Minister Denies Parents Access to Super School

The ACT Minister for Education, Andrew Barr, has unilaterally denied several families access to the new super school in West Belconnen. Many parents have found out less than two months before the Charles Kingsford Smith School is due to open its doors that their children will be unable to attend because it will only take P-7 students for 2009.

The Stanhope Govt has misled the people of West Belconnen. For the past three years, the super-school has been promoted as opening in 2009 as a P-10 school. There has never been any indication that the opening of the school would be phased in. Families have just been told of this now, only two months before the school opens in the New Year.

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Klein Lied to the National Press Club

New York City Schools Chancellor, Joel Klein, was exposed as a dissembler at his National Press Club address in Canberra last week. Under forensic questioning from The Canberra Times’ education reporter, Emma Macdonald, Klein resorted to lies and deceptions to justify his claims of increases in student achievement in New York City schools. Continue reading “Klein Lied to the National Press Club”

The Achievement Gap in Higher Education

A report issued by Universities Australia shows that students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds have much lower rates of participation in higher education in Australia than higher SES students.

Students from low SES backgrounds are under-represented in Australian higher education and are about one-third as likely to participate in higher education as students from high SES backgrounds. Continue reading “The Achievement Gap in Higher Education”

New York Education Department Rorts Its Own Reporting System

Wednesday December 3, 2008

A report in the New York Post this week has revealed that the New York City Department of Education has been rorting its own school reporting system to ensure that schools achieve a higher grade.

The report is a further blow to the integrity and credibility of a reporting system that Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, has been touting as a model for Australia. Continue reading “New York Education Department Rorts Its Own Reporting System”

New York City High School Results Questioned

Last week, report cards for New York City high schools were released for 2007-08. As was the case of the report cards for elementary and middle schools released in September, they beggar belief.

There were huge improvements from the previous year, much of which seem due to manipulation of the results by the New York City Department of Education rather than an actual increase in school performance. Continue reading “New York City High School Results Questioned”

No, Julia! New York is Not Working

The imminent visit to Australia by New York City Schools Chancellor and prospective US Secretary of Education, Joel Klein, puts his education policies in the spotlight. Federal Education Minister, Julia Gillard, has been spruiking them ever since her visit to New York last August.

Gillard says that Klein’s reforms to the New York City public school system are “working” and have produced “remarkable outcomes”. She says that there has been continual improvement in student achievement in New York City under Klein.

However, these assertions are refuted by test results in reading and mathematics. National tests show that average student achievement in New York City schools has stagnated while state tests show a mixture of increases and declines, with no consistent pattern of improvement.

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Does Money Matter for Schools?

One of the myths perpetrated by the critics of public education is that increasing expenditure does not lead to increased student achievement.

This myth has been debunked by a new study done at the London School of Economics which concludes that increasing expenditure on schools can raise student results, especially for disadvantaged students.

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Massive Achievement Gaps Revealed

The recent report of the NSW Auditor-General on improving literacy and numeracy in NSW government schools reveals massive achievement gaps between students from rich and poor families and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

It shows that the NSW Government has made little to no progress since 1999 in meeting its commitment under the National Goals for Schooling that learning outcomes of disadvantaged students match those of other students.

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League tables used in ACT school closures

Schedules to 20,000 pages of Freedom of Information (FOI) papers and the findings of a related Administrative Appeals Tribunal hearing that were handed down only this year provide strong evidence that the results from student literacy and numeracy testing, then called ACTAP (the ACT Assessment Program), were used in the 2006 school closures.

At the time, the Chief Minister in his role as acting Education Minister denied accusations of using ACTAP in this way, calling them ‘mischievous’ and ‘false’ (_Canberra Times_ 08/08/06). More recently, the same government has insisted it opposes using the results of student testing to create league tables (Canberra Times 28/08/08, p. 4).

But the truth is ACTAP results were used in closing schools; and the Stanhope government has sought to cover it up.

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