Crook analysis of think-tanks, #2

According to Crikey hack Andrew Crook

Another Thornley backed outfit, PerCapita, conceived as a direct competitor to free market think tanks like the IPA and the CIS, has been more active in recent months with ex-Latham staffer Michael Cooney regularly hitting the airwaves to take on its scorched earth rivals.

But as I reported on this blog, Cooney has left Per Capita, and has been working in Canberra for someone else since early December last year – over the few months in which Crook thinks he has been regularly hitting the airwaves.

Don’t believe anything you read about think-tanks in Crikey. They are just making it up.

Cyclical and structural school enrolment shifts

Catholic students lead exodus to public high schools

– headline in The Australian, 19 February 2009

Sydney Catholic schools, the biggest diocese after Melbourne with 147 schools, reported their biggest rise in enrolments since 1991 with 500 more students, with about 26 per cent starting Year 7 coming from a government school, as did 20 per cent of Year 11 students.

– later in the same Australian story.

Melbourne’s Catholic Education Office director Stephen Elder [said] that, in Victoria, Catholic enrolments had increased by 2400, or 1.3 per cent, this year

– report in The Age, 19 February 2009.

The trigger for both stories was a survey of public school principals suggesting that some are taking additional enrolments of students who formerly attended non-government schools. Both the survey and the Catholic response could be correct, because as I argued last month, a recession is likely to cause a cyclical shift back to cheaper government schools among some parents, without disrupting the structural shift towards private schools triggered by greater affluence, more diversity, and increased importance of education in lifetime outcomes.

With the global recession only slightly affecting employment in Australia so far, I would predict a lower increase in private school market share for term 1 2009 than is usual, but not a gain in market share for public schools.
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