The Rebellion Against Testing in the US Continues to Grow

The rebellion against high stakes testing in the United States that began early last year continues to grow. In recent weeks, there have been some significant developments with teachers in Seattle refusing to administer tests and Republican legislators in Texas deciding to cut back tests. Continue reading “The Rebellion Against Testing in the US Continues to Grow”

Competition and Choice Fail to Produce Better Student Results

Another new study has refuted the case that more competition and choice between schools leads to higher student results. The paper reviewed research evidence in several countries and concluded that it is “mixed and modest”. It also found that choice and competition leads to greater social stratification between schools. Continue reading “Competition and Choice Fail to Produce Better Student Results”

Mixed ACT Results from TIMSS & PIRLS 2011

The ACT achieved mixed results in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) for 2011. ACT students achieved high average results but there was little improvement since 1995 and it has large achievement gaps in Year 8. Continue reading “Mixed ACT Results from TIMSS & PIRLS 2011”

Student Background Has a Strong Influence on Achievement

The latest results from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) show a strong connection between socio-economic status (SES) and student achievement in Australia. They show a strong connection between parent education background and student results, between home educational resources and student results and between the socio-economic composition of schools and school results.

The results contradict claims by defenders of government funding for elite private schools that socio-economic background has a minor effect on student achievement. Continue reading “Student Background Has a Strong Influence on Achievement”

Year 4 TIMSS & PIRLS results

These are the summary results for Australia from the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) and the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) for Year 4. They are also compared with results from earlier years. Australia participated in PIRLS for the first time in 2011. Continue reading “Year 4 TIMSS & PIRLS results”

New Test Results Reinforce the Case for Action on Gonski

The latest international test results show that Australia’s performance has stagnated over the last 16 years while many countries have improved. The results reflect Australia’s failure to address the extent of disadvantage in education.

The new results, and those before it from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, confirm Australia’s highly inequitable education system. They reinforce the case for action on the Gonski report recommendation to boost funding for disadvantaged students. Continue reading “New Test Results Reinforce the Case for Action on Gonski”

Parent Engagement Improves Student Achievement

A  new report shows that parent engagement in learning improves student achievement, attitudes to school and wellbeing. It says that resourcing and developing parent engagement initiatives is essential to education reform and the future of Australia. Continue reading “Parent Engagement Improves Student Achievement”

School Autonomy Brought a Lost Decade in NZ Education

School autonomy was responsible for a “lost decade” in education according to one of New Zealand’s leading education researchers. In a new book published last week on New Zealand’s system of self-managing schools, Dr. Cathy Wylie of the New Zealand Council of Educational Research says that promising educational advances were ignored as schools focused on administering property and finances. Continue reading “School Autonomy Brought a Lost Decade in NZ Education”

The Federal Govt. Should End the Secrecy on its School Funding Model

The Federal Government should end the secrecy on its preferred school funding model and release the details for public comment. There is a very real danger that the needs of government schools and disadvantaged students are being discounted in secret negotiations with state governments and private schools. Ending the secrecy would allow government school organisations to participate in the discussions.

Continue reading “The Federal Govt. Should End the Secrecy on its School Funding Model”

Study Reveals the Damage to Education by NAPLAN and My School

Together with many teachers, academics and others around Australia, we can only feel vindicated by a new study by researchers at the University of Melbourne that shows the disastrous consequences of reporting school results on national literacy and numeracy tests. Incredibly, 75% of teachers say that they now teach to the test because of the focus on the NAPLAN tests and 70% say that less time is now spent on other subjects in schools. Continue reading “Study Reveals the Damage to Education by NAPLAN and My School”