NSW Parliament Committee Slams Education Department on School Closures

A NSW Parliamentary Committee report has slammed the approach by the NSW Department of Education to closing schools as “heavy handed”. It says the Department failed to properly consult with communities affected by proposed school closures, was not impartial in dealing with communities and ignored research evidence on the value of small schools educationally and to small regional communities. It makes ten recommendations to improve consultation about school closures. Continue reading “NSW Parliament Committee Slams Education Department on School Closures”

NSW Govt Conducted a War Against Small Rural Schools

The NSW Legislative Council report on the closure of public schools shows that the Department of Education conducted a war against small rural schools. Some 36 public schools have been closed under the Baird Government.

The following is a media release on the report by NSW Greens MP, John Kaye.

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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”

School Size Matters

Recent research on school size suggests that student results tend to be lower in large primary schools than in small schools, but at the secondary level the results are mixed. The research also indicates that disadvantaged students tend to do better in smaller schools. Large schools also tend to have poorer social outcomes and lower parental involvement.

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School Autonomy Is Not The Same as Teacher Autonomy

In the debate over school autonomy, what frequently gets lost is that school autonomy is different from teacher autonomy and that it is teacher autonomy that is the more important factor for classroom learning. Teacher autonomy means collective professional autonomy.

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The Battle Over New Orleans Charter Schools

In the weeks around the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina at the end August, there was a veritable storm of reports and comments disputing the outcomes of the re-organisation of the New Orleans public school system following the hurricane. The heart of the issue was the effects from turning New Orleans into virtually an all-charter school city.

New Orleans is the biggest charter school experiment in the United States. Its proponents claim it has boosted student results and have put it forward as a model for other jurisdictions to follow. Others vehemently reject the claims.

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Unequal Access to Curriculum is Widening Achievement Gaps in Schools

A new study has found that there is a vast gap between rich and poor in the opportunity to learn rigorous mathematics in Australia’s schools. Unequal access to the maths curriculum in Australia is amongst the highest in the OECD. The study also found that unequal access to the maths curriculum is a major factor behind the large achievement gap in mathematics between rich and poor.

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Preschool Education Has Major Benefits

A comprehensive new review of research on the impact of early childhood education in Australia and overseas shows that universal access to preschool education enhances developmental outcomes for all children, particularly for disadvantaged children.  The review was published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare.

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Victorian Private Schools Get Funding Windfall from Andrews Government

Victorian private schools will receive a hidden windfall dividend of nearly $200 million following the recent announcement of the Labor Government to increase funding for public schools by $747 million over four years. The windfall would be better spent on public schools which enrol the vast proportion of disadvantaged students in the state.

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