Caution Needed in Interpreting PISA 2015 Results

Last year, the Director of Education at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, admitted that the switch from pen-and-paper to computer tests for PISA 2015 assessments may have contributed to significant falls in results amongst higher performing countries. A new research paper published by the Centre of Education Economics in the UK provides more evidence for this. Continue reading “Caution Needed in Interpreting PISA 2015 Results”

Study Shows That Vouchers to Attend Private Schools Reduce Student Achievement

A new US study has found that vouchers to attend private schools leads to lower student achievement by up to a year or more of learning. It shows that funding disadvantaged students to attend private schools resulted in lower test scores in maths, reading, science and social studies. Continue reading “Study Shows That Vouchers to Attend Private Schools Reduce Student Achievement”

Reducing Education Disadvantage Will Increase Individual Well-being and Economic Prosperity

A report by Deloitte Access Economics to the Federal Government has found that increasing student achievement in Australia will have significant individual and economy-wide benefits. It says that a central issue for government is to address disadvantage in education and that school funding must be sufficient to overcome educational disadvantage associated with low socio-economic families and communities.

The study found that increasing student achievement increases education attainment to Year 12 and beyond school and increases wages and the likelihood of employment. It also leads to a more productive workforce and increased economic growth. Continue reading “Reducing Education Disadvantage Will Increase Individual Well-being and Economic Prosperity”

Govt. Failure to Ensure Private School Systems Distribute Funding According to Need Will Continue Under Gonski 2.0

The following is a summary of a new Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools. The full Brief can be downloaded below.

A recent report by the Australian National Audit Office has slammed the Commonwealth Government for failing to ensure its funding of private school systems is distributed according to need and for not knowing how private school systems distribute their funding. The report is a scathing indictment of a massive failure of ministerial responsibility and government administration. Yet, this failure is likely to continue under Gonski 2.0, as it has for the past decade or more. Continue reading “Govt. Failure to Ensure Private School Systems Distribute Funding According to Need Will Continue Under Gonski 2.0”

Large Achievement Gaps Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students Continue

New NAPLAN results for 2017 show continuing large achievement gaps between disadvantaged students and those from highly educated families. The gaps have increased between students from highly and lowly educated families since 2008, but have narrowed between high education status students and Indigenous students. Continue reading “Large Achievement Gaps Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students Continue”

New Study Undermines Case for a Year 1 Phonics Test

A new study comprehensively refutes the claim that phonetics is little used in teaching reading in Australian schools. It shows that the large majority of teachers in Australian primary schools use a combination of methods in teaching reading, including phonetics.

Continue reading “New Study Undermines Case for a Year 1 Phonics Test”

Increased School Funding Increases Post-Secondary Attainment

A new academic study has found that increased expenditure on primary schools has positive long-term effects on educational attainment. The study, published in the November issue of the journal Applied Economics, found that a 10% increase in spending for grades 4-7 in Michigan resulted in a 7% increase in college enrolment and an 11% increase in college completion. It also found that the additional expenditure led to an increase of 3–5 percentage points in high school graduation rates. Continue reading “Increased School Funding Increases Post-Secondary Attainment”

Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls from Turnbull Government

Several wealthy Melbourne private schools are set to get large windfall gains from the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding model after revisions to their assessed student need. Many of the schools will get increases of $1-$3.2 million between 2018 and 2027 because their student need has been revised upwards. Yet, about 75% or more of the students in these schools are from the most advantaged families in Victoria. Continue reading “Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls from Turnbull Government”

OECD Report Shows that the Allocation of Resources in Australian Schools is Highly Inequitable

A new report by the OECD shows that about one-third of the variation in science performance across OECD countries is explained by the degree of equity in the allocation of educational resources across advantaged and disadvantaged schools. Countries with more equitable systems performed better on average. The report shows that the allocation of resources in Australian schools is highly inequitable.

The report shows that students in socio-economically disadvantaged schools in Australia are less exposed than students in advantaged schools to the learning environments and educational resources that matter the most for science performance. Effective teaching practices, a favourable school climate, exposure to science and access to educational resources are all better in advantaged schools than in disadvantaged schools in Australia. Continue reading “OECD Report Shows that the Allocation of Resources in Australian Schools is Highly Inequitable”

Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms

Teach for Australia (TFA) has abjectly failed to answer criticisms of the program. Save Our Schools has criticised TFA on several grounds:
• The large majority of its teachers are in marginally disadvantaged schools instead of highly disadvantaged schools;
• Its attrition rate is very much higher than for traditionally-trained early career teachers;
• The high turnover of TFA teachers imposes additional financial and human resource costs on schools and negatively impacts on disadvantaged students;
• It is a very high cost program in comparison with traditional teacher training; and
• There is no substantive evidence that TFA teachers improve student results more than traditionally trained teachers. Continue reading “Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms”