Rudd now wants to join the education debate

At a seminar in Brisbane earlier yesterday with education spokeswoman Jenny Macklin, Mr Rudd challenged John Howard to a national debate on education

We’ve been having a national debate on education for some time now. It has centred on the ALP’s left wing attitudes to teaching and will most probably continue for some time. I note Western Australia has been forced to abandon their policy in light of all the flack it received for it’s discredited outcomes-based education; but behind this weeks headlines announcing the abandonment this article in the West Australian reveals the OBE mob are fighting a rear guard action and so far they have only abandoned the policy implimentation for year 11 students.

Education Minister Mark Mc-Gowan acknowledged the so-called “levels” marking system was inadequate for ranking students for university and had caused huge angst among teachers and parents, forcing the Government to abandon plans to apply it to Year 11 students this year.

If it’s inadequate for ranking students for university why is it still in place at all?

The surest sign that the debate on education needs to continue is the howl of protest heard whenever Howard questions todays standards.

If Rudd wants to enter the debate now then good. He may be able to clarify the ideological constraints on the debate to date as the people trying to stifle it are all from his side of politics.

Bring it on.


  • stephen anonymous

    The state government of WA has so far delivered a system of education
    that noone wants, noone understands and delivers lower standards of
    literacy and numeracy.
    It has cost tax-payers $250 million.
    OBE in WA is a complete farce.
    The minister must realise that outcomes based education is a miserable
    failure and should be disposed of sooner rather than later.

  • stephen anonymous

    The majority of teachers and parents in WA are opposed to the
    implementation or continuation of OBE in the states schools.
    Rudd had best learn from the WA experience, where the government
    has lost face time and again, and back a system of education that
    supports the practice of adopting outcomes that set quantifiable
    standards in academic skills and subjects, and whose accomplishment
    by students can be verified through objective testing.
    Educators and parents will not tolerate a system that
    sets pseudo-standards that are vague, not academic or practical
    in nature, and therefore cannot be verified through objective testing.

  • What you say is dead right. I can’t imagine how Rudd can talk about raising education standards in the country without addressing the problem of teachers unions that are pushing for systems like the WA debacle.

    Parents read newspapers and know what has been going on in WA and other places and will want some answers that go beyond plattudes

  • Outcomes based education is, unfortunatley, still alive and well in western australia.
    Although levels have been dumped for the majority of senior school courses (English, a required subject for all students in WA, being a notable exception) they are still being used in K-10.
    Likewise the ridiculous outcome statements still exist in all courses.
    OBE in WA has gone underground to some extent, but it is still alive and well in many schools.
    Rudd must not make the same mistakes as Carpenter and allow such an unworkable system that has only assisted in lowering numeracy and literacy skills to be extended through the rest of Australia.

  • Rudd fan (mostly)

    I like many of the policies that Rudd has developed: environmental, water resources, IR laws etc…
    Most of his educational “policy” is just empty rhetoric. He claims to have a reformist policy. He must define his position as being for OBE or against.
    OBE has has failed in Tasmania and is failing in WA. Rudd must clear up his position and indicate whether the commonwealth will be adopting a national curriculum based on realistic and specific objectives or on empty unworkable outcomes.
    Your call Kevin.