US Presidential contender, Senator Bernie Sanders, has released a far-reaching program to reform public education. Many of its policies resonate in the Australian context. The following is the Introduction to the plan together with an outline of its main policies.
His first principle is fundamental:
“Every human being has the fundamental right to a good education. On this 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, we are committed to creating an education system that works for all people, not just the wealthy and powerful.”
Continue reading “A Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education”
The Gonski Institute for Education recently published a
valuable paper on equity in education titled Improving
Educational Equity in Australian Education. It discusses what is equity,
why equity in education matters and makes recommendations for improving equity
in education. However, its definition of equity in education is limited and imprecise.
The paper should have adopted the equity definition of the original Gonski
report because it offers a more effective guide for education policy and
Continue reading “On the Definition of Equity in Education”
The following is a summary of a new Education Research paper published by Save Our Schools. It can be downloaded below.
Data drawn from the My School website show that school
systems in Australia are highly segregated by socio-economic background both nationally
and in each state, although the extent of the segregation varies between states.
Highly and medium disadvantaged schools are over-represented
in public schools and under-represented in private schools. In contrast, highly
and medium advantaged schools are under-represented in public schools and
over-represented in private schools.
Continue reading “The Vast Majority of Disadvantaged Schools are Public Schools”
This article is re-printed from the website of US blogger Jan Resseger. The title is amended as suggested by Diane Ravitch.
In her profound and provocative book about the community
impact of Chicago’s closure of 50 so-called “underutilized” public schools at
the end of the 2013 school year, Eve Ewing considers the effect of school
closures on the neighborhoods they once anchored. Ewing’s book, Ghosts in the Schoolyard, is
about Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood and a set of school closures in
Chicago in which 88 percent of the affected students were African American, and
71 percent of the closed schools had majority-African American teachers.
(Ghosts in the Schoolyard, p. 5)
Continue reading “The Futility of School Closings”
A recent OECD report shows that
Australia has one of the most socio-economically segregated school systems in
the OECD and in the world. It also shows that Australia had the
equal largest increase in social segregation in the OECD and the world since 2006.
A research brief recently published by The Century Foundation in the United States outlines the benefits of socio-economic and racial integration in schools (references are available in the original which can be downloaded below). Research shows that socio-economic and racial diversity in schools provides a range of academic, cognitive, social and economic benefits.
is a slightly edited version of the brief. An earlier more detailed paper is
also available from the Foundation titled A Bold Agenda for School Integration.
Continue reading “The Benefits of Socio-Economically and Racially Integrated Schools”
A paper presented to the annual
conference of the American Economic Association in January that examined
the largest school construction program ever in the United States found strong evidence
that it lead to improvements in test scores, attendance and student effort. It also
found that the construction program increased neighbourhood house prices.
Continue reading “New School Facilities Matter for Student Achievement”
Strong teacher unions are critical to improving equity in school funding according to a new study published in the academic journal Review of Economics and Statistics. They also play a major role in translating funding increases into increases in student achievement.
Continue reading “Teacher Unions Benefit Schools and Students”
One of the challenges to improving results in highly disadvantaged
schools is recruiting and retaining high quality teachers. Disadvantaged
schools often have high teacher turnover which impacts on student achievement. A
new US study has found that selective retention bonuses for high quality
teachers leads to increases in student achievement in high poverty schools.
Continue reading “Bonuses Increase Retention of High-Quality Teacher and Student Achievement in Disadvantaged Schools”
An ACT Legislative Assembly Committee
report on student test results has re-ignited the controversy over school
performance. It draws on several reports showing under-performance in
comparison with other states and recommends a public inquiry into the causes.
A full public inquiry is even more necessary than suggested
by the Committee. It is needed to address the poor results of disadvantaged
students and high inequity in outcomes between rich and poor as well as general
under-performance relative to the ACT’s demographic characteristics.
Continue reading “A Public Inquiry into ACT School Results Is Long Overdue”
If you ask a group of
educators, from any sector what is the most important feature of successful
teacher/student interaction invariably you get the answer relationships. And I would agree. However, personal relationships are hard work
even when both parties are committed to having such a connection. It is a challenge when the relationship you
need is between a teacher and an angry, oppositional student. It is obvious that it will be up to that
teacher to build that relationship, not only is that connection a prerequisite
for engagement, how else are they going to participate, it really is an ethical
Continue reading “Empathy is the Key to Teacher-Student Relationships”