Are Finland’s Vaunted Schools Slipping?

Leading Finnish education expert, Pasi Sahlberg, comments on Finland’s slip down the rankings on international test results from the Programme of International Student Assessment (PISA).

The irony of Finland’s successful school system is that the Finns never aimed to be better than anyone else — except, it is often humorously claimed, Sweden. Since the announcement of the first results of the Organization for Economic and Cooperation and Development’s Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, in 2001, Finland has been the center of educational attention. Finland’s PISA scores topped the charts, and the Finnish approach to educational policy has stood in direct opposition to the path embraced by the United States, England, and much of the rest of the world. Continue reading “Are Finland’s Vaunted Schools Slipping?”

Pyne Misled Parliament on School Autonomy Evidence

Last Thursday, the Federal Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, misled the Parliament about OECD research on school autonomy. He told the Parliament that OECD and domestic research “shows that school autonomy has a major impact on school outcomes for students” even though the OECD’s PISA 2012 report issued two days earlier clearly shows that the form of school autonomy Pyne is pushing has no impact on student outcomes. Continue reading “Pyne Misled Parliament on School Autonomy Evidence”

PISA Test Results Prove that Increased Funding Should be Allocated to Disadvantaged Students and Schools

The new PISA international test results highlight the need to implement a new school funding scheme to overcome disadvantage in education according to the public education advocacy group, Save Our Schools. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said that the results show that Australia has failed to make any inroad into reducing inequity in education and, if anything, inequity has increased. Continue reading “PISA Test Results Prove that Increased Funding Should be Allocated to Disadvantaged Students and Schools”

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”

South Korea’s Education Success Has a Dark Side

South Korea has been hugely successful in producing high education outcomes. It ranks at the top of international test results. Education has been a driving force behind South Korea’s rapid economic development over the past half century, creating one of the world’s most educated workforces. However, it is finding a dark side to its obsession with education and the Government is trying to cool its “education fever”.

South Korean children spend long hours out of school in cram classes which is affecting their attitude to learning as well as their happiness and development. There is an epidemic of myopia amongst young people that presages major health problems in the future. Expenditure on cram schools has increased household debt and fertility rates have declined as a result. There is a huge over-supply of university graduates, and many cannot find employment at the level of their education qualifications. Continue reading “South Korea’s Education Success Has a Dark Side”

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.

Continue reading “Schools Advisory Council Calls for More Transparency in the Registration of Private Schools”

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”