School funding reform was the big ticket item at the most recent Council of Australian Government’s (COAG) meeting, held 19 April. The state and territory leaders failed to reach an agreement with Prime Minister Gillard on her National Plan for School Improvement, itself a response to the landmark Gonski Review of School Funding. As I argue in this piece for The Conversation, far from constituting failure, but opens up the opportunity for deeper, bilateral negotiations and flexible agreements with each state, with additional time for getting the details right. You can also read my piece for The Drum, published the morning of the COAG meeting, on why agreement on this was unlikely (Hint: the offer from the Commonwealth contained big question marks). Finally, if you missed me on ABC News24 discussing the COAG meeting as it was underway, you can catch it here. Ditto joining Radio National’s ‘Outsiders‘ Segment on Sunday Extra. It has been a real privilege to join the national conversation on such critical reforms and share my research on the institutions and processes underpinning them.
UPDATE: On 23 April NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell announced it had reached ‘an historic agreement’ with the Gillard Commonwealth government on reforms to school funding, which would occur in partnership. Some of my early thoughts can be read in this Conversation article, alongside eminent education policymakers Carmen Lawrence and Jim McMorrow. I also spoke at length with ABC 774 Melbourne and SYN FM radio about the prospects of agreements with the remaining states and territories. Additional analysis found in podcast links on my publications page.
It’s the question on everyone’s lips and one that Maralyn Parker and myself were discussing on Radio National’s Life Matters program. We were both optimistic about the reforms we agreed were vitally important, but differed in our perspectives of the best-case scenario. Here’s the podcast. If you’d like to read more on the Gonski review of school funding and proposed education reforms from an intergovernmental and public policy perspective, you’re most welcome to click here for some things I prepared earlier.
Click here to read my latest article, published by The Conversation. It’s on best practice policy making and discusses some recent duds. Here’s a peek “The exacting set of processes suggested by the policy cycle does not guarantee perfect governing, but as Bridgman and Davis state, it does reduce the chance of “howling errors”, such as a revenue raising tax that fails to raise revenue and destabilises a government already under attack.”