January 26, 2004


ALP leader Mark Latham hasnít bought into the ongoing Australian education debate. But he wouldnít shut up about the topic in 2001, as Paul Sheehan reveals:

Latham put his ideas into What Did You Learn Today?, a book ignored in the past week's Festival of Fixed Ideas. Reading this book, it is easy to see why he largely stayed out of the fray. He has plenty to say about what is wrong with public education:

"Parents are looking for clearer choices, responsiveness and accountability in the school system. This is why government schools, with their homogeneity and inflexibility, are losing public support."

Latham also lashed out at Catholic schools and market-based education policies. Education is one of his pet subjects. If he isnít going to speak up now, is it a further signal heís planning a Beazley-like small-target strategy?

If so: wimp.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 26, 2004 02:53 AM

Lathams problem is he hasn't got a target, period. Beasley/Crean/Latham face the same dilema which buggers them every time. Namely,

--the Feds give the States buckets of money for education to administer as they please. Therefore it is encumbant on the States to bear full responsibility for education.
--the total funds allocation for education, evenly applied over the total number of students, results in the State students receiving more per head than private students.

But what really pisses Labour off, and their mates in the press, is the fact Howard is a small target himself, being the product of an inner-city, Government high school.

Posted by: jafa at January 26, 2004 at 03:33 AM

Don't fund state education, the state should restrict itself to providing loans so parents can CHOOSE where (and where not) their children are educated. Interest on the loans should be subject to tax relief.

For education after 16 the loan costs should be picked up by the pupil and the pupil chooses what to do. In order to pay of the loans pupils will choose the best paid jobs, and this will help the economy grow even faster!

That way we can end the immoral and destructive coercion funded aspects of education. It would also mean a load of teachers got the sack, but that good teachers would get huge pay rises.

Posted by: Rob Read at January 26, 2004 at 06:12 AM

Don't fund state education, the state should restrict itself to providing loans so parents can CHOOSE where (and where not) their children are educated.

What a fantastic idea!
As well as
HECS (high education contribution scheme), we can have
SECS (secondary education contribution scheme),
PECS (primary education contribution scheme) and
KECS (kindy &c)

A guaranteed vote winner.

Also, when the children get to 18, they will start to repay any family benefits, parenting payments, maternity benefits &c.
Another sure vote winner.

And the sweetener - when you get to pension age, the amount of pension will depend on the number of children you've raised. No kids, no pension.

Posted by: Peggy Sue at January 26, 2004 at 07:15 AM

I feel certain I heard Mark Latham talking about that subject just the other day - possibly on some ABC news source? Can't seem to find a reference on the net, though.

And I agree, Peggy Sue - who wouldn't vote for more SECS?!?

(Dumb joke, somebody had to make it though!)

Posted by: TimT at January 26, 2004 at 09:43 AM

Yeah, Peggy Sue, I am sure that giving parents control over the funding and content of their child's education would prove hugely unpopular.

Posted by: R C Dean at January 26, 2004 at 11:48 PM