In a recent article in The Australian (November 23), Ben Jensen of the Grattan Institute in Melbourne has stressed the undoubted successes of East Asian education, but has ignored all its problems.
While there have been large increases since 2008 in the percentage of students withdrawn from the NAPLAN tests, the average withdrawn remains low in all states and for Australia. However, these low averages disguise some very high withdrawal rates in many schools.
The NSW Premier, Barry O’Farrell, has refused to give any ground on his plan to slash $1.7 billion from the education budget over the next four years. He has rebuffed a call by a coalition of government and private school organisations for the cuts to be reversed. The coalition put the Premier on notice that he faces a major political backlash up to the next NSW election.
An increasing number of parents are withdrawing their children from the NAPLAN tests. There has been a four- to five-fold increase across Australia since 2008 in the percentage of children withdrawn from the numeracy tests. Withdrawals have increased in all Year levels tested and across all states and territories, with the largest increases in the ACT, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.
This article is the third in a series on mapping the extent and differences in school autonomy across jurisdictions and school sectors in Australia. The aim is to provide an up to date information base for further discussion of issues around school autonomy.
The information provided below and in forthcoming articles is a first go at developing a comprehensive overview of school autonomy in Australia. Comment is invited with a view to correcting mistakes and omissions.
The “Contact Us” facility on this website can be used to directly provide comments and information or to contact SOS for another address to send information. Continue reading “Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 3”
The real class war in education was on show this week. It was an object lesson in how the rich ruthlessly exploit their power to gain privileges at the expense of the poor and less well-off. Within a few days they extracted commitments to a funding increase for private schools which will likely amount to about $1.5 billion from the Federal Government and an unspecified increase from the Coalition. Continue reading “The Real Class War on Display”
A new analysis shows that students from high socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds in Australia are more likely to be better taught than disadvantaged students. Low SES students have less exposure to teaching practices that are associated with higher results.
It seems that the Prime Minister may not “give a Gonski”. When challenged at a community cabinet meeting in Brisbane this week to implement the recommendations of the Gonski report on school funding she put the onus on state governments. Her response raises the question as to whether the Federal Government is preparing to dump the report and sheet home blame to Coalition state governments.
Viewers of the ABC’s Lateline last week had a special treat – an evidence-based discussion of education policy. Finland’s director of education, Pasi Sahlberg, was interviewed on the success of his country in international student assessments. He said its success was due to a focus on equity in education.
The Prime Minister’s pointed and repeated refusal to commit, even in principle or in part, to taking up the recommendation of the Gonski review to boost school funding leaves government schools very vulnerable to getting little out of the review. Yet, over-funded private schools will continue to be guaranteed their privileged funding, and many private schools may get even more as the Government goes into an election year. Continue reading “Gillard Should Go it Alone on Gonski”