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Australian primary education dumbed down by dumb politicians

Last week the former RBA governor, Bernie Fraser said that Australia was suffering from the “stupidity of government” by pursuing a budget surplus in present circumstances. He described our fiscal policy approach as being “just plain dumb”. It seems that the politicians are reflecting the standards that are now apparent in our educational system. The nation was shocked today with the news that we are not as smart as we like to make out. This Sydney Morning Herald story (December 12, 2012) – Australia’s disaster in education – is representative of many articles and discussions across today’s media offerings. The reports said that our children achieved “disastrous results in the latest international reading, maths and science tests”. The shock that the nation is experiencing is large today, about as large as the collective indifference to the damage that two decades or more of poor fiscal policy practice has been. We have allowed our governments to run down public infrastructure in pursuit of budget surpluses. We have let them deliberately reduce the capacity of our schooling system so that we can no longer keep pace with international standards. We have believed that this strategy exemplified responsible fiscal policy. It just shows how dumb our society has become. It also reveals, once again, the failure of the neo-liberal policy regime that dominates.

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