The Australian
continues its recent education campaign with its lead headline “New age courses
‘failing’ students.” The story springs from a “damning report” commissioned by
the federal Government, which found Australia’s
students are left with “no chance of succeeding under ‘new age curriculums’
being taught in state and territory primary schools.” Sharing the front page is another social story, this one about
Australian women. “When it comes to the men in their
lives, Australian women are conservative: they want their husbands to work
full-time,” reports Caroline Overington, the paper’s social affairs writer. As
for women – they’re happiest working part time, “or not at all.”

It’s more education at The Sydney
Morning Herald
, with news of a “radical proposal” from Barry McGaw, architect of the HSC.
McGaw will present the paper at a conference today, urging parents and teachers
to take charge of the country’s 7,000 public schools in a bid to stem the drift
to private education. The paper also leads with John Brogden’s
resignation from
parliament “from a bed in a psychiatric hospital.” The four-sentence
resignation letter, says the paper, “completed a stunning and
tragic fall from grace,” for the former NSW Liberal Party leader. Meanwhile, speaking at yesterday’s launch of Annabel Crabb’s
account of the Labor Party in opposition, Losing
It
, Julia Gillard made a call to “Get Labor off the welfare teat.” And it’s bad news for clubbers with the SMH’s front page story
declaring “your mum was right” – three out of four night clubbers are at risk
of permanent hearing damage.

Stem cells are the top story at The Age, which leads with a report that scientists could create cloned human embryos
specifically for stem cells to treat major diseases under a Victorian
Government push for relaxed embryo research laws. It’s all part of a plan to
boost the state’s reputation as a “world leader in biotechnology” – and state
Treasurer John Brumby will argue that existing laws hamper scientists, at a
national inquiry into cloning and embryo research. That story’s softened with a
photo spread of Melbourne Football
Club
players working on an education centre on Thailand’s
Phi Phi
Island in memory of Troy
Broadbridge, the player who died during the Boxing Day tsunami.

The Daily Telegraph leads with the Brogden resignation, saying the embattled former Liberal
leader has “once again shocked his Liberal Party colleagues – this time by
suddenly quitting politics.” Alongside is a slightly more cheery antidote to yesterday’s heroin-mums beat up – the tale of former
addict Kathy Maino, and how a photo in The Tele changed her life. Of course. And the Herald Sun devotes its entire front page to the
Melbourne Football Club in Thailand,
splashing with the headline: “TRIBUTE TO TROY.”
With a picture of Broadbridge’s wife Trisha seated alongside the construction
project, the paper tells of how “an emotional Trisha praised the Demons for
their enduring support.”

South Australian Premier Mike Rann is a “workaholic, a bit
of a slob and has an incurable sense of humour.” That’s the lead in today’s
Advertiser, under the headline: “The inside word on Rann, by his soon to be wife.” The
woman in question, Sasha Carruozzo, is an “actress, cook and environmentalist,”
and she’s speaking out for the first time about her relationship. On a more
serious note, the Tiserreports that “Time is running out for River Murray,” with news that two
state ministers are being sent to pressure NSW, the ACT, Victoria
and Queensland to act on the
river’s future.

A Queensland health inquiry has revealed embarrassing
evidence of state Labor and Coalition governments acting against the public interest,
reports The Courier-Mail. The inquiry found that “a fridge trolley had been used by the Borbidge coalition government
to wheel potentially embarrassing documents into Cabinet so they could not be
released under FOI searches,” while the Labor government “streamlined” the
process to keep documents from Cabinet. Meanwhile, it’s “hats off” to the
Cowboys, as Queensland farewells
its NRL team ahead of its grand final showdown with the Wests Tigers in Sydney
on Sunday.

The Northern Territory
News
tells of “drama
on the seas,” with the news that a customs patrol boat has been forced to fire
on an illegal fishing vessel caught fleeing waters in the Territory’s
northeast. Meanwhile, The West Australian leads with the
alarming news that a leading local defence contractor has “won the legal right
to discriminate by race.” The State Administrative Tribunal has granted
Australian Defence Industries the right to hire only Australians and Americans
so it can abide by new US
security laws – and it signals a “new era in WA workplace security,” says the paper.

At The Mercury, it’s a parochial spin on the national
education story, with the news Tassie’s education system is at the “bottom of
the class” nation-wide. According to the national report, Benchmarking
Australian Primary School Curricula, the state’s controversial Essential
Learnings curriculum is the “worst primary school education system in Australia.” And The Canberra Times has its own spin on today’s big
education story, reporting that the ACT Government, teachers’ union and
education groups have rejected comments that the territory’s “strong academic
reputation” is under threat from new syllabuses.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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