Massive Fraud and Waste in US Charter Schools

A report has detailed fraud and waste in charter schools in the United States totalling over $200 million in 2014 and 2015. The report says that this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg and that the federal, state and local governments stand to lose more than $1.4 billion because of regulatory failure.

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Massive Surge in Students Opting-Out of Tests

There was a massive surge in the number of students being withdrawn from standardised tests in the United States last week. The New York Daily News reported that the entire structure of high-stakes testing in New York crumbled as tens of thousands of fed-up public school parents rebelled and opted their children out of tests. Continue reading “Massive Surge in Students Opting-Out of Tests”

Academic Study Shows that Private Primary Schools Perform no Better than Public Schools

A Queensland University study has shown that there is no difference in test results between public, Catholic and Independent primary schools after taking account of student background factors that influence school results. Indeed, Catholic schools perform worse than public schools on some results. The study says that its findings are similar to those of overseas studies. Continue reading “Academic Study Shows that Private Primary Schools Perform no Better than Public Schools”

Qld Private Schools Rorting Govt Grants

A damning report by the Queensland Auditor-General has found that some private schools have been rigging their enrolments to claim more funding from the Queensland Government than they are entitled to. The report says that schools were over-funded by $1.5 million in 2014. It has also exposed totally inadequate audit processes for private schools. Continue reading “Qld Private Schools Rorting Govt Grants”

Testing Times

It is testing season in the United States and a nation-wide rebellion against the tests is under way as a huge opt-out movement has developed. Protests against testing have broken out in cities across the US. Politicians and policy makers continue to insist that the tests encourage better school performance but this is being increasingly challenged by parents and teachers. Continue reading “Testing Times”

Mixed Schools Make for a More Socially Tolerant Society

Young people in schools with ethnically diverse classrooms are likely to have more favourable attitudes towards immigrants, according to a new international study from the Institute of Education at the University College London. This is particularly true when there are many second-generation immigrants in the class. Continue reading “Mixed Schools Make for a More Socially Tolerant Society”

Victorian Education Minister Fails in His Response to Criticism of Funding Guarantee for Private Schools

With its legislative guarantee that private schools will receive 25 per cent of expenditure on public schools, the Victorian Government has joined with the Abbott Government in sabotaging the Gonski school funding agreement.

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No Evidence that Independent Public Schools in England Raise Standards

A UK House of Commons report published last week says that there is no evidence that academies, England’s version of independent public schools, improve school results. The report by the bi-partisan education select committee said that although it was clear that academies led to greater competition, there was not yet proof that they raised standards for disadvantaged students or overall. Several issues raised by the report are very relevant to the expansion of independent public schools in Australia.

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New Figures Show that Government Funding Increases Favour Private Schools

New school funding figures provided to Senate Estimates show that government funding increases for Catholic and Independent schools have outstripped funding increases for public schools since 2009. The percentage increase in funding for Catholic and Independent schools was almost double that for public schools despite the fact that public schools enrol the overwhelming majority of students in need of increased support.

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What Do Parents Get for a Costly Private School Education?

According to the Australian Scholarship Group, families face a total bill of nearly $500,000 to send their children to Independent private schools and over $200,000 for systemic religious schools compared to about $50,000-70,000 in a public school. This is a huge difference. Year 12 fees in the elite Independent schools are up to around $30,000 a year and more. Just what do parents get for this enormous outlay?

One thing for sure is that they do not get any better school results. Research published recently by Save Our Schools shows that student test results are no better in private schools than in public schools when like schools are compared. The common perception that private schools deliver better results than public schools is a complete myth.

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