Study Finds that School SES has a Strong Impact on Student Achievement

A new study published in the latest issue of the British Educational Research Journal shows that the socio-economic composition of schools has a large effect on student achievement. A student attending a school with low average socio-economic status (SES) tends to have lower school outcomes than a student from a similar family background attending a school with high average student SES.

Continue reading “Study Finds that School SES has a Strong Impact on Student Achievement”

Low SES Students Do Better Than High SES Students at University

A report by the Victoria Institute for Strategic Economic Studies shows that first year students from low socio-economic status (SES) backgrounds at Victoria University achieve better results than high SES students. It also found that students from lower performing schools seem to perform better than their peers from elite schools.

Continue reading “Low SES Students Do Better Than High SES Students at University”

Improving Equity in Education Increases Economic Growth

Two recently-published studies show that inequality in education is a significant factor affecting economic growth. Both studies find that income inequality limits economic growth because low income families tend to have low education outcomes. The studies recommend policies to improve the education outcomes of disadvantaged students.  Improving the education outcomes of these children would increase workforce skills, productivity, incomes and economic output.

One study was published by the OECD last December. The other study was published in February by the European Expert Network on Economics of Education (EENEE), a think tank sponsored by the European Commission. It was done by economists from the University of Sydney and the London School of Economics.

The studies have important implications for education policy in Australia. Although income and education inequality in Australia is less than in many OECD countries they are significant. In particular, a large proportion of children from low socio-economic backgrounds do not achieve an adequate education and there are large gaps in achievement between rich and poor. Increasing the education outcomes of these children would not only increase their life chances but would also increase economic growth.

Continue reading “Improving Equity in Education Increases Economic Growth”

Improving Equity in Education Boosts Economic Growth and Health

The Gonski funding plan is directed at improving equity in education by lifting school results for disadvantaged students. Several studies published in the last few months show that there are significant benefits associated with greater equity in education. Continue reading “Improving Equity in Education Boosts Economic Growth and Health”

Poverty and Education

A brief published by the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development in the United States highlights the extent of poverty amongst school children and its effects on their learning and the school resources available to them.

The brief shows that over 20 per cent of children in the US live in poverty, but there are huge differences between different social groups. Nearly 40 per cent of Black children, 37 per cent of American Indian children and 33 per cent of Hispanic children live in poverty compared to 14 per cent of white children.

Living in poverty has significant impacts on learning. Fewer than half of children living in poverty are school ready at age 5, meaning they lack early math and reading skills, exhibit learning and behaviour problems, and have poor overall physical health. Continue reading “Poverty and Education”

More Education Reduces Income Inequality

A review of academic studies on the effects of education on income inequality shows that education is effective in reducing inequality. The study found that education reduces inequality by increasing the income share of the bottom earners and reducing the share of top earners. It appears to have a greater effect on increasing the income share of the poor than on reducing the income share of the very rich.

The study shows that the years of schooling and educational attainment at secondary school appear to be the main education factors reducing inequality. Continue reading “More Education Reduces Income Inequality”

Reducing Inequity in Education is Vital in NSW

Reducing huge inequality in education between rich and poor is the most urgent education issue facing the next NSW government. Large proportions of low socio-economic status (SES), Indigenous and remote area students are not achieving national education standards and they are far behind high SES students. Continue reading “Reducing Inequity in Education is Vital in NSW”

Improving Equity in Education Increases Economic Growth

Two recently-published studies show that inequality in education is a significant factor affecting economic growth. Both studies find that income inequality limits economic growth because low income families tend to have low education outcomes. The studies recommend policies to improve the education outcomes of disadvantaged students. Improving the education outcomes of these children would increase workforce skills, productivity, incomes and economic output. Continue reading “Improving Equity in Education Increases Economic Growth”

Mixed Schools Make for a More Socially Tolerant Society

Young people in schools with ethnically diverse classrooms are likely to have more favourable attitudes towards immigrants, according to a new international study from the Institute of Education at the University College London. This is particularly true when there are many second-generation immigrants in the class. Continue reading “Mixed Schools Make for a More Socially Tolerant Society”

Equity or Privilege in Education?

This is the text of a speech delivered by Trevor Cobbold to the AEU 2015 Federal Conference in Melbourne on 21 February.

The basic proposition that I want to put to you today is that the future of education policy in Australia is about whether we want to improve equity in education or compound privilege. This is the fundamental choice that we face and that choice is going to impact on both the nature of our future society and its economic prosperity. Continue reading “Equity or Privilege in Education?”