One factor not considered in the commotion over the
continuing decline in Australia’s PISA results is whether students try their
best on the tests. The OECD’s
own report on PISA 2018 shows that about three in four Australian students and
two-thirds of students in OECD countries did not try their hardest on the tests.
There are also wide differences between countries. It has potentially explosive
implications for the validity of international comparisons of student
achievement based on PISA.
The PISA data also shows increasing student dissatisfaction with school which likely contributes to lack of effort on tests and is a factor, among others, behind Australia’s declining results. There is also a perplexing contradiction between Australia’s declining PISA results and its improving Year 12 results. Lack of effort in PISA may partly explain this because performance on PISA has no consequences for students as they don’t even get their individual results. In contrast, Year 12 outcomes affect the life chances of students and even students dissatisfied with school have greater incentive to try harder. The fact that Australia’s Year 12 results have improved significantly since the early 2000s raises further questions about the reliability of the PISA results.
Continue reading “OECD Says 3 in 4 Australian Students Do Not Try on PISA Tests”
A new study has found that recession-induced spending cuts
in school education in the United States led to declines in student achievement,
particularly in school districts serving economically disadvantaged and
minority students. It is the second study in recent years showing the effect of
spending cuts and the 27th study since 2015 showing that school
expenditure has a significant effect on student achievement.
Continue reading “School Spending Cuts Lead to Declines in Student Achievement”
Total government funding of Northern Territory private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased massively between 2009 and 2017 while funding for public schools was cut. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increases for private schools were 20-30 times that for public schools.
The NT Government took the opportunity of increased Commonwealth funding for public schools to massively cut its own real funding of public schools.
Government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring private schools. About 83% of disadvantaged students in the Northern Territory are in public schools and 88% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.
Under the new Commonwealth/Northern Territory funding agreement, NT public schools will continue to be badly under-funded to 2023 and beyond while private schools will be nearly fully funded by 2023.
Continue reading “The Facts About School Funding in the Northern Territory”
The evidence that increased expenditure on schools improves
student outcomes continues to accumulate. Yet another
study has found that it increases test scores, reduces drop-out rates and
increases tertiary education enrolments.
Continue reading “New Study Shows that Increased Funding Improves Student Outcomes”
The Minister for Education, James Merlino, is treating the
Shepparton/Mooroopna community with breathtaking arrogance and contempt in
refusing to provide any evidence that the new super-school will improve school
outcomes. He has repeatedly avoided fronting the community to justify the
The Minister claims that the merger will boost student
results. Yet, two years after the plan was first mooted, he hasn’t provided any
evidence for his claim. When faced with a direct request for this evidence at a
community meeting in Shepparton, government representatives couldn’t provide
There is good reason for this failure and the Minister’s
attempt to bluff it out – there is little evidence to support his claim!
Continue reading “Shepparton Super-School is Unlikely to Improve Outcomes”
Total government funding per student in ACT public schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) was cut between 2009 and 2017. In contrast, per student funding for Catholic schools was massively boosted and Independent schools received a lesser but significant increase. Public schools endured a massive cut in funding during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 while Catholic schools received a huge boost in funding and Independent schools a small increase.
Continue reading “The Facts About School Funding in the ACT”
There is extensive research evidence that the social composition
of schools is a significant factor in educational inequality. Students from
different socio-economic status (SES) families who attend schools with a high
concentration of students from high SES families tend to achieve higher test
results and higher graduation rates. There are negative consequences for high
and low SES students from attending low SES schools.
A new study published in the academic journal Studies
in Educational Evaluation has found similar effects on educational
inequality from social segregation in school systems. It found that social
segregation within European education systems amplifies social disparities in
educational achievement. Achievement gaps between low and high SES students
tend to be higher in more highly segregated school systems.
Continue reading “Segregated School Systems Increase Social Inequality in Education”
Labor Government has announced that it will merge four secondary schools in
Shepparton and Mooroopna into a new “super school” of about 3,000 students. The
merger is being strongly resisted by of the Stop Shepparton’s Super
School Facebook group. A
community meeting earlier this month called for an independent review of
the decision. Many
parents are concerned because the merger will restrict public school
options in the area.
Continue reading “Vic Govt Has Failed to Justify Shepparton Super School”
The arms race in opulence and ostentation between elite
private schools is out of control as revealed by a new ABC
investigation. Australia’s four richest schools spent more on new
facilities than the poorest 1,800 schools combined between 2013 and 2017. Elite
private schools spend millions and millions in competing over lavish facilities.
This arms race is fuelled by big increases in government funding.
Continue reading “The Spending Arms Race Between Elite Private Schools Is Out of Control”
Total government funding per student in Tasmanian private schools adjusted for inflation (“real funding”) increased by about seven times that for public schools between 2009 and 2017. Even during the Gonski funding period of 2013-2017 the funding increase for private schools was about 50% more than that for public schools.
The Tasmanian Government cut real funding by $598 (-6.3%) per student between 2009 and 2013. It increased real funding significantly in the Gonski period of 2013 to 2017 by $465 per student, but not sufficiently to offset the earlier cut. As a result, public schools had far fewer human and material resources per student in 2017 than in 2009 and far less than available in Independent private schools and a little less than in Catholic schools.
Overall, government funding increases have been badly mis-directed in favouring the more privileged, better-off school sectors and students. About 85% of disadvantaged students in Tasmania are in public schools and 96% of disadvantaged schools are public schools.
Continue reading “The Facts About School Funding in Tasmania”