Wednesday, July 14, 2010

What's Gillard's secret?

If I were Anne Tolley, I’d be jumping on a plane to Canberra to seek advice from Julia Gillard. Media reports have generally presented the new Aussie PM as a bit of a leftie, but the Sydney Morning Herald political editor Peter Hartcher makes a persuasive case that she’s anything but. Among other things, he writes:

As education minister, she confronted the unions, and the Australian Education Union, the big left-wing umbrella public-school union, in particular. She outwitted it, out-campaigned it, and out-manoeuvred it. She got what she wanted – a national curriculum, with mandatory national testing, and a public disclosure of school performances on the My School website. Her agenda was pro-student and pro-parent, and it left the union angry and badly battered.

If a Labor Party minister could force the stroppy Australian teachers to swallow the twin dead rats of national standards and the hated “league tables”, surely it can’t be too hard for a centre-right government here?

Hartcher's piece can be read here:

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