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The non-partisan think tank the Grattan Institute has published a new report that identifies improved teacher effectiveness as the key to achieving better educational outcomes for Australian students. The reform focus, the Institute argues, will allow Australia to increase its international performance and help the nation harness the economic and social benefits of a better-educated population.
The Investing in Our Teachers, Investing in Our Economy report is an attempt to broaden the education policy agenda by looking beyond the narrow focus on class sizes. Dr Ben Jensen, the Education Program Director of Grattan Institute says:
‘Measures to improve teacher effectiveness will deliver better value for our children’s learning outcomes, improve Australia’s economic productivity and be a better use of public funds than reducing class sizes.’
The Grattan Institute adds:
‘The drive to reduce class sizes, whilst well intentioned and politically popular, is found to be without impact in producing better education outcomes for students.’
The report represents a break from the usual policy discourse that places emphasis on quantitative performance indicators.