Reporting Statistical Error is Fundamental For Accurate Reporting of School Results

According to the new Melbourne Declaration of national goals for schooling, Australian governments are committed to ensuring that information published on school results will be accurate and fair. However, to date, governments have not indicated what action will be taken to implement this commitment. The current draft Action Plan on the Declaration merely repeats the commitment. It needs to do better than this to ensure accuracy and fairness in reporting school results. Continue reading “Reporting Statistical Error is Fundamental For Accurate Reporting of School Results”

League Tables Increase Social Segregation and Inequity

Australia’s school system has a high degree of social segregation between schools and large inequities in outcomes between students from rich and poor families. These will probably increase following the agreement of Australian Governments, led by the Rudd Government, to introduce national reporting of individual school results. Continue reading “League Tables Increase Social Segregation and Inequity”

Enough of Small-Minded Education Reformers

I have done my share of complaining about the business types—and the phonies who think they are thinking like business types (when in fact they are clueless about teaching and learning and therefore lean on incentives, data, and an attitude of toughness to mask their ignorance of curriculum and instruction).

Nonetheless, I share their expressed concern about improving the achievement and knowledge of our nation’s children. As a nation, I do believe we will be helped or harmed in the future by the way we educate our children today.

Where I part company with today’s so-called reformers is that they think that test scores alone are adequate measures of “achievement.” I, however, do not. I hope for the day when schools are expected to teach not only reading and math but history, geography, science, the arts, literature, civics, and a foreign language, and to attend to students’ health and personal development. Continue reading “Enough of Small-Minded Education Reformers”

Media Release – League Tables Are on the Way

The public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, says that the Federal Government has deceived the public about the introduction of school league tables.

SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, warned that league tables are inevitable following decisions taken by Australian Governments at the end of last year. Continue reading “Media Release – League Tables Are on the Way”

Gillard Wrong Again on New York

It has to be seriously questioned whether the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, is interested in informed debate on reporting school results. Writing in The Australian (9 January), she asserts incorrectly that the New York City model of school reporting has made a difference to students living in poverty and disadvantage. Continue reading “Gillard Wrong Again on New York”

New US Secretary of Education Profile

With the Rudd Government increasingly looking to the United States for ideas and policies on school education, the appointment of Arne Duncan as Secretary of Education in the Obama Cabinet is significant.

In some quarters, Duncan is referred to as Klein-lite because of his record in closing poor performing schools and re-opening them as charter schools, supporting merit pay for teachers and reporting school results. However, others see him as a progressive pragmatist. Continue reading “New US Secretary of Education Profile”

Klein Lied to the National Press Club

New York City Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, was exposed as a dissembler at his National Press Club address in Canberra last week. Under forensic questioning from The Canberra Times’ education reporter, Emma Macdonald, Klein resorted to lies and deceptions to justify his claims of increases in student achievement in New York City schools. Continue reading “Klein Lied to the National Press Club”

New York Education Department Rorts Its Own Reporting System

Wednesday December 3, 2008

A report in the New York Post this week has revealed that the New York City Department of Education has been rorting its own school reporting system to ensure that schools achieve a higher grade.

The report is a further blow to the integrity and credibility of a reporting system that Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, has been touting as a model for Australia. Continue reading “New York Education Department Rorts Its Own Reporting System”

New York City High School Results Questioned

Last week, report cards for New York City high schools were released for 2007-08. As was the case of the report cards for elementary and middle schools released in September, they beggar belief.

There were huge improvements from the previous year, much of which seem due to manipulation of the results by the New York City Department of Education rather than an actual increase in school performance. Continue reading “New York City High School Results Questioned”