Australia’s federal system government is currently the subject of greater than usual discussion following the Prime Minister’s announcement of a White Paper into the Reform of the Federation. The division of policy responsibilities, fiscal settings, accountability and intergovernmental relations will all go under the microscope.
As part of this process, I joined a collection of esteemed academics in a public debate on renewing federalism, taking place in pages of The Conversation and culminating in symposium at ANU on October 2. My piece on schooling policy is here.
Renewing Federalism is in partnership with the Australian National University’s Tax and Transfer Policy Institute at the Crawford School of Public Policy and with the University of Melbourne School of Government. If you would like to attend the symposium, please see event details and RSVP here.
We talk a lot about the importance of innovation in education – as we should. We talk less about how to foster, sustain and share successful innovations that enhance student learning and engagement. This is a pity. In this recent expert comment article for The Conversation, I discuss the astonishingly blunt and honest comments of Victoria’s education chief, outlining why states and not the Commonwealth government should drive education policy. It was encouraging to hear a very senior bureaucrat, who has worked at state and federal levels, concur with my PhD findings on the opportunities our federal system of government offers for innovative and best-practice policy-making, tailored to the needs of their residents. Could this be the dawn of a new era in education federalism in Australia?
I also spoke recently on Radio National‘s Drive program on the controversial “IBM school” in Brooklyn, New York. I argue that such innovations, when developed carefully to meet the needs of students at a particular school, can work wonders. Dismissing them as “US-style corporate schools” is a missed opportunity to learn how new models of schooling can improve excellence and equity here in Australia.
The Mitchell Institute for Health and Education Policy is an independent think tank that works with researchers, governments, analysts and communities to improve the connection between evidence-based social research and public policy reform.
The Institute will put emergent policy issues at the heart of its research agenda and promote sustainable policy change that addresses some of Australia’s most challenging health and education issues.
Our first publication ‘New approaches to persistent problems in Australia’s schools’ outlines four bold propositions policymakers could pursue to enable and accelerate system-wide improvements to learning and equity. Downloaded it here.