School Autonomy is Not the Success Claimed

A review of research studies on school autonomy in several countries published by Save Our Schools says that there is little evidence to support the Federal Government’s Empowering Local Schools program. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that there is little prospect that greater school autonomy will lead to better student results. Continue reading “School Autonomy is Not the Success Claimed”

Testing is Robbing Children of their Childhood and Health

Reports in the world’s media over the last few weeks have told of the immense burden being placed on young children by school tests in cities as far apart as Beijing, New York and Sydney. There was a common thread to the stories – children being robbed of their childhood and their health suffering because of the emphasis now placed on tests in schools. Continue reading “Testing is Robbing Children of their Childhood and Health”

New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding

Save Our Schools has accused two Canberra private schools of using a loophole to get extra Federal funding. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the two schools will gain $2.4 million in additional funding by establishing new campuses of existing schools rather than for new stand alone schools. Continue reading “New Private Schools Use Loophole to Get More Funding”

What NAPLAN Test Prep Has in Common With Trains Skipping Stations

An interesting article was published in The Age last week about Metro Trains, the privately-owned operator of Melbourne’s suburban rail network. Apparently, Metro has resorted to skipping stations and running unscheduled short services in order to avoid being fined for trains running late. Continue reading “What NAPLAN Test Prep Has in Common With Trains Skipping Stations”

Letter of Support from Academics for “Say No to NAPLAN”

Over 100 education academics have signed a letter in support of “Say No to NAPLAN”.

We are a group of Australian academics teaching in universities. As a group we are appalled at the way in which the Commonwealth government has moved to a high stakes testing regime in the form of NAPLAN, despite international evidence that such approaches do not improve children’s learning outcomes. Continue reading “Letter of Support from Academics for “Say No to NAPLAN””

New Private School Applications Should be Rejected

Save Our Schools has called on the ACT Government to reject applications for new private schools in Charnwood and Molonglo. SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the ACT Government has previously rejected a proposal for a new private school in north-west Belconnen because it would impact on existing schools and the Charnwood application should be similarly rejected. Continue reading “New Private School Applications Should be Rejected”

Is This What We Really Want for Education?

Just as students all around Australia participated in the NAPLAN tests last week, students across the United States are also in their testing season. ‘High-stakes’ tests in the US have been in place for over 20 years and they provide a lesson about what we can expect from NAPLAN and My School in the future. The lesson was spelled out in an article in the Washington Post’s Answer Sheet blog over the weekend. Here are some excerpts: Continue reading “Is This What We Really Want for Education?”

The Parent Factor in Education

A new OECD study shows that parental involvement in education is pivotal for the success of children throughout their school years and beyond. It says that being involved in their child’s education is the most important investment a parent can make.

It shows that many types of parental involvement are associated with better student performance, including reading books to young children, talking with adolescents and involvement in school. Even just reading at home benefits children, because it shows them that reading is something that their parents value.

Continue reading “The Parent Factor in Education”

ACARA Disqualifies Itself from Assessing the Impact of NAPLAN

Save Our Schools today called on the national ministers’ education council to re-commission an investigation of the impact of NAPLAN. Trevor Cobbold, national convenor of SOS, said that the integrity of the investigation had been prejudiced by statements by officials of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) which was charged to do the report. Continue reading “ACARA Disqualifies Itself from Assessing the Impact of NAPLAN”

A Mother’s Plea to the Prime Minister on NAPLAN

Dear Prime Minister,
I have a six year old son. He loves dinosaurs, and is currently obsessed with a Praying Mantis he found in the back yard. Like most kids, he is funny, exhaustingly active and has a mind like a sponge, soaking up learning in a fun and imaginative journey.

When he is old enough (and if it is still around), he will not be taking part in the Naplan testing and I will do anything I can to inform other parents about the limitations of this testing. Continue reading “A Mother’s Plea to the Prime Minister on NAPLAN”