Fighting for Equity in Education

The struggle is long but hope is longer

Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students

Posted on Wednesday April 11, 2018

Money matters in education for low income students. A major new study shows that legislative reforms in the United States that led to increases in funding in low income school districts led to large increases in student achieveme >> Read on...

Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools

Posted on Wednesday April 4, 2018

Queensland Audit Office report shows that inadequate central oversight and support measures combined with heavy reliance on school autonomy has hampered effective use of funding in Queensland public schoo >> Read on...

Census Data Reveals High Social Segregation in Australian Schools

Posted on Tuesday March 27, 2018

Analysis of the 2016 Census data shows stark social segregation between public schools on the one hand and Catholic and Independent schools on the other. Students from low income families are highly concentrated in public schools while those from high income families are concentrated in Catholic and Independent schools. Social segregation in Australia’s schools has increased markedly over the past 40 year >> Read on...

Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools

Posted on Thursday March 22, 2018

Labor’s claim that it is merely restoring funding cut from Catholic schools by the Turnbull Government is disingenuous. In fact, it is restoring massive over-funding created by the Howard Government’s socio-economic status (SES) funding model which Labor surreptitiously folded into its Gonski funding mode >> Read on...

Funding Increases for Private Schools in Victoria Have Far Outstripped Those for Public Schools

Posted on Wednesday March 14, 2018

New figures show that the Coalition Govt in Victoria slashed funding for public schools from 2009 to 2014. There was a small increase in the first year of the Andrews Govt, but public schools in Victoria will remain significantly under-funded without a major funding effo >> Read on...

The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding - Update

Posted on Friday March 9, 2018

New figures show that the arms race in ostentatious facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $170 million a year in government over-funding. This includes about $50 million in over-funding beyond their entitlements under the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding arrangement >> Read on...

The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding

Posted on Tuesday March 6, 2018

The arms race in lavish facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $150 million in over-funding by the Commonwealth and NSW Governments. It frees up private income from fees and donations to devote to expanding luxury facilities and denies much needed resources for disadvantaged schoo >> Read on...

New research shows what makes a difference in teaching literacy and why ‘evidence-based’ is not enough

Posted on Monday March 5, 2018

Well-intentioned efforts to improve literacy in Australia should be built upon the understanding that the work of teachers is complex. We need to change the script that blames teachers for low literacy levels by telling them how to do their job. Our observation of uncommon pedagogies is an indication of how doing a teacher’s job can’t be simplified into a set of ‘evidence-based’ method >> Read on...

More Compelling Evidence That Increased Funding Improves School Outcomes

Posted on Monday February 26, 2018

Seven new studies published in the last four months demonstrate that money matters in education, especially for disadvantaged students. Increased funding has large effects on student achievement and high school graduation rates. Numerous earlier studies have found similar effects. The problem in Australia is that past funding increases have been small and directed to school sectors with the least ne >> Read on...

NSW Public Schools Benefit Under Gonski 1.0

Posted on Wednesday February 21, 2018

Funding for public schools was boosted under the Gonski 1.0 funding plan by much more than for private schools and reversed the previous trend of funding cuts to public schools. However, public schools in NSW remain significantly under-funded while private schools are over-funde >> Read on...

Who is for teaching?

Posted on Thursday February 15, 2018

Attracting and retaining high calibre teachers requires more sophisticated strategies than quick fixes such as fast tracking ‘tradies’ into teaching. It is a simplistic solution that ignores the skills required for high quality teachi >> Read on...

Government Funding Increases Continue to Favour Private Schools

Posted on Monday February 12, 2018

New figures show that government funding increases continue to favour private schools over public schools despite the fact that public schools enrol the vast majority of disadvantaged students. The Commonwealth provided larger increases for private schools while state and territory governments continue to fail to adequately fund public schoo >> Read on...

Public School Funding in Tasmania Slashed by Labor and Liberal Governments

Posted on Saturday February 3, 2018

New school funding figures show that successive Tasmanian governments have slashed funding for public schools in recent years, while the Commonwealth has boosted funding for private schools. >> Read on...

Doubt About Reliability of Figures on Teacher Attrition in Australia

Posted on Thursday February 1, 2018

A new research paper has found there is no robust evidence to support claims that high proportions of teachers leave teaching within their first five years. It says the teacher attrition rate in Australia is unknown. >> Read on...

ACT Private Schools Have the Mother of All Special Deals

Posted on Tuesday January 30, 2018

The $58 million adjustment fund for ACT private schools is the mother of all special deals. It will increase the already massive overfunding of several highly advantaged private schools and delay, or postpone indefinitely, reductions in over-funding. >> Read on...

Caution Needed in Interpreting PISA 2015 Results

Posted on Saturday January 27, 2018

Study shows that the switch from pen-and-paper to computer tests for PISA 2015 assessments may have contributed to significant falls in results amongst higher performing countries. >> Read on...

Study Shows That Vouchers to Attend Private Schools Reduce Student Achievement

Posted on Thursday January 25, 2018

New study shows that vouchers for disadvantaged students to attend private schools result in lower test scores in maths, reading, science and social studies. >> Read on...

Reducing Education Disadvantage Will Increase Individual Well-being and Economic Prosperity

Posted on Monday January 8, 2018

Report to Federal Government shows that reducing disadvantage in education will have significant individual and economy-wide benefits. It says that school funding must be sufficient to overcome educational disadvantage associated with low socio-economic background. >> Read on...

OECD Says Targeted Support Is Essential to Improve Results for Disadvantaged Students and Schools

Posted on Wednesday January 3, 2018

A new OECD report highlights the large inequity in school results in Australia and the huge disparity in teacher shortages between advantaged and disadvantaged schools. >> Read on...

Govt. Failure to Ensure Private School Systems Distribute Funding According to Need Will Continue Under Gonski 2.0

Posted on Wednesday December 20, 2017

A recent report by the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has slammed the Commonwealth Government for failing to ensure its funding of private school systems is distributed according to need. Yet, this failure is likely to continue under Gonski 2.0 as it has for the past decade or more. >> Read on...

Large Achievement Gaps Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students Continue

Posted on Tuesday December 12, 2017

NAPLAN data shows continuing large achievement gaps between disadvantaged students and those from highly educated families. The gaps have increased between students from highly and lowly educated families since 2008, but have narrowed between high education status students and Indigenous students. >> Read on...

Gonski 2.0 Is The Best Special Deal Private Schools Have Ever Had

Posted on Sunday December 10, 2017

Confidential data released by the Commonwealth Department of Education under FOI shows a massive increase in over-funding of private schools by 2027 and continuing under-funding of public schools. >> Read on...

New Study Undermines Case for a Year 1 Phonics Test

Posted on Wednesday December 6, 2017

A new study comprehensively refutes the claim that phonetics is little used in teaching reading in Australian schools. It shows that the large majority of teachers in Australian primary schools use a combination of methods in teaching reading, including phonetics. >> Read on...

Increased School Funding Increases Post-Secondary Attainment

Posted on Sunday November 26, 2017

A new academic study has found that increased expenditure on primary schools has positive long-term effects on educational attainment by increasing post-secondary participation and completion. >> Read on...

Notice to Readers

Posted on Monday October 30, 2017

SOS will return to regular posts in late November >> Read on...

Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls from Turnbull Government

Posted on Monday October 9, 2017

Wealthy Melbourne schools get funding windfall from massive increases in the number of disability students that are scarcely believable. They have been accused of gaming the new system for funding disability students. >> Read on...

Does Australia need an assessment tool to measure literacy and numeracy achievement in Year 1 classrooms?

Posted on Saturday September 30, 2017

The Australian Literacy Educators’ Association has strongly criticised the new literacy and numeracy test for Year 1 students. >> Read on...

OECD Report Shows that the Allocation of Resources in Australian Schools is Highly Inequitable

Posted on Wednesday September 27, 2017

OECD report shows that students in socio-economically disadvantaged schools in Australia are less exposed than students in advantaged schools to the learning environments and educational resources that matter the most for science performance. >> Read on...

Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms

Posted on Monday September 11, 2017

Teach for Australia has abjectly failed to answer criticisms of the program. >> Read on...

Study Shows Beneficial Effects of Increased Expenditure on Pre-School and Schools

Posted on Tuesday September 5, 2017

Another major academic study shows that increased expenditure on disadvantaged pre-schoolers and disadvantaged schools improves school results and life outcomes. >> Read on...

Teach for Australia Fails in its Mission

Posted on Thursday August 31, 2017

An evaluation report shows that Teach for Australia is not targeting the most disadvantaged schools and that it has a very high attrition rate. Previous evaluations show that it is not cost effective. >> Read on...

Scotch College Property Buying Spree Supported by the Taxpayer

Posted on Thursday August 24, 2017

Taxpayer funding is supporting a property buying spree by Melbourne’s elite Scotch College to expand its gold-plated facilities. >> Read on...

PISA Rankings Are Misleading Because of Differences in Student Coverage

Posted on Tuesday August 22, 2017

The PISA international league table rankings are misleading because a large proportion of the 15-year-old population in many countries is not in school. There are significant differences in the proportion in school even among developed countries which influence the rankings. >> Read on...

Guiding Principles for School Reform and Classroom Practice

Posted on Tuesday August 15, 2017

Emeritus Professor of Education at Stanford University, Larry Cuban, outlines the principles that have guided his thinking and actions as a practitioner, scholar, and blogger about teaching, learning, and school reform. >> Read on...

Community Schools Are a Successful Strategy for School Improvement

Posted on Tuesday July 18, 2017

Community schools can be a successful strategy for improving schools according to a new review of research studies and program evaluations. >> Read on...

Factors Contributing to School Success by Disadvantaged Students

Posted on Thursday July 13, 2017

A new study has found that strong peer relationships, caring supportive teachers, family and community support, and strong motivations all contribute significantly to school success by disadvantaged students. >> Read on...

Inclusion Rules the Day

Posted on Monday July 3, 2017

Senator Hanson’s statements on children with autism are based on ignorance and are a breathtaking simplification. Her comments fail to distinguish between the few children for whom a special setting school is appropriate and the many for whom it would be a short cut to a diminished education.< >> Read on...

The Soap Opera That Masquerades as Debate on Education Policy

Posted on Wednesday June 28, 2017

The debate over Gonski 2.0 shows that the politics of education policy in our country is fast becoming an unedifying soap opera. >> Read on...

Big Divide Between Haves and Have-Nots in Australian Education

Posted on Tuesday June 27, 2017

A new study shows extensive inequality in education in Australia. Many young children do not receive a ‘fair go’ in accessing education opportunities. >> Read on...

Gonski 2.0 Entrenches Structural Incoherence and Inequity in School Funding

Posted on Tuesday June 20, 2017

Gonski 2.0 entrenches the structural incoherence of school funding so heavily criticised in the original Gonski report. Most private schools will be over-funded and most public schools will be under-funded. >> Read on...

Gonski 2.0 is a Fraud

Posted on Tuesday June 6, 2017

The Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding plan is fraudulent. Public schools will get $9 billion less than under Gonski 1.0 while private schools get a new, grander, special deal whereby the large majority will be over-funded. >> Read on...

Birmingham Holds Funding for Public Schools to Ransom

Posted on Saturday June 3, 2017

In an outrageous move, the Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham, has threatened to cut funding to public schools if Gonski 2.0 is not passed by the Senate. >> Read on...

Indexation of the Schooling Resource Standard Should be Reviewed by an Independent Expert Panel

Posted on Thursday June 1, 2017

The indexation factor for the Schooling Resource Standard under Gonski 2.0 will likely result in schools not being adequately funded to meet rising wages and other costs. >> Read on...

Special Over-Funding Deal for ACT Catholic Systemic Schools to Continue

Posted on Tuesday May 30, 2017

The Turnbull Government has done a back-flip on its promise to abolish all special funding deals for private schools. A special deal which massively over-funds ACT Catholic systemic schools will continue for another four years. >> Read on...

Gonski 2.0 Abandons Public Schools and Increases Over-Funding of Private Schools

Posted on Monday May 29, 2017

Gonski 2.0 abandons public schools to the uncertainty of State and Territory government funding, which has been cut in recent years. Over-funding of private schools will be massively increased, not reduced. >> Read on...

Gonski 2.0 Provides Even More Over-Funding for Private Schools

Posted on Tuesday May 23, 2017

Private schools are set to get more over-funding under Gonski 2.0, not less. The majority of Independent and Catholic schools across Australia will be over-funded while the large majority of public schools will remain under-funded. >> Read on...

Gonski 2.0 is a 40% Gonski

Posted on Wednesday May 17, 2017

Gonski 2.0 is not what is seems. It is not a good deal for public schools. It will deliver only a miniscule increase in inflation-adjusted funding per student which is only about 40% of the Gonski 1.0 increase. >> Read on...

Social Segregation in Australian Schools is Amongst the Highest in the World

Posted on Thursday May 4, 2017

Social apartheid is a feature of Australia’s school system. A new OECD report shows that social segregation in Australian schools is amongst the highest in the world. >> Read on...

Call to Change School Uniforms for Girls

Posted on Thursday April 27, 2017

Girls’ Uniform Agenda are leading a movement across Australia to change current school uniforms to allow girls to wear shorts and long pants. Skirts and dresses reduce physical activity at school by girls. >> Read on...

The Hidden Cost of East Asian Test Results

Posted on Tuesday April 25, 2017

High education success in East Asia has its costs and Australia must be careful to avoid taking this route. The challenge is to combine good learning outcomes for all students, irrespective of family background, with highly satisfied, healthy students. >> Read on...

Tax Dodges and Subsidies for the Rich Rob Funding for Disadvantaged Schools

Posted on Tuesday April 18, 2017

New revelations on how the wealthy use secretive family trusts to avoid tax is more evidence of the avarice of the rich which robs disadvantaged schools and other public services of much-needed funding. The injustice is compounded by huge government subsidies for elite private schools funded by taxes paid by the rest of the community. >> Read on...

The Benefits of Socio-Economic and Racial Diversity in Schools

Posted on Wednesday April 12, 2017

A new research brief shows that socio-economic and racial diversity in schools are beneficial to students in terms of academic results and social understanding and tolerance. >> Read on...

Effective Ways of Improving Achievement by Low SES Students

Posted on Monday April 10, 2017

A major new review of academic studies on ways to improve the school results of low socio-economic status (SES) students has identified several interventions that substantially improve achievement. >> Read on...

Private Schools are Over-funded by $4-6 Billion a Year

Posted on Wednesday April 5, 2017

Private schools are over-funded to the tune of $4-$6 billion a year. This huge amount of taxpayer funds would be far better used to support disadvantaged students in both public and private schools. >> Read on...

No Academic Benefit to Attending Partially Selective Schools

Posted on Friday March 31, 2017

A new study shows that partially selective schools are no better in terms of student results than non-selective schools and they are worse on some measures. >> Read on...

How Has it Come to This?

Posted on Thursday March 30, 2017

We are at another fork in the education road in the struggle between constructing an education system that better serves disadvantaged students or one that serves privilege in education. >> Read on...

Huge Disparities Between the Resources of Disadvantaged and Advantaged Schools

Posted on Sunday March 26, 2017

PISA report shows huge disparities in shortages of educational staff and physical resources between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in Australia. This has to change if the results of disadvantaged students are to improve. >> Read on...

Tasmanian Governments Have Slashed Funding of Public Schools

Posted on Friday March 24, 2017

The Tasmanian Labor and Liberal Governments have slashed funding for public schools while Commonwealth Government funding increased. Total government funding for private schools has increased by five times that for public schools. >> Read on...

Tax Concessions for the Wealthy Deny Adequate Funding for Disadvantaged Students

Posted on Monday March 20, 2017

The latest Tax Expenditures Statement by the Federal Treasury shows that fully funding Gonski is easily affordable if the Government reduced tax concessions for wealthy. >> Read on...

Dreaming the Impossible Dream

Posted on Wednesday March 15, 2017

A school principal looks to a new era of senior secondary schooling that provides a broader base for student engagement and success to replace the free enterprise model of education. >> Read on...

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