Pyne Misleads the Public on School Autonomy Yet Again

The Federal Education Minister, Christopher Pyne, is misleading the public yet again about the facts on the effects of school autonomy. The evidence he cites in support of creating more independent public schools is highly selective and misleading and completely ignores the latest evidence from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). Continue reading “Pyne Misleads the Public on School Autonomy Yet Again”

Pyne Misled Parliament on School Autonomy Evidence

Last Thursday, the Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, misled the Parliament about OECD research on school autonomy. He told the Parliament that OECD and domestic research “shows that school autonomy has a major impact on school outcomes for students” even though the OECD’s PISA 2012 report issued two days earlier clearly shows that the form of school autonomy Pyne is pushing has no impact on student outcomes. Continue reading “Pyne Misled Parliament on School Autonomy Evidence”

Bureaucrats in Nowhere Land on School Autonomy

Top Federal Education bureaucrats found themselves without a leg to stand on in Senate Estimates last week as Greens Senator, Penny Wright, thoroughly exposed their lack of evidence to support school autonomy. The Senator’s close questioning left them squirming and their only responses were to dissemble and resort to statements of faith. Continue reading “Bureaucrats in Nowhere Land on School Autonomy”

Pyne Misleads on School Autonomy Results

Christopher Pyne has used highly selective and misleading evidence to support his claim that greater school autonomy for independent public schools will improve school outcomes. He ignores overwhelming national and international evidence that indicates his project to make government schools more like private schools as a way to improve outcomes is doomed to fail. Continue reading “Pyne Misleads on School Autonomy Results”

School Choice is No Guarantee to Improve Results

School choice does not necessarily deliver better results for students according to a new research brief. The brief reviewed research on various alternatives to public schools in the United States and found that the impact of school choice on student learning generally shows mixed results with studies typically showing little or no difference in overall performance compared to traditional public schools. Continue reading “School Choice is No Guarantee to Improve Results”

Independent Public Schools in England are More Socially Selective

UK independent public schools called “free schools” are cherry picking higher income and higher achieving students according to new research published by the Institute of Education at London University.

The research shows that while free schools have opened in disadvantaged neighbourhoods they take fewer poor children (those receiving free meals) than the other local schools. Around 13.5 per cent of students attending primary free schools were eligible for free school meals while 18.3 per cent of students within the neighbourhoods of free schools were eligible. Across the rest of England 15.9 per cent of primary-age children were entitled to free school meals. Continue reading “Independent Public Schools in England are More Socially Selective”

School Autonomy Has Created a Privileged Set of Schools in WA

The Federal Opposition education spokesman, Christopher Pyne, supports the extension of the “independent public schools” (IPS) model of school autonomy operating in Western Australia to other states. He says that some of the greatest success stories have been in low socio-economic status (SES) schools.

However, many low SES schools find it difficult to compete with IPS in attracting and retaining high quality teachers. as these stories from principals of low SES schools in Western Australia attest. The stories show that the IPS model is creating a two-tier education system in terms of staffing. Continue reading “School Autonomy Has Created a Privileged Set of Schools in WA”

Charter Schools Do No Better Than Other Public Schools

Charter schools are generally doing no better than traditional public schools in the United States according to a new national study. Three-quarters of all charter schools are doing no better than traditional schools in reading and 70 per cent are doing no better in mathematics. The study concludes that the greater school autonomy granted to charter schools had little effect on student achievement over time.

Continue reading “Charter Schools Do No Better Than Other Public Schools”

Independent Public Schools Fail to Increase Student Achievement, but Increase Social Segregation

A review of independent public schools in Western Australia has found that they have not increased student achievement but could be developing a two-tiered education system in the state. The review found there is little evidence of changes to student outcomes, attendance and behaviour as a result of the introduction of independent public schools.

The great promise of school autonomy is that it will deliver increased school outcomes. However, it appears that the WA school autonomy program has so far failed to deliver on this promise. There are also widespread concerns that it is contributing to greater social segregation in public schools in the state.

Continue reading “Independent Public Schools Fail to Increase Student Achievement, but Increase Social Segregation”

P-TECH Schools are Unproven and Threaten Public Education

This article is summary of a Policy Brief published by SOS on P-TECH schools. The 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.

The introduction of P-TECH schools is proceeding without any evidence that they work and without any open discussion of their implications for the curriculum, how public schools are governed and how education is delivered in the classroom. IBM says that the new schools will replicate the New York model but it appears to be incompatible with the provisions of the Victorian Education and Training Act relating to school councils and curriculum development and accreditation and with the national curriculum for Years 9 & 10. Continue reading “P-TECH Schools are Unproven and Threaten Public Education”