NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED371429
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1993-Sep
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Balkanisation of Power in Australian Education: Political Lessons from the Recent Collapse of National Partnership in Policy Making.
Macpherson, R. J. S.
During the Perth meeting of the Australian Education Council (AEC) on July 1-2, 1993, policy making power shifted from the AEC to the states and from Labor to non-Labor ministers. Labor ministerial power directed public education through much of the 1980s, when the rhetoric of national partnership was all-pervasive. At the July conference, the non-Labor State Ministers of Education ambushed the AEC policy processes and reasserted their constitutional rights. A balkanization of powers occurred whose implications are only now being analyzed. This paper explores three questions. Why were many educational policy makers so ill prepared for and resentful of the ambush? Should learning communities and systems now foster educative forms of local governance and accountability to reconstruct policy legitimacy? Can a rhetoric of partnership in education too easily legitimate the distribution of power and make local educational managers insensitive and vulnerable to shifts in political context? State politicians and administrators are now moving to recapture the steerage of education policy, claiming states' rights. However, the "ambush" could provide the Commonwealth with an excuse to make further cuts in state education funding, reintroduce tied grants to exert leverage on states' policy making, or make tagged grants available directly to schools to undercut each state's power. A politically critical culture is needed in educational management to ensure that power distribution is regularly reviewed. (Contains 11 references.) (Author/MLH)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A