding and not delivering the … Continue reading