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Opinion & Commentary


Opinion and Commentary contains media articles written by CIS researchers.

  • The myth of NAPLAN stress

    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 that some are making them out to be. Read More

  • First, let’s teach our children how to read and count

    01 Mar 2014 | The Australian

    The debate on a new national curriculum is generating a lot of heat but much less light.   Read More

  • Don’t expel God from our children’s classrooms

    28 Feb 2014 | The Daily Telegraph

    We have a duty to teach our children about religion so they will be better equipped to respond when religion turns bad. Read More

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

    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. Read More

  • Don’t panic about PISA

    04 Dec 2013 | The Drum

    Simple country comparisons on a single assessment, no matter how good it might be, provide little guidance for education policy and should be viewed with caution. Read More

  • Gonski model should go back to the chalkboard

    28 Nov 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

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

  • Double trouble means it's time for drastic cuts

    21 Nov 2013 | The Canberra Times

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

  • Bad teaching kills reading skills

    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 still struggle with basic reading skills. Read More

  • Education landscape: The next 10 years?

    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 describe some macro-trends. Read More

  • Spot the difference in educational policy

    20 Aug 2013 | The Australian Financial Review

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

  • Federal government has no place in the classroom

    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 teachers, then get out of the way. Read More

  • My School sheds a welcome light

    17 May 2013 | The Australian

    If governments gather important information about schools and students, it should be available to everyone. The My School site simply gives parents easy access.If governments gather important information... Read More

  • Federal micro-managers to rule the schools

    16 Apr 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    Responses to the federal government’s school funding proposal have been less than enthusiastic. People have rightly pointed out that increased expenditure on education does not guarantee better results.... Read More

  • Gonski reforms at risk of failure to launch

    05 Apr 2013 | The Australian

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

  • Students should seize the day, not the decade

    14 Jan 2013 | The Australian

    No real thought is given to the consequences of keeping young people in education for an extended period of time. Read More

  • Degrees lose their cachet

    07 Jan 2013 | Australian Financial Review

    Higher education is not a useful ticket for employment. Read More

  • Far-reaching literacy strategy called for

    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 working in schools in disadvantaged communities. Read More

  • Better schooling, not uni quotas

    02 Oct 2012 | The Australian

    LARISSA Behrendt's recent report recommends doubling the proportion of indigenous students at universities. Only 1.09 per cent of university students are indigenous and Behrendt argues that the target... Read More

  • Mistakes writ large if reading goes wrong

    07 May 2012 | The Sydney Morning Herald

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

  • Top quality pre-school is child's play

    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 at the age of three. Read More

  • Opportunity for major reform

    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 of children. Where the report falls short is that it is not entirely sector-neutral. Read More

  • Staffing reform a crucial issue

    14 Mar 2012 | Australian Financial Review

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

  • Gonski: less for private schools

    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 per student public funding entitlement for all non-government schools regardless... Read More

  • Gonski review must not hobble choice

    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’ will be released, along with the government’s initial response. So far,... Read More

  • Who needs four uni degrees or even one for that matter?

    29 Nov 2011 | Crikey

    Most jobs don't require university degrees. A key purpose of education is to give students a chance to signal their aptitude and diligence, rather to acquire knowledge for later vocational use. Fostering... Read More

  • Degrees of difference

    22 Aug 2011 | Online Opinion

    Many people have taken umbrage at this arguing that having a separate form for some remote communities is an example of 'positive discrimination'. Few people seem to understand the broader implications... Read More

  • Census apartheid: separate form separates a community

    10 Aug 2011 | The Drum

    The use of a separate Census form for some discrete Indigenous communities is not only state-sanctioned apartheid but statistically invalid. Read More

  • A confident secularist society would tolerate school religion

    28 Jul 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    A confident secular society, one that trusted in its rationalist public institutions, should have no problem with occasional church-run classes. Read More

  • Artful dodges

    26 Jul 2011 | The Age

    Pragmatic politics alone suggest that Australian governments will rarely lift spending per higher education student, in the humanities and social science or any other field. Read More

  • OOHC not working for at-risk kids

    19 Jul 2011 | The Drum

    The causes of the OHHC crisis care are multifaceted. But the consensus among experts is that at the heart of the crisis is the increasing numbers of children with 'high needs' entering care because of... Read More

  • Paying for higher education is not popular

    28 Jun 2011 | The Age

    Paying more for higher education is not popular but extra places could be provided in lower-cost teaching-only institutions. Read More

  • Demand driven only if it suits

    01 Jun 2011 | The Australian

    Gillard rightly denies that her demand-driven system was a voucher system but doesn’t push for choice and competition. Read More

  • Not all teaching is a qualified success

    24 May 2011 | The Age

    Though formal education qualifications play an increasing role in labour markets, employer judgments remain critical in most occupations. Read More

  • Will bonus payments for teachers improve children’s education?

    14 May 2011 | The Sydney Morning Herald

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

  • When it comes to university funding, the important thing now is to ensure the price is right

    12 Apr 2011 | The Age

    The federal government has introduced legislation for a Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency, to replace a decentralised and, for universities, light-touch approach to standards and quality. Read More

  • Bureaucracy threatens academic freedom

    Andrew Norton | 22 Feb 2011 | The Age

    A tertiary education regulator will directly involve a government agency in academic affairs for the first time. It puts much at risk. Read More

  • Remote chance of university

    Joe Lane | 28 Dec 2010 | The Australian

    Although Indigenous graduates are taking their place in the professions and doing postgraduate studies, most of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children living in remote areas and on welfare... Read More

  • 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. Read More

  • Rewriting the formula on fairness

    Andrew Norton | 30 Nov 2010 | The Age

    In trying to help disadvantaged students get to uni are we making the system unfair? Read More

  • Disability payment should not be de facto dole

    Jessica Brown | 09 Nov 2010 | The Australian

    Our welfare system should not assume that disabled people can't be in paid employment. Read More

  • A buyer's market

    Andrew Norton | 02 Nov 2010 | The Age

    We should trust in the wisdom of the crowd to guide the direction of Australia's higher education. Read More

  • 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 policy. Read More

  • Let's avoid the OECD cringe

    Andrew Norton | 05 Oct 2010 | The Age

    Don't let international comparisons become the only benchmarks for our higher education funding policies. Read More

  • Graduates can afford to top up funding

    Andrew Norton | 08 Sep 2010 | The Australian

    In higher education, the key issue of funding rate per student remains unresolved. Read More

  • In search of that last small step

    Andrew Norton | 31 Aug 2010 | The Age

    In abolishing controls on higher education student numbers, the two parties are coming very close to a reform that combines choice and fairness, says Andrew Norton in The Age, 31 August 2010. Read More

  • Putting a case for fee deregulation

    Andrew Norton | 25 Aug 2010 | The Australian

    On the key issue of  funding per student, Julia Gillard's legacy as education minister is uncertain, says Andrew Norton in The Australian, 25 August 2010. Read More

  • 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. Read More

  • 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 Australian, 1 May 2010 Read More

  • What’s fair about defining disadvantage

    Andrew Norton | 01 Feb 2010 | Melbourne University Campus Review

    Could the government’s new higher education equity policy end up being unfair? Though the policy’s details are not settled, this is the risk we face. Read More

  • Holes in new path to reform child care

    Jessica Brown | 22 Jan 2010 | Canberra Times

    In December, the Council of Australian Governments comprising the Prime Minister, state premiers, territory chief ministers and the president of the Australian Local Government Association announced a... Read More

  • Funding policy revamp a question of balance

    Andrew Norton | 20 Jan 2010 | The Australian

    Australian universities will face challenges to keep courses open while meeting funding criteria. Read More

  • 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 school inspections. Read More

  • 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 and numeracy results. Poor literacy and numeracy outcomes are concentrated... Read More

  • 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 changes in the types of schools children attend, as well as the way they are funded.... Read More

  • 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 funding arrangements and it is likely that big changes will be made. Read More

  • 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 measure for schools, it attracted intense criticism from many quarters. These... Read More

  • 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 (BER) program is it. Every principal, P&C, teacher, student and parent in... Read More

  • The gap between us

    Andrew Norton | 20 May 2009 | The Australian

    At the budget lock-up for education last week, vice-chancellors and ministers enjoyed some rare moments of unity. Ministers Julia Gillard and Kim Carr were clearly pleased with their package of spending... Read More

  • 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 of these children. In 2007, 5.7% of enrollments in government schools were... Read More

  • 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 of these children. In 2007, 5.7% of enrollments in government schools were... Read More

  • No point in Bradley's vouchers

    Andrew Norton | 11 Feb 2009 | The Australian

    There is no point in the Bradley Review’s voucher scheme without deregulation.  Read More

  • Unskilled and over-educated: A plan for worse outcomes

    Jeremy Sammut | 29 Jan 2009 | Crikey

    Forcing students who gain no benefit from additional formal education is pointless. Read More

  • Modest gains but at a price

    Andrew Norton | 07 Jan 2009 | The Australian

    The Bradley report is hardly a ringing call for transformation. Read More

  • School litany of shame

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 14 Dec 2008

    With the May 2009 national literacy and numeracy tests only six months away, it is not too soon to focus on the reasons why more than half of the Northern Territory's Year 3, 5, 7 and 9 school children... Read More

  • 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, Joel Klein. Read More

  • 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 of it, at least in any meaningful form. Take this year's Higher School Certificate... Read More

  • Amenities return, wrapped in red tape

    Andrew Norton | 12 Nov 2008 | The Australian

    `Never choose a simple scheme when there is a complex alternative' seems to be the motto of Australian higher education policymakers. The paperwork-intensive plan to restore funding to student amenities... Read More

  • 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 preoccupation among educators and academics about the amount of variation... Read More

  • Supply and demand formula for universities is failing

    Andrew Norton | 06 Oct 2008 | The Age

    Around Australia, the first applications for next year's university places are now in. Unfortunately, for university applicants, Victoria is not the place to be. Disappointment will be more common in Victoria... Read More

  • 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 there is very little information on which to base their choices. When it comes... Read More

  • 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 many employers. While retention of older workers and the use of migrant workers... Read More

  • 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 part in a 24 hour strike. Traditionally, parents of children in public schools... Read More

  • Protectionist Ploy A Blast From The Past

    Andrew Norton | 11 Jun 2008 | The Australian

    Private providers of higher education have been assisted by the extension of the FEE-HELP loan scheme that lets their Australian students borrow money on similar terms to HECS students in commonwealth-subsidised... Read More

  • 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. Yet by international standards, Australian teacher salaries are relatively high.... Read More

  • Proof of the pudding: health campaigns don't work

    Jeremy Sammut | 09 May 2008 | ABC News Online

    There is slim support for the belief that preventive public health policies have brought obesity and lifestyle disease under control, or that they are likely to in the future. Read More

  • 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 the ‘Productivity’ session, has already attracted some controversy. Given... Read More

  • Failures in education policy are creating a lost generation

    Helen Hughes AO 1928 - 2013 | 07 Apr 2008 | ABC News Online

    The Northern Territory has known for more than a decade that Indigenous students are completing its Aboriginal schools (Learning Centres and Community Education Centres) with the numeracy and literacy... Read More

  • Unis should kill their funding proposal

    Andrew Norton | 10 Mar 2008 | The Australian Financial Review

    The finance industry has long had its eye on student debt, which reached $14.5 billion last year. They wanted to buy this asset from the government, and receive future student repayments of HECS (now HELP)... Read More

  • 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 of the 2710 non-government schools are Catholic schools. Of the remainder, known... Read More

  • Effective teachers where they are needed most

    Kirsten Storry | 25 Feb 2008 | Online Opinion

    The central and essential part of an education revolution will not be laptop computers for every child. It will be effective teachers where they are needed most. Read More

  • Raising the school leaving age is not a cure-all

    Peter Saunders | 01 Feb 2008 | The Newcaslte Herald

    Morris Iemma and Education Minister John Della Bosca have announced the NSW minimum school leaving age will be raised to 16 next year. They are holding open the prospect of raising it to 17 or even 18... Read More

  • 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 heralded ‘education revolution’. The lack of class warfare rhetoric is a welcome... Read More

  • 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 any other state or territory in Australia. Victorian schools have local selection... Read More

  • Teacher pay and performance

    | 15 Oct 2007 | The New Matilda

    Ten years ago, the front page of a Sydney tabloid identified Mount Druitt High Year 12 as the ‘Class We Failed’ when no student achieved a Tertiary Entrance Ranking over 44.4. It was upsetting for... Read More

  • Boost pay to keep teachers

    Kirsten Storry | 03 Oct 2007 | The Courier Mail

    There is "a long tail of under-achievement" among disadvantaged school children, according to a recent Commonwealth Senate Committee report, Quality of School Education. By Year 5, the top 10 per cent... Read More

  • Testing times for literacy and numeracy

    | 15 Sep 2007 | The Newcaslte Herald

    Last week was national Literacy and Numeracy Week, a time to recognise schools and individuals making a difference in literacy and numeracy education and to consider future opportunities for progress and... Read More

  • Trade skills lose out to scarfie lifestyle

    | 07 Sep 2007 | The National Business Review

    Do we really need so many students, especially when it’s so expensive for both the taxpayer and the individual Read More

  • University trade-offs for middle classes

    | 25 Jul 2007 | The Otago Daily Times

    It’s now accepted wisdom that you need a university degree to have a successful and rewarding career. The last 15 years have seen a doubling in the number of students at tertiary level, mostly at university,... Read More

  • Broader scope in NT for schools

    Kirsten Storry | 24 Jul 2007 | The Canberra Times

    Forcing students to attend school, without addressing the issues of education supply in remote community schools, will not result in more children getting a good primary school education. Read More

  • Is university overrated?

    | 09 Jul 2007 | The Salient

    It’s now accepted wisdom that you need a degree to have a successful and rewarding career. The last 15 years have seen a doubling in the number of students at tertiary level, mostly at university, and... Read More

  • In Indigenous communities it is all about the teachers

    | 02 Jul 2007 | Online Opinion

    If you have flown with Qantas recently, you may have seen the documentary Bush School made in 2004 about the Warrego primary school outside Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Read More

  • Teachers key to remote schools

    Kirsten Storry | 18 Jun 2007 | The Australian

    In Aurukun on Queensland's Cape York, the school leadership refuses to accept that the complexity of the issues facing the indigenous community is an excuse for its children not getting a good education. Read More

  • 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 of choice in education. When parents can choose a school for their child, we... Read More

  • Places left untouched by reform

    Andrew Norton | 16 May 2007 | The Australian

    The $5 billion Higher Education Endowment Fund announced in last week's budget gives the Government what it has long lacked: a positive symbol of its support for higher education. University leaders, whose... Read More

  • State must focus on Aboriginal schooling

    | 11 May 2007 | The West Australian

    When the nation’s education ministers met in Darwin last month, nit-picking over the national literacy and numeracy benchmarks was on the agenda. According to newspaper reports, the States and Territories... Read More

  • Excuses fail our neediest students

    Kirsten Storry | 04 Apr 2007 | The Australian

    In remote community schools, children often miss one or two days of school a week. Most cannot do maths or read at their age level, and few learn to do so beyond the level of an eight-year-old. As many... Read More

  • Graduate supply fails to match jobs demand

    Andrew Norton | 27 Mar 2007 | The Newcastle Herald

    THIS year more than 170,000 Australians will enrol in an undergraduate course, yet according to academics and politicians there should be more. Read More

  • A degree of dissatisfaction

    Andrew Norton | 23 Mar 2007 | The Courier Mail

    The annual offers for university places bring joy for many but disappointment for others, whose applications find no takers. Read More

  • 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 things are not a good deal worse. On many important aspects of education policy... Read More

  • Rudd pins his faith on remissions

    Andrew Norton | 07 Feb 2007 | The Australian

    Labor is promising an "education revolution" but its higher education policy so far looks more like a counter-revolution. Read More

  • 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 among people who oppose public spending on non-government schools. Fee increases... Read More

  • 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 is ‘profit’. Read More

  • 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 is ‘profit’ Read More

  • Funding system is broken

    Andrew Norton | 28 Aug 2006 | The Age

    The annual release of the Good Universities Guide, with its estimates of how much each full-fee course costs, is becoming a political event so predictable that we can note it in our calendars. Each year,... Read More

  • Report into literacy and numeracy too narrow

    | 08 Aug 2006 | The Canberra Times

    Late last month, in his address to Reconciliation Australia, Prime Minister John Howard said education lay at the heart of bridging the gulf between indigenous Australians and the rest of the community,... Read More

  • 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 centring on senior school leaving certificates. Proposed changes to the Western... Read More

  • Showcasing Unis when price is right

    Andrew Norton | 24 Apr 2006 | The Age

    Many critics of universities complain that commerce is put ahead of education. To them, generalist degrees are being replaced with vocational courses, full-fee students are preferred to those receiving... Read More

  • 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 they receive. Read More

  • Leave uni governance in hands of the states

    Andrew Norton | 31 Mar 2005 | The Newcastle Herald

    With universities, the Commonwealth Government has itself an exceptional pay less, get more deal. While its share of university revenues heads steadily down, the weight of rules and requirements heads... Read More

  • Raising tax threshold will restore incentives

    Andrew Norton | 21 Feb 2005 | The Australian Financial Review

    Parents choose private schools for many reasons, but among them is the belief that more private school students go to university, and with higher ENTERs have more choice of course and university. Read More

  • More options in full-fee places

    Andrew Norton | 31 Jan 2005 | The Age

    For seven years Australian universities have enrolled local full-fee under-graduates but the controversy surrounding them won't go away. Each year Labor's shadow education minister's staff search university... Read More

  • Campuses at your service

    Andrew Norton | 11 Aug 2004 | The Australian

    As a final provocation to the leftist National Union of Students before the federal election, the government last week re-started debated on its legislation abolishing “compulsory up-front student union... Read More

  • Uni reform package to benefit students

    Andrew Norton | 20 Jun 2003 | The Canberra Times

    In most political controversies, the Government exaggerates the benefit of its policies, and the Opposition exaggerates the drawbacks. In the current higher education debate, the Opposition is playing... Read More

  • Higher fees will give students more choice

    Andrew Norton | 16 May 2003 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    During a budget night interview, The 7.30 Report's presenter, Kerry O'Brien, asked the Treasurer, Peter Costello, how he could justify letting universities charge their students up to 30 per cent more.... Read More

  • HECS not putting hex on parenthood

    Andrew Norton | 04 Apr 2003 | The Newcastle Herald

    Topical issues give new impetus to old agendas, and opponents of university fees are using concern over low and falling fertility to bolster their case. Read More

  • 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 false addresses within a school’s zone so that their children can attend the... Read More

  • 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 of the Federal Government and supporters of funding based on socio-economic status... Read More

  • Outdated laws create problems for universities

    Andrew Norton | 21 Nov 2002 | The Courier Mail

    Gloom and Australia's universities are longtime companions. The National Library's catalogue records half a dozen publications on the 'crisis' in universities, published in 1952, 1965, 1970, 1980, 1994,... Read More

  • Will higher funding really deliver higher education?

    Andrew Norton | 03 Sep 2002 | The Age

    A curious feature of the current higher education debate is that very little of it is about education as such. A few brief arguments about teaching quality and how it can be improved aside, most discussion... Read More

  • Students gain in change

    Andrew Norton | 29 Aug 2002 | The Courier Mail

    Are low-income young people more or less likely to go to university than they were 20 years ago? An article by Peter Spearritt against university fees (Perspectives, August 26) suggests that the answer... Read More

  • 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 for asking, but can we have more than two options, please? There are potentially... Read More

  • Who says uni deregulation is politically unpopular?

    Andrew Norton | 20 Jun 2002 | The Age

    What a difference 2½ years make. In October 1999, after then education minister David Kemp's plans to reform Australia's universities were revealed by the Opposition in parliament, John Howard ruled out... Read More

  • Unfettered deregulation for varsities

    Andrew Norton | 29 Apr 2002 | The Australian Financial Review

    Reserve Bank Governor Ian Macfarlane created headlines recently with his remarks about Australia lacking a university in the world’s top 100. The remedy, he said, ‘will almost certainly involve the... Read More

  • Give choice a chance: Market phobia sees universities clinging to the stable penury of government funding

    Andrew Norton | 13 Mar 2002 | The Australian

    Five years ago, like today, there were signs that commonwealth higher education policy might be changing. On that occasion, the review of higher education financing and policy, chaired by Roderick West,... Read More

  • 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, the Australian Council of Educational Research (ACER) released a report confirming... Read More

  • Uni student quota system is unfair and inefficient

    Andrew Norton | 05 Dec 2001 | The West Australian

    Although the unlucky ones don’t yet know who they are, more young Western Australians than normal seem likely to miss out on a place at university next year.  This will come as a nasty surprise to people... Read More

  • Set our unis free

    Andrew Norton | 21 Nov 2001 | The Australian

    It takes some imagination to describe Australia’s universities as showing ‘clear indications of market failure’, but academics Len Bahnisch and Iean Russell do so in their recent article (7/11) advocating... Read More

  • Loss for education before polls closed

    Andrew Norton | 15 Nov 2001 | The Canberra Times

    Even before the polling booths closed on 10 November, the higher education interest groups had lost the election. Read More

  • Central control dilutes quality

    Andrew Norton | 14 Nov 2001 | The Australian

    The recent Senate report, Universities in Crisis, declared that our universities are experiencing an ‘unmistakable deterioration in quality standards’. It is a common view, and we hear regularly about... Read More

  • Paying for a future by degrees

    Lauchlan Chipman | 24 Oct 2001 | The Australian

    To the best of my knowledge, no government in the world has privatised education. Yet the arguments for privatising education, be it primary, secondary, or tertiary, are at least as strong as they are... Read More

  • 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 usual, both have taken the middle road, with one leaning slightly toward facilitating... Read More

  • Why education free-for-all doesn't have the numbers

    Andrew Norton | 03 Oct 2001 | The Australian

    Reaction to last week’s Senate report, ‘Universities in Crisis’, shows how tenacious hope can be despite many years of disappointment. Read More

  • 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 non-government schools? Is it about the proper use of taxpayers’ money? Or is... Read More

  • Knowledge is a costly affair

    Andrew Norton | 03 Jul 2001 | The Australian Financial Review

    The Knowledge Nation Taskforce's comprehensive agenda for upskilling Australia was widely welcomed yesterday. But the ultimate fate of the task force's report depends on a short passage near the end of... Read More

  • 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 policies, an Australian Education Union advertisement in The Australian... Read More

  • Pass the Bucks

    Andrew Norton | 12 Jan 2001 | The Courier Mail

    The idea that Australia’s universities are dumbing down is gaining currency. The latest argument is the widely reported claim by the Australia Institute that fee-paying students are passing when they... Read More

  • 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 for a complete overhaul of the school funding system, both state and federal.... Read More

  • Staying in the Dark on School Performance

    Alison Rich | 05 Oct 2000 | The Sydney Morning Herald

    There is a movement in Australian education for increased assessment and accountability. Assessment and reporting strategies are being developed in most States, and testing has been implemented to develop... Read More

  • A degree of uncertainty

    Andrew Norton | 19 Jul 2000 | The Courier Mail

    We often hear about a crisis in our universities, but the crisis is older and deeper in Arts faculties than elsewhere. Read More

  • Why Learning is a Hard Haul Without a Dad

    Alison Rich | 15 Jul 2000 | The Age

    Research over the last few years has shown that, on average, children from sole parent families have significantly lower levels of school achievement than children from couple families. This lower achievement... Read More

  • 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 around the assumption that a public-private dichotomy in schooling is inescapable.... Read More

  • Beyond the Classroom: How Parents Influence Their Children's Education

    Alison Rich | 15 Mar 2000

    In a society that demands a high level of education and skill for a successful and stable future, a decent education is becoming increasingly important. A child’s education is the shared responsibility... Read More

  • 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. Read More

  • What’s fair about defining disadvantage?

    Andrew Norton | 30 Nov -0001 | Melbourne University Campus Review

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  • 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 choice, non-government schools, and private investment. Read More