New Tests Will Impoverish Education

The public education advocacy group Save Our Schools has accused the Rudd Government of turning classrooms into test preparation factories.

SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the education of an entire generation of students will be impoverished by the Government’s plan for national reporting of school results. Continue reading “New Tests Will Impoverish Education”

Will the New York City Public Education System Survive?

Sunday March 29, 2009

The New York City model of public education is under constant criticism these days by parents, teachers and educators. Can it survive Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein? This is the question asked by Diane Ravitch, Professor of Education at New York University and former Assistant Secretary of Education in the administration of President George Bush Snr. Julia Gillard would do well to re-think her admiration of what is happening in New York City schools. Continue reading “Will the New York City Public Education System Survive?”

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”