The Sydney Morning Herald did a piece on the plan to start doing private-public partnerships in developing high schools as it appears that the current government plans to go down this path
I have previously written about this perhaps not being a good idea. My thinking is that in education we should first do no harm, and given that there is an experiment in place in the US then we should at the very least wait to see what an evaluation comes up with before rushing in. Secondly, the motivations of corporations would seem to have no place in education other than perhaps no-strings-attached philanthropy. There appears to be a clear conflict of interests in the P-TECH model where the corporations have a say in the curricula for certain subjects.
The SMH piece is here. An extract from this article:
Nick Kelly, a research fellow at the Australian digital futures institute at the University of Southern Queensland, said the first students from the Brooklyn school would not graduate until 2017, so measuring its success was still years away.
Dr Kelly said he doubted parents would be comfortable with big business having a say in the curriculum taught to their children.
“If you start from the question of what is the aim of education, you have people like [Maria] Montessori saying the aim is to give children a chance to manifest their true nature, and [Paulo] Freire talking about giving children the chance to think critically, and [Rudolf] Steiner saying it is about uniting the heads, hands and heart,” he said.
“And then we have Abbott saying it is about giving children the chance to get a job. You have to ask, is that our ultimate aim.”