School Funding Should be Better Directed at Reducing Disadvantage

The following is a summary of a confidential submission to the Gonski Review of School Funding commissioned by state government education departments. It was written by Professor Richard Teese from the University of Melbourne. It says that the Australian school system has become segregated between rich and poor with government funding being spent on supporting school choice rather than reducing the achievement gap between rich and poor.

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NAPLAN Results Highlight the Failure of Governments to Address Education Disadvantage

The latest national literacy and numeracy (NAPLAN) results show that government education policies have had little to no impact on student achievement in Australia since 2008. There has been virtually no change in overall average results, in the results of disadvantaged students and in the large gaps between the results of disadvantaged and advantaged students. Governments are failing disadvantaged students and their families. Continue reading “NAPLAN Results Highlight the Failure of Governments to Address Education Disadvantage”

National Equity Funding Programs are too ‘Hit and Miss’

A report published by the Australian Primary Principals Association provides some revealing insights into the targeting and funding of low income students under the Smarter Schools National Partnerships. The lead author of the study said that the programs are too ‘hit and miss’.

The findings suggest that the programs are unlikely to lead to any significant improvement in outcomes for low income and low achieving students. The amount of funding per school and student is small; it is not well targeted as many students and schools miss out and is not being used in the most effective ways. Continue reading “National Equity Funding Programs are too ‘Hit and Miss’”

Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence and Policy Responses

Policies such as expanded parent choice, promoting competition between schools and test-based evaluation of teachers are misguided according to one of the leading scholars of education reform in the United States. Professor Helen Ladd claims that these policies fail to address the key problem of the achievement gap between rich and poor and that addressing this educational challenge will require a broader and bolder approach to education policy than the recent efforts to improve education in the US.

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New Evidence of Massive Achievement Gaps Between Rich and Poor in Australia

New studies published by academics at Murdoch University show massive achievement gaps between rich and poor in Australia’s schools. Students from low income families in low socio-economic status (SES) schools are nearly four years behind students from high income families in high SES schools in reading, mathematics and science.

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Economic Inequality is the Root Cause of Education Inequality

A groundbreaking new book demonstrates that increasing inequalities in education outcomes are associated with growing income inequality. It shows that rising economic inequality is undermining one of the most important goals of public education—the ability of schools to provide children with an equal chance at academic and economic success.

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Inequity, Disadvantage and Education Outcomes

Inequity and injustice continue to pervade Australian education under Labor. Data published on the My School website show shockingly large achievement and income gaps between the richest and poorest schools while millions in government funding is wasted on the wealthiest private schools. Continue reading “Inequity, Disadvantage and Education Outcomes”

Public Education and the Disadvantaged Let Down by Labor

The My School website reveals shockingly large achievement and income gaps between the richest and poorest metropolitan schools in Australia. However, there is little difference between the results of well-off government and private schools, even though total private school income is about double that of government schools.

This suggests that nearly $400 million in annual government funding for wealthy private schools is being wasted and would be better spent on the most disadvantaged schools to improve student outcomes. Continue reading “Public Education and the Disadvantaged Let Down by Labor”

Disadvantaged Students Get Less Opportunities in Science

A new international study shows that disadvantaged students in Australia are, on average, given less opportunity to learn science at school than students from more affluent families. Disadvantaged 15 year-old students spend over 30 minutes less a week studying science than the average for all other students. This contributes to a large achievement gap in science results between rich and poor students.

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