Numbers

When Census does not go as planned

A shocking 700,000 individuals - or 14.3 percent of New Zealand’s population - either partially completed or did not complete the 2018 Census. More shocking than the numbers themselves was how this information was made public. It was only under threat of parliamentary contempt that Liz MacPherson, Chief Statistician of Statistics New Zealand, finally revealed that last year’s Census was in worse condition than previously identified. Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019
Rugby

Israel Folau and the unintended perils of anti-discrimination laws

“Unintended consequences” are outcomes unforeseen by purposeful action, an idea popularised by American sociologist Robert Merton in the twentieth century. Since then, the so-called law of unintended consequences has morphed into a warning: intervening in a complex situation tends to create unanticipated and often undesirable outcomes. The application of the anti-discrimination provisions of Australia’s Fair Work Act to controversial Australian rugby star, Israel Folau, may be a perfect example of the law in action. Read more

Roger Partridge
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019
Fire

Trump on everything

Flames and smoke on the roof of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris: When I saw the pictures, still half-asleep, early Tuesday morning, my first thought was the fire was so high up that perhaps some aerial firefighting support was called for. Upon further consideration, and with the benefit of having woken up by then, I realised that was a daft idea. If it had been sensible, then French firefighters would have thought of it already. Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
18 April, 2019
Learning how to learn

Learning how to learn

Since the release of the Tomorrow’s Schools report last December, the education community has been talking about nearly every aspect of school organisation: Who should govern schools? For what term lengths should principals be appointed? How should schools be funded? These questions are important. But by focusing on the organisational aspects of our education system, we are neglecting what is going on inside classrooms. How do children learn? Are our children learning? How can schools best teach students how to... Read more

Dr Oliver Hartwich
Insights Newsletter
12 April, 2019
IDI2

Decile debacle

“Decile is not a proxy for school quality”. Principals, teachers and education professionals have said this for years, and yet students have been flocking out of low decile schools and into high decile schools all this while. Decile drift is one of many issues highlighted in the 2018 Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce Review. Since 1995, when the decile funding model was implemented, the number of students in decile 8–10 schools has increased from 201,000 to 280,000; in contrast, the number of... Read more

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
12 April, 2019
Time deadline2

Schrodinger’s Brexit soap opera

Saturday morning, reading the news, sipping the first coffee of the day in my sunlit balcony: Life is good and simple. Until I remembered my promise to take my daughter shopping for a new unicorn doll that morning. – “Let’s go, daddy!” – “Yes, sweetheart. We are leaving. Just hold on a bit,” I said, trying to buy some time. – “Dad, stop Brexiting. Let’s just get out already!” All right. Read more

Dr Patrick Carvalho
Insights Newsletter
12 April, 2019
Tomorrows Schools

Hubs raise unanswered questions

The question of how to help schools face challenging circumstances was a key focus of Monday’s Tomorrow’s Schools review discussion held jointly by the Initiative and Victoria University’s Faculty of Education. The Tomorrow’s Schools Taskforce is clear, and the Initiative agrees, that there is a serious and stubborn problem of underachievement among students from certain ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds. According to the taskforce, one of the key causes of this inequity in outcomes is the way we organise our education... Read more

Briar Lipson
Insights Newsletter
5 April, 2019
Budget 2021

The value of everything

Oscar Wilde once quipped that a cynic was “a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing”. That saying has since migrated to refer to economists. Allegedly, our depraved profession values only money. But for our widespread incompetence we would all be rich. In fact, deep down economics is about value, not cash. Economists do not loaf around in universities and government agencies to get rich. Read more

Dr Bryce Wilkinson
Insights Newsletter
5 April, 2019
Remote control

A beautiful broadcasting anachronism

For those of us of a certain age, part of the thrill of staying up late as a kid was getting to see and hear things on television that did not air during afternoon cartoons. Before 9pm, one set of rules applied. After 9pm was the so-called ‘watershed’, well, things were different – especially on the French version of Canada’s public broadcaster. None of the words you’d hear on late-night television were new, but there was still a thrill to... Read more

Dr Eric Crampton
Insights Newsletter
5 April, 2019

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