A Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education

US Presidential contender, Senator Bernie Sanders, has released a far-reaching program to reform public education. Many of its policies resonate in the Australian context. The following is the Introduction to the plan together with an outline of its main policies.

His first principle is fundamental:

“Every human being has the fundamental right to a good education. On this 65th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision, we are committed to creating an education system that works for all people, not just the wealthy and powerful.”

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The Soap Opera That Masquerades as Debate on Education Policy

Much ado has been made of Gonski 2.0 and the Turnbull Government’s claim that it is a uniform, needs based and fair model for the resourcing of Australian schools. The implication is that it will lead to better learning outcomes for all children. It is certainly not uniform, though it does bring in a measure of fairness not in existence in Gonski 1.0. In the sense that it may disrupt our public/private model of education though, it is a failure. Its major consequence is the ‘segregation’ of children in their school age years based on religious beliefs, socio-economic background and even educational ability. Continue reading “The Soap Opera That Masquerades as Debate on Education Policy”

No Academic Benefit to Attending Partially Selective Schools

A new study shows that students who attend at partially selective schools in England do not achieve any better results than students in non-selective schools. It found that some results for students with high or low prior achievement are worse at partially selective schools than for their peers at non-selective schools. Continue reading “No Academic Benefit to Attending Partially Selective Schools”

Public School Enrolments Increase

New school enrolment data show a reversal of the steady drift of students from public to private over the past 40 years. Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week show that the share of public school enrolments increased from 60.05% of all enrolments in 2015 to 60.09% in 2016. This is the first time the public school share has increased since the 1970s.

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Public Primary Schools do as Well as Independent Schools and Better than Catholic Schools

A new study published in the latest issue of the Australian Economic Review has found that students in public primary schools achieve better results than Catholic schools and similar results to Independent schools. These findings confirm those of other recent studies in Australia and overseas that student performance in public schools is as good as, or better than, those in private schools. Continue reading “Public Primary Schools do as Well as Independent Schools and Better than Catholic Schools”

Reversing the Flight to Private Schools Depends on Reforming Australia’s Incoherent and Unfair Funding System

New school enrolment data show that the long-term shift of students to private schools has stopped in recent years. But, whether it will be sustained is uncertain given school funding trends that massively favour private schools.

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Integrating Immigrant Children in School is an Australian Success Story

A new OECD report provides some interesting perspective on the debate over immigration in Europe and the Paris terrorist attacks. It shows a sharp contrast between the integration of immigrant children in schools in France and Belgium compared to Australia. Immigrant children in France and Belgium are the most alienated in the OECD, indicating a failure of integration, whereas far fewer immigrant children in Australia are alienated from school.

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Fees and Charges in Public Schools Under the Microscope

Earlier this week, The Age revealed that parents were asked to pay $270 to enrol their children at a public high school in Melbourne. The Age also reported that another school is charging for sex education classes. Such fees are inexcusable, unethical and illegal in public schools.

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Fees in Victorian Public Schools Under the Microscope

Earlier this week, The Age revealed that parents were asked to pay $270 to enrol their children at a public high school in Melbourne. The Age also reported that another school is charging for sex education classes. Such fees are inexcusable, unethical and illegal in public schools. Continue reading “Fees in Victorian Public Schools Under the Microscope”