P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education

Save Our Schools today called for public consultation and scrutiny of the P-TECH schools proposed for Ballarat and Geelong and sponsored by the giant IT multinational IBM. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that P-TECH schools are unproven and threaten public education. Continue reading “P-TECH Schools Are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”

A Teacher’s Comment on NAPLAN

Earlier this week the ABC’s Life Matters program ran a segment on parents taking their children out of the NAPLAN tests. It generated considerable discussion. A listener who is a teacher sent SOS this response to the program.

School leaders and systems do use NAPLAN and recognise NAPLAN because it has now become the universal measure across the country because of its official status as a measure and not because it is valuable per se. It would be a concern if teachers relied on NAPLAN as a diagnostic tool and only relied on NAPLAN given the time lag between the test and the results. Good teachers are constantly assessing students in a number of ways but do not rely on a single standardised test but involve students in continual modes of improvement. Testing is not part of life, it is part of school life. How often does anyone who goes to work have to sit an exam to prove that they are learning, that they are doing their job, and demonstrating all they know in an hour or two? We would say as adults that would be unreasonable. Performance evaluation at work relies on continuous practice. Continue reading “A Teacher’s Comment on NAPLAN”

How Good is My School?

It is a sad fact, but true, that in Australia a student’s background greatly influences how well they will do at school. Whether their parents went to university, work as professionals, or whether they live in a rural area or are indigenous, all help to predict a student’s performance. And more so in Australia than in many other countries. Continue reading “How Good is My School?”

Andrews Govt Is On a ‘Unity Ticket’ With Abbott & Pyne

Save Our Schools today accused the Andrews Government of signing the death certificate for the Gonski school funding plan in Victoria. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Labor Government has betrayed the needs of disadvantaged students and schools in Victoria by refusing to deliver the last two years of Gonski funding. Continue reading “Andrews Govt Is On a ‘Unity Ticket’ With Abbott & Pyne”

Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch

The US Senate is currently conducting hearings on the future of the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation introduced by President George Bush Jnr. The hearings have focused first on the federally mandated testing regime for all US children in grades 3-8. The critical issue is whether there is too much testing in US schools. A huge opt-out movement against testing has developed. A key leader of the movement is Diane Ravitch a former Assistant Secretary of Education under President George Bush Snr. The Secretary of Education at the time was Lamar Alexander, now a Senator who is chairing the Senate committee hearings on the NCLB. Diane Ravitch has written the following open letter to the Senator calling on him to drop annual standardised testing in schools. Continue reading “Open Letter on Testing by Diane Ravitch”

Public Schools are the Equal of Private Schools

A new analysis of school NAPLAN test results published by Save Our Schools shows that the results in public schools are just as good as those in private schools. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the results show that public schools are a good choice for parents and they should not be beguiled by misleading private school marketing. Continue reading “Public Schools are the Equal of Private Schools”

UN Report Condemns Privatisation of Education

A report presented to the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week condemned the worldwide trend to privatisation of education. The report warns that the rapid expansion of private education is increasingly replacing public education and exacerbating inequalities in societies. Continue reading “UN Report Condemns Privatisation of Education”

Call to Keep Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students

A new education policy brief published by Save Our Schools has confirmed the need for higher funding loadings for schools with greater concentration of disadvantaged students. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that a proposal by Independent Schools Victoria to remove additional funding for highly disadvantaged schools should be rejected by the Federal Government. Continue reading “Call to Keep Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students”

Uninvited Submission Calls for Gonski Plus Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students

An uninvited submission from Save Our Schools to the Federal Government’s selective consultation on the Gonski funding loadings for disadvantaged students has called for the loadings to be increased. National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that research studies show that the current loadings are far too low to be effective and should be at least doubled. Continue reading “Uninvited Submission Calls for Gonski Plus Funding Loadings for Disadvantaged Students”