Parent Engagement Must Not Stop at the Gate

Study after study has shown that student achievement improves when parents play an active role in their child’s education and that good schools become even better schools when parents are involved. It is recognised that parent engagement is a key factor in the enhancement of student achievement and well-being.

Continue reading “Parent Engagement Must Not Stop at the Gate”

US National Research Council Fails Test-Based Accountability Programs

A decade or more of test-based accountability programs in the United States has had little to no effect on student achievement according to a report just published by an expert panel of the US National Research Council. The report is a devastating indictment of the focus on testing in US education policy and, by implication, Australian education policy which now closely follows the US model. Continue reading “US National Research Council Fails Test-Based Accountability Programs”

A High School Plan for the Well-Off

The new plan for Canberra’s government secondary schools will provide a second class education for the less well-off. The well-off get more challenging options and pathways. The disadvantaged get more vocational education and at younger ages – oh, they also get another round of rhetoric about engaging students and parents.

The plan is likely to exacerbate the large achievement gap between rich and poor, which is already about the largest in Australia. It is also a step backwards from comprehensive education in government schools. It is likely lead to greater social segregation of students between schools and within schools.

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Budget Gives Priority to Funding Privilege and Market-Based Programs

Equity in education is the major loser in the Commonwealth Schools Budget as the Labor Government continues to give greater priority to funding privilege and market-based programs than reducing disadvantage in education. The 2011-12 Budget projects larger funding increases for private schools than government schools and introduces new market-based programs while major equity programs are wound down. Continue reading “Budget Gives Priority to Funding Privilege and Market-Based Programs”

An Alternative Funding Model for Government and Private Schools

It is widely agreed that a new approach to school funding is needed. The Federal Minister for Education says that the SES funding model for private schools has “reached its use-by-date”. Even the major private school lobbies concede that it has had its day, although they still want to retain the privileged funding it gives them.

Save Our Schools has recommended to the Gonski School Funding Review a new model which integrates funding for government and private schools from both federal and state/territory governments. Continue reading “An Alternative Funding Model for Government and Private Schools”

Study Says that School Closures are Unlikely to Deliver Financial Savings and Education Improvement

When governments are looking to save money, they often turn to school closures as the answer, as has been seen in every Australian state and territory in recent years. It is a worldwide phenomenon. It has been going on in many states and school districts in the United States in the last few years. Continue reading “Study Says that School Closures are Unlikely to Deliver Financial Savings and Education Improvement”

Teacher Bonuses are Another Failed Scheme from New York

Save Our Schools has accused the Prime Minister of adopting another failed reform from her ‘hero’ from New York, former Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Trevor Cobbold, National Convenor of SOS, said that the research evidence shows that bonuses do not improve student results and will be a huge waste of money. Continue reading “Teacher Bonuses are Another Failed Scheme from New York”