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”

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.

Continue reading “New US Studies Show that Public Schools do Better than Private 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”

The Finnish Way of Public Education

These answers to questions about public education in Finland are from Pasi Sahlberg, Director General of the National Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation in Helsinki, Finland, and adjunct Professor at the University of Helsinki and at the University of Oulu. This article was originally published on Pasi Salhberg’s blog on 9 April 2012. Continue reading “The Finnish Way of Public Education”

The Myths of Waiting for “Superman”

The Davis Guggenheim directed documentary Waiting for “Superman” is currently on preview in Australia and is due to be released in early March. The film has generated enormous controversy about the picture it presents of public education in the United States. It tells the story of five children who enter a lottery to gain entry to a charter school. Charter schools in the US are privately operated schools funded by government. They are seen as a source of competition to improve public education in the US.

The following is a summary of a review of the film published in the New York Review of Books by Diane Ravitch, Professor of Education at New York University, former US Assistant Secretary of Education under George Bush Snr and author of the best-selling The Death and Life of the Great American School System. Continue reading “The Myths of Waiting for “Superman””

Another Study Shows that Charter Schools do no Better than Traditional Public Schools

Yet another report has found that charter schools in the United States do no better in increasing student results than traditional public schools. It adds another layer to the accumulating evidence that charter schools are not the answer to better results. Continue reading “Another Study Shows that Charter Schools do no Better than Traditional Public Schools”