Computers Widen Achievement Gap in Schools

A new study of home computer use in the United States has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons on programs to provide students with computers for use at home. It found that greater access to computers and high speed internet reduces reading and mathematics achievement and increases racial and socio-economic achievement gaps. Continue reading “Computers Widen Achievement Gap in Schools”

Government Schools Lose from Government Funding of Private Schools

A new study says that government schools are the clear “losers” from government funding of private schools over the past four decades. It shows that government funding of private schools in Australia has increased socio-economic segregation between government and private schools and allowed private schools to improve school quality rather than reduce their fees. Continue reading “Government Schools Lose from Government Funding of Private Schools”

NSW Parliament Report Rejects Private School Claims on Funding for Students With Disabilities

A NSW parliamentary committee report has rejected claims by private school organisations that students with disabilities in private schools receive less special funding than students with disabilities in government schools. The report recommends an increase in funding for students with disabilities in NSW government schools but not for private schools.

This is a major blow to private school organisations. They have campaigned long and hard on the myth that students with disabilities in private schools are under-funded compared to those in government schools. Continue reading “NSW Parliament Report Rejects Private School Claims on Funding for Students With Disabilities”

Social Segregation in Schools Blights Children and Society

Chris Bonnor, co-author of The Stupid Country, and Professor Richard Teese from Melbourne University have raised the spectre of increasing social segregation in Australia’s schools Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July and 8 July]. They have pointed to the increasing social division as more students from richer families attend private and selective government schools while low income students attend other government schools. Australian education is under threat from increasing “social and academic apartheid” according to Bonnor.

Continue reading “Social Segregation in Schools Blights Children and Society”

Seven Principles of Education Change

The Obama administration is hell-bent on extending market incentives to improve the state of US schools. More high-stakes testing, more charter schools, more performance pay, more sanctions to punish teachers and schools.

A group of teachers called Teachers Letters to Obama has presented the President with an alternative vision based on seven principles of education change. It would be a good place to start for the Gillard Government as well. Continue reading “Seven Principles of Education Change”

Stronger Requirements for Consideration of School Closure Proposals

After a long campaign by Save Our Schools to improve the process for considering school closures, several amendments to the ACT Education Act were passed this week by the ACT Legislative Assembly.

The amendments should ensure a better consultation process around school closure proposals and ensure a much fuller analysis of the impact of proposed school closures. They should ensure a better hearing for school communities than occurred in 2005 for Ginninderra District HS and in 2006 under the Towards 2020 plan. Continue reading “Stronger Requirements for Consideration of School Closure Proposals”

Swedish-Style School Privatisation for England

The ideologues of choice and competition in schooling are at it again. Their latest miracle cure is Sweden, despite the fact that its next door neighbour Finland has the best school results in the world and doesn’t follow the free market ideology in education. Continue reading “Swedish-Style School Privatisation for England”