Mr. Barr Fiddles the Figures – Yet Again!

Save Our Schools today accused the ACT Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, of misleading use of school enrolment figures to claim success for school closures. SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that school census figures published last week clearly show that government school enrolments have declined since 2006 while private school enrolments have increased.

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My School Results Mark the Failure of the Stanhope Govt. on Education

The school results published on the My School website are highly misleading as a guide for parents on comparative school quality. Up to 90% of the difference in school test results is explained by differences in student background – socio-economic, gender, ethnicity, Indigenous and students with disabilities. The large part of the variation is explained by differences in the socio-economic composition of schools, even with the flawed measure used by My School.

Parents can also be misled in assuming that their child will be in a ‘better’ class in a high scoring school than in a lower scoring school. The variation in test scores is much greater within schools than between schools. This means that a school with higher scores than another will likely have classes that perform worse than the best classes in the lower achieving school.

Despite its many flaws, however, My School does reveal information about school systems which can be used to hold governments accountable for their education policies.

For the ACT, it marks the comprehensive failure of the education policies of the Stanhope Government. It demonstrates massive achievement gaps between students from rich and poor families that still exist after nearly a decade of the Stanhope Government.

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Great reasons to restore heritage schools at Flynn, Tharwa and Hall

The ACT Government has a great opportunity this week to move to restore and open heritage-cited schools at Flynn, Tharwa and Hall in response to new information and community support, according to the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association.

The ACT Government is expected to make its initial response to the findings of the School Closure Inquiry later this week and Flynn P&C President Roger Nicoll said that the community is hopeful that the Government will respond favourably to new information.

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Longer Student Suspensions are Ineffective

The ACT Government and the Liberal Opposition want to give principals in government and Catholic schools discretion to suspend students for longer without higher level approval. They ignore extensive research evidence that longer suspensions are ineffective and counter-productive.

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Save Our Schools Calls for Major Effort to Reduce the Achievement Gap in ACT Schools

Representatives of Save Our Schools have told an inquiry into the achievement gap in ACT schools that there is a large difference in school results between students from high and low income families. They told the Education Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly that the gap is large by national and international standards and it will require a major funding effort to remove.

A statement presented at a hearing of the Committee by Trevor Cobbold and Professor Ian Morgan says that the achievement gap between students from low and high socio-economic status (SES) families is the largest in Australia, apart from the Northern Territory. Low SES students are about 2½ years of schooling behind their high SES peers on average.

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Flynn considers further action on school closures

Following the scathing findings of the School Closure Inquiry, the Flynn Primary School Parents and Citizens Association is calling on the Greens to stand up for communities in the upcoming sittings of the Assembly, by supporting the re-opening of Flynn, Hall, Tharwa and Cook schools. Continue reading “Flynn considers further action on school closures”

Broader Consultation Needed on the Future of the CIT Weston Site

Save Our Schools has made a submission to the community consultation on the ACT Government’s proposal to re-locate the Islamic School to the CIT Weston site. The submission says that the site, as a publicly owned facility, should be retained for public education or other public uses and not handed over to the Islamic School. It recommends that a further consultation should be undertaken on the role this facility could serve in the broader context of the Molonglo Valley development and, in particular, to the future urban development of North Weston, Coombs and Wright.

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Joint Media Statement – Tharwa, Flynn and Cook Parents and Citizens.

Tharwa, Flynn and Cook parents and citizen associations (P&Cs) today called on the Labor, Liberal and Green Members of the Legislative Assembly to support a motion to re-open Primary Schools in Tharwa, Hall, Flynn and Cook. Hall P&C also welcome moves to re-open schools. Continue reading “Joint Media Statement – Tharwa, Flynn and Cook Parents and Citizens.”

ACT Education Minister Should Resign

Save Our Schools today called on the ACT Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, to resign because he misused research evidence in his decisions to close schools.

SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Legislative Assembly should pass a no confidence motion in the Minister if he fails to tender his resignation. Continue reading “ACT Education Minister Should Resign”