PISA Results Show that Competition is not the Answer to Improving School Performance

International test results published last month are forcing the OECD to reconsider their long-held faith in the efficacy of competition to improve school outcomes. The results provide strong evidence that competition between schools and the presence of private schools does not lead to higher student achievement. The results also show that more competition tends to lead to greater social segregation between schools and greater inequity in learning opportunities. Continue reading “PISA Results Show that Competition is not the Answer to Improving School Performance”

Gonski Documents Expunged from the Public Record

The Coalition Government has removed all documents from the Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling from the website of the Federal Department of Education and also removed all documents relating to the Better Schools funding plan introduced by the Labor Government. It is extraordinary that the Gonski report and other documents relating to the most significant review of school funding in Australia in the last 40 years have been expunged from the public record. Continue reading “Gonski Documents Expunged from the Public Record”

NAPLAN Results Show Australia has a Major Equity Problem in Education

The latest national literacy and numeracy test (NAPLAN) results contradict Christopher Pyne’s claim that Australia does not have an equity problem in education. The only verdict to be drawn from the new NAPLAN report is that Australia has a major equity problem and little progress has been made in alleviating it in the last five years. Continue reading “NAPLAN Results Show Australia has a Major Equity Problem in Education”

Are Finland’s Vaunted Schools Slipping?

Leading Finnish education expert, Pasi Sahlberg, comments on Finland’s slip down the rankings on international test results from the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA).

The irony of Finland’s successful school system is that the Finns never aimed to be better than anyone else — except, it is often humorously claimed, Sweden. Since the announcement of the first results of the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, in 2001, Finland has been the center of educational attention. Finland’s PISA scores topped the charts, and the Finnish approach to educational policy has stood in direct opposition to the path embraced by the United States, England, and much of the rest of the world. Continue reading “Are Finland’s Vaunted Schools Slipping?”

Pyne Misled Parliament on School Autonomy Evidence

Last Thursday, the Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, misled the Parliament about OECD research on school autonomy. He told the Parliament that OECD and domestic research “shows that school autonomy has a major impact on school outcomes for students” even though the OECD’s PISA 2012 report issued two days earlier clearly shows that the form of school autonomy Pyne is pushing has no impact on student outcomes. Continue reading “Pyne Misled Parliament on School Autonomy Evidence”

PISA Test Results Prove that Increased Funding Should be Allocated to Disadvantaged Students and Schools

The new PISA international test results highlight the need to implement a new school funding scheme to overcome disadvantage in education according to the public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the results show that Australia has failed to make any inroad into reducing inequity in education and, if anything, inequity has increased. Continue reading “PISA Test Results Prove that Increased Funding Should be Allocated to Disadvantaged Students and Schools”

Bureaucrats in Nowhere Land on School Autonomy

Top Federal Education bureaucrats found themselves without a leg to stand on in Senate Estimates last week as Greens Senator, Penny Wright, thoroughly exposed their lack of evidence to support school autonomy. The Senator’s close questioning left them squirming and their only responses were to dissemble and resort to statements of faith. Continue reading “Bureaucrats in Nowhere Land on School Autonomy”

South Korea’s Education Success Has a Dark Side

South Korea has been hugely successful in producing high education outcomes. It ranks at the top of international test results. Education has been a driving force behind South Korea’s rapid economic development over the past half century, creating one of the world’s most educated workforces. However, it is finding a dark side to its obsession with education and the Government is trying to cool its “education fever”.

South Korean children spend long hours out of school in cram classes which is affecting their attitude to learning as well as their happiness and development. There is an epidemic of myopia amongst young people that presages major health problems in the future. Expenditure on cram schools has increased household debt and fertility rates have declined as a result. There is a huge over-supply of university graduates, and many cannot find employment at the level of their education qualifications. Continue reading “South Korea’s Education Success Has a Dark Side”