An ACT Legislative Assembly Committee
report on student test results has re-ignited the controversy over school
performance. It draws on several reports showing under-performance in
comparison with other states and recommends a public inquiry into the causes.
A full public inquiry is even more necessary than suggested
by the Committee. It is needed to address the poor results of disadvantaged
students and high inequity in outcomes between rich and poor as well as general
under-performance relative to the ACT’s demographic characteristics.
Continue reading “A Public Inquiry into ACT School Results Is Long Overdue”
If you ask a group of
educators, from any sector what is the most important feature of successful
teacher/student interaction invariably you get the answer relationships. And I would agree. However, personal relationships are hard work
even when both parties are committed to having such a connection. It is a challenge when the relationship you
need is between a teacher and an angry, oppositional student. It is obvious that it will be up to that
teacher to build that relationship, not only is that connection a prerequisite
for engagement, how else are they going to participate, it really is an ethical
Continue reading “Empathy is the Key to Teacher-Student Relationships”
Doubling down on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ recent claim that students “can learn better with larger classes, with more students to collaborate with, to learn with,” President Trump this morning bragged that the U.S. will lead the world in class size. “Under President Trump, our classes will be huge. They’ll be the biggest, most beautiful class sizes you’ve ever seen, believe me!”
Continue reading “Class Sizes will be “The Biggest Ever” Boasts President Trump”
Following a year of
teacher strikes where educators in West Virginia, Los Angeles, Denver and
beyond called for wage increases and reduced class sizes, Sen. Jeff Merkley
(D-OR) has introduced a new bill to
incentivize smaller class sizes in kindergarten and first, second and third
grades. The legislation, which would allocate $2 billion for competitive grant
funding, primarily to high-poverty school districts in the United States, is
co-sponsored by Democratic Sens. Kamala Harris (CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY),
Elizabeth Warren (MA), Cory Booker (NJ) and Michael Bennet (CO). The bill is
also endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, the National Education
Association, the National Parent Teacher Association, and First Focus Campaign
Continue reading “US Senate Bill Proposes Smaller Class Sizes for High-Poverty School Districts”
A US high school student takes issue with standardised tests.
Continue reading “A Poem on the Ravages of Standardised Tests”
How often have we all
sat through those frustrating meetings where someone from head office or a
university articulates with such commitment the first lie – if you can’t
measure it then it’s not worth doing.
This quantification of education based on an economically rational
approach started in the sixties. This
was the dawn of outcomes-based learning.
Continue reading “The Dishonourable Lie”
New funding figures show that government funding increases
for private schools continue to far outstrip increases for public schools.
Total government funding per student in public schools was cut between 2009-10
and 2016-17 while private schools received a massive increase. Even during the
Gonski funding period of 2012-13 to 2016-17 increases in funding for private
schools far outstripped those for public schools.
Continue reading “Funding Increases for Private Schools Continue to Outstrip Increases for Public Schools”
Numerous studies over the past decade or more show that increases in school funding increase student achievement, school completion rates, post-school education and labour market outcomes particularly for disadvantaged students. Now, a new US study shows that more equitable funding of schools increases intergenerational income mobility. Equalisation in school spending closes the gap in investments on the education of low- and high-income students, and this promotes equalisation in their later life outcomes.
Continue reading “Greater Equity in School Funding Increases Intergenerational Mobility”
Public accountability for the use of taxpayer funding is a
fundamental tenet of democratic government. Yet, this principle has long been ignored
by Catholic education authorities who refuse to reveal how they distribute
government funding amongst their schools despite it being a legislative requirement.
Their refusal has been connived at by successive governments that failed to make
the Commonwealth Department of Education enforce the legislation. The latest example
of this tacit agreement at work is the refusal of the Education Department to fully
disclose how Catholic Education Commissions distribute their taxpayer funding.
Continue reading “Govt. Concealing Catholic Schools’ Use of Taxpayer Funds”
The Joint Committee of Public
Accounts and Audit of the Parliament has slammed the Commonwealth Department of
Education for failing to ensure that government funding of public and private
school systems is distributed according to needs-based principles. In
a bi-partisan report tabled in the Parliament last week, the Joint
Committee criticised a lack of transparency and accountability about school
funding caused by inadequate administrative arrangements.
Continue reading “Education Department Slammed for Failure to Monitor How School Systems Distribute Taxpayer Funding”