Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools

Another academic study has found that the quality of private schools in Australia is no better than public schools. It also found that there is a strong and positive association between the socio-economic status (SES) of a student and their test scores. It is the fourth study in the last year or so to show that there are no significant differences between the test results of private and public schools in Australia after taking account of the socio-economic background of students and schools. Continue reading “Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools”

Public Schools Do As Well as Catholic and Independent Schools

An analysis of the NAPLAN results of nearly 5000 children has found that Public primary school students achieve at the same levels as Catholic and independent school students. The research compared grade 3 and grade 5 NAPLAN results in reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy.

Continue reading “Public Schools Do As Well as Catholic and Independent Schools”

Wealthy Philanthropic Foundations are Undermining Public Education in the US

Philanthropy is commonly viewed as a beneficial charitable activity that provides worthwhile supplementary funding for much needed services such as education. The Gonski review of school funding and others support a larger role by philanthropic organisations in funding of public education in Australia. However, a new study of wealthy philanthropic education foundations in the United States suggests caution in resorting to philanthropy to support public education. Continue reading “Wealthy Philanthropic Foundations are Undermining Public Education in the US”

Means-tested School Fees Would Undermine Public Education

The proposal by the free market Centre for Independent Studies that high-income families should pay to send their children to a public school would spell the end of public education as we know it. It would likely lead to a two-tiered public system with access to a quality education restricted to those who pay. This could be exacerbated by ever-increasing fees. Fees are also likely to encourage a greater shift to private schools and increase social segregation in schooling.

The introduction of means-tested fees would undermine two fundamental goals of free universal public education: to ensure that all children irrespective of background have equal access to high quality education and have children from different backgrounds learn together so as to promote greater understanding and tolerance between different social groups.

Free public education is necessary to ensure non-discrimination and non-selectivity in access to high quality schooling. It ensures that children cannot be excluded from a quality education for reasons of family background and low income. In a democracy, education outcomes should not depend on family background, wealth and ability to pay. Continue reading “Means-tested School Fees Would Undermine Public Education”

Unwarranted Speculation by Melbourne University Study

The finding by a Melbourne University study that Catholic (and other private) school students have higher lifetime earnings than public school students is not surprising. Lifetime earnings are influenced by education results which in turn are strongly influenced by socio-economic status (SES) and Catholic schools enrol proportionately more high SES students and fewer low SES students than public schools. Continue reading “Unwarranted Speculation by Melbourne University Study”

Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools

A new education research brief from Save Our Schools shows that private schools do not achieve better results than public schools.

Christopher Pyne’s agenda to make government schools more like private schools has come under challenge before it has even got off the ground. His claims that it will lead to better education outcomes are contradicted by two new Australian research studies and two new US studies. Continue reading “Private Schools Are No Better Than Public Schools”

New US Studies Show that Public Schools do Better than Private Schools

Critics of public education system have long argued that public schools would benefit from being operated more like private schools. Indeed, this is a central belief of the new Abbott Government and its education minister, Christopher Pyne.

However, there is mounting evidence to the contrary. In addition to recent Australian studies that show declining performance by private schools relative to government schools (here and here ), two new US studies have also undercut the belief that private schools do better than public schools. It appears that making public schools more like private schools is not the answer to improving education.

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Study Shows Catholic Schools Have Lost any Academic Advantage over Government Schools

A new study shows the relative performance of Catholic schools has declined since 1980. The advantage that Catholic schools once held over government schools has virtually disappeared and attendance at Catholic schools may now lead to lower completion rates in secondary school and university.

The findings of the study present a simple message for parents who send their children to Catholic schools – if you think you are getting some advantage in educational achievements from sending your child to a Catholic school rather than a government school, think again. Continue reading “Study Shows Catholic Schools Have Lost any Academic Advantage over Government Schools”

The Blueberry Story: The Teacher Gives the Businessman a Lesson

“If I ran my business the way you people operate your schools, I wouldn’t be in business very long!”

I stood before an auditorium filled with outraged teachers who were becoming angrier by the minute. My speech had entirely consumed their precious 90 minutes of inservice. Their initial icy glares had turned to restless agitation. You could cut the hostility with a knife. Continue reading “The Blueberry Story: The Teacher Gives the Businessman a Lesson”

Public Education Builds Social Cohesion

A Los Angeles parent pays homage to public education and its role in building social cohesion

Volunteer badge prominently and proudly displayed, this morning I observed a PE class in a LAUSD (Los Angeles Urban School District) middle school on a special bell schedule, preparatory to engulfing its students in hours of imminent CST (California Standards Tests) tests.

The sight is profound. Embodied there is the raison d’etre of public schooling, as well as one of the underlying reasons this particular school is so successful. It is why I did not send my kid to the local “amazing” charter. It is a PE field filled with 300 children, moving their bodies effectively, therapeutically, mind-growingly. And most of all, it is a melting pot. It is not even a lumpy stew of integration, it is a 52-ring circus of homogeneity. Continue reading “Public Education Builds Social Cohesion”