New Study Shows that Public Schools Do Better Than Private Schools in Maths

A new US study has found that public school students out-perform private school students in maths. The higher performance by public schools was attributed to more certified maths teachers and a modern maths curriculum and teaching. Continue reading “New Study Shows that Public Schools Do Better Than Private Schools in Maths”

Reporting Statistical Error is Fundamental For Accurate Reporting of School Results

According to the new Melbourne Declaration of national goals for schooling, Australian governments are committed to ensuring that information published on school results will be accurate and fair. However, to date, governments have not indicated what action will be taken to implement this commitment. The current draft Action Plan on the Declaration merely repeats the commitment. It needs to do better than this to ensure accuracy and fairness in reporting school results. Continue reading “Reporting Statistical Error is Fundamental For Accurate Reporting of School Results”

League Tables Increase Social Segregation and Inequity

Australia’s school system has a high degree of social segregation between schools and large inequities in outcomes between students from rich and poor families. These will probably increase following the agreement of Australian Governments, led by the Rudd Government, to introduce national reporting of individual school results. Continue reading “League Tables Increase Social Segregation and Inequity”

Issues for the School Closure Inquiry

The Education Committee of the ACT Legislative Assembly has announced an inquiry into school closures under the Towards 2020 plan which closed 23 schools in the ACT between 2006 and 2008.

Save Our Schools welcomes the review. It will provide school communities with the opportunity to state their case for re-opening and to review the flawed and inadequate consultation process used by the Minister for Education for the Towards 2020 proposals.

The inquiry will also provide an opportunity to review the process and suggest changes for future consideration of school closures. Hopefully it will lead to changes to the section of the Education Act about consultation on school closures.

Continue reading “Issues for the School Closure Inquiry”

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”

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”

New study shows that competition and choice do not raise student achievement

At the heart of the Rudd Government’s policy of reporting individual school results is an assumption that competition between schools will raise student achievement. The theory is that reporting school results will better inform parent choice of schools and the competition between schools for enrolments will act as an incentive for schools to improve student achievement. Continue reading “New study shows that competition and choice do not raise student achievement”