Australia’s approach to school autonomy in budgeting and staffing is at odds with the latest results from the OECD’s Programme for International Assessments (PISA). An OECD report on PISA 2012 shows that public schools in the top performing countries generally have little autonomy in budgeting and staffing but considerable autonomy over curriculum and assessment. Strangely, however, the Australian Government is intent on devolving greater responsibility over school budgets and staffing to principals rather than responsibility for curriculum and assessment. Continue reading “Public Schools in the Top Performing Countries Have Little Autonomy in Budgeting and Staffing”
Several East Asian countries and cities achieved the top mathematics, reading and science results for 15 year-old students in the OECD’s 2012 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) released in December. Continue reading “Comparing East Asia and Australia”
Kevin Donnelly has been a tireless campaigner against the Gonski report, using a variety of spurious arguments. But a recent opinion piece in The Australian breaks new ground, because he has explicitly linked educational inequalities in Australia to genetic differences in cognitive ability. Continue reading “Kevin Donnelly – The “Cory Bernadi” of Education Policy”
Save Our Schools today called for a Senate inquiry into the national curriculum. SOS National Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the inquiry established by the Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, last week is clearly biased. Continue reading “Call For Senate Inquiry into the National Curriculum”
This is a summary of the main results for Australia from the 2012 Programme for Interational Student Assessment. Charts of results are available below. Continue reading “Australia’s 2012 PISA Results”
South Korea has been hugely successful in producing high education outcomes. It ranks at the top of international test results. Education has been a driving force behind South Korea’s rapid economic development over the past half century, creating one of the world’s most educated workforces. However, it is finding a dark side to its obsession with education and the Government is trying to cool its “education fever”.
South Korean children spend long hours out of school in cram classes which is affecting their attitude to learning as well as their happiness and development. There is an epidemic of myopia amongst young people that presages major health problems in the future. Expenditure on cram schools has increased household debt and fertility rates have declined as a result. There is a huge over-supply of university graduates, and many cannot find employment at the level of their education qualifications. Continue reading “South Korea’s Education Success Has a Dark Side”
A Melbourne University study has debunked some common myths about the relative performance of Australia’s public and private schools. It shows that the decline in Australia’s performance in international tests over the last decade is due to falling results in private schools, the falls being similar in both Independent and Catholic schools. It also shows that the decline has occurred across the whole range of student achievement and is not confined to high achieving students as some claim. Continue reading “Australia’s Declining School Results are Due to Ineffective Private Schools”
South Korea is some of the most successful countries in the world in terms of education results. In 2009, it ranked equal second behind Shanghai in the top reading results on the OECD’s Programme for International Assessments (PISA), equal fourth in mathematics and equal third in science. One factor in this success is its high participation in private after-school tutoring in cram schools.
Cram schools, or hagwons as they are called, are big business in South Korea. About 75 per cent of all South Korean students participate in the private tutoring market. Some 88 per cent of primary school students, 78 per cent of junior high school students, and 63 per cent of senior high school students are engaged in private tutoring. Continue reading “South Korean Students Go to School Twice – Once in the Day and Again at Night”
The Productivity Commission has recently put out a paper which suggests that inherited cognitive ability may contribute to educational gaps between students from rich and poor backgrounds – by perhaps as much as 20%. This has put the issue of possible genetic explanations of the differences between social groups in educational and more general social outcomes on the Australian social and political agenda. Continue reading “No Evidence of “Rich Genes””
New figures released by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development show that Australia still lags other developed countries in pre-school education. Australia has one of the lowest levels of enrolment in pre-school education in the OECD and spends less on pre-school education as a proportion of GDP than any other OECD country. Continue reading “Australia Still Lags in Pre-school Education”