An Alternative Funding Model for Government and Private Schools

It is widely agreed that a new approach to school funding is needed. The Federal Minister for Education says that the SES funding model for private schools has “reached its use-by-date”. Even the major private school lobbies concede that it has had its day, although they still want to retain the privileged funding it gives them.

Save Our Schools has recommended to the Gonski School Funding Review a new model which integrates funding for government and private schools from both federal and state/territory governments. Continue reading “An Alternative Funding Model for Government and Private Schools”

Labor MP Supports Maintaining Public Funding to High-fee Private Schools

Recently elected ACT Labor MP, Andrew Leigh, has declared his support for maintaining current levels of Commonwealth Government funding to high-fee private schools. In response to repeated questions from members of the public at a recent community education forum held in Canberra, the former ANU economist insisted that government support for extreme high-fee private schools is a matter of fairness. Continue reading “Labor MP Supports Maintaining Public Funding to High-fee Private Schools”

Productivity Commission Questioned on School Funding Figures

Dr. Michael Kirby, Head of Office of the Productivity Commission, was questioned at Senate Estimates on disparities between school funding figures published in the Report on Government Services and the National Report on Schooling. The following is a transcript of the questions and answers. Continue reading “Productivity Commission Questioned on School Funding Figures”

Gillard Concedes Under the Collective Pressure of Teachers

The agreement of Minister Gillard to set up a working party to oversee the My School website has been the consequence of many teachers across the country making it clear that we are unhappy with the government’s intolerable treatment; silencing us, and leaving us without any say in our professional conduct whatsoever. Continue reading “Gillard Concedes Under the Collective Pressure of Teachers”

My School: The Sum of All Fears

The imminent teacher boycott of national literacy and numeracy tests gives cause to assess how well the My School website informs comparisons of school quality. Apart from creating incentives to narrow school curriculum and manipulate school test results, a major flaw is that its so-called “like school” comparisons are systematically biased in favour of private schools. Continue reading “My School: The Sum of All Fears”

Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All

There is broad agreement, that improving education requires assessing student outcomes, and holding those responsible accountable for the results. But, the use of standardized tests, as a tool for assessment and accountability, has resulted in more disillusionment than improvement. The heavy emphasis on testing mandated by the No Child Left Behind Law, has not lead to the sought after gains in educational outcomes. Continue reading “Why Testing Fails: How Numbers Deceive Us All”

Uniquely Australian Mimicry

Tuesday February 2, 2010

Julia Gillard: The model that we have developed here is uniquely Australian. Yes, we’ve looked at the world experience but we haven’t mimicked any other model.

Just days after the launch of the My School website and the construction of league tables in various newspapers from the data on the website, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard issued a joint statement (January 31, 2010) outlining plans to expand the information it contains. Continue reading “Uniquely Australian Mimicry”

Overtested, Overrated and Over Here

The 28th of January this year will mark a very dark day for our education system in Australia. For the first time in our history, school data will be published nationally and available online. Julia Gillard has decided to do this based on similar systems in the U.K. and United States. The minister has ignored the plethora of research condemning the approaches advocated by these countries. Continue reading “Overtested, Overrated and Over Here”