Swedish-Style School Privatisation for England

The ideologues of choice and competition in schooling are at it again. Their latest miracle cure is Sweden, despite the fact that its next door neighbour Finland has the best school results in the world and doesn’t follow the free market ideology in education. Continue reading “Swedish-Style School Privatisation for England”

More Evidence of the Failure of Choice and Competition to Improve Student Outcomes

The latest national reading test results for the United States show that school choice, competition and accountability measures have had little impact on student achievement. They have failed to increase average reading scores or reduce achievement gaps. Continue reading “More Evidence of the Failure of Choice and Competition to Improve Student Outcomes”

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 1

Diane Ravitch has been one of the most influential voices in American education for the past 30 years. When such a person changes her views it is big news and it has been in the US for the past few weeks. A couple of headlines give the flavour:

Scholars School Reform U-Turn Shakes Up Debate New York Times, 2 March]
Ravitch Recants Long-Held Beliefs Education Week, 10 March]

Continue reading “A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 1”

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 3

The final part of a review of Diane Ravitch’s new book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education. Continue reading “A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 3”

School Choice Increases the Social Divide in Education

A major new study of school choice in England has found that it compounds the social divide in education. Whilst parents do not admit to choosing schools on the basis of their social composition, this happens in practice. Continue reading “School Choice Increases the Social Divide in Education”

OECD Study Says that Markets Fail to Increase Innovation in Education

A new study published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has found that markets in education do not lead to innovation in teaching and curriculum. It finds that it is government intervention which is more likely to create improvements. Continue reading “OECD Study Says that Markets Fail to Increase Innovation in Education”

More Evidence that Gillard’s Faith in Competition is Misplaced

Just as John Howard and David Kemp did, Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard have placed their faith in competition to improve school performance. This faith is proving entirely misplaced with many recent studies around the world showing that competition and markets in education fail to improve student performance and create greater social segregation between schools. Continue reading “More Evidence that Gillard’s Faith in Competition is Misplaced”

The Free Market and the Social Divide in Education

The Federal Government’s approach to education is fatally contradictory.

Extending the market in education and improving social equity are incompatible policies.

Inevitably, it is equity which loses out, as it has in England and the US. Instead of improving student achievement, market-oriented school systems lead to greater social segregation and exacerbate achievement gaps in schooling.

These are among the conclusions of a research paper by SOS’s Trevor Cobbold. Continue reading “The Free Market and the Social Divide in Education”