- Minister Birmingham has the Gonski 2.0 report....we can expect to see it soon. He wanted the panel to be creative. In Inside Story I ask 'Has Gonski stepped outside the square?'
- Seven reasons people no longer want to be teachers....then the SMH reports on ways to lure teachers to the bush. Been there, done that. Also, a very productive look at rural issues has been presented by Phil Roberts, Adrian Piccoli and John Hattie.
- Back onto selective schools. Greg Whitby doesn't want them, wish you luck, Greg.
- Interesting report from The Guardian on disadvantaged schools
- Fairfax does a quick cut of My School school funding figures to tell us what we already know: 'Private schools getting $6700 more per student than NSW public schools'. More interesting is 'Richest private schools get payment from $7m government 'slush fund'. i.e. the fund to ease them into their new era of 'cut-backs' (?) Again on funding it appears (The Age) that Victoria is signing up to the 80:20 (actually 75:25) funding arrangement.
- The 80:20 / 20:80 Gonski 2.0 funding plan has come under deserved criticism and the problems won't go away. For a clear explanation of these problems, read When 20 and 80 don't add up, by Lyndsay Connors and Jane Caro. Also from Lyndsay Connors, an outstandingly worded challenge to the Victorian Catholic Education Comnmission's robocalling stunt druing the Batman by-election. Answers are needed!
- Fin Review reports (April 4) that the Gonski 2.10 review will be released later in April and will recommend stronger evidence-based teaching.
- David Hetherington (Public Education Foundation) has wrapped numbers around student underachievement and come up with a price tag of increasing inequality. Widely reported: ABC, SMH, Guardian. Adam Rorris did a similar exercise around retention rates two years ago.
- If you want to do well as school it seems you have to choose your grandparents as well as your parents. SMH reports on new research.
- Issues surrounding selective schools aren't going away. This time it is about the distances students travel to these schools. SMH April 4.
- More on the Barbara Preston's latest landmark Social make-up of schools report has just been released. Trevor Cobbold provides a useful summary
- 'Is it time to shut Goulburn's Catholic school doors...again?' I've done the calcs and it appears that the public purse might end up better off! Slightly longer version in Inside Story.
- Meanwhile (?) Rob Stokes has suggested that the STEM king has no clothes - or at least is over-dressed. AND Chris Davison from UNSW talks about the serious downsides of selective schools. SMH March 24. There is more to come on this, belive me.
- More on the ALP and Catholic schools. Background from Peter Goss in The Conversation, also from the NCEC, more from Trevor Cobbold esp on the special deals hidden in Labor's promises. Glenn Savage summarises the issues. Also an interesting perspective from Queensland, AND a report on the ongoing Catholic Vs Independent warfare....also in The Australian. Finally (not really!) one from the SMH: 'School funding flares up but the combatants are mostly firing blanks'
- 'Crying-poor Catholic schools enjoy multibillion-dollar advantage under Gonski 2.0 funding deal', SMH March 21. The Australian Council of State School Organisations has also fired a broadside at Labor.
- Just how far have we come in 20 years? 'Bill Shorten pledges extra $250m for Catholic schools if Labor elected' reports The Guardian. Lyndsay Connors and I respond in the same place: 'Labor's $250m promise to Catholic schools reveals a funding horror story' - with a slightly longer version in P&I
- A summary article of my work with Bernie and now with Chris and Garry is in Policy Forum.
- Chaplaincy under fire....again. When is a religion not a religion?
- 'Migrant children top the class in Australia, OECD report finds' New Daily, March 20
- More trouble with the chaplaincy program: 'Contentious school chaplain program is on shaky legal ground' SMH March 9.
- It's My School time again. Time to recycle the news from last year because the story doesn't change. But the data shows more detailed shifts and we are onto it again! Watch this space. ABC reports on 'Calls for NAPLAN review after report reveals no change in decade of results'.
- If Labor wins government in Canberra Tanya Plibersek will be education minister. But what will really be different? Dean Ashenden has written her a letter ('Dear Ms Plibersek' in Inside Story) which she would be best advised to consider. Also on the future, Tom Greenwell reports on an interesting conversation with Adrian Piccoli in Inside Story.
- Well worth reading is David Zyngier 'Spending more on private schools doesn't guarantee success' in P&I. David analysys VCE (Victoria) results and shows (with more useful data) the insignificant difference between public and private schools - but with the latter costing much more! Maybe a good time to also read David Gillespie: 'Stop public cash for private schools' Meanwhile, Trevor Cobbold continues to accumulate the evidence that spending on needy schools delivers
- 'Sydney's top private schools reveal extravagant new building plans' Sun Herald Feb 25. My response is 'The elite schools' arms race goes nuclear' in Pearls and Irritations. Trevor Cobbold tells where the money comes from.
- 'Why are the Liberals so terrified of our schools?' - some teachers ask in an op ed in The Age.
- 'Progress made on Indigenous retention rates masks growing racial divide at schools' The Guardian reports about my (with Chris Ho and Garry Richards) CPD discussion paper: A creeping Indigenous separation As my article in the same paper is headed: most Indigenous students are consigned to schools with the least capacity to help. Closing the gap? Not likely! An article with more detail is in Inside Story. ...and another in Pearls and Irritations. ...and another in Policy Forum.
- The media are building interest in the Gonski 2.0 review, due to report in March (?). The Financial Review writes about various stakeholders taking up their positions - and on Feb 20th the SMH revealed interesting details about the NSW submission, esp as they relate to the HSC. The SMH also fired a shot across the bows of anyone wanting to tinker with the HSC.
- Closing the Gap hides as much as it reveals. Ross Gittins writes about the Indigenous middle class. (Fairfax, Feb 10). In a few days the Centre for Policy Development will release my examination of where Indigenous kids go to school. Those gaps are getting much wider! Troubling.
- It's Closing the Gap time again, time to wring our hands at ongoing failure. Pete Goss updates us on what has been achieved to date (The Convo, Feb 8). Looks like we are about to set new targets. More on Closing the Gap from Stan Grant on ABC News.
- The evidence continues to mount that the Gonski 2 funding arrangements will be an unfolding disaster. Trevor Cobbold brings us up to date. More evidence of unhappiness comes from new sources: '$750m a year goes to private schools that don't need it, Catholic sector says' ABC. Basically the 'Taliban' branches of the non-gov sector - i.e. the Catholics and the Independents in Victoria - are at war with each other. Delicious!
- Debate is heating up over the Ruddock review of religious freedom. Christian schools want the right to fire disbelievers. I wonder if they know who really pays for their teachers? New Matilda fires back.
- 'St Posh vs Bog Standard High: how the school system can fight poverty and privilege' ABC. Jane Caro with an updated perspective and common sense
- Alas, not as smart is Blaise Joseph, writing 'Private schools aren't only for the rich' in The Spectator Australia. There are enough Edu-fact check statements in this to feed me for months. He would have got away with it ten years ago, not now!
- 'The smartest way to spend taxpayer dollars' Well said, Ross Gittins....speaking up for funding pre-schools (SMH Feb 7)
- Two apparently encouraging stories. The first is States cut funding to private schools as public system reaps Gonski rewards' SMH, Fab 1. Interesting, but does anyone really believe they'll cut to 20% as part of the 20:80 Turnbull 'deal'. The second is 'The great public school squeeze: more students, fewer schools as parents make the switch' SMH Feb 3. But there is more to this story.
- 'The factors holding back Australia's most disadvantaged students' Fairfax reports on PISA's latest report on academic resilience. Big lessons here for Australia.
- 'What's ahead for education policy in 2018?' asks Megan O'Connell and Charlene Smith in The Conversation, Jan 31.
- The Centre for Independent Studies tells us that it is time to stop fixating on Finland. SMH Jan 31
- Trevor Cobbold rolls out more findings on the private schools funding debacle in the ACT. (Fairfax Jan 30). Catholic Ed's Ross Fox rejects Trevor's analysis but shoots himself in the foot with carefully selected statistics, beginning in para 3.
- Radio National's Sunday Extra (28 Jan) ran an interesting debate 'Is a private school education really worth it?' Judy King and John Hattie were stand-outs but the program also provided rich fodder for Edu-fact check. (see column left)
- Research reported on 'The behaviours linked to higher NAPLAN scores' SMH, Jan 23.
- More on selective schools. 'End the selective school obsession' Rachael Jacobs Jan 23. Also 'Keeping selective schools true to their vision' SMH editorial.
- Open up selective schools for more 'inclusive' education, says Rob Stokes (reported in SMH, Jan 10). There are very few times when a news story has floored me, but this one did. A courageous venture by Rob Stokes. Chris Ho and I somewhat wish him well in 'Selective school decisions coming back to haunt us' SMH, Jan 10). Interesting, Victoria refuses to add to its small number.
- 'Labor has 'no plans' to change law allowing religious schools to fire gay teachers' Guardian Australia. Did anyone expect they would? It would need leadership.
- Pasi Sahlberg on what Finland can teach Australian schools. Guardian Australia, Jan 7
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.
OUR LATEST is A creeping Indigenous separation published February 2018
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.