Bureaucrats in Nowhere Land on School Autonomy

Top Federal Education bureaucrats found themselves without a leg to stand on in Senate Estimates last week as Greens Senator, Penny Wright, thoroughly exposed their lack of evidence to support school autonomy. The Senator’s close questioning left them squirming and their only responses were to dissemble and resort to statements of faith. Continue reading “Bureaucrats in Nowhere Land on School Autonomy”

Schools Advisory Council Calls for More Transparency in the Registration of Private Schools

The ACT Government Schools Education Council (GSEC) has called for changes to the registration process for private schools. It says that the transparency and objectivity of the process should be improved.

It proposes that private school approval procedures match the rigorous requirements for assessing the need for new government schools. It suggests that the evidence to make an objective assessment of community need for new private schools and their potential impact on the viability of existing schools should be more clearly specified.

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Pyne Misleads on School Autonomy Results

Christopher Pyne has used highly selective and misleading evidence to support his claim that greater school autonomy for independent public schools will improve school outcomes. He ignores overwhelming national and international evidence that indicates his project to make government schools more like private schools as a way to improve outcomes is doomed to fail. Continue reading “Pyne Misleads on School Autonomy Results”

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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School Choice is No Guarantee to Improve Results

School choice does not necessarily deliver better results for students according to a new research brief. The brief reviewed research on various alternatives to public schools in the United States and found that the impact of school choice on student learning generally shows mixed results with studies typically showing little or no difference in overall performance compared to traditional public schools. Continue reading “School Choice is No Guarantee to Improve Results”

Test Scores Have Declined for Low Achieving as well as High Achieving Students

A new report by the Australian Council for Educational Research provides a very useful overview of the results for Australian students on international and national tests. In particular, it shows an overall decline in reading and mathematics achievement amongst 15 year-old students, a growing gap between the most advantaged and the least advantaged secondary schools in Australia, and further confirmation of the strong influence of socio-economic background on student achievement. Continue reading “Test Scores Have Declined for Low Achieving as well as High Achieving Students”

Independent Panel to Review Private School Registration Process

Save Our Schools has welcomed the appointment of an independent panel to advise the ACT Minister for Education on the review of the in-principle approval and registration process for private schools in the ACT. SOS Convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said the appointment of the panel provides some prospect for a much-needed tightening of the registration process.

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SOS Calls for Sweeping Changes on the Approval and Registration of Private Schools

Save Our Schools has called for sweeping changes to the legislation and administrative regulations governing the approval and registration of new ACT private schools. It has made 23 recommendations for change in a submission to the ACT Government review of the process.

Continue reading “SOS Calls for Sweeping Changes on the Approval and Registration of Private Schools”

The Defenders of Privilege in Education Are on the Counter-attack

The Gonski report on school funding is a watershed in education policy in Australia. It has switched the debate from giving priority to school choice and supporting privilege in education to improving results for disadvantaged students and reducing the massive achievement gap in school outcomes between rich and poor. The new funding model promises more for under-resourced schools and disadvantaged students.

This new emphasis on equity in education poses a major threat to the defenders of elitism in education. Their privileged position in education is under challenge. Their counter-attack is under way, led as always by the Murdoch press. Continue reading “The Defenders of Privilege in Education Are on the Counter-attack”