ACARA Disqualifies Itself from Assessing the Impact of NAPLAN

Save Our Schools today called on the national ministers’ education council to re-commission an investigation of the impact of NAPLAN. Trevor Cobbold, national convenor of SOS, said that the integrity of the investigation had been prejudiced by statements by officials of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) which was charged to do the report. Continue reading “ACARA Disqualifies Itself from Assessing the Impact of NAPLAN”

A Mother’s Plea to the Prime Minister on NAPLAN

Dear Prime Minister,
I have a six year old son. He loves dinosaurs, and is currently obsessed with a Praying Mantis he found in the back yard. Like most kids, he is funny, exhaustingly active and has a mind like a sponge, soaking up learning in a fun and imaginative journey.

When he is old enough (and if it is still around), he will not be taking part in the Naplan testing and I will do anything I can to inform other parents about the limitations of this testing. Continue reading “A Mother’s Plea to the Prime Minister on NAPLAN”

NAPLAN is a Cancer Eating Away at Education

Save Our Schools has received many objections to the NAPLAN tests from parents, teachers and principals in response to its public call for information on the impact of the tests. Trevor Cobbold, National Convenor of SOS, said that the responses show that NAPLAN is having pernicious effects on Australian education. Continue reading “NAPLAN is a Cancer Eating Away at Education”

Education Authorities Are Misleading Parents on Withdrawal from NAPLAN Tests

Save Our Schools has accused the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) and other education authorities of actively misleading parents about their right to withdraw their children from the NAPLAN tests. Trevor Cobbold, national convenor of SOS, said that that ACARA’s information brochure for parents on NAPLAN gives the impression that the tests are mandatory. Continue reading “Education Authorities Are Misleading Parents on Withdrawal from NAPLAN Tests”

Report Says Wealthy Catholic Schools are Over-Funded

A new research paper published by Save Our Schools (SOS) shows that virtually all high income Catholic combined and secondary schools in Australia are over-funded compared to what they are entitled to according to their socio-economic capacity. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the report challenges claims by Catholic education authorities that they re-distribute funds from high income to disadvantaged Catholic schools.

Continue reading “Report Says Wealthy Catholic Schools are Over-Funded”

Gillard Turns Her Back on the Disadvantaged

The highlight of the Gonski report is its well-founded and important recommendation that Australia needs to spend an additional $5 billion a year on schools, predominantly government schools, so that they can address the issue of disadvantage. When all the figures are finalised, more may be needed, but as the reports says:

Australia must aspire to have a schooling system that is among the best in the world for its quality and equity, and must prioritise support for its lowest performing students. Every child should have access to the best possible education, regardless of where they live, the income of their family or the school they attend. [p. xiv]

The lowlight was that in her response to this vision, the Prime Minister repeatedly and pointedly refused to commit to the additional funding. Instead, she proposed further reviews and community discussions. She did not even promise to provide the funding when the budget was in surplus, as Tony Abbott did when he committed to a dental health care scheme. She simply turned her back on the disadvantaged.

So much for the rhetoric about closing the gap and ensuring that wealth does not determine educational outcomes.

Continue reading “Gillard Turns Her Back on the Disadvantaged”

School Funding Should be Better Directed at Reducing Disadvantage

The following is a summary of a confidential submission to the Gonski Review of School Funding commissioned by state government education departments. It was written by Professor Richard Teese from the University of Melbourne. It says that the Australian school system has become segregated between rich and poor with government funding being spent on supporting school choice rather than reducing the achievement gap between rich and poor.

Continue reading “School Funding Should be Better Directed at Reducing Disadvantage”

Outlandish Funding Bonanza for Private Schools

A report published today by the public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, finds that two voucher models of school funding proposed to the Gonski Review would deliver billions of dollars in additional funding for private schools and no increases for government schools.

Trevor Cobbold, author of the report and national convenor of SOS, said the proposals would provide an outlandish funding bonanza for private schools and should be rejected by the Review. Continue reading “Outlandish Funding Bonanza for Private Schools”

C.I.S Funding Model Provides More for Private Schools

A recent report from Jennifer Buckingham and the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) illustrates how much the debate on schools funding has rightly developed an emphasis on equity goals, creating a good deal of confusion in the private school lobby. Instead of being dominated by the aim of promoting school choice, which led to marked increases for some of the elite private schools under the previous Howard Government and was continued by the Rudd and Gillard Governments, as Buckingham puts it, “it is difficult to justify providing extra public funds to already well-resourced students and schools.” Continue reading “C.I.S Funding Model Provides More for Private Schools”

Gonski Review Should Disregard Private School Hysterics

Save Our Schools today called on the Gonski Review of School Funding to use its commissioned research reports as the foundation for a new school funding model. In releasing its submission on the reports, the national convenor of SOS, Trevor Cobbold, said that Review Committee should disregard the hysterical reaction of private school organisations to the reports. Continue reading “Gonski Review Should Disregard Private School Hysterics”