Caro’s flotsam and jetsam: school spirit … wages stoush … TA takedown …

The federal government has some funny ideas about education, as it wants to give $70 million to schools to ... er ... do exactly what they are doing now. Plus Tony Abbott's YouTube smackdown, celebrity tragedies and Margie Abbott's musings.

Jane Caro

Novelist, author and social commentator

The education revolution that wasn’t. Education is back in the headlines, but in a most peculiar way. Education Minister Christopher Pyne has announced that he wants to make 25% of Australia’s public schools “independent”, to lift student outcomes. There are a couple of problems with this announcement. First, we have had a perfect controlled experiment in Australia on the effectiveness of more school autonomy that has been running for the last two decades. Victoria has had one of the most devolved or autonomous public school systems in the world (yep, in the world) for 20 years. Its neighbour, New South Wales, has had a centralised system during the same period. Is there any difference in student outcomes between NSW and Victoria? Have Victoria’s independent public schools left NSW’s in the dust? Nope, the two systems are “neck and neck“. Making public schools more autonomous may not do much harm, but it doesn’t appear to do much good either.

But there is a much more peculiar side to Pyne’s announcement than merely spending 70 million badly needed dollars on busy work. According to education researcher Bronwyn Hinz, 25% of Australia’s public schools are already “independent”. So that’s 70 million badly needed dollars for … um …. what we already have.

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2 thoughts on “Caro’s flotsam and jetsam: school spirit … wages stoush … TA takedown …

  1. Pedantic, Balwyn

    The Abbott Government has deliberately let the public, including Jane Caro, believe that Coca Cola Amatil (CCA)is American owned to create US “big dollar” antagonism and deflect attention from it’s own poor decision making.

    CCA is a reputable local company franchised to can “coke”, amongst other enterprises. CCA is 71% Australian owned, with 29% owned by (U.S) Coca Cola, that franchises around half a dozen canneries globally and owns the same percentage of equity in all of them.

    The Government has no problem paying $16 million to Cadbury’s, which is no longer owned by English gentry Lord Cadbury, but is now 100% owned by US conglomerate Mondelez International, formerly Kraft’s; but no mention of a US parent for that decision!!

  2. klewso

    One of the worst crimes anyone can be accused of is “child abuse”, you’re never innocent.

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