The Evidence Does Not “Stack-up” for Independent Public Schools

This is an edited version of the negative case made by Professor Alan Reid of the University of South Australia in a debate with Kevin Donnelly about independent public schools held at the Australian Curriculum Studies Association Symposium in Canberra on Friday August 1, 2014. The full presentation is available below.

I argue that the idea of public schools being ‘independent’ is philosophically at odds with what lies at the core of public education and that IPS is a policy in search of evidence. Continue reading “The Evidence Does Not “Stack-up” for Independent Public Schools”

Chile’s Failed Free Market Education System Faces Overhaul

Chile has one of the oldest large scale universal school voucher programs in the world. It was established under the Pinochet dictatorship during the 1980s as part of a policy to create a free market in education through decentralization and privatization of the education system. Continue reading “Chile’s Failed Free Market Education System Faces Overhaul”

School Autonomy in Austria Has Developed a Status Hierarchy of Schools

According to a study of school autonomy in Austria, it has resulted in more competition between schools, created greater opportunities for student selection by favoured schools and led to more social differentiation between schools. This finding is similar to many previous studies of the impact of more school autonomy. Continue reading “School Autonomy in Austria Has Developed a Status Hierarchy of Schools”

Markets are Ineffective in Education and Create Social Inequalities

A new study has found that competition between schools and greater school autonomy do not increase student achievement. It also found that competition tends to increase social inequalities in school results. The study is published in the latest issue of the Journal of Education Policy. Continue reading “Markets are Ineffective in Education and Create Social Inequalities”

Is there ‘evidence that independent public schools lift student performance’?

Asked by Senator Penny Wright at a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Education and Employment whether there was any evidence that Independent Public Schools (IPS) lifted student performance, Mr Tony Cook, Associate Secretary, Early Childhood Education and Care in the federal Department of Education answered that there was “a range of evidence”. Continue reading “Is there ‘evidence that independent public schools lift student performance’?”

Pyne’s School Autonomy Myth

John F. Kennedy once said that “the great enemy of truth is very often not the lie…but the myth” because belief in myths allows “the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought” [Kennedy 1962]. Both the Coalition Government and the Labor opposition are enjoying the comfort of the myth that school autonomy in budgeting and staffing leads to better student outcomes while ignoring the discomfort of mounting evidence against it. It is a textbook example of pure ideology in public policy.

Continue reading “Pyne’s School Autonomy Myth”

OECD Contradicts Pyne’s Claim on School Autonomy Success

Once again the Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, has been severely embarrassed by the OECD. This week in Federal Parliament, Pyne repeated his claim that more school autonomy delivers better student results only to be contradicted by another OECD report. Continue reading “OECD Contradicts Pyne’s Claim on School Autonomy Success”

Another Study Shows that School Autonomy Does Not Increase Student Achievement

Yet, another study of school autonomy has cast doubt on its effectiveness in raising student achievement. It also suggests schools may use greater autonomy to target resources to particular students at the expense of others. Continue reading “Another Study Shows that School Autonomy Does Not Increase Student Achievement”

More Untruths by Pyne on Independent Public Schools

It seems that the Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, is either incapable of getting his facts straight or he is deliberately misleading the public about his plan for independent public schools.

Three governments have now rebuffed his claim that all governments except South Australia have signed on to his proposal. The NSW, Tasmanian and ACT governments say that they have not signed up. As well, the Liberal opposition in Tasmania says that if elected in next month’s election it will not introduce independent public schools. Continue reading “More Untruths by Pyne on Independent Public Schools”