The Federal Education Minister, Peter Garrett, has once again failed to provide convincing evidence that greater school autonomy will improve student outcomes. Lacking any compelling evidence for the program, the Minister can only resort to faith that it will make a difference to student results.
Ten years ago — against all odds — Finland was ranked as the world’s top education nation. It was strange because in Finland education is seen as a public good accessible to all free of charge without standardized testing or competitive private schools.
When I look around the world, I see competition, choice, and measuring of students and teachers as the main means to improve education. This market-based global movement has put many public schools at risk in the United States and many other countries, as well. But not in Finland. Continue reading “How GERM is Infecting Schools Around the World”
This article is the first in a series on mapping the extent and differences in school autonomy across jurisdictions and school sectors in Australia. The aim is to provide an up to date information base for further discussion of issues around school autonomy.
The information provided below and in forthcoming articles is a first go at developing a comprehensive overview of school autonomy in Australia. Comment is invited with a view to correcting mistakes and omissions.
A review of research studies on school autonomy in several countries published by Save Our Schools says that there is little evidence to support the Federal Government’s Empowering Local Schools program. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that there is little prospect that greater school autonomy will lead to better student results. Continue reading “School Autonomy is Not the Success Claimed”
Charter schools are about to be launched in New Zealand. Last month, the New Zealand Government announced the establishment of a working group to advise on a charter school model for NZ. Continue reading “Charter Schools Come Closer to Home”
This article is an abridged version of a new research brief published by Save Our Schools which reviews the research evidence on the impact of charter schools in the United States on student achievement.
Charter schools are an experiment in school autonomy. After 20 years we can say that the experiment has not been a marked success. The latest research evidence shows that charter schools do not deliver better results than other public schools. Continue reading “Charter Schools are not a Good Advertisement for School Autonomy”
Viewers of the ABC’s Lateline last week had a special treat – an evidence-based discussion of education policy. Finland’s director of education, Pasi Sahlberg, was interviewed on the success of his country in international student assessments. He said its success was due to a focus on equity in education.
The central issue in the Gonski review of school funding has been whether the focus of government funding policies should switch from supporting choice to improving equity in education. A new OECD study comes down firmly on the side of improving equity. Its findings should inform debate over the Gonksi report.
The study shows emphatically that school choice has lead to greater social segregation and inequity in education. It says that increased school choice in OECD countries has not led to any improvement in student achievement. School choice schemes have benefitted advantaged parents and students but harmed disadvantaged and low income families. Continue reading “OECD Study on Choice and Equity Informs Post-Gonski Debate”
The ultimate in the logic of applying market principles to education is revealed in an English state school which colour codes its students by ability. It portends the future under a market driven education system. Continue reading “The Logic of the Education Market Revealed in English State School”
A new review of research studies on voucher programs over the past decade in the United States has found no clear positive impact on student academic achievement. Students using government funded vouchers to attend private schools did not generally attain higher test scores than public school students.
The report also found that much of the recent voucher research has been carried out or sponsored by pro-voucher organizations. It recommends greater scrutiny to ensure future studies are not biased. Continue reading “School Vouchers Are Another Failed Market Reform”