There was much wringing of hands at the continuing decline in Australia’s reading, mathematics and science results revealed by the results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) published last December. Unfortunately, there was little in the way of constructive analysis of the factors behind the declines.
Student absenteeism is a well-documented factor in poor performance at school. Students who skip school, skip classes and arrive late for school tend to have lower test scores [OECD, PISA 2012 Results: What Makes Schools Successful? Resources, Policies and Practices (Volume IV), 2013, p. 60].
It is likely to be a factor behind the high proportion of Australian students who do not achieve expected international standards in reading, mathematics and science. Data from PISA 2015 show that a much higher percentage of Australian students skipped a day of school at least once in the two weeks prior to the PISA test than in other high performing countries and the OECD average.Continue reading “Student Absenteeism is High in Australia”
One of the most disappointing aspects of the responses to Australia’s 2015 PISA results is the lack of constructive analysis of the factors behind the declining results and low achievement by many disadvantaged students.
This paper reviews the results and discusses the potential influence of a range of factors.
This is a summary of an Education Research Brief published by Save Our Schools. The full Brief can be downloaded below
Disadvantaged students in Australia are being denied equal opportunities to learn because they have less access to qualified teachers and material resources than advantaged students. The gaps in access to education resources between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in Australia are among the largest in the world and the OECD.
Yet another new study shows that increased funding targeted at disadvantaged students significantly improves secondary school results. It found that increases in school funding significantly increase the probability that low achieving students complete high school. It provides further support for increased funding for disadvantaged students in Australia.Continue reading “New Study Shows That More Money Improves Results of Disadvantaged Students”
New school enrolment data show a reversal of the steady drift of students from public to private over the past 40 years. Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week show that the share of public school enrolments increased from 60.05% of all enrolments in 2015 to 60.09% in 2016. This is the first time the public school share has increased since the 1970s.Continue reading “Public School Enrolments Increase”
An unprecedented unholy alliance between Tanya Plibersek and Tony Abbott on overfunding of private schools was once again revealed this week. Labor’s position on overfunding was exposed yet again as morally bankrupt, cynical and at complete odds with its supposed support for the principle of needs-based school funding.
The Federal Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham was quick to pounce on the PISA 2015 results published in December to put another knife in the Gonski funding plan. He took the opportunity to repeat his highly misleading claim that school funding increases don’t improve school outcomes. This oft-repeated claim serves one purpose only – to justify his Government’s refusal to fully fund Gonski.
The PISA results published in December present a major conundrum for education policy makers. The decline in results across the board for Year 10 students are in sharp contrast with the general improvement in Year 12 results over the past 10-15 years. Why the trends in results for students only two year levels apart are so disparate is a puzzle that requires serious investigation.
Instead, we saw an opportunistic response from the Federal Education Minister, Simon Birmingham, who was quick to pounce on the PISA results to justify dismembering the Gonski funding plan. It was just another opportunity to repeat highly misleading claims that school funding increases don’t improve school results.
The following is the text of a new Education Policy Brief by Trevor Cobbold published by Save Our Schools.
The Federal Minister for Education, Simon Birmingham was quick to pounce on the PISA 2015 results published in early December to put another knife in the Gonski funding plan. He took the opportunity to repeat his highly misleading claim that school funding increases don’t improve school outcomes. His oft-repeated claim serves one purpose only – to justify his Government’s refusal to fully fund Gonski.