Senior Research Fellow & Head of 'FIVE from FIVE' Literacy Project
Expertise: Schools policy, school funding, school choice, literacy, NAPLAN, teacher quality
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 currently heading up the CIS FIVE from FIVE Literacy Project which has the aim to have effective reading taught in every classroom, every day.
She is the author of the numerous reports including Free to Choose Charter Schools: How charter and for-profit schools can boost public education (2015), 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), 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.
For more information about FIVE from FIVE, visit the website at www.fivefromfive.org.au.
Focus on Phonics: Why Australia should adopt the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check 24 November 2016 | RR22A simple, five-minute Phonics Screening Check could identify at an early stage all of Australia’s school children who are at serious risk of struggling with reading skills. Among English speaking countries, Australia has one of the largest proportions of children…READ MORE
Media & Commentary
Teacher training – government and universities need to set tougher standards 04 February 2018 | Financial ReviewIt’s rare to see an issue unite the Australian Education Union, the Australian Labor Party, Coalition state governments, and a policy researcher from a classical liberal think tank. But they set aside their differences when it comes to entry standards…read more
Time to stop fixating on Finland 31 January 2018 | SYDNEY MORNING HERALDIt may be a new year, but we’re still stuck with the old myth that Finland is an education utopia Australia should emulate. A Finnish education expert has argued his country’s school system has a lot to teach Australia — especially in…read more
Can do better 31 January 2018 | THE SPECTATOR: FLAT WHITEFor the last ten years or so, people have been credulously extolling the virtues of Finland’s education policies. Journalists in many media outlets have amplified this chorus, with the most recent example being Channel 9’s 60 Minutes.In a story called…read more
International study shows many Australian children are still struggling with reading 07 December 2017 | The ConversationAustralia still has a ‘long tail’ of underachievement in reading The Progress in International Reading Literacy Study 2016 looked at the reading ability of Year 4 children in 50 countries, and the results for Australia offer reason for optimism. Unlike…read more
Phonics check is crucial 01 December 2017 | IDEAS@THECENTRECIS’s FIVEfromFIVE literacy proposed a Year 1 Phonics Check. The assessment would show which students are likely to struggle with reading throughout their schooling. Any opposition to such a proposal can only be politically motivated.read more
Productivity Commission Inquiry into the National Education Evidence Base: Submission in response to the draft report 01 May 2016 | CIS SubmissionThe Review of Education Evidence (Draft Report)—the ‘Draft Report’—provides a useful, up-to-date overview of the types of data collected about the educational progress and outcomes of Australian children and students. It makes salient points about the quality and accessibility of research and data.READ MORE
Read about it: Scientific evidence for effective teaching of reading 07 March 2016 | Research Report 11How children learn to read is one of the most studied aspects of education. There is a large and rigorous body of scientific evidence identifying the key elements of high quality reading instruction. The research literature also unequivocally shows that explicit instruction methods are the most effective way of teaching…READ MORE
One School Does Not Fit All 31 January 2016 | Research Report 9Australia has a relatively large degree of choice between schools, a product of historical private and non-profit sector involvement in the provision of schooling after British colonisation. Analysis of school funding data in this report shows that there are more similarities in how schools are funded than differences. This report…READ MORE
Free to Choose Charter Schools: How charter and for-profit schools can boost public education 31 August 2015 | Research Report 6Charter schools and free schools – publicly-funded, privately-managed schools – have been introduced in several countries around the world as a way of extending school choice, particularly for low income families. This report examines the policies and research on charter schools and their equivalents in five countries –USA, Sweden, Chile,…READ MORE
Budget 2014-15: Fiscal responsibility or savage cuts? 16 May 2014 | SP13The CIS analyses the Abbott government’s crucial first budget, including significant changes in the key policy areas of health, tax measures, welfare and education.READ MORE