The Battle Over New Orleans Charter Schools

In the weeks around the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at the end August, there was a veritable storm of reports and comments disputing the outcomes of the re-organisation of the New Orleans public school system following the hurricane. The heart of the issue was the effects from turning New Orleans into virtually an all-charter school city.

New Orleans is the biggest charter school experiment in the United States. Its proponents claim it has boosted student results and have put it forward as a model for other jurisdictions to follow. Others vehemently reject the claims.

Continue reading “The Battle Over New Orleans Charter Schools”

For-profit Schools Have a Bad Record

David Leyonhjelm, Liberal Democrats senator for NSW, wants to introduce for-profit schools in Australia. It would be a huge mistake.

For-profit schools have a very bad record. They have failed to provide better student outcomes than other schools and often deliver worse results. Many have gone bankrupt leaving students in limbo and facing massive debts.

Continue reading “For-profit Schools Have a Bad Record”

More Bad News for Independent Public Schools

A new report suggests that the faith placed in independent public schools to improve student results is misplaced. The report, published last month by the UK National Foundation for Education Research, found that academy schools (which are an English version of independent public schools) perform no better than traditional public schools.

Continue reading “More Bad News for Independent Public Schools”

Vic Govt Agrees to Support P-TECH Schools

The recent Senate Estimates hearings revealed that the Victorian Government has agreed to support the establishment of two P-TECH schools in Ballarat and Geelong. A joint announcement by the Federal and Victorian ministers of education is imminent according to Federal Education Department officials.

The P-TECH schools are a pet project of the Prime Minister following his visit to the flagship school in Brooklyn, New York, last year. It was another “captain’s call” by the Prime Minister that has not received adequate public scrutiny. Details of the program are shrouded in secrecy and are being developed and negotiated behind closed doors. The Estimates hearings shed little light on the arrangements. Continue reading “Vic Govt Agrees to Support P-TECH Schools”

P-TECH Schools are Unproven and Threaten Public Education

The following is a summary of an Education Policy Brief by Save Our Schools on P-TECH schools. The full Brief can be downloaded below.

Last year, the Federal Government announced $0.5 million funding for a new type of school in Australia incorporating high school education and two years of tertiary training. It is based on the P-TECH (Pathways in Technology Early College) school in Brooklyn, New York, established by the giant IT multinational IBM and now being rolled out in several US cities. The model is personally endorsed by the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Under the proposal, two existing schools in Ballarat and Geelong will be converted into P-TECH schools.

Continue reading “P-TECH Schools are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”

Massive Fraud and Waste in US Charter Schools

A report has detailed fraud and waste in charter schools in the United States totalling over $200 million in 2014 and 2015. The report says that this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg and that the federal, state and local governments stand to lose more than $1.4 billion because of regulatory failure.

Continue reading “Massive Fraud and Waste in US Charter Schools”

UN Education Expert Calls on Governments to Stand Firm Against Privatisation of Education

The UN Special Rapporteur on education, Mr Kishore Singh, recently voiced his concern over governments actively encouraging the growth of private education in basic education. In his statement, Mr Singh called upon governments to stand against the idea of privatising basic education and to strengthen their public systems to ensure free, quality, basic education for all.

Continue reading “UN Education Expert Calls on Governments to Stand Firm Against Privatisation of Education”

No Evidence that Independent Public Schools in England Raise Standards

A UK House of Commons report published last week says that there is no evidence that academies, England’s version of independent public schools, improve school results. The report by the bi-partisan education select committee said that although it was clear that academies led to greater competition, there was not yet proof that they raised standards for disadvantaged students or overall. Several issues raised by the report are very relevant to the expansion of independent public schools in Australia.

Continue reading “No Evidence that Independent Public Schools in England Raise Standards”

Charter Schools’ Promise Unfulfilled

Charter schools are a central component of current efforts to change the face of public education in the United States. Charter schools are publicly financed, but free of many of the regulations that govern traditional public schools, such as those involving staffing, curriculum, and budget decisions. Independent public schools in Australia are similar to charter schools in some respects such as autonomy in staffing and budget decisions.

Continue reading “Charter Schools’ Promise Unfulfilled”

“Markets Don’t Work in Education” Shockwave

A leading US education research economist caused shockwaves amongst the education research community last week by saying that markets don’t work in education. Dr. Margaret Raymond from Stanford University said that after decades of looking at charter schools in the US she has come to the conclusion that the “market mechanism just doesn’t work” in education.

Continue reading ““Markets Don’t Work in Education” Shockwave”