Search Results: Dean Ashenden

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  • EDUCATION

    Shorten should handle Gonski gift with care

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 27 May 2014
    1 Comment

    The Government doesn't want it. Shorten does. He can go to the next election with uncontested ownership of one of the most widely supported proposals of recent times. The problem with Gonski's plan, however, is that he wasn't allowed or able to propose solutions anywhere near as big as the problems his review uncovered. This presents Shorten with a tricky dilemma.

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  • EDUCATION

    Audit Commission's Gonski landmines

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 05 May 2014
    9 Comments

    The Commission of Audit has planted so many landmines across the political landscape that two have been scarcely noticed. One is planted directly under Gonski, the other under the federal role in schooling. Christopher Pyne's brazen effort to get rid of Gonski served only to show that he is not to be trusted. Abbott must be wondering whether this minister could carry the day with the kind of scheme recommended by the Commission.

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  • EDUCATION

    Best of 2013: End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 14 January 2014

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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  • EDUCATION

    Pyne's Gonski shambles

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 01 December 2013
    20 Comments

    Federal Education Minister Christopher Pyne is correct in saying that the Gonski scheme is a mess, but culpably wrong to use that fact to ditch the whole idea. The Gonski mess shows few of the actors concerned in a good light, and some, including Pyne himself, in a very poor one. Pyne's contribution to this debacle was to act as spoiler from the day the Gonski report was released. In that role he has so far adopted no less than four positions.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Rudd and Abbott charge the north

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 19 August 2013
    7 Comments

    Official Australia has a history of trying to conquer and develop the north. That long and frequently violent struggle now seems to be reaching a new stage. We like to think that the devastation of one population and culture by another is all in the past, but the apparent failure of Rudd and Abbott to notice that northern Australia is shared country suggests that there might be more to come.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    The Australian wars that Anzac Day neglects

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 21 April 2013
    24 Comments

    Around 20,000 people died in a series of violent conflicts between peoples extending across the entire continent and more than half of our history. We have yet to find a way to remember the loss of those people with anything like the scale and intensity of our other commemorations, such as Anzac Day.

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  • EDUCATION

    End of the education revolution

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 07 April 2013
    9 Comments

    The backsliding began before Gonski even got started: his riding instructions were to ensure that 'no school will be worse off'. Since then one backward step has followed another. What the prime minister wants now from the state premiers when they meet on 19 April is not Gonski but the appearance of Gonski. She may not get even that.

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  • EDUCATION

    Public schools' charity case

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 14 February 2013
    7 Comments

    A survey released this week found that the lion's share of philanthrpopic giving goes to independent non-government schools. Gonski devoted an entire chapter to the question of how private cash can be got to where need is greatest. The Government should act on his recommendation, but not before beefing it up.

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  • EDUCATION

    Gillard's education pipedream

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 19 December 2012
    16 Comments

    In setting a target of Australia reaching the OECD's top five school systems by 2025 the Prime Minister has made a rod for her own back. It is difficult to see our present way of organising, funding and governing schooling getting us anywhere near that target. But what kind of system might?

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  • EDUCATION

    Villains of Australian education funding

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 23 August 2012
    6 Comments

    Teacher organisations have advocated for one sector rather than opposing the whole flawed structure. Catholic bishops have insisted on public subsidies for avowedly exclusive schools. Governments have adopted policies which have entrenched a socially counter-productive organisation of a major public institution. How many more generations has this scheme of things got left to run?

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  • EDUCATION

    Battle for the 21st century classroom

    • Dean Ashenden
    • 11 July 2012
    15 Comments

    The classroom — one teacher, one group of students, usually of the same age, one rectangular space, door closed — is the great survivor of schooling. It has been depicted as a contest between 'teacher-centred' and 'student-centred' pedagogies. But in the age of technology there is a new contender for dominance in the classroom.

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  • EDUCATION

    50 years since Australia's 'most poisonous debate'

    • John Warhurst
    • 08 July 2012
    10 Comments

    Labor speechwriter Graham Freudenberg observed that ‘the oldest, deepest, most poisonous debate in Australia has been about government aid to church schools’. The most dramatic episode in the history of church state relations in Australia was the Goulburn schools strike, which took place 50 years ago this month.

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