Rachel Wilson is Associate Professor in Educational Assessment, Evaluation and Research Methods at the University of Sydney. Rachel’s background is in psychology and teaching, with particular interests in emotional development. She always endeavours to keep student interests at the centre of her work. She has broad interests and technical expertise in relation educational evidence, policy and practice and is interested in system level reform and innovation.

“A Common Good for the Commonwealth”

Equity, in tandem with excellence, is the first of our national educational goals, but evidence nationally and internationally shows we are going backwards. We highlight poor alignment between goals and current system frameworks and policies; and provide clear examples of how this slippage has occurred. We note that educational inequity has developed, concurrent to increasing top-down performance and accountability pressures upon schools, Principals, teachers, and students. This has created a climate in which more is asked of these component units and players, while comparatively little attention has been paid to larger system frameworks.

We suggest orienting educational leadership to promote whole-system accountability, through deeper evaluation and analysis of system structures and alignments. Rather than tinker around the edges, we propose large scale system reform built on genuine partnership with the profession, meaningful system accountability, and a new commitment to collective educational purpose.