Battle lines are being
drawn on education policy with the release of a damning report on education
standards around the country being released to the seemingly universal disdain
of the ALP, teachers and anyone else who thinks Brendan Nelson is a hack. The
report says standards are heading to the toilet, which is ironic, because all
our kids will be qualified to do is clean toilets if things keep going this
way. Claims of partisanship abound, and the petulant behaviour is working
itself up to a dull roar already. The author of the report, Dr. Kevin Donnelly,
is under fire for daring to have once worked for the Minister, which of course
means that his findings must be wrong.

Henry’s blood
starts to simmer at this kind of thing.

These reports should not
necessarily be seen to be critical of teachers, who Henry rates as among the
most underpaid and underappreciated in society, but rather reveal systemic
problems that need to be addressed at a corporate level. The system is failing
our kids, which means it is failing our country. With technology, innovation
and intellectual pursuits the third wave of economic reform and set to play the
key role in shaping our society in the future, we need to challenge our kids to
excel, not pat them on the head and tell them it’s okay, now go back to your
playstation.

Surely if there was no
problem, people wouldn’t be sending their kids to private schools. You’re on the
right track, Minister. More power to your arm. Read Henry’s article
here.

Meanwhile,
Nicholas Gruen writes on House Prices: “From 1990 to 2001,
the share of people under 24 who’d bought their first home fell by a third –
from 15 to 10 percent. Some are giving up the fight – and the benefits that
come with it – from the social benefits of stronger communities to the economic
benefits of higher savings as people repay their mortgage.

Understand who wins and
loses and you begin to understand the underlying politics. Understand more
still if we can see how people’s economic commonsense sometimes leads them
astray. Read full article here.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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