Student Outcomes Stagnate Under Stanhope Govt.

Save Our Schools has released a 55-page study which shows that student outcomes in the ACT have stagnated since 2001 when the Stanhope Government was first elected. SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the report is a damning indictment of the Government’s record in education.

The study is a comprehensive review of student outcomes on a range of international and national tests covering reading, mathematics, science, civics and citizenship and ICT literacy at different Year levels. It also includes data on retention and completion rates to Year 12.

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ALP Education Policy is an Admission of Failure

The education policy announced by the ALP this week is an admission of Government failure in education over the past 7 years. The Government has suddenly discovered the huge achievement gap in the ACT, despite criticising Save Our Schools for raising this in the past.

The Government is clearly running scared about education as an election issue. It is desperately trying to gloss over its legacy of failure in school education.

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Gillard’s School Reporting Model is a Triumph of Ideology over Evidence

The Rudd Government’s “education revolution” is looking more and more like an extension of the Howard Government’s school policies. All the same elements are there – choice and competition, reliance on markets, and now public reporting of school results. Continue reading “Gillard’s School Reporting Model is a Triumph of Ideology over Evidence”

The Case Against League Tables

The case against reporting individual school results and league tables of school results was presented in a report by the ACT Government Schools Education Council in 2004 in response to the proposals of the then Commonwealth Education Minister, Dr. Brendan Nelson. The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the proposal drawing on international research evidence. It is re-published here as a resource in the discussion of the Rudd Government’s proposal for reporting school results. Continue reading “The Case Against League Tables”

Choice or Equity in Education?

This paper, by Trevor Cobbold, was delivered to the Education Summit in Sydney in June 2008.

It argues that choice has failed the promise of its advocates to improve education outcomes and that it has not only deflected education systems from dealing with the major challenge of inequity in education, but has exacerbated inequity. Continue reading “Choice or Equity in Education?”

Social Equity in Education as a National Goal

Save Our Schools supports the social equity goal of the existing National Goals for Schooling.

It opposes replacing this goal with the much weaker commitment to high quality schooling free of discrimination as proposed in the draft National Declaration on the Goals for Schooling.

The Future of Schooling in Australia report fails to make a case for this change. The large achievement gaps between students from low and high socio-economic status families and between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students are the major challenges facing the Australian school system.

Achieving social equity in school outcomes should remain a key national goal for schooling.

Submission on Draft National Declaration on Goals for Schooling

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Do Smaller Classes Make a Difference and is it Cost Effective?

The Liberal Party proposal to reduce class sizes from about 30 to 21 in Years 4-6 in government schools will be popularly received. Reducing class sizes is one of the very few education policies that are widely endorsed by teachers and parents.

The Opposition is to be congratulated for committing a large funding increase for government schools. However, across the board reductions in class sizes are expensive and there are more cost effective ways to improve student outcomes.

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More Meaningless Rhetoric on Community Consultation

The Chief Minister’s proposals for the reform of community consultation processes in the ACT amount to more meaningless rhetoric from a Government under pressure.

The Chief Minister is only promising superficial change, not real change. All he has done is to serve up more bureaucratic drivel that fails to deal with the key failures in community consultation.

The big failure of the Stanhope Govt on community consultation has been its use of sham consultations to get a pre-determined outcome. This is what it did in the case of the W. Belconnen super-school and the school closure program. It had made up its mind before the consultations began.

What the Chief Minister has to do to make real change is to commit to full open consultations processes, not sham consultations.

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Media Release 30 May 2008 – Rich Families Benefit Most from Over-Funding of Private Schools

A study of the SES funding model for private schools released today shows that two-thirds of all private school students are over-funded and that schools serving the wealthiest families are vastly more over-funded than those serving low income families. Continue reading “Media Release 30 May 2008 – Rich Families Benefit Most from Over-Funding of Private Schools”

Communities Face Sell-Off of Green Space Around Closed Schools

Save Our Schools today released figures which show that over 70% of ‘green space’ of 8 closed school sites is being considered for sale by the ACT Government.

SOS spokesman, Trevor Cobbold, said that the implications of the proposed sell-off should be canvassed at public meetings beginning this week on the future closed school sites.

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