The NSW Minister for Education, Adrian Piccoli, has accepted the recommendations of a Parliamentary committee report to improve the consultation process on proposed school closures. The report had slammed the approach by the Department of Education to closing schools as “heavy handed”, ignoring the views of parents and local communities of small schools and failing to provide evidence on the relationship between education outcomes and small schools.
The Catholic Education Commission of Victoria (CECV) is failing to direct state government funding to students most in need according to a new report by the Victorian Auditor-General. The report shows that the CECV is directing state government funding away from the lower socio-economic status schools to schools with a higher socio-economic status. There is also evidence that Catholic education authorities are favouring high SES schools in re-allocating Commonwealth funding.
A new OECD report shows that a significant proportion of Australian students are not achieving expected standards in mathematics, reading and science. It shows that low performance is strongly associated with the socio-economic status (SES) of students’ families and schools. It also shows that the incidence of teacher shortage and lower quality educational resources is higher in schools with a high proportion of low achieving students. It says that additional resources and a multi-pronged approach are needed to address low performance.
New school enrolment data show that the long-term shift of students to private schools has stopped in recent years. But, whether it will be sustained is uncertain given school funding trends that massively favour private schools.
The following is a summary of an Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools. The Brief can be downloaded below.
Over the past 15 years, total Commonwealth and state government funding for private schools has grown at more than twice the rate of funding for public schools, and in more recent years, funding for public schools has been cut while private school funding still increased.
Between 1998-99 and 2013-14, government funding per private school student, adjusted for inflation, increased by 39% compared with only 17% for public schools. More recently, between 2009-10 and 2013-14, real funding for public schools funding per student fell by 3% while private school funding increased by 10%.
A new review of research studies has found that money matters in education. It shows that there is strong evidence of a positive relationship between school funding and student achievement and that particular school resources that cost money have a positive influence on student results. As well, more equitable allocation of funds between schools increases equity in student outcomes. Continue reading “Another Study Shows That Money Matters in Education”
After much dithering, Labor has finally delivered on Gonksi, at least for the most part. Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis have promised that a future Labor Government will fund the last two years of Gonski to the tune of an extra $4.5 billion.
Labor’s commitment is a very welcome development. It is a stark contrast to the Turnbull Government’s plan to ditch Gonski funding after 2017 and cut school funding in real terms. It puts the heat on the Prime Minister to deliver on his rhetoric about a fair go and the need for more resources for disadvantaged students.
A research report by Oxfam shows that global inequality has reached new extremes. The richest 1% now have more wealth than the rest of the world combined.
The report says that power and privilege is being used to skew the economic system to increase the gap between the richest and the rest. The global network of tax havens has enabled the rich to hide trillions of dollars in assets from governments. This is depriving governments of resources needed to fund vital public services such as education and health. Continue reading “Oxfam Says that Global Tax Avoidance is Starving Funding for Vital Public Services”
Last year, there was widespread criticism of the plan by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) to take the NAPLAN persuasive writing test online. Two hand-picked Federal Government advisors said it would discriminate against disadvantaged students. It has also been widely criticised by teachers’ unions. Continue reading “NAPLAN Online Test of Writing Could Widen the Achievement Gap”
In the chaotic aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana Department of Education took the opportunity to turn the state’s education system into a vast experiment in free market education. The large majority of public schools in New Orleans were turned into privately operated charter schools that are publicly funded and a voucher scheme was introduced which provided public funds for students to attend private schools.
The whole experiment has been a massive failure.