The Building the Education Revolution program has not quite been the revolution expected by some government schools.
Many have been disadvantaged by a “revolution” which has delivered millions to wealthy private schools and wasted money through mis-management and over-charging on the primary school building program.
Continue reading “Disadvantaged by the Revolution”
Small schools do better than large schools on a variety of school variables including student achievement according to a new review of studies on the effects of school size on education. Further, it found that students from disadvantaged social and economic backgrounds are the major beneficiaries of smaller schools.
The review examined 57 studies conducted since 1990. The studies assessed the impact of school size on a variety of school outcomes, cost efficiency and teachers. The vast majority examined the relationship between school size and various measures of student outcomes. It found that smaller schools were better suited to most purposes. Continue reading “Studies Show that Smaller Schools Do Better than Large Schools”
Pirjo Sinko, Counsellor of Education for the Finnish National Board of Education, delivered a keynote address at the AATE/ALEA National Conference in Hobart on 11 July.
Some of the major points from the keynote are summarised below. (Comparisons with Australia are added in parentheses; they were not discussed by Ms Sinko.) Continue reading “Finland’s Success in Literacy”
Recent months have seen more calls for increased accountability for education for the schools, teachers and parents.
Some commentators and education elite have made the entirely laudable point that we need to move from justifying education policy in terms of dollars spent and start looking at ‘accountability outputs’.
But shifting the accountability onto schools quite misses the point.
Continue reading “Shifting the blame: the real crisis in education accountability”
The new school year opens this week with new national education goals to follow. Unfortunately, education ministers have set two incompatible goals. They commit to reporting school results and improving equity in education. Inevitably, inequity increases under school reporting. Continue reading “New National Education Goals Are Contradictory”
Save Our Schools supports the social equity goal of the existing National Goals for Schooling.
It opposes replacing this goal with the much weaker commitment to high quality schooling free of discrimination as proposed in the draft National Declaration on the Goals for Schooling.
The Future of Schooling in Australia report fails to make a case for this change. The large achievement gaps between students from low and high socio-economic status families and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students are the major challenges facing the Australian school system.
Achieving social equity in school outcomes should remain a key national goal for schooling.
Submission on Draft National Declaration on Goals for Schooling
The Liberal Party proposal to reduce class sizes from about
30 to 21 in Years 4-6 in government schools will be popularly received. Reducing
class sizes is one of the very few education policies that are widely endorsed
by teachers and parents.
The Opposition is to be congratulated for committing a large
funding increase for government schools. However, across the board reductions in
class sizes are expensive and there are more cost effective ways to improve
Continue reading “Do Smaller Classes Make a Difference and is it Cost Effective?”
This article is a summary of The Great School Fraud, a paper prepared for the Australian Education Union by Trevor Cobbold. The full paper can be downloaded below.
The Howard Government has consolidated the social divide in education in Australia by increasing the privatisation of schooling and promoting competition to determine who gets what in education. It is all based on fraudulent claims.
Continue reading “The Great School Fraud”
Save Our Schools (SOS) today called on the Federal Government to provide $500 million to put an additional counsellor in each government school to deal with bullying and other behaviour problems.
Spokesman for the public education advocacy group, Trevor Cobbold, said it was time that the Howard Government matched its rhetoric on bullying and school violence with resources on the ground.
Continue reading “Call for $500 Million to Curb Bullying in Schools”
A stream of research studies in recent years has added substantially to our knowledge about the relationship between school size and student achievement. It shows that student socio-economic background is a major factor in how school size affects student outcomes. This has important implications for the Stanhope Government’s proposal to close 39 schools and to partially close 5 other schools.
Continue reading “Small Schools Achieve Better Results for Students from Low Income Families”