Today, Julie Bishop, the Federal Minister for Education was quoted in The Australian as saying that
“We need to take school curriculum out of the hands of the ideologues in the state and territory education bureaucracies and give it to a national board of studies, comprising the sensible centre of educators.”
I suspect that the attack on the supposed ideologically biased nature of the current curricula is but cultural politics and a pretext for what appears to be a fairly sensible idea of having a national curricula with perhaps slight variations from state to state or region to region.
Update: Andrew Leigh writes on how national tests, not the curricula, should be standardised, and Andrew Norton puts forward the idea of competitive curricula rather than national or regional curricula.
I’m quite attracted to the idea of competitive curricula.
Update 2: David Kemp writes on competitive curricula in The Australian.
An advantage with trying different curricula is that you can do experiments – you can see if this approach works better than that approach – and any national curricula should allow these kinds of experiments.
In this article, Bishop says that the duplication of syllabuses wastes $180 million, although it’s not clear what time period this is over. Whatever the figure, having unncecessary duplication of syllabuses seems quite wasteful.