Free Schools, David Gillespie
David Gillespie has six kids. When it came time to select high schools, he thought it worth doing some investigation to assess the level of advantage his kids would enjoy if he spent the required $1.3 million to send them all to private schools.
Shockingly, the answer was: none whatsoever.
Intrigued, David continued his research, only to discover he was wrong on most counts - as are most parents - when it comes to working out what factors deliver a great education. He discovered that class size doesn't matter, your kids aren't any better off in co-ed than single-sex schools (and vice versa), composite classes are fine, fancy buildings are a waste of money, the old-tie network won't cut it in the new industries and NAPLAN is misread by everyone so is largely meaningless as a measure of quality.
Taking on an ingrained and historical system of vested interests - the unions, the government, our own sense of worth, privilege and entitlement - this book is controversial and absolutely necessary. It is well researched, authoritative and accessible. It is a must-read for parents, as well as teachers and policy-makers.