Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?

This is a summary of a new Education Research Brief. It can be downloaded below

A much-ignored aspect of school results in Australia over the past decade or more is the sharp contrast between declining or stagnating scores on international and national tests for Years 9 and 10 and solid improvements in Year 12 results. How is it that trends in school outcomes only two or three Year levels apart are so different? Continue reading “Have Kids Stopped Trying on PISA and NAPLAN?”

New Figures Reveal that the ACT Government Has Cut Funding to Public Schools

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools in the ACT. Despite much rhetoric about its support for public schools, the ACT Government has cut funding for public schools since 2009. It even cut its funding during the Gonski funding period, after agreeing to increase it.

Continue reading “New Figures Reveal that the ACT Government Has Cut Funding to Public Schools”

New Figures Show States Have Cut Funding to Public Schools

New figures show that government funding increases have massively favoured private schools over public schools across Australia since 2009. Total government funding per student in public schools was cut between 2009 and 2016 while large funding increases were provided to Catholic and Independent schools. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2016 funding increases for private schools far outstripped the increase for public schools.

Continue reading “New Figures Show States Have Cut Funding to Public Schools”

Another Failure of Govt Oversight of Private Schools

A report published last week by the Auditor-General found that the Department of Education has failed to ensure that the Catholic and Seventh-Day Adventist school systems are accountable for the way the spend Government funding. It said that the Department does not know how these systems distribute taxpayer funding to their member schools. The report also said that the Department has failed to adequately verify enrolments for funding purposes and monitor the governance of private schools.

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Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students

There is now a mountain of evidence that increased funding for low income and other disadvantaged students improves student results. The latest evidence comes from a study published in the April issue of the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics. It found that legislative reforms in the United States that led to increases in funding in low income school districts resulted in large increases in student achievement. Continue reading “Funding Increases Benefit Low Income Students”

Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools

A report released last month by the Queensland Audit Office provides a revealing case study of how policy-related and governance factors can obstruct effective use of school funding. It shows that inadequate central oversight and support measures combined with heavy reliance on school autonomy has hampered effective use of funding in Queensland public schools. Continue reading “Audit Report Identifies Factors Obstructing Effective Use of Funding in Queensland Public Schools”

Census Data Reveals High Social Segregation in Australian Schools

Analysis of the 2016 Census data shows stark social segregation between public schools on the one hand and Catholic and Independent schools on the other. The analysis by researcher Barbara Preston shows that that social segregation in Australia’s schools has increased markedly over the past 40 years. Students from low income families are highly concentrated in public schools while those from high income families are concentrated in Catholic and Independent schools. Continue reading “Census Data Reveals High Social Segregation in Australian Schools”

Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools

Bill Shorten has committed Labor to standing “shoulder to shoulder” with the Catholic school system. He promised it $250 million over two years and billions more over a decade. Catholic Education Victoria reciprocated by campaigning on behalf of Labor in the Batman by-election. What a cosy deal! More money for Catholic schools in return for electoral favours!

Labor claims it is merely restoring funding cut from Catholic schools by the Turnbull Government. But, in fact, it is restoring massive over-funding created by the Howard Government’s socio-economic status () funding model which Labor surreptitiously folded into its Gonski funding model. Continue reading “Labor is a Specialist in Special Deals for Private Schools”

Funding Increases for Private Schools in Victoria Have Far Outstripped Those for Public Schools

New figures show that funding increases for private schools in Victoria far outstripped that for public schools under the Gonski 1.0 funding plan. This was due to bigger increases in Commonwealth funding for private schools and cuts to public school funding by the previous Victorian Government. Funding for public schools was slashed by the Baillieu and Napthine Coalition Governments while a small increase occurred in the first year of the Andrews Labor Government.

The Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding plan will ensure that Catholic and Independent schools are funded at or above their resource entitlement while public schools will be vastly under-funded unless the Victorian Government embarks on a major funding effort. Continue reading “Funding Increases for Private Schools in Victoria Have Far Outstripped Those for Public Schools”

The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding – Update

This article includes updated figures on the over-funding of elite private schools in Sydney. The article was originally published on John Menadue’s Pearls and Irritations blog.

New figures show that the arms race in ostentatious facilities between elite private schools in Sydney is being fuelled by more than $170 million a year in government over-funding. Over-funding frees up private income from hefty fees and donations to finance opulent buildings and facilities in competition with other elite schools. It denies much needed resources for disadvantaged schools facing severe shortages in teaching staff, educational materials and modern classroom buildings. Continue reading “The Arms Race Between Elite Sydney Private Schools is Fuelled by Govt Over-Funding – Update”