InSight Edition | June 2007


In this edition:

What kind of school system do we want for this country? Are we happy for children’s life chances to depend on the circumstances in which they’re born? Or do we want a system where all students have an equal right to access opportunities to achieve their personal best?

The answer to these questions should drive federal schools policy, writes CPD fellow Lyndsay Connors. In a week when Canberra is again playing politics with the curriculum, Connors is joined by Sheldon Rothman and Joanna Mendelssohn for a close look at what is really needed to bring our education system up to scratch.

Too smart by half?

Howard’s claim to have increased public school funding by 70% over the last ten years might not be a lie – or even a damn lie – but it’s definitely a dodgy statistic, writes Lyndsay Connors.

Economic efficiency – an ideal of the past?

Economic efficiency makes an appearance on most evening news bulletins, is dotted through our newspapers, and rolls easily off the tongues of our politicians. But not many of us know what it actually means. Lindy Edwards explains.


How equitable is our education system?

Sheldon Rothman unpacks the stats on equity in Australia’s education system, and finds that to help disadvantaged young people catch up to other groups we need much greater investment in the schools they attend.


Improving our schools – an educated approach

Many teachers – particularly in the public system – still assume that education is something that happens to children, rather than with them, argues Joanna Mendelssohn. But current government policy won’t bring about the changes needed in our schools.


Productivity – a dead end?

Ian McAuley argues that WorkChoices is likely to have a negative impact on productivity: “If labour is cheaper to employ there will be less incentive for firms to ensure workers are employed productively.”


Greenhouse solutions: breaking down the barriers

Dr Mark Diesendorf knows what belongs in the climate change policy toolkit. Now we just need policy makers to stop arguing about which tool is better and get on with the job.


Media ownership: concentrate or perish

‘The only media owners capable of putting the public interest above their own are those who can afford to’, argues Leonard McDonnell - so supporters of quality journalism should give up on diversity of media ownership. Read More


Bedtime economics

Ian McAuley reviews ‘Gittinomics’ by Ross Gittins, a book that demystifies economic theory and Australian policy, yet still manages to keep its place on the bedside table.


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