New School Funding Model Should Include Big Loadings for Disadvantaged Students

This is a summary of a new Education Policy Brief published by Save Our Schools.

The Prime Minister and the Education Minister claim that the National Partnerships on Literacy and Numeracy and Low SES Schools have increased results for students in partnership schools since 2008. They claim that schools participating in these programs have reduced the proportion of students below the national benchmarks by more than other schools and increased their average NAPLAN results by more than other schools.

Unfortunately, the Government’s claims are highly questionable. The evidence released by the Government to support its claims is weak, selective, inconsistent, and is contradicted by other NAPLAN data. Continue reading “New School Funding Model Should Include Big Loadings for Disadvantaged Students”

Private Schools to Triple-Dip Under Baillieu Plan

Private schools around Australia and in Victoria would get a hidden windfall gain of up to $90 million a year from the Baillieu funding plan proposed as an alternative to the Gonski model. Victorian private schools would gain up to $55 million and private schools in other states would gain about $33 million. This hidden bonus is in addition to an increase in their direct funding from the plan of about $100 million.

Private schools will triple-dip on the taxpayer under the Baillieu plan. It will provide three sources of additional government funding for private schools in Victoria – one direct funding for disadvantaged students from the Victorian and Federal governments, a second as hidden indirect funding for all private schools from the Federal Government and a third as hidden indirect funding for all schools from the Victorian Government. Continue reading “Private Schools to Triple-Dip Under Baillieu Plan”

Make or Break Time for Gonski

It is make or break time for the Gonski school funding model. It is make or break time for a better funding deal for disadvantaged students and schools. It is make or break time for putting equity in education before entrenching privilege. It is make or break time for reducing the high social and economic costs of inequity in education. Continue reading “Make or Break Time for Gonski”

The Economics of Gonski

A slightly edited version of this article was published in the Australian Financial Review on 18 February 2013.

There is a compelling economic case for the $6.5 billion investment in disadvantaged schools recommended by the Gonski review of school funding. Low achievement and low school completion amongst disadvantaged students impose high costs on the economy.

These costs include higher unemployment, lower lifetime earnings, lower productivity, less taxation revenue, higher health care and crime costs, and higher welfare expenditure. The Gonski funding will be worthwhile if it is well targeted at those most in need and at programs that work. Continue reading “The Economics of Gonski”

SOS Submission on the Govt’s Education Bill

This is a summary of a submission by Save Our Schools to the Senate Education Committee Inquiry on the Australian Education Bill 2012.

The submission addresses two issues relating to the Australian Education Bill 2012 – equity in education and collaboration between schools. It proposes clarification of what is defined as equity in education and recommends that the definition adopted by the Gonski report on school funding be included as a key principle and object. It also recommends that collaboration between schools be included as a component of the reform directions for the national plan for improving the performance of schools and students. Continue reading “SOS Submission on the Govt’s Education Bill”

The Rebellion Against Testing in the US Continues to Grow

The rebellion against high stakes testing in the United States that began early last year continues to grow. In recent weeks, there have been some significant developments with teachers in Seattle refusing to administer tests and Republican legislators in Texas deciding to cut back tests. Continue reading “The Rebellion Against Testing in the US Continues to Grow”

New Test Results Reinforce the Case for Action on Gonski

The latest international test results show that Australia’s performance has stagnated over the last 16 years while many countries have improved. The results reflect Australia’s failure to address the extent of disadvantage in education.

The new results, and those before it from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, confirm Australia’s highly inequitable education system. They reinforce the case for action on the Gonski report recommendation to boost funding for disadvantaged students. Continue reading “New Test Results Reinforce the Case for Action on Gonski”

The Federal Govt. Should End the Secrecy on its School Funding Model

The Federal Government should end the secrecy on its preferred school funding model and release the details for public comment. There is a very real danger that the needs of government schools and disadvantaged students are being discounted in secret negotiations with state governments and private schools. Ending the secrecy would allow government school organisations to participate in the discussions.

Continue reading “The Federal Govt. Should End the Secrecy on its School Funding Model”