I saw the “head to head” on The 7.30 Report and can’t blame the public for being confused. I’ll need to review the transcript when it appears later to see if anything substantial was actually said, because my feeling at the moment is very little was.
Much of the debate concerned matters of university financing. I am not competent to talk about that. I defer to Jim Belshaw on that one. It did strike me though that the picture Stephen Smith painted of the expansion of quality university education in China and India presents a far greater challenge than either politician conceded.
It would appear that whoever wins we get a national curriculum. Curiously, the USA does not have one and is unlikely ever to have one. Australia is already and always has been far more centralised in education at school level than either the USA or the UK. (If the USA did have a national curriculum the Creationist/Intelligent Design issue could be even more fascinating.) In recent years the USA has evolved a series of National Standards, and there is much controversy over how effective that has been. In Language Arts (or English) the National Council of Teachers of English (a professional body, not a union) has been a staunch defender of essential values in that area.
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