Swedish-Style School Privatisation for England

The ideologues of choice and competition in schooling are at it again. Their latest miracle cure is Sweden, despite the fact that its next door neighbour Finland has the best school results in the world and doesn’t follow the free market ideology in education. Continue reading “Swedish-Style School Privatisation for England”

Students with Disabilities are Better Funded in NSW Private Schools than in Govt Schools

A submission by Save Our Schools to the NSW Parliament challenges the claim by private school organisations that students with disabilities in private schools receive less additional funding than in government schools. The SOS submission demonstrates that the claim is incorrect and that many private schools have a large funding advantage over government schools. Continue reading “Students with Disabilities are Better Funded in NSW Private Schools than in Govt Schools”

An Innovative Way to Cheat on School Results

The pressure on schools to improve school league table rankings sometimes produces innovative ways to cheat and rort school results. A report in the Canberra Times (19 May) has exposed a simple way of cheating by schools that could well be the tip of the iceberg.

Continue reading “An Innovative Way to Cheat on School Results”

Cheating on NAPLAN Tests Will Only Increase

Already, we have seen several allegations of schools cheating in the first national literacy and numeracy tests held since the My School website became operational. We are likely to see more and more cheating in future because of the “high stakes” involved in publishing school NAPLAN results on My School and the publication of school league tables in the media. Continue reading “Cheating on NAPLAN Tests Will Only Increase”

Extensive Private Tutoring Corrupts the Reliability of School Comparisons on My School

Private tutoring is the hidden face of Australian education. It is so extensive that it has been called a “shadow education system”. The My School website has given it a huge boost. Continue reading “Extensive Private Tutoring Corrupts the Reliability of School Comparisons on My School”

My School Ignores Differences in the Ethnic Composition of Schools

The so-called “like school” comparisons in the My School website are a travesty. Apart from the flaws in the measure of the socio-economic status of schools, many background factors which influence school results are ignored. A key factor which is ignored is the ethnic profile of schools.

Children from particular ethnic groups are often concentrated in particular areas and schools, and children from some ethnic communities are highly concentrated in government schools. Performance disparities between “like” schools may reflect differences in ethnic composition rather than differences in school practices. Continue reading “My School Ignores Differences in the Ethnic Composition of Schools”

A Critique of the SES Funding Model for Private Schools

The Federal Minister for Education, Julia Gillard, has announced that a review of school funding arrangements will commence in 2010 and conclude in 2011. The review will examine the funding of all schools – government and private.

A key part will be a review of future funding for private schools. The case for change is compelling. Continue reading “A Critique of the SES Funding Model for Private Schools”

Misclassification Errors in My School Comparisons: A Response to Professor McGaw

The Chairman of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority, Professor Barry McGaw, has rejected criticisms made by Save Our Schools (SOS) that the “like school” comparisons on the My School website are biased in favour of private schools. But, his response effectively proves the SOS case and he fails to produce any evidence to support his claims. Indeed, the available evidence supports the SOS case. Continue reading “Misclassification Errors in My School Comparisons: A Response to Professor McGaw”

Missing Census Data May Further Bias My School Comparisons

The comparisons of the test results of so-called like schools on My School are biased in favour of private schools. This occurs because it uses a flawed measure of the socio-economic status (SES) of schools to group so-called “like schools” which systematically over-estimates the level of socio-economic disadvantage in private schools and under-estimates disadvantage in government schools. Continue reading “Missing Census Data May Further Bias My School Comparisons”