I flew to Sydney last night to appear as a panellist on a new ABC program hosted by Jeff McMullen called “Difference of Opinion”. The topic was schooling, and my fellow panellists were Stephen O’Doherty, Jane Caro and Robyn Ewing. Unfortunately, it’s only a pilot, so will probably never make it to air. But we had a fun discussion, and I learned some things about others’ views.
For me, the most interesting moment was to see the negative reaction of the audience when I suggested that we should trial merit pay to see whether it can work (several audience members hissed) versus the reaction when I suggested that we should take the $10 million per year that the federal government plans to spend on chaplains and instead appoint 100 talented teachers working in disadvantaged Indigenous communities on six-figure salaries (wild applause). Merit pay for tough schools is clearly a lot more popular than merit pay across the board.