War Declared on New York’s Phony Test Results

The pressure is mounting in New York to put a stop to phony test results in the aftermath of a recent study that found evidence that the tests had become too easy to pass. State education officials have declared war on the fraud.

Officials now admit that pass and proficiency standards on the tests were set too low. Merryl Tisch, the Chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents which administers education in the state, says standards will be changed. She told the New York Post this week [26 July]: “This is going to sting, but I don’t want to be responsible for the Enron of test scores.”

She said that test scores had been inflated by 20% in recent years. Yet, these inflated results were cheered by New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg, and bragged about by Julia Gillard’s hero and mentor, Schools Chancellor Joel Klein. Continue reading “War Declared on New York’s Phony Test Results”

Abbott’s Education Rebate Will Give a Backdoor Funding Increase to Private Schools

A Liberal/National Party government will provide another boost to private schools with a tax rebate on school fees. It will provide a backdoor funding increase and shift more students to private schools. It will further damage public education in Australia and increase social segregation between the private and government school sectors. Continue reading “Abbott’s Education Rebate Will Give a Backdoor Funding Increase to Private Schools”

Computers Widen Achievement Gap in Schools

A new study of home computer use in the United States has thrown the cat amongst the pigeons on programs to provide students with computers for use at home. It found that greater access to computers and high speed internet reduces reading and mathematics achievement and increases racial and socio-economic achievement gaps. Continue reading “Computers Widen Achievement Gap in Schools”

Government Schools Lose from Government Funding of Private Schools

A new study says that government schools are the clear “losers” from government funding of private schools over the past four decades. It shows that government funding of private schools in Australia has increased socio-economic segregation between government and private schools and allowed private schools to improve school quality rather than reduce their fees. Continue reading “Government Schools Lose from Government Funding of Private Schools”

New York Test Standards are Revealed as Too Low

It’s official! New York’s amazing test results have been exposed as fraudulent in a study by researchers from Harvard and New York universities. Julia Gillard, take note.

According to the study done for the Board of Regents, which supervises all education services in New York state, the state tests have become easier to pass and achieve the proficiency standard in recent years. For example, students who received the minimum score to pass the state mathematics tests in 2007 were in the 36th percentile of all students nationally, but in 2009 they had dropped to the 19th percentile. Continue reading “New York Test Standards are Revealed as Too Low”

NSW Parliament Report Rejects Private School Claims on Funding for Students With Disabilities

A NSW parliamentary committee report has rejected claims by private school organisations that students with disabilities in private schools receive less special funding than students with disabilities in government schools. The report recommends an increase in funding for students with disabilities in NSW government schools but not for private schools.

This is a major blow to private school organisations. They have campaigned long and hard on the myth that students with disabilities in private schools are under-funded compared to those in government schools. Continue reading “NSW Parliament Report Rejects Private School Claims on Funding for Students With Disabilities”

Social Segregation in Schools Blights Children and Society

Chris Bonnor, co-author of The Stupid Country, and Professor Richard Teese from Melbourne University have raised the spectre of increasing social segregation in Australia’s schools Sydney Morning Herald, 5 July and 8 July]. They have pointed to the increasing social division as more students from richer families attend private and selective government schools while low income students attend other government schools. Australian education is under threat from increasing “social and academic apartheid” according to Bonnor.

Continue reading “Social Segregation in Schools Blights Children and Society”

Published School Results and League Tables are Misleading and Unreliable

The Federal Government claims that publishing school results on the My School website will better inform parent choice of school. However, parents can be misled by using published school results to inform their choice of school because school results are not a reliable measure of school quality.

The school results published on My School are likely to be an inaccurate and misleading measure of school quality because:

1. Differences in school composition affect school results;
2. Many other factors outside schools influence school results;
3. They are a selective measure of education;
4. They are subject to manipulation and rorting; and,
5. There may be significant statistical errors on school test results.

These factors may lead parents to choose a school of lesser quality than its results indicate. They also make it difficult to identify effective school practices. Decision-makers and schools may be misled in recommending and adopting particular educational programs. Education practices and programs could be falsely identified as successes while successful programs in reality are ignored or even falsely condemned. Continue reading “Published School Results and League Tables are Misleading and Unreliable”

Another Study Shows that Charter Schools do no Better than Traditional Public Schools

Yet another report has found that charter schools in the United States do no better in increasing student results than traditional public schools. It adds another layer to the accumulating evidence that charter schools are not the answer to better results. Continue reading “Another Study Shows that Charter Schools do no Better than Traditional Public Schools”