Minister Launches Another Farcical School Closure Consultation

Save Our Schools today described the consultation over Urambi Primary School as an unmitigated farce. SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the Minister has already decided to close the school as part of the wash-up of his decision two years ago to establish a ‘super-school’ next door. Continue reading “Minister Launches Another Farcical School Closure Consultation”

Large Achievement Gaps Revealed in Victorian Schools

A new report by the Victorian Auditor-General on literacy and numeracy achievement in Victorian government schools has cast more light on the achievement gaps between students.

It shows very large achievement gaps between high-achieving and low-achieving students, between students from rich and poor families and between regions in Victoria. It also shows that these achievement gaps have not reduced over the past 10 years.

Continue reading “Large Achievement Gaps Revealed in Victorian Schools”

New National Education Goals Are Contradictory

The new school year opens this week with new national education goals to follow. Unfortunately, education ministers have set two incompatible goals. They commit to reporting school results and improving equity in education. Inevitably, inequity increases under school reporting. Continue reading “New National Education Goals Are Contradictory”

SOS Policy Brief on the New National Goals for Education

A Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools shows that the new national Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australians (the Melbourne Declaration) promulgated by Australian education ministers at the end of 2008 fails on equity.

It fails on two grounds. It weakens the previous national commitment to improve social equity in education and it introduces a new policy commitment on reporting school results which will exacerbate inequities in student outcomes. Continue reading “SOS Policy Brief on the New National Goals for Education”

Media Release – New National Education Goals Are Fatally Contradictory

A policy brief issued today by the public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, claims that the new national education goals promulgated at the end of 2008 are fatally contradictory and fail on equity. Continue reading “Media Release – New National Education Goals Are Fatally Contradictory”

Enough of Small-Minded Education Reformers

I have done my share of complaining about the business types—and the phonies who think they are thinking like business types (when in fact they are clueless about teaching and learning and therefore lean on incentives, data, and an attitude of toughness to mask their ignorance of curriculum and instruction).

Nonetheless, I share their expressed concern about improving the achievement and knowledge of our nation’s children. As a nation, I do believe we will be helped or harmed in the future by the way we educate our children today.

Where I part company with today’s so-called reformers is that they think that test scores alone are adequate measures of “achievement.” I, however, do not. I hope for the day when schools are expected to teach not only reading and math but history, geography, science, the arts, literature, civics, and a foreign language, and to attend to students’ health and personal development. Continue reading “Enough of Small-Minded Education Reformers”

Media Release – League Tables Are on the Way

The public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, says that the Federal Government has deceived the public about the introduction of school league tables.

SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, warned that league tables are inevitable following decisions taken by Australian Governments at the end of last year. Continue reading “Media Release – League Tables Are on the Way”

Gillard Wrong Again on New York

It has to be seriously questioned whether the Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, is interested in informed debate on reporting school results. Writing in The Australian (9 January), she asserts incorrectly that the New York City model of school reporting has made a difference to students living in poverty and disadvantage. Continue reading “Gillard Wrong Again on New York”

SOS Welcomes Government Back-Flip on Small Schools

Save Our Schools today congratulated the ACT Government on its new-found commitment to small schools.

SOS convenor, Trevor Cobbold, welcomed the Government back-flip but said that it warranted an inquiry into past school closures by the Legislative Assembly. Continue reading “SOS Welcomes Government Back-Flip on Small Schools”