October 8th 2005

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Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: THE WAR ON TERROR: Identifying and tackling the causes of terrorism

EDITORIAL: Ethanol back on the national agenda

NATIONAL SECURITY: 800 potential terrorists in Australia

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Can Labor ignore Latham's message?

QUARANTINE: Federal Court overturns pig meat import ban

EUROPE: France pays mothers to have more children

DIVORCE LAWS: Fathers turning against Howard

FAMILY: Parental duty of care fails adolescents

EDUCATION: University students struggling with English

SCHOOLS: Primary schools performing poorly

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Germany and the hazards of proportional representation / Minefield Childcare and its critics / Latham diaries fall-out / State-federal jousting

HIV/AIDS EPIDEMIC: Using common sense, not condom sense

OPINION: Why Latham's Labor lost

POPULATION: Communist China's abuse of pregnant women

Real face of Labor (letter)

Legal redress for paternity fraud (letter)

Elite media's hatred of Bush (letter)

BOOKS: THE COLLAPSE OF GLOBALISM: and the Reinvention of the World, by John Ralston Saul


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Primary schools performing poorly

News Weekly, October 8, 2005
Australia's primary schools perform poorly compared to those of Japan, Singapore, California and England, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Education, Science and Training.

Australia's primary schools perform poorly compared to those of Japan, Singapore, California and England.

As a result, Australian students are being overtaken academically by their international peers in mathematics, science and English, according to a report commissioned by the Department of Education, Science and Training.

The report, released on September 28, warns that primary school teachers should return to a more traditional syllabus or risk jeopardising Australian students' future career prospects.

Federal Education Minister Dr Brendan Nelson told The Australian (September 28, 2005):

"We certainly know from the Australian Council for Educational Research that literacy standards for 14-year-olds have declined over a 30-year period ... I am concerned that 30 per cent are leaving the education system with structural deficiencies in literacy and numeracy."

Kevin Donnelly, executive director of Education Strategies, has warned: "Not only have the states and territories persevered with a jargon-ridden, faddish and obsolete outcome-based education (OBE) approach to curriculum development, but an analysis of Australian curriculum documents in mathematics, science and English shows, compared to better performing overseas systems, shows that ours are largely second rate," he said.

Dr Nelson has announced his intention to reform Australia's primary school curricula and provide parents with more information on their children's school results.

The Australian Primary Principals Association, however, has vowed to orchestrate a national campaign to oppose Dr Nelson's proposed reforms.

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