As we head into a federal election, policy has been pushed aside by politicians in favour of petty point scoring, not that it should come as any surprise.
The very issues upon which there should be proper debate are lost in an unseemly contest for the moral high ground, attained usually by sinking the slipper into an opponent rather than the power of one's own virtue.
In this environment, it was a welcome to see a positive step taken last week to ensure a better education for our children. From next year, primary school students will be expected to add, subtract and multiply without using a calculator and will start learning times tables in Year 2 .
With dismal numeracy among young adults, this is beacon of common sense in an era where such a quality is as rare as rocking horse manure. In another laudable change, phonics will become imbedded in the teaching of English, and the history of European settlement will be taught along with Aboriginal history and culture.
For too long, the minds of our young have been confounded by theory and cant, rather than factual, evidence-based learning. This decision by a meeting of federal and Liberal and Labor state education ministers is a forward step in arresting the decline in educational standards.