Outlandish Funding Bonanza for Private Schools

A report published today by the public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, finds that two voucher models of school funding proposed to the Gonski Review would deliver billions of dollars in additional funding for private schools and no increases for government schools.

Trevor Cobbold, author of the report and national convenor of SOS, said the proposals would provide an outlandish funding bonanza for private schools and should be rejected by the Review. Continue reading “Outlandish Funding Bonanza for Private Schools”

Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence and Policy Responses

Policies such as expanded parent choice, promoting competition between schools and test-based evaluation of teachers are misguided according to one of the leading scholars of education reform in the United States. Professor Helen Ladd claims that these policies fail to address the key problem of the achievement gap between rich and poor and that addressing this educational challenge will require a broader and bolder approach to education policy than the recent efforts to improve education in the US.

Continue reading “Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence and Policy Responses”

The Pressure is on the Gonksi Review to Deliver on Equity

The following is a summary of a speech delivered by the National Convenor of Save Our Schools, Trevor Cobbold, to the State Council of the State School Teachers’ Union of Western Australia in Perth on 19 November 2011. It can be downloaded below.

If the Gonski Review of school funding is to deliver on its own equity goal it must deliver a new school funding model that restricts funding for wealthy private schools and provide a large boost in funding for government schools. Continue reading “The Pressure is on the Gonksi Review to Deliver on Equity”

New Evidence of Massive Achievement Gaps Between Rich and Poor in Australia

New studies published by academics at Murdoch University show massive achievement gaps between rich and poor in Australia’s schools. Students from low income families in low socio-economic status (SES) schools are nearly four years behind students from high income families in high SES schools in reading, mathematics and science.

Continue reading “New Evidence of Massive Achievement Gaps Between Rich and Poor in Australia”

Parent Engagement Makes a Difference at All Ages

A new brief on the results from the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) shows that parent support of their children’s learning has a significant effect on school achievement for children at all ages.

Students whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child “every day or almost every day” or “once or twice a week” during the first year of primary school have markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents reported that they had read a book with their child “never or almost never” or only “once or twice a month”. On average across the 14 countries for which data are available, the difference is 25 score points, the equivalent of well over half a school year.

Continue reading “Parent Engagement Makes a Difference at All Ages”

C.I.S Funding Model Provides More for Private Schools

A recent report from Jennifer Buckingham and the Centre for Independent Studies (CIS) illustrates how much the debate on schools funding has rightly developed an emphasis on equity goals, creating a good deal of confusion in the private school lobby. Instead of being dominated by the aim of promoting school choice, which led to marked increases for some of the elite private schools under the previous Howard Government and was continued by the Rudd and Gillard Governments, as Buckingham puts it, “it is difficult to justify providing extra public funds to already well-resourced students and schools.” Continue reading “C.I.S Funding Model Provides More for Private Schools”

Govt. Largesse of $6m for Geelong Grammar

The extremes of wealth and poverty and its effects on education are nowhere more clearly on show than in north Geelong. Here the most expensive and luxurious private school in Australia sits alongside schools serving some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country and it all shows in their comparative results. Here also starkly revealed is the monstrous unfairness of the existing school funding model.

Continue reading “Govt. Largesse of $6m for Geelong Grammar”

Economic Inequality is the Root Cause of Education Inequality

A groundbreaking new book demonstrates that increasing inequalities in education outcomes are associated with growing income inequality. It shows that rising economic inequality is undermining one of the most important goals of public education—the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success.

Continue reading “Economic Inequality is the Root Cause of Education Inequality”

Gonski Review Should Disregard Private School Hysterics

Save Our Schools today called on the Gonski Review of School Funding to use its commissioned research reports as the foundation for a new school funding model. In releasing its submission on the reports, the national convenor of SOS, Trevor Cobbold, said that Review Committee should disregard the hysterical reaction of private school organisations to the reports. Continue reading “Gonski Review Should Disregard Private School Hysterics”