The endless argument over federal funding for schools ignores what the Commonwealth really needs to do, which, according to the Grattan Institute is stick to its knitting. A new report suggests teacher education, data collection and professional standards, “all require constant attention, some require urgent reform.” But one new initiative is needed, a new national research agency, to collaborate and complement, “the existing network of state government research bodies.”
“It must be independent of government, for several reasons. Foremost, an independent body would be more likely to gain the trust of the education sector and the wider community. … An independent body would help minimise political interference in the research agenda,” Grattan I authors Julie Sonnemann and Peter Goss argue.
They suggest their ideal agency would take charge of functions including; planning long-term research agendas, establishing national evidence standards for experiments and trials, synthesising data and research findings for schools and connecting researchers with schools and policy makers.
Good-oh, but aren’t teacher education researchers doing this already? Perhaps not in ways that the ever-vigilant Grattan Institute researchers noticed.