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Jennifer Buckingham

Research Fellow, Education Program


Jennifer's main area of work is school education, and she has published papers on school choice, school funding, literacy, international assessments (including PISA), NAPLAN and My School, religious schools, boys' education, teacher training and employment, class size, and educational disadvantage. She is the author of the reports School Funding on a Budget (2014),Why Jaydon Can't Read (2014), Religious Schools in Australia (2010), Schools of Thought: A Collection of Articles on Education (2009), Schools in the Spotlight (2003), Families, Freedom and Education (2001) and Boy Troubles (2000), among others.

Jennifer has also written about child care, female labour force participation, and NSW trains. Jennifer's doctoral research was on literacy and social disadvantage.

Jennifer has been at the forefront of debate on education matters for more than a decade, with hundreds of articles in major newspapers and regular radio appearances. Her future work at CIS will continue to focus on school choice and funding, accountability for student performance, and effective instruction,

Click here to see the events that Jennifer has spoken at recently.

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Publications by Author

  1. SYMPOSIUM: Books of the Year 2014

    Benjamin Herscovitch, Jennifer Buckingham, Jenny Lindsay, Karla Pincott, Peter Kurti, Trisha Jha | 20 Jan 2015 | POLICY Magazine

    The staff of the Centre for Independent Studies list the best books they read in the past year.

  2. Budget 2014-15: Fiscal responsibility or savage cuts?

    Alexander Philipatos, Benjamin Herscovitch, Helen Andrews, Jennifer Buckingham, Matthew Taylor, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Steven Schwartz, Trisha Jha | 16 May 2014 | Special Publications

    The CIS analyses the Abbott government’s crucial first budget, including significant changes in the key policy areas of... Read More...

  3. School Funding on a Budget

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    Government expenditure on schools has more than doubled in real terms in the last 25 years, while student numbers have only... Read More...

  4. BOOK REVIEW: Education, Social Background and Cognitive Ability: The Decline of the Social

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Apr 2014 | POLICY Magazine

    Education, Social Background and Cognitive Ability: The Decline of the Social

  5. Submission to the National Commission of Audit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Stephen Kirchner, Trisha Jha | 01 Apr 2014 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal government’s Commission of Audit (CoA) was established in 2013 to review the performance and role of government.... Read More...

  6. Why Jaydon Can’t Read: A Forum on Fixing Literacy

    Jennifer Buckingham, Justine Ferrari, Tom Alegounarias | 18 Feb 2014 | Issue Analysis

    This Issue Analysis compiles the three speeches given at the CIS event ‘Why Jaydon Can’t Read: A Forum on Fixing Literacy’... Read More...

  7. BOOK REVIEW: The Self-Transforming School

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Feb 2014 | POLICY Magazine

    The Self-Transforming School    By Brian J. Caldwell and Jim M. Spinks    Reviewed by Jennifer... Read More...

  8. FEATURE: Why Jaydon Can’t Read: The Triumph of Ideology over Evidence in Teaching Reading

    Jennifer Buckingham, Kevin Wheldall, Robyn Beaman-Wheldall | 29 Nov 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    The current entrenched rate of illiteracy among Australian children is unnecessary and avoidable.

  9. Emergency Budget Repair Kit

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Robert Carling, Simon Cowan, Trisha Jha | 21 Nov 2013 | TARGET30 Papers

    The federal budget deficit has been described as an emergency. Cutting wasteful programs can save more than $20 billion a... Read More...

  10. FEATURE: Why Jaydon Can’t Read: The Triumph of Ideology over Evidence in Teaching Reading

    Jennifer Buckingham, Kevin Wheldall, Robyn Beaman-Wheldall | 01 Oct 2013 | POLICY Magazine

    The current entrenched rate of illiteracy among Australian children is unnecessary and avoidable.

  11. The future of education — a structural perspective

    Jennifer Buckingham | 22 Aug 2013 | Speeches

    A speech by Jennifer Buckingham to the AISNSW Executive Conference on the macro-trends in education policy in Australia and... Read More...

  12. Keeping PISA in Perspective: Why Australian Education Policy Should Not Be Driven by International Test Results

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 Dec 2012 | Issue Analysis

    International student assessments such as the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) and the Trends in International... Read More...

  13. School Funding, Choice and Equity

    Jennifer Buckingham | 26 Oct 2011 | Issue Analysis

    CIS Research Fellow Jennifer Buckingham says the three main goals of school funding – equity, efficiency and excellence... Read More...

  14. The Rise of Religious Schools in Australia

    Jennifer Buckingham | 16 Sep 2010 | Policy Monographs

    Growth in the non-government school sector in Australia has been driven by religious schools, with the largest increases... Read More...

  15. BOOK REVIEW: Variety and Choice: Good Schools for All Australians

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Sep 2010 | POLICY Magazine

    Variety and Choice: Good Schools for All Australians By Graeme Starr (Menzies Research Centre, 2010.)

  16. Educating The Disadvantaged

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Oct 2009 | Issue Analysis

    Every child can succeed at school if education providers take the right approach. Educating the Disadvantaged, a collection... Read More...

  17. In Defence of Non-Government Schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Jul 2009 | Issue Analysis

    Non-government schools are providers of public education and deserve adequate public funding. The purposes and functions... Read More...

  18. Schools of Thought: A Collection of Articles on Education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Jul 2009 | Special Publications

    Over the last decade, schools policy in Australia has undergone significant changes.  Jennifer Buckingham has been a significant... Read More...

  19. BOOK REVIEW: Why Not The Best Schools? What We Have Learned From Outstanding Schools Around The World

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Mar 2009 | POLICY Magazine

    Why Not The Best Schools? What We Have Learned From Outstanding Schools Around The World By Brian Caldwell and Jessica Harris... Read More...

  20. Making the Grade: School Report Cards and League Tables

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Nov 2008 | Issue Analysis

    International research shows that students in schools that publish their results publicly perform better than students in... Read More...

  21. Child Care and the Labour Supply

    Jennifer Buckingham | 23 Jul 2008 | Issue Analysis

    This report investigates whether child care is unaffordable and if government funding is contributing to its affordability... Read More...

  22. FEATURE: Six Social Policy Myths

    Andrew Norton, Jennifer Buckingham, Jeremy Sammut, Peter Saunders, Phil Rennie | 03 Mar 2008 | POLICY Magazine

    Policy experts often think alike, even when the evidence contradicts them. This is how billions of dollars get spent on government... Read More...

  23. Child Care: Who Benefits?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Oct 2007 | Issue Analysis

    Child care has gone from something that families would use sparingly and only if necessary to being an alleged human right.... Read More...

  24. FEATURE: The Finn Red Line

    Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Sep 2007 | POLICY Magazine

    Chester E Finn Jr talks to Jennifer Buckingham about tensions between school autonomy, parental choice and the need for better... Read More...

  25. BOOK REVIEW: Which School? Beyond Private vs Public

    Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Sep 2007 | POLICY Magazine

    Which School? Beyond Private vs Public by Joanna Mendelssohn (Pluto Press, 2007).

  26. BOOK REVIEW: Dumbing Down: Outcomes-Based and Politically Correct- The impact of the Culture Wars on Our School

    Jennifer Buckingham | 06 Jun 2007 | POLICY Magazine

    Dumbing Down: Outcomes-based and politically correct- the impact of the Culture Wars on our schools by Kevin Donnelly (Hardie... Read More...

  27. REVIEW ESSAY: Ten Views on Vouchers

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Mar 2007 | POLICY Magazine

    School choice causes controversy, even among its supporters.

  28. Teachers and the Waiting Game: Why Decentralisation is Vital for Public Schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Feb 2007 | Issue Analysis

    Centralised staffing systems, which fiercely protect regulations that shelter poor teachers and privilege longevity over... Read More...

  29. Good Teachers Where They Are Needed

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Oct 2005 | Issue Analysis

    Allowing qualified professionals to become teachers through school-based education has the potential to reduce Australia’s... Read More...

  30. State of the Nation: An Agenda for Change 2004

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 May 2004 | Special Publications

    This book is now in its fourth edition.  It offers independent views on Australia’s progress across a range of indicators... Read More...

  31. Schools in the Spotlight. School Performance Reporting and Public Accountability

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Mar 2004 | Policy Monographs

    Buckingham calls for a consistent, fair and meaningful system of reporting and publishing comparative school performance,... Read More...

  32. Valuing Education: A Response to the Australia Institute Report 'Buying an Education'

    Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Jan 2004 | Issue Analysis

    The Australia Institute, in publishing this report, has done nothing to advance serious and constructive debate on education... Read More...

  33. Boys' Education - Research & Rhetoric

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Jan 2004 | Occasional Papers

    There is significant evidence that boys have been experiencing educational disadvantage. In this paper, Jennifer Buckingham... Read More...

  34. State of the Nation New Zealand 2003

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Apr 2003 | Special Publications

    The report, State of the Nation New Zealand, traces and analyses the profound social and economic changes occurring over... Read More...

  35. Reflections on Class Size and Teacher Quality

    Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Mar 2003 | Issue Analysis

    The statistical evidence showing that boys have lower literacy levels and lower average performance than girls in almost... Read More...

  36. The Missing Links: Class Size, Discipline, Inclusion and Teacher Quality

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Feb 2003 | Issue Analysis

    The Vinson Report is let down by a lack of rigour and an apparent partiality in its analysis of reforms that have important... Read More...

  37. FEATURE: Reforming School Education: Class Size and Teacher Quality

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Jan 2003 | POLICY Magazine

    Research shows that effective teaching is far more important than the number of children in the classroom, suggesting that... Read More...

  38. Getting it Right Some of the Time: An Appraisal of the Report on the Inquiry into the Education of Boys

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Nov 2002 | Issue Analysis

    The 2002 parliamentary inquiry and report into the education of boys has failed to recognise that boys from single parent... Read More...

  39. Families Freedom and Education: Why School Choice Makes Sense

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Jun 2002 | Policy Monographs

    Parents have been demonstrating their increasing lack of faith in the public education system for decades, as reflected in... Read More...

  40. FEATURE: The Case For School Choice and How to Fund It

    Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Sep 2001 | POLICY Magazine

    The ideal of public education- that every child has access to a good education at public expense- should not be confused... Read More...

  41. SCHOOLS' BRIEF: Australia's Economic Record

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013, Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Sep 2001 | POLICY Magazine

    Economic reforms since the 1980s have opened up the economy, but the pact of reform in Australia is still lagging behind... Read More...

  42. BOOK REVIEW: Academic Success and Social Power: Examinations and inequality

    Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Sep 2001 | POLICY Magazine

    Academic Success and Social Power: Examinations and Inequality by Richard Teese (Melbourne University Press, 2000.)

  43. State of the Nation 2001: A Century of Change

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Apr 2001 | Special Publications

    This major report finds that Australia is in the midst of profound social and economic change sometimes for the better, sometimes... Read More...

  44. State of the Nation 2001: A Century of Change (CD ROM)

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Apr 2001 | Special Publications

    A CD version of a major report that finds Australia is in the midst of profound social and economic change sometimes for... Read More...

  45. School Funding for All: Making Sense of the Debate over Dollars

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Oct 2000 | Issue Analysis

    Public debate over school funding is characterised by misinformation and misunderstanding, making any agreement or compromise... Read More...

  46. The Truth about Private Schools in Australia

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Aug 2000 | Issue Analysis

    The evidence strongly suggests that private schools offer their students something that goes beyond financial resources and... Read More...

  47. Boy Troubles: Understanding Rising Suicide, Rising Crime and Educational Failure

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Jun 2000 | Policy Monographs

    Australian boys are at greater risk of doing badly at school, participating in juvenile crime, and committing suicide. The... Read More...

  48. FEATURE: The Trouble With Boys

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Mar 2000 | POLICY Magazine

    Boys are falling behind at school at alarming rates while girls continue to improve. What is causing this gender gap? Has... Read More...

  49. The Puzzle of Boys’ Educational Decline: A Review of the Evidence

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 Nov 1999 | Issue Analysis

    Although research has attempted to explain the decline in boy's performance at school, lack of empirical evidence has precluded... Read More...

  50. SCHOOL'S BRIEF: Australia's Prospects in the Global Economy

    Barry Maley, Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013, Jennifer Buckingham, Lucy Sullivan | 09 Sep 1999 | POLICY Magazine

    Selected economic excerpts from State of the Nation 1999.

Opinion & Commentary by Author

  1. School funding report makes flawed case for full Gonski reforms

    Jennifer Buckingham | 04 Jul 2015 | The Australian

    As we pass the halfway mark of the four year federal education budget cycle, attention is turning once again to the issue... Read More

  2. Fees for state schools: don't jump to conclusions

    Jennifer Buckingham | 22 Jun 2015 | ABC The Drum

    There are few things more likely to ignite passionate opinions than school funding. Even a hint of any change that does not... Read More

  3. Public primary schools are holding their own

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 Apr 2015 | The Australian

    Public schools have risen to the challenge of school choice

  4. Poor students likely to make poor teachers

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Feb 2015 | The Australian

    The Teacher Education Ministerial Advisory Group (TEMAG) report released today unfortunately dismissed the opportunity to... Read More

  5. Jennifer Buckingham walks the talk at school

    Jennifer Buckingham, Tim Dodd | 24 Jan 2015 | The Australian Financial Review

    Education commentator Jennifer Buckingham is no ivory tower researcher. For five years, she’s worked closely with a school... Read More

  6. Reading writing on the wall

    Jennifer Buckingham | 06 Jan 2015 | The Australian

    Reading specialists around Australia and the world greeted yesterday’s article on NSW primary teaching degrees with mixed... Read More

  7. Nice plan to toughen teacher degree

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 Nov 2014 | The Australian

    No matter the question in education, the answer more often than not is better teacher education. Unfortunately, the quality... Read More

  8. Comment: Review is reverse of ‘back to basics’

    Jennifer Buckingham | 16 Oct 2014 | Australian Financial Review

    The term ‘back to basics’ fundamentally misrepresents the nature of the report’s proposed changes to the Australian... Read More

  9. Comment: First, become a good reader

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Oct 2014 | The Australian

    Hundreds of thousands of children struggle with reading at even the most basic level, even after spending years at school.  

  10. Comment: Independent Public Schools are not charter schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 06 Oct 2014 | The Australian

    Independent Public Schools are suffering from an identity problem. 

  11. Comment: Education does not need Commonwealth in schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 03 Oct 2014 | Canberra Times, Sydney Morning Herald, The Age

    Ahead of the federal government’s ‘white paper’ on reform of the federation, an issues paper will canvas the specific... Read More

  12. NAPLAN: IQ versus poverty

    Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Aug 2014 | The Australian

    THE release of NAPLAN data ­always brings some sort of controversy. This year it was about a ­decline in writing performance,... Read More

  13. Education funding hasn't been cut - fantasy has

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 May 2014 | ABC The Drum

    The so-called 'cuts' or 'savings' in the federal budget for schools are cuts and savings to budgets that never actually existed.

  14. Why can't wealthy parents pay for public schooling?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 May 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Why is such a fuss being made about wealthier families paying for public schooling?

  15. Curb education spending now to save hard cuts later

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Apr 2014 | The Australian

    Australian governments seeking to reduce public debt cannot quarantine school education budgets from their efforts.

  16. The myth of NAPLAN stress

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 Mar 2014 | ABC The Drum

    Schools should be scrutinised, and parents should be aware of the test results. NAPLAN tests are not the 'high stakes' tests... Read More

  17. Gonski: School funding deal still needs much work so let's get down to it

    Jennifer Buckingham | 04 Dec 2013 | The Canberra Times

    The new school funding model, often incorrectly referred to as the ''Gonski'' model, is far from ideal and needs to be revised.

  18. Don’t panic about PISA

    Jennifer Buckingham | 04 Dec 2013 | The Drum

    Simple country comparisons on a single assessment, no matter how good it might be, provide little guidance for education... Read More

  19. Gonski model should go back to the chalkboard

    Jennifer Buckingham | 28 Nov 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Better Schools funding model no longer meets the objectives it was designed to achieve.

  20. Double trouble means it's time for drastic cuts

    Alexander Philipatos, Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Nov 2013 | The Canberra Times

    Duplication across state and federal governments blurs the lines of responsibility and unnecessarily increases costs to taxpayers.

  21. Bad teaching kills reading skills

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Sep 2013 | The Australian

    Billions of dollars have been spent in the past decade on programs aimed at improving literacy, yet thousands of children... Read More

  22. Education landscape: The next 10 years?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 Sep 2013 | Learning Difficulties Australia

    Schools are facing a great deal of uncertainty but we can identify some policy themes, both in Australia and overseas, to... Read More

  23. Spot the difference in educational policy

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Aug 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

    There are important points of contrast between the major parties on school education policy.

  24. Federal government has no place in the classroom

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Jul 2013 | The Drum

    The best thing a new federal government can do for education is to establish a fair and neutral funding system, provide good... Read More

  25. My School sheds a welcome light

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 May 2013 | The Australian

    If governments gather important information about schools and students, it should be available to everyone. The My School... Read More

  26. Federal micro-managers to rule the schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 16 Apr 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    Responses to the federal government’s school funding proposal have been less than enthusiastic. People have rightly pointed... Read More

  27. Gonski reforms at risk of failure to launch

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Apr 2013 | The Australian

    Two camps have emerged in the Gonski wars, with one camp saying it's all about the money.

  28. Far-reaching literacy strategy called for

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 Dec 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    The finding that one in four students has reading ability either at or below the basic level will be no surprise to anyone... Read More

  29. Clarity on schools funding a long way off

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Sep 2012 | The Australian Financial Review

    All schools, state and non-government, should expect the federal government’s educational agenda to be imposed upon them... Read More

  30. Why our kids still cannot read

    Jennifer Buckingham | 10 Aug 2012 | The Australian

    The perennial struggle to provide all children with effective teaching in reading is becoming less like a war and more like... Read More

  31. Politics hinders school reform in NSW

    Jennifer Buckingham | 26 Jul 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    The mooted changes of NSW school reform detailed this week are relatively minor.

  32. Mistakes writ large if reading goes wrong

    Jennifer Buckingham | 07 May 2012 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    A flawed report shows the muddled state of literacy policy in NSW.

  33. Top quality pre-school is child's play

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Apr 2012 | The Herald Sun

    High quality pre-school can significantly mediate the negative impact of a language and literacy-poor home environment, beginning... Read More

  34. Opportunity for major reform

    Jennifer Buckingham | 26 Mar 2012 | Education Review

    The highlight of the Gonski report is that it is student-centred; shifting the focus from the demands of schools to the needs... Read More

  35. Staffing reform a crucial issue

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Mar 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    More autonomy for principals to hire, fire and pay teachers for performance is needed, writes Jennifer Buckingham.

  36. Gonski: less for private schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    The Gonski report's model as it applies to non-government schools has several redeeming features. It provides for a minimum... Read More

  37. Gonski review must not hobble choice

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Feb 2012 | Australian Financial Review

    On Monday, the report of the federal government’s Review of Funding for Schooling, commonly known as the ‘Gonski review’... Read More

  38. Whether public or private, our schools deserve a fair go

    Jennifer Buckingham | 22 Nov 2011 | The Punch

    School choice means different things to different people. In essence, it refers to the principle that parents should have... Read More

  39. Will bonus payments for teachers improve children’s education?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 May 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Decentralise salaries and let the market decide what teachers are worth based on their qualifications, professional standing... Read More

  40. Top students go backwards

    Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Dec 2010 | The Australian

    The number of high achievers at school is shrinking because all the attention goes to the weak.

  41. The growth of religious schooling

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Oct 2010 | ABC News

    As religious schools have become more numerous and more visible, they have also become more prominent in debates on education... Read More

  42. Simple ambition for all schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Jul 2010 | The Australian

    The much-needed review of school funding should fix a very confusing system.

  43. Students are bound to be the biggest losers

    Jennifer Buckingham | 01 May 2010 | The Australian

    The stand-off between Julia Gillard and the teachers union is a no-win situation, says Jennifer Buckingham in The Weekend... Read More

  44. Teacher union still waging a war against transparency

    Jennifer Buckingham | 15 Dec 2009 | The Australian

    The Australian Education Union is waging a war against the publication of school league tables and proposes to reinstate... Read More

  45. Return to Flyer times with business class

    Jennifer Buckingham | 29 Oct 2009 | The Newcastle Herald

    Train travel was not only more pleasant early in the last century, it was also faster. In 1937, the ‘Newcastle Flyer’... Read More

  46. Principal is the means of elevation

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Oct 2009 | The Australian

    Somewhere between one in five and one in six students are barely literate and numerate, according to recent national literacy... Read More

  47. Informed choice leads to better schooling outcomes

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 Aug 2009 | Adelaide Now

    Over the last 10 years or so, the school education landscape across Australia has altered significantly. There have been... Read More

  48. The time is right to consider radical ideas in education reform

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Aug 2009

    The so-called ‘long-tail of under-achievement’ in Australia has been talked about so often by so many people that it... Read More

  49. Fund kids not schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Jul 2009 | The Australian

    The debate over funding to non-government schools has never really gone away. On the horizon is yet another review of federal... Read More

  50. School Reporting Policy is in a League of its Own

    Jennifer Buckingham | 29 Jun 2009

    When the federal government confirmed last year that it would be making good on its election promise to introduce transparency... Read More

  51. Good for jobs, bad for education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 23 Jun 2009 | The Australian

    If ever there was good evidence that politics and education don’t mix, the fiasco of the Building the Education Revolution... Read More

  52. Private hurdle for kids

    Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Apr 2009 | The Australian

    The number of school students with disabilities is increasing every year. The government school sector has the largest number... Read More

  53. Private hurdle for kids

    Jennifer Buckingham | 21 Apr 2009 | The Australian

    The number of school students with disabilities is increasing every year. The government school sector has the largest number... Read More

  54. Learning from New York to improve our education system

    Jennifer Buckingham | 28 Nov 2008 | THe Australian

    New York City's letter-grade school report cards form only one part of the reform program implemented by its schools chancellor,... Read More

  55. Every good parent deserves truth

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Nov 2008 | Sydney Morning Herald

    State governments have reams of data about schools, but parents - and anyone else interested in education - get to see little... Read More

  56. Student Bus Subsidy Has Phantom Menace

    Jennifer Buckingham | 11 Nov 2008 | Newcastle Herald

    The NSW state government’s free student transport scheme is yet again under the gun. Previous inquiries into the School... Read More

  57. Brightest and best miss out

    Jennifer Buckingham | 06 Nov 2008 | The Australian

    When the OECD described Australia as a ‘high quality, low equality’ country in its 2000 PISA report, it fuelled an existing... Read More

  58. School reporting will be the first test of Labor’s ‘modern federalism’

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Aug 2008 | The Canberra Times

    A problematic feature of school education in Australia is that there is a fair amount of choice available to parents, but... Read More

  59. The Child Care funding myth

    Jennifer Buckingham | 26 Jul 2008 | The Business Spectator

    Australia's labour shortage continues to play havoc with some regions and sectors of the Australian economy, frustrating... Read More

  60. Subsidies increase child care prices, not mothers participation in work

    Jennifer Buckingham | 23 Jul 2008 | The Australian

    The relationship between child care and the participation of mothers in the paid workforce seems obvious: if child care was... Read More

  61. Teachers need help with job appointments

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Jun 2008 | The Newcastle Herald

    Last month, all NSW public schools were effectively closed because the NSW Teachers Federation called on its members to take... Read More

  62. Teachers: Scale their pay to meet demand

    Jennifer Buckingham | 29 May 2008

    It is regularly argued that teacher pay in Australia is too low, and that this is a disincentive to enter the profession.... Read More

  63. Budget boredom for schools but watch this space

    Jennifer Buckingham | 15 May 2008 | Crikey

    One word encapsulates the 2008-09 federal budget as it relates to schools - boring. It simply makes official the funding... Read More

  64. Here are the three keys to improving our schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 07 Apr 2008 | The Age

    The Australian government’s ‘Australia 2020 Summit’ is now less than a month away. School education, which falls into... Read More

  65. Don’t demonise private education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 04 Mar 2008 | The Australian

    A significant and increasing number of children are attending religious institutions for their education. Around two-thirds... Read More

  66. Rudd revolution must grasp basics

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 Dec 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    Now that the federal election is finally over, those of us interested in education are waiting with bated breath for the... Read More

  67. Teacher training must be assessed

    Jennifer Buckingham | 16 Nov 2007 | The Australian

    In the past decade there has been increasing recognition that the quality of schooling is pretty much dependent on the quality... Read More

  68. Cash could be better spent outside daycare

    Jennifer Buckingham | 23 Oct 2007 | The Australian

    Arguments for the public funding of child care rest on the claim that it is a public good: that it provides benefits for... Read More

  69. Charting a new course through schools red tape

    Jennifer Buckingham | 15 Oct 2007 | The Age

    The state school system in Victoria has gone further towards empowering individual schools and enabling parental choice than... Read More

  70. Policy difference is in the detail

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Sep 2007 | The Courier Mail

    Labor and Liberal have each come up with some decent policy and some poor policy. The final verdict on education will hinge... Read More

  71. Give parents informed choice for schooling

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 May 2007 | The Newcastle Herald

    In his widely-reported speech to The Centre for Independent Studies this week, the Prime Minister talked about the importance... Read More

  72. Power (and cash) to the principals

    Jennifer Buckingham | 07 Feb 2007 | The Australian

    Although much has been made about the poverty of educational standards in Australian schools lately, it is surprising that... Read More

  73. Furore over private-school fees is just a distraction

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Jan 2007 | The Australian Financial Review

    A couple of times each year, there is a lot of fuss about increases in private-school fees. This causes much consternation... Read More

  74. Let the schools choose which accredited curriculum to teach

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Oct 2006 | The Canberra Times

    The idea of a national curriculum has been on the federal government agenda for several years. The 2004-05 federal budget... Read More

  75. Keep the faith in education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 06 Oct 2006 | The Courier Mail

    In the world of education, certain words have image problems. One of the words most in need of a public relations makeover... Read More

  76. Lessons that everyone can profit from

    Jennifer Buckingham | 25 Sep 2006 | The Australian Financial Review

    In the world of education, certain words have image problems. One of the words most in need of a public relations makeover... Read More

  77. Choice is best for curriculum

    Jennifer Buckingham | 31 Jul 2006 | The Age

    School curricula and the standards of students seem to be constantly under fire, with discussion over the last six months... Read More

  78. Schooled in freedom of choice

    Jennifer Buckingham | 27 Jul 2006 | The Canberra Times

    After years in the policy wilderness, support has been growing for school choice. Politicians on both sides, including federal... Read More

  79. Reward key in educator quality equation

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Jul 2006 | The Courier Mail

    In almost every profession, people who are good at their job are paid more. This makes perfect sense as it helps to keep... Read More

  80. Learn to serve the public

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Mar 2006 | The Australian

    About two short decades from now, there will be more non-government schools than state schools. By the time this year's kindergarten... Read More

  81. Time to open gate to school-based training

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Nov 2005 | The Newcastle Herald

    A few things are known about education. The most important influence on how much a child learns is the quality of teaching... Read More

  82. New strategies needed to beat teacher shortage

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Oct 2005 | The Courier Mail

    Australia has a serious shortage of suitably qualified maths and science teachers and a continuing problem with attracting... Read More

  83. NZ school zoning: fairness or fraud?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Mar 2003 | The Independant

    Good state schools in both New Zealand and Australia are facing a large and growing problem—fraud. Families are providing... Read More

  84. Fertility incentives off the mark

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Feb 2003 | The Newcastle Herald

    The low fertility rate in this country is just as much about women having fewer children as it is about fewer women having... Read More

  85. Parents need report cards on schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Jan 2003 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    Greater public scrutiny would increase competition, improve education and cut costs. It was wishful thinking on the part... Read More

  86. Sure, we’ll breed (if we can afford it)

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Sep 2002 | The Age

    More women would put careers on hold to stay at home with their child if it wasn't so costly, writes Jennifer Buckingham.

  87. The importance of staying single legally

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Aug 2002 | The Newcastle Herald

    The NSW Law Reform Commission proposes that, when unmarried couples who live together break up, their property settlement... Read More

  88. Now is the time for fecund thoughts

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 Jul 2002 | The Australian

    It's easy to find reasons to put off having a baby. You want to travel first. You want to have a career first. You want to... Read More

  89. Public choice must fashion education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 26 Jun 2002 | The Age

    Dr Boston raises the important question of the kind of schools in which we would like to see our children educated. Thanks... Read More

  90. Free the teachers to help the students: Parental choice in schooling will improve education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 23 Jan 2002 | The Australian

    A systematic comparison of the academic results of state and non-government schools has been a long time coming. Last week,... Read More

  91. A tax credit system should be the basis for funding education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 20 Oct 2001 | The Australian Financial Review

    There is not much for parents or schools to get excited about in the education policies of either of the major parties. As... Read More

  92. Modern perils in a lucky country

    Jennifer Buckingham | 31 Aug 2001 | The Daily Telegraph

    What is the state of our nation? For the most part, Australians are better off than they have ever been before. On average,... Read More

  93. Equity and the costs of learning

    Jennifer Buckingham | 31 Aug 2001 | The Daily Telegraph

    Once again the knives have come out over school funding. But what is the real basis of the opposition to public funding of... Read More

  94. A Fair Go for all Schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Jan 2001 | The Herald Sun

    It is possible to deceive people without telling lies. In support of their campaign against the federal government’s education... Read More

  95. Homework Needed on School Funding

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Oct 2000 | The Newcastle Herald

    The fracas over federal government school funding documented by the media in the past few weeks presents a compelling case... Read More

  96. Schools Need to be Truly 'Public'

    Jennifer Buckingham | 07 May 2000

    Discussions about the future of education in Australia tend to be constricted by a narrow view of the options. They revolve... Read More

  97. Swap obstacles for teachers

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Nov -0001 | The Australian

    We need new methods to make maths teaching more appealing to the right type of people for our schools.

  98. Report card for schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 30 Nov -0001

    In a paradigm shift, four reports on education reform commissioned by the federal government agree on decentralisation, school... Read More

Ideas@TheCentre by Author

  1. Options for over-crowding in schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 10 Jul 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    Enrolments in inner city Sydney public primary schools have doubled in the last five years. Most of these schools have reached... Read More

  2. Victoria's quest to be the Education State

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Jun 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Victorian government is on a quest to be the 'education state'. Two discussion papers were released this week to generate... Read More

  3. Inequality is inevitable in a free society

    Jennifer Buckingham | 08 May 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    Is it more important (and fairer) to maximise the quality of life and opportunity for all children, or to try to ensure no... Read More

  4. Poor evaluation leads to poor policy

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 Apr 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    Policy development and implementation in Australia has long been plagued by poor evaluation. As a result, there is very little... Read More

  5. School funding mess no surprise

    Jennifer Buckingham | 23 Jan 2015 | Ideas@The Centre

    The OECD report finding that school funding in Australia is a mess, and school performance is stagnant or declining, will... Read More

  6. What to give a child who can't read?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Dec 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Many of the programs dreamt up by the two major political parties would be difficult to justify for inclusion in a school... Read More

  7. No organised and synchronised cabal of anti-public education ‘neo-liberal’ ideologues

    Jennifer Buckingham | 31 Oct 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Educators are a diverse set of individuals who for the most part have the best interests of Australia’s children at heart.

  8. A balancing act: home schooling regulation

    Jennifer Buckingham | 26 Sep 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Currently, home schooling families are doing all the work in their relationship with the state and getting little in return,... Read More

  9. Using school data wisely

    Jennifer Buckingham | 05 Sep 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    This week in education policy the spotlight has been on the appropriate use of performance data. Two new reports questioned... Read More

  10. NSW government gets it right on reading instruction

    Jennifer Buckingham | 15 Aug 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    The best way to improve the quality of school education is to ensure that there is a good, if not great, teacher in every... Read More

  11. Australian teachers face significant classroom challenges

    Jennifer Buckingham | 25 Jul 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Teachers in Australia need to be well-prepared for challenges with rigorous and comprehensive teacher education.

  12. Teaching to the tests

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Jun 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    A large proportion of pre-service teachers lack strong literacy skills, which are necessary to teach children well.

  13. Finding savings in education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 May 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Government funding for schools has been rising consistently for decades, with no improvement in student outcomes.

  14. Curriculum and teacher education review: a necessary evil

    Jennifer Buckingham | 28 Feb 2014 | Ideas@The Centre

    Ideally, we would be to have no national curriculum since such a beast will always be politicised and biased, but at the... Read More

  15. Does PISA mean we should give a Gonski?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 06 Dec 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The latest PISA report showed Australia’s international ranking had dropped, which was widely interpreted as a sign of... Read More

  16. Gonski funding model lost in translation

    Jennifer Buckingham | 29 Nov 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    The Gonksi model’s simple features and its neutral approach to funding schools in different sectors were lost in the translation... Read More

  17. Why Jaydon can't read

    Jennifer Buckingham | 04 Oct 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    Literacy policy has been routinely undermined by policy makers ignoring evidence of what works when teaching kids to read.

  18. Time to make a deal

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Apr 2013 | Ideas@The Centre

    In rejecting a pretty good funding school model because it is not perfect, we may end up with something much worse.

  19. Overrated PISA envy

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Dec 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Are international assessments appropriate benchmarks for educational quality?

  20. The dangerous idea of abolishing private schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 12 Oct 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Abolishing private schools is a dangerous idea.

  21. Literacy gaps exist and socio-economic status

    Jennifer Buckingham | 14 Sep 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    It is well known that literacy gaps exist between students of differing socio-economic status when they begin school.

  22. ‘F’ for flawed literacy report

    Jennifer Buckingham | 18 May 2012 | Ideas@The Centre

    Advisory group’s report on early reading instruction fails to deliver.

  23. Focus on the children

    Jennifer Buckingham | 28 Oct 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    School funding should centre on the child, not on the school and should come from both government and non-government sources.

  24. Report card for schools

    Jennifer Buckingham | 09 Sep 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    In a paradigm shift, four reports on education reform commissioned by the federal government agree on decentralisation, school... Read More

  25. Preparing for NAPLAN

    Jennifer Buckingham | 29 Apr 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    Performing well in NAPLAN numeracy requires competency in reading and comprehending written language.

  26. WikiSchool

    Jennifer Buckingham | 25 Mar 2011 | Ideas@The Centre

    My School, like Wikileaks, is founded on the principle that although information might be abused, this is not sufficient... Read More

  27. Religion and education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 17 Sep 2010 | Ideas@The Centre

    Religious schools have been a major feature of the educational landscape in Australia since British settlement. The first... Read More

  28. Charter schools gain traction in 2009

    Jennifer Buckingham | 11 Dec 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    This has been the year of the charter school (public schools run by private operators) in education policy in the United... Read More

  29. Overcoming socio-economic disadvantage in education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 02 Oct 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    Literacy and numeracy are not everything, but they are almost everything. Somewhere between one in five and one in six students... Read More

  30. OECD study holds lessons for Australian education policy

    Jennifer Buckingham | 11 Sep 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    This week, the OECD released its annual Education At A Glance report which provides country comparisons of spending, participation,... Read More

  31. WA schools are independent in name only

    Jennifer Buckingham | 28 Aug 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    The WA government recently announced that it would be allowing up to 30 government schools (out of 768) to become ‘Independent... Read More

  32. Schools of Thought

    Jennifer Buckingham | 07 Aug 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    In the last decade, much has changed in the school education policy sphere. The educational disadvantages experienced by... Read More

  33. The enduring gender gap in education

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Jul 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    In 2000, the Howard government initiated a parliamentary inquiry into the education of boys in response to widespread concerns... Read More

  34. In a league of their own: the case against league tables and legislative bans

    Jennifer Buckingham | 10 Jul 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    In a surprising and badly judged move, the NSW Coalition has supported a legislative ban on the publication of school league... Read More

  35. Education and politics: Like oil and water

    Jennifer Buckingham | 19 Jun 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    If ever there was evidence that politics and education don’t mix, the fiasco of the Building the Education Revolution program... Read More

  36. More ABC for kids?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 24 Apr 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    Last year, I attended the Australia 2020 Summit. A lot of ideas were discussed over that cool April weekend in Canberra

  37. RIP Private Education?

    Jennifer Buckingham | 13 Mar 2009 | Ideas@The Centre

    Over the last few months there has been a lot of speculation about whether the global financial crisis has affected enrolments... Read More