Schools Advisory Council Calls for More Transparency in the Registration of Private Schools

The ACT Government Schools Education Council (GSEC) has called for changes to the registration process for private schools. It says that the transparency and objectivity of the process should be improved.

It proposes that private school approval procedures match the rigorous requirements for assessing the need for new government schools. It suggests that the evidence to make an objective assessment of community need for new private schools and their potential impact on the viability of existing schools should be more clearly specified.

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Pyne Misleads on School Autonomy Results

Christopher Pyne has used highly selective and misleading evidence to support his claim that greater school autonomy for independent public schools will improve school outcomes. He ignores overwhelming national and international evidence that indicates his project to make government schools more like private schools as a way to improve outcomes is doomed to fail. Continue reading “Pyne Misleads on School Autonomy Results”

Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools

A new education research brief from Save Our Schools shows that private schools do not achieve better results than public schools.

Christopher Pyne’s agenda to make government schools more like private schools has come under challenge before it has even got off the ground. His claims that it will lead to better education outcomes are contradicted by two new Australian research studies and two new US studies. Continue reading “Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools”

New US Studies Show that Public Schools do Better than Private Schools

Critics of public education system have long argued that public schools would benefit from being operated more like private schools. Indeed, this is a central belief of the new Abbott Government and its education minister, Christopher Pyne.

However, there is mounting evidence to the contrary. In addition to recent Australian studies that show declining performance by private schools relative to government schools (here and here ), two new US studies have also undercut the belief that private schools do better than public schools. It appears that making public schools more like private schools is not the answer to improving education.

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Study Shows Catholic Schools Have Lost any Academic Advantage over Government Schools

A new study shows the relative performance of Catholic schools has declined since 1980. The advantage that Catholic schools once held over government schools has virtually disappeared and attendance at Catholic schools may now lead to lower completion rates in secondary school and university.

The findings of the study present a simple message for parents who send their children to Catholic schools – if you think you are getting some advantage in educational achievements from sending your child to a Catholic school rather than a government school, think again. Continue reading “Study Shows Catholic Schools Have Lost any Academic Advantage over Government Schools”

Australia’s Declining School Results are Due to Ineffective Private Schools

A Melbourne University study has debunked some common myths about the relative performance of Australia’s public and private schools. It shows that the decline in Australia’s performance in international tests over the last decade is due to falling results in private schools, the falls being similar in both Independent and Catholic schools. It also shows that the decline has occurred across the whole range of student achievement and is not confined to high achieving students as some claim. Continue reading “Australia’s Declining School Results are Due to Ineffective Private Schools”

School Choice is No Guarantee to Improve Results

School choice does not necessarily deliver better results for students according to a new research brief. The brief reviewed research on various alternatives to public schools in the United States and found that the impact of school choice on student learning generally shows mixed results with studies typically showing little or no difference in overall performance compared to traditional public schools. Continue reading “School Choice is No Guarantee to Improve Results”

Australia is in the Top League of All-rounders

The Labor Government’s Better Schools Plan aims to put Australian schools into the top 5 in the world by 2025. A new OECD report shows that Australia is already in the top 5 in one respect – producing high all-round results.

Australia is ranked equal fourth in the world in terms of the proportion of students who are top performers in reading, mathematics and science (all-rounders). It has 8.1 per cent of students at the top proficiency levels in all three subjects. Continue reading “Australia is in the Top League of All-rounders”

Test Scores Have Declined for Low Achieving as well as High Achieving Students

A new report by the Australian Council for Educational Research provides a very useful overview of the results for Australian students on international and national tests. In particular, it shows an overall decline in reading and mathematics achievement amongst 15 year-old students, a growing gap between the most advantaged and the least advantaged secondary schools in Australia, and further confirmation of the strong influence of socio-economic background on student achievement. Continue reading “Test Scores Have Declined for Low Achieving as well as High Achieving Students”