Undemocratic Schooling: Equity and quality in mass secondary education in Australia
MUP, $39.95 pb, 260pp
This books has a number of admirable qualities. In times when open subscription to a social justice agenda runs the risk of ridicule, it is a brave book. It does not shy away from identifying the universities – specifically, the sandstones – as integral to any explanation of why Australian secondary education is inequitable. And both authors work in one: the University of Melbourne. The book also builds a compelling case for curriculum and structural reform. Through the careful analysis of issues such as retention and dropout rates, the relation between poverty and achievement, and between gender and achievement, it argues potently that our education system is disturbingly riven by persistent inequalities of opportunity.