East Asian countries dominate the education arms race. Singapore,
Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, China and Taiwan regularly get the highest
scores on international tests such as the Trends in Mathematics and Science
Study (TIMSS) and the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment
(PISA). Other countries, including Australia, seek to emulate their test
However, a key factor behind the success of these countries
is the cultural emphasis on studying at the expense of other activities outside
school. This brings costs in terms of student well-being and health which are
Continue reading “The Hidden Cost of East Asian Test Results”
A newly published research brief shows the importance of school compositional effects on student outcomes. While it is based on studies conducted in the United States, the study has important implications for Australia. It shows that both socio-economic and racial diversity in schools are beneficial to students in terms of academic results and social understanding. It points to the importance of supporting socio-economically and racially diverse schools. Continue reading “The Benefits of Socio-Economic and Racial Diversity in Schools”
A major new meta-analysis of academic studies on ways to improve the school results of low socio-economic status (SES) students has identified several interventions that substantially improve achievement. They include small group tutoring, feedback and progress monitoring and co-operative learning in the classroom. Several other interventions also have smaller positive effects on achievement. Continue reading “Effective Ways of Improving Achievement by Low SES Students”
The Labor Shadow Education Minister, Tanya Plibersek, rejects redistributing funding from well-off private schools to disadvantaged schools. She claims that over-funding of private schools involves “a very small number of schools” and “is a drop in the bucket of the extra money required” to fully fund the Gonski plan.
She is completely mistaken. Thousands of private schools are over-funded by governments. They are over-funded to the tune of $4-$5.6 billion a year. This huge amount of taxpayer funds would be far better used to support disadvantaged students in both public and private schools. It would easily fund the last two years of the Gonski funding plan (originally estimated at $7 billion) which the Turnbull Government refuses to support. Continue reading “Private Schools are Over-funded by $4-6 Billion a Year”
A new study shows that students who attend at partially selective schools in England do not achieve any better results than students in non-selective schools. It found that some results for students with high or low prior achievement are worse at partially selective schools than for their peers at non-selective schools. Continue reading “No Academic Benefit to Attending Partially Selective Schools”
The latest report on Australia’s results in PISA 2015 shows huge disparities in shortages of educational staff and physical resources between advantaged and disadvantaged schools in Australia. It is more evidence of the need to improve the resourcing of disadvantaged schools and increase learning opportunities for their students. Continue reading “Huge Disparities Between the Resources of Disadvantaged and Advantaged Schools”
The following is a report by Save Our Schools presented to the Tasmanian Branch of the Australian Education Union on the funding of public schools in Tasmania. It can be downloaded below.
Government funding of private schools in Tasmania has increased by
seven times that for public schools in recent years. The Tasmanian Labor Government
slashed state funding for public schools between 2009-10 and 2013-14 and the
Liberal Government cut further in 2014-15. Overall, public school funding increased
slightly but this was due to increased Commonwealth funding and it was far
outstripped by a large increase in total government funding of private schools.
Continue reading “Tasmanian Governments Have Slashed Funding of Public Schools”
Government claims that the Budget deficit precludes fully funding the last two
years of the Gonski plan. However, the latest Tax Expenditures Statement by the
Federal Treasury shows that fully funding Gonski is easily affordable if the
Government reduced tax concessions for wealthy. Its failure to do so shows that
this Government continues to put the interests of the wealthy above those of
Continue reading “Tax Concessions for the Wealthy Deny Adequate Funding for Disadvantaged Students”
new review of voucher programs in private schools has found that they have
failed to make any significant improvements in student achievement, but add to
the risks of increasing social segregation and the loss of a common, secular
educational experience. It says that there are more effective ways of improving
student results than by using voucher programs.
Continue reading “Private School Vouchers Fail the Test”
The claims by the Western Australian Government that it has massively increased school funding in recent years are highly misleading. The fact is that the Barnett Government has taken to the axe to funding of public schools while boosting its funding of private schools. It has abandoned disadvantaged students, the vast majority of whom attend public schools.
Continue reading “The Barnett Govt Has Taken the Axe to WA Public Schools”