- Simon Birmingham has announced his brand new Year 1 test, rather odd given he recently urged people to think outside the square (for Gonski 2). The reaction is quite strong.
- Gonski 2.0 (the Review) is now launched. The questions to which submissions must respond are more creative than the terms of reference. The AEU is concerned about the short time frame. But this is a chance in a decade - just do it!
- Sarah Pilcher reports in The Convo on early years of learning in Australia. A long way to go.
- 'For long term improvements schools need to slow down' Interesting - from Jess Harris et al in The Convo. I hope they put in a submission to Gonski 2.0. Speaking of which, I hope blogger Darcy Moore does too - see his latest on John Hattie.
- As a former boys' school principal this Jane Gilmore piece resonated with me: 'How shocking sexism becomes normal in 'elite' environments' SMH Sept 7.
- Things are so quiet on the school education front. Some of this will change when Gonski 2.0 calls for submissions. The NSW Department of Education's Centre for Education Statistics and Evaluation has issued a somewhat underwhelming report Improving high school engagement, classroom pratices and achievement. Also reported in the SMH, followed by scathing letters. Good as far as it goes....but that's the problem.
- Trevor Cobbold has highlighted two new reports: one on Teach for Australia and the second on the most recent US (NBER) research on the benefits of investing in disadvantaged schools.
- This is here for my records as much as anything: it is a report on virtual classrooms in the context of languages. Has big potential to strengthen comprehensive schools in many areas.
- Adding to doubts about PISA is this report from Trevor Cobbold. National performance of 15 year olds in schools doesn't mean much when many are not in schools!
- Emma Rowe's series on religion in Australia's schools is worth a read....The Convo.
- Now this is interesting - or is it? 'One-third of Sydney high schools are 'neither efficient nor effective'. This SMH report doesn't say much - need to know more about this research.
- 'The private advantage that isn't' - my take, for an international audience, on trends in Australia.
- Pete Goss at Grattan has arrived at a better comparison of Australia's expenditure on education. See AFR report.
- This year's NAPLAN moral panic is because results haven't shifted much in ten years. Of course they haven't: how can we expect the strugglers to lift their results (and hence the totals) when they are increasingly, and literally, in a class of their own? Reports in the SMH, also ABC News. Some other good reports here and I splash a few ideas around in Pearls and Irritations. Misty Adoniou (The Convo) warns against a dominating focus on the basics. And nice opinion piece on the NAPLAN/HSC link from Anthony Farley.
- Late July: NSW is to review entry to selective schools to try to widen their reach beyond the wealthy. Selective schools back on the agenda. Meanwhile someone has proposed that we have selective primary schools in NSW. Lucy Clark from The Guardian doesn't hold back in taking apart this stupid suggestion. See graph below for more. And a remarkable contribution from William McKeith in the SMH, July 28. He joins most of the dots.
- Quite a detailed explanation of Gonski 2.0 is on ABC Fact Check.
- Importand report on school to work transition from the Foundation for Young Australians.
- Terms of reference for the Gonski 2.0 review available here. Information about the reviewers available here. Fin Review points to Ken Boston as the key to its work. Ross Gittins shows the economic importance of getting it right. But in a timely warning Trevor Cobbold highlights recent research showing the real problems faced by disadvantaged students. If we don't fix this then not much else will work!! Trevor also reports on recent research indicating the critical importance of school-community links.
- Every couple of years the CIS flies the wealthy-public-school-parents-should-pay-fees kite. They are at it again. David Gillespie has a sharp response in The Courier Mail. Actually they do pay fees - they are called taxes.
- The Gonski 2.0 panel has been formed.....mainly school-based people plus Ken Boston and Lisa O'Brien. Ross Gittins ponders the task facing Gonski's second review. (Fairfax July 12).
- I ask whether the dust has really settled on Gonski, esp as they are currently providing 23% of Catholic school public funding ....and Matthew Knott writes on the problems facing state governments (like the need to cut private school funding). And while on funding, the ritual reporting of public school fee collections is on again, this time Fairfax.
- This site is about education issues that matter. This is one of them: 'Private companies accessing student data fuels commercialisation fears' Fairfax July 4. Followed by a valuable comment from the academics working on this matter.
- 'Shopping for 'good' public schools in NSW reinforcing equity gap' Fairfax, July 3. All sounds very familiar, given that Bernie and I raised this three years ago. Some extra coverage of this on radio and TV.
- Losing the Game is the latest report from Bernie Shepherd and myself on the state of our schools as revealed by the data behind the My School website. Launched in this busy 'Gonski' week, it has been reported in the Australian Financial Review, The Guardian, various radio and TV, blogs etc...with more to come. We have a synopsis of sorts in Pearls and Irritations. I still have mixed feelings about the current legislation but we won't find any way to the future unless we cancel out the flawed decisions of the past (amply illustrated in Losing the Game) and correct the disasters they have created
- More in the Gonski wash-up. Trevor Cobbold shows how Gonski 2.0 entrenches structural incoherence and inequity in school funding. Grattan's Peter Goss and Julie Sonnemann (The Conversation) spell out why they see it as a policy victory. Matthew Knott (Fairax) explains the eventual compromise - and how it all came about.....and what ot means for state government funding. Gabrielle Chan in The Guardian calls it a policy and political win for the Coalition. Jane Caro in The Saturday Paper questions the funding carve up....and Paul Karp (Guardian) can't see the states delivering their share. Tony Walker (Fairfax) says that the top private schools will be big winners. Nice podcast on Fairfax, including Ross Gittins, Peter Martin and Jess Irvine. And always related, the Bankwest/Curtin people report on their research into education inequality in Australia, The Conversation
- More in this big late June week. We watch school funding history repeated as Fairfax reports 'Turnbull buckles to Catholic schools'. Jane Caro in The Guardian cuts to the chase in an analysis of the Gonski journey. On a different topic, Emma Rowe unpacks school enrolment data in The Convo (June 19)
- What an amazing 'Gonski' path was been woven in the last few weeks - and it isn't over. The game seems to change every day. There has been ample media on current events. The explanation of Catholic school funding in The Convo by Jessica Gerrard is a good read, as is Julie Doyle's explanation in ABC News. The intervention by Gonski panelists Ken Boston and Kathryn Greiner were well reported.
- We've been working on recommendations to go with our report and are being upstaged almost daily. Fairfax revealed Birmingham's offer to speed up the funding and also establish a National Schools Resourcing body. Great news if it comes off. Watch this (and any) space!
We'll include links from time to time. Do keep in touch with Save Our Schools. Trevor Cobbold's research is compelling and his site has excellent links to other sites.
September 2016: Institutionalised Inequality Published in Inside Story
June 2016: Uneven playing field: the state of Australian schools released by the Centre for Policy Development.
March 2016: School Daze - what My School really says about our schools.
February 2016: ...and half a story doesn't fit the facts. Our response to One school does not fit all, issued by the Centre for Independent Studies.
July 16th 2015: 'Private school, public cost' - Findings from My School 2015. First report in the SMH
Equity in Australian schooling - an update. (October 2014) What Gonski found to be bad we have found to be worse. Reports about it here and here. Also in Inside Story. UPDATED My School 6 version now available: Gonski, My School and the Education Market.
The public and private of student achievement (December 2014) Schools with similar students get similar results. Reported in the Sun Herald.
School funding and achievement - following the money trail (February 2015) Similar schools get similar results, so what does it cost? Read the main media report and our oped in the Guardian Australia.
Is the idea of a school community - at least in a geographic sense - a myth? Just a quarter of our schools have an enrolment that reflects their locality.