Education reform long overdue

I read with interest today that Julia Gillard has an idea to make school principals responsible for their schools budgets and staffing. At first glance, this stuck me as very un labor like, but as we desperately need reform in the education sector, I decided not to dismiss it out of hand.

There are genuine concerns about getting good teachers to less desirable working locations, but I think that’s pretty easily solved with a higher pay scale for those regions where its hard to get teachers to go. We can also bolster those areas by insisting teaching graduates spend a few years at one of those schools.

The greens are jumping up and down worried that the idea is a secret code for slashing spending on education. While I am sure the Gillard government will have no choice but to start cutting spending soon, I don’t think this idea should be tied to that.

All in all, what’s missing from todays education system is responsibility. The teachers in the classrooms and the principals overseeing them are not held to account for the outcomes they deliver, and they should be.

I think the idea merits further debate, it’s high time we stopped focusing on money, and focus instead on the kids and their future,

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