Large Achievement Gaps Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students Continue

New NAPLAN results for 2017 show continuing large achievement gaps between disadvantaged students and those from highly educated families. The gaps have increased between students from highly and lowly educated families since 2008, but have narrowed between high education status students and Indigenous students. Continue reading “Large Achievement Gaps Between Advantaged and Disadvantaged Students Continue”

Gonski 2.0 Is The Best Special Deal Private Schools Have Ever Had

This is a summary of a new Education Research Paper published by Save Our Schools. The full version can be downloaded below.

The Prime Minister says that Gonski 2.0 is “fair, it’s needs-based and it’s consistent”. However, confidential data released by the Commonwealth Department of Education under FOI contradicts his claim. It shows a massive increase in over-funding of private schools by 2027 and continuing under-funding of public schools. Continue reading “Gonski 2.0 Is The Best Special Deal Private Schools Have Ever Had”

New Study Undermines Case for a Year 1 Phonics Test

A new study comprehensively refutes the claim that phonetics is little used in teaching reading in Australian schools. It shows that the large majority of teachers in Australian primary schools use a combination of methods in teaching reading, including phonetics.

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Increased School Funding Increases Post-Secondary Attainment

A new academic study has found that increased expenditure on primary schools has positive long-term effects on educational attainment. The study, published in the November issue of the journal Applied Economics, found that a 10% increase in spending for grades 4-7 in Michigan resulted in a 7% increase in college enrolment and an 11% increase in college completion. It also found that the additional expenditure led to an increase of 3–5 percentage points in high school graduation rates. Continue reading “Increased School Funding Increases Post-Secondary Attainment”

Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls from Turnbull Government

Several wealthy Melbourne private schools are set to get large windfall gains from the Turnbull Government’s Gonski 2.0 funding model after revisions to their assessed student need. Many of the schools will get increases of $1-$3.2 million between 2018 and 2027 because their student need has been revised upwards. Yet, about 75% or more of the students in these schools are from the most advantaged families in Victoria. Continue reading “Elite Melbourne Private Schools to Get Big Funding Windfalls from Turnbull Government”

Does Australia need an assessment tool to measure literacy and numeracy achievement in Year 1 classrooms?

The introduction of a National Year 1 Literacy and Numeracy Check has been heavily criticised by the Australian Literacy Educators’ Association (ALEA) in a position statement. It says that there is an unreasonable over-emphasis on phonics in the new assessment tool. Continue reading “Does Australia need an assessment tool to measure literacy and numeracy achievement in Year 1 classrooms?”

OECD Report Shows that the Allocation of Resources in Australian Schools is Highly Inequitable

A new report by the OECD shows that about one-third of the variation in science performance across OECD countries is explained by the degree of equity in the allocation of educational resources across advantaged and disadvantaged schools. Countries with more equitable systems performed better on average. The report shows that the allocation of resources in Australian schools is highly inequitable.

The report shows that students in socio-economically disadvantaged schools in Australia are less exposed than students in advantaged schools to the learning environments and educational resources that matter the most for science performance. Effective teaching practices, a favourable school climate, exposure to science and access to educational resources are all better in advantaged schools than in disadvantaged schools in Australia. Continue reading “OECD Report Shows that the Allocation of Resources in Australian Schools is Highly Inequitable”

Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms

Teach for Australia (TFA) has abjectly failed to answer criticisms of the program. Save Our Schools has criticised TFA on several grounds:
• The large majority of its teachers are in marginally disadvantaged schools instead of highly disadvantaged schools;
• Its attrition rate is very much higher than for traditionally-trained early career teachers;
• The high turnover of TFA teachers imposes additional financial and human resource costs on schools and negatively impacts on disadvantaged students;
• It is a very high cost program in comparison with traditional teacher training; and
• There is no substantive evidence that TFA teachers improve student results more than traditionally trained teachers. Continue reading “Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms”

Study Shows Beneficial Effects of Increased Expenditure on Pre-School and Schools

A new study published by the prestigious US National Bureau of Economic Research has found that increased expenditure on disadvantaged pre-schoolers and disadvantaged schools improves school results and life outcomes. It shows strong synergies between increased expenditure on pre-school programs and school education. While spending of either type improved academic outcomes to some degree, access to both resulted in a dynamic complementarity that offered far greater long- term benefits. The findings suggest that early investments in the education of disadvantaged children that are followed by sustained educational investments over time can effectively break the cycle of poverty. Continue reading “Study Shows Beneficial Effects of Increased Expenditure on Pre-School and Schools”

Teach for Australia Fails in its Mission

An evaluation report on the fast-track teacher training program, Teach for Australia (TFA), raises serious questions about the effectiveness of the program. It shows that TFA teachers are not being placed in genuinely disadvantaged schools and a high proportion leave teaching within three years of completing the program. It calls for changes to increase retention such as longer placement lengths, or incentives for TFA teachers to stay in disadvantaged classrooms. There are also serious questions about the cost effectiveness of TFA and its impact on student outcomes.

Continue reading “Teach for Australia Fails in its Mission”