Parents Call for No Further Expansion of School Autonomy in the ACT

The following is a media release from the ACT Council of P&C Associations on school autonomy in the ACT

The ACT Council of P&C Associations says that there should be no further expansion of school autonomy until it is established that it will have unequivocal benefits for students. Continue reading “Parents Call for No Further Expansion of School Autonomy in the ACT”

High Inequality in Learning Outcomes Demands Action

Despite claims by the Coalition spokesman on education, Christopher Pyne, Australia does have an equity problem in education. International comparisons of school results show high inequality in Australia which is strongly linked to student background.

There is a learning gap of six years between the bottom and top 10% of 15 year-old students in Australia. This gap is larger than the average for developed countries and amongst the largest of the top performing countries. In addition, the results of the bottom 10% of students in Australia are amongst the lowest of the other top performing countries, but higher than the average for developed countries.

The learning gap between rich and poor is also high at about three years of learning between the bottom and top 25% of students by socio-economic background. This gap is larger than in nearly all other top performing countries. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are doing much worse in Australia than in most other top performing countries. Continue reading “High Inequality in Learning Outcomes Demands Action”

Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 2

This article is the second in a series on mapping the extent and differences in school autonomy across jurisdictions and school sectors in Australia. The aim is to provide an up to date information base for further discussion of issues around school autonomy.

The information provided below and in forthcoming articles is a first go at developing a comprehensive overview of school autonomy in Australia.

Continue reading “Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 2”

This article is the second in a series on mapping the extent and differences in school autonomy across jurisdictions and school sectors in Australia. The aim is to provide an up to date information base for further discussion of issues around school autonomy.

The information provided below and in forthcoming articles is a first go at developing a comprehensive overview of school autonomy in Australia.

Continue reading “Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 2”

Pyne Denies the Facts on Inequity in Education

Low income, Indigenous and remote area students can expect little support from a Coalition Government. According to the Coalition’s spokesman on education, Christopher Pyne, Australia does not have an equity problem regarding school outcomes despite overwhelming evidence that it is the major challenge facing Australian education. Continue reading “Pyne Denies the Facts on Inequity in Education”

Many Victorian Schools to Miss Out on Equity Funding

The Victorian Government recently announced changes to the Education Maintenance Allowance which provides assistance to low-income families for textbooks, stationary, excursions and school uniforms. Until now half the allowance was paid directly to parents and the other half to schools. From 2013, an increased allowance will be paid to parents but no payments will go to schools. The Government says that the savings achieved will allow more equity-based funding to be provided to schools with a high proportion of students from low socio-economic backgrounds. The following article on the changes was contributed by a Victorian school principal. Continue reading “Many Victorian Schools to Miss Out on Equity Funding”

Handouts for Private School Parents – Arrests for Public School Parents

Australian public education is free, compulsory and secular. Or at least that was the intention of the early colonial rulers whose Public Instruction Acts of the 1880s decreed such to be the case.

Yet it was revealed recently in the South Australian daily paper The Advertiser that thousands of parents have been prosecuted for failing to pay public school fees this year. In fact, 271 parents had been issued arrest warrants for failing to appear in court over the matter.

Arrest warrants?  For failure to pay fees in a supposedly free system??!!

Continue reading “Handouts for Private School Parents – Arrests for Public School Parents”

Is Gillard Preparing to Dump Gonski?

It seems that the Prime Minister may not “give a Gonski”. When challenged at a community cabinet meeting in Brisbane this week to implement the recommendations of the Gonski report on school funding she put the onus on state governments. Her response raises the question as to whether the Federal Government is preparing to dump the report and sheet home blame to Coalition state governments.

Continue reading “Is Gillard Preparing to Dump Gonski?”

Another Faith-Based Statement by Garrett on School Autonomy

The Federal Education Minister, Peter Garrett, has once again failed to provide convincing evidence that greater school autonomy will improve student outcomes. Lacking any compelling evidence for the program, the Minister can only resort to faith that it will make a difference to student results.

Continue reading “Another Faith-Based Statement by Garrett on School Autonomy”

How GERM is Infecting Schools Around the World

Ten years ago — against all odds — Finland was ranked as the world’s top education nation. It was strange because in Finland education is seen as a public good accessible to all free of charge without standardized testing or competitive private schools.

When I look around the world, I see competition, choice, and measuring of students and teachers as the main means to improve education. This market-based global movement has put many public schools at risk in the United States and many other countries, as well. But not in Finland. Continue reading “How GERM is Infecting Schools Around the World”