So… the most qualified person shouldn’t get the job?

June 11, 2015

From James Bolt

The Chief Scientist of Australia thinks every student should study maths and science. But as the IPA’s John Roskam and Hannah Pandel wrote in the AFR on Tuesday, doing so would come at the cost of literacy:

Here are the three reasons why making maths and science compulsory is a bad idea:

  • As John and Hannah point out, half of year 4 students in Australia are taught science by teachers who do not feel ‘well-prepared’.
  • A report by Dr Brian Moon from Edith Cowan University found that the literacy skills of some teacher graduates were ‘below the ability level of the students they will be hired to teach’.
  • As this fascinating report from the New Zealand Initiative shows, 38% of qualified primary school teachers in New Zealand couldn’t answer correctly what 7/18 + 1/9 is.

A lot of Australia’s problems in education could be solved by updating the archaic industrial relations regime constraining teachers, as the IPA’s report ‘Freedom to teach‘ argued in December. 

Everyone is talking about housing affordability this week. In November last year, the IPA’s Dr Mikayla Novak argued the real solution to the housing affordability crisis was liberalising land regulation

Monday will be the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta. Last week, we announced a new book by Chris Berg and John Roskam – Magna Carta: The Tax Revolt that gave us Liberty. Also last week, Spiked hosted a discussion of the Magna Carta’s relevance today with former IPA guest Dr Frank Furedi. 

The IPA’s Chris Berg had this piece in The Drum on Tuesday on why the Magna Carta is actually about tax. Tim Wilson said in The Australian that Magna Carta reminded us that governments should be ‘restrained‘ ($) by the rule of law.

We are delighted to welcome Janet Albrechtsen to the Institute of Public Affairs’ board of directors. You can read the email Janet sent to all IPA members this morning after her appointment on our Facebook page.

If Jerry Seinfeld is the most offensive person in the room, there’s something wrong with the room. Last week Seinfeld said he won’t perform in colleges again due to the political correctness of the students. Chris Rock said the same thing last year.

It’s no wonder they’re too scared. The University of California released this tool to help recognise ‘microaggressions‘. It turns out if you believe ‘the most qualified person should get the job’ you actually believe ‘people of color are lazy and/or incompetent.’

The IPA’s Climate Change: The Facts 2014 is now the 74th best selling book on Amazon overall and the number one best selling book on the environment. You can still order your copy here

Mark Steyn filled in for Rush Limbaugh on his show this week, and brought up the book. Mark Steyn has a new book coming out that is sure to challenge Climate Change: The Facts 2014 on the Amazon charts.

The IPA is delighted to be supporting our friends at the Menzies Research Centre as they host the launch of Christopher Pyne’s new book A Letter to my Children. It will be launched by Prime Minister Tony Abbott, and you can book here.

Here’s what else the IPA said this week:

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