The following is a summary of an Education Research Paper on NSW school outcomes and funding. It can be downloaded below.
The latest NAPLAN results show shocking inequalities in school outcomes between highly advantaged and disadvantaged students in NSW. Very high proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students do not achieve national literacy and numeracy standards compared to very small proportions of high SES students. By Year 9, low SES, Indigenous and remote area students are several years of learning behind their high SES peers. There has been very little progress in reducing the learning gaps between rich and poor over the last decade or so.
Continue reading “Government Funding Failures Have Stoked Shocking Inequity in NSW School Outcomes”
The following is a summary of a new research paper by Save Our Schools analysing the latest NAPLAN results. The paper can be downloaded below.
The latest NAPLAN reslts shows shocking inequalities in school outcomes between highly advantaged and disadvantaged students in Australia. Very high proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students do not achieve national literacy and numeracy standards compared to very small proportions of high SES students. By Year 9, low SES, Indigenous and remote area students are several years of learning behind their high SES peers. There has been very little progress in reducing the learning gaps between rich and poor over the last decade or so.
The paper shows that 29% of low SES Year 9 students were below the national reading standard in 2022, 38% were below the writing standard and 16% were below the numeracy standard. One-third of Indigenous students were below the reading standard, 44% were below the writing standard and 19% were below the numeracy standard. Nearly one-quarter of remote area students were below the reading standard, 35% were below the writing standard and 13% were below the numeracy standard. By contrast, 3% of Year 9 high SES students did not achieve the reading standard, 7% did not achieve the writing standard and 2% did not achieve the numeracy standard.
These are shocking inequities. For example, it is totally unacceptable that the percentage of low SES Year 9 students not achieving the national reading standard is 9 times that of high SES students and the proportion of Indigenous students not achieving the standard is 11 times that of high SES students. Remote area 8 times.
Continue reading “Shocking Inequalities in School Results”
The public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools, today slammed the decision of the Labor Government to delay the introduction of the next National Schools Reform Agreement (NSRA) until 2025. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that it is an act of betrayal of under-funded public schools and disadvantaged students.
“This is Labor perfidy at its worst. Labor is denying full funding of public schools indefinitely.
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The following is a summary of a research paper on school outcomes and funding in Victooria.. The paper can be downloaded below.
Victoria is not the education state it claims. It is a failed education state because it has largely failed to improve results for disadvantaged students, the vast majority of whom attend public schools. Funding failures are a major factor behind the education failure.
There have been a few successes, most notably in some Indigenous outcomes, but they are few and far between. The Victorian election is an opportunity to fix the failures. The funding of public schools is a key test for candidates and parties.
Continue reading “Victoria is a Failed Education State”
Last week, the Productivity Commission released a major report on how to improve Australia’s school and university sectors. “Education is ripe for disruption”, deputy chair Alex Robson said.
The commission suggests longer schooldays, online classes taught by qualified teachers, and streaming students into ability groups to improve Australia’s educational performance.
But while these ideas may work well for some students, they won’t necessarily work for all.
If Australia is serious about improving its education system, we need to look at improving the whole system, for all students. This means we need a clear definition of what equity means for schools.
Continue reading “If Australia wants to improve school outcomes, we need to define what ‘equity’ really means”
Equity in education has long been a key national goal for schooling. Most recently, it is one of the key goals in the Alice Springs (Mparntwe) Declaration of national goals. However, it has never been clearly defined. This deficiency has resulted in a variety of interpretations, inadequate target, limited reporting and lack of accountability for improving equity. Equity in education should be well-defined in order to effectively guide education policy and funding, measure equity and monitor progress in improving equity.
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Prime Minister Albanese says that increasing productivity is a priority for the Labor Government. A key component of increasing productivity is improving workforce knowledge and skills. However, major barriers to improving Australia’s workforce knowledge and skills include the large proportion of disadvantaged students who do not achieve an adequate level of education and the large achievement gaps between rich and poor. Over 80 per cent of disadvantaged students attend public schools and they are massively under-funded. Fully funding public schools will be fundamental to achieving Labor’s goal of increased productivity and economic prosperity because money matters in education.
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The following is a submission to the Productivity Commission Inquiry on the National School Reform Agreement by Professor Pasi Sahlberg and Trevor Cobbold.
This submission focuses on the issue of the meaning of equity in education and how progress in improving equity can be measured and monitored. It is supported by the attached paper “Leadership for Equity and Adequacy in Education” published in the Journal School Leadership and Management. We consider that the idea of equity is central to national school reform and is not defined clearly enough in the current framework guiding the National School reform Agreement.
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The release of the new Student Behaviour Strategy again demonstrates the disconnect between public schools, where teaching takes place and the accepted authorities the education bureaucracy and academia. This current ‘policy’ is one of successive attempts to deal with severely disruptive student behaviour in schools. Historically all have failed and, despite the best intentions nothing in this proposal is new and there is no reason to believe the outcome of this attempt will be any different.
This new strategy is contained in another glossy document complete with the usual motherhood statements asserting the Department’s commitment to providing support for these damaged children and promises of increased resources. It even has the obligatory illustration of the complex interactions of the promises as shown below. Hanging a collection of these diagrams from all previous policies would have as much impact on changing the plight of these students as constructing a ‘dream-catcher’ of these to hang over their beds. In this latest model, shown below the ten strategies at the core of the policy are not in dispute, they are motherhood statements but any experienced teacher who deals with the problems dysfunctional behaviour creates finds these pretty pictures quite hurtful, they are denied the resources to implement them. Of course, no one can deny the importance of the ten strategies, they are stating the obvious but these promises are never kept.
Continue reading “NSW Public Education Deals With Student Behaviour – Déjà vu All Over Again”
The following is the Conclusion of a new working paper published by Save Our Schools. It provides a comprehensive review of the of the implementation of the Gonski funding model by the Labor Government in 2013. The full paper can be downloaded below. Comments on the paper are invited. Notification of issues not covered and mistakes of fact, analysis and interpretation will be appreciated. Please excuse any remaining typos and repetitions. Comments can be sent to the Save Our Schools email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The implementation of the Gonski funding model represented a watershed in school funding in Australia. It changed the whole focus of school funding from increasing choice under the Howard Government’s SES model to improving equity in education. It also broke with the past by providing an objective and consistent approach to funding schools and to establish an integrated national approach to school funding across jurisdictions and school sectors.
The major achievement of Labor’s National Plan for School Improvement (NPSI) was to legislate the principles and framework for a funding system based on need. It established a minimum resource standard for every school in the country and provided additional funding loadings for various forms of disadvantaged students: low SES, Indigenous, remote area, language background other than English and students with disabilities.
The model was supported by the commitment of a massive increase in funding of nearly $16 billion over six years, the large part of which was to go to public schools. It offered the best chance in living memory to make a real difference in improving the education outcomes for disadvantaged students, most of who are enrolled in public schools. It promised a huge boost to public education.
Continue reading “Labor’s Gonski Model: The National Plan for School Improvement”