- Selective schools still in the news: 'Warped and elitist': are Australia’s selective schools failing the fairness test? Guardian report using My School data. Stand-by for even more on these themes.
- More on Gonski 2.0: Pete Goss and Coreena Haythorpe talk to ABC's Philip Clark (Nightlife).
- Interesting discussion on rural and remote education
- This brilliant article by Jane Caro in The Saturday Paper is a must read: 'Ruining Gonski's school funding plan' And another great article which asks what schools should be about: Stephanie Dowrick in P&I
- Back to My School, NAPLAN and all that. 'My School effect' blamed for fall in NSW public high school enrolments' SMH May 9. Also 'Teaching to NAPLAN leading to Australia's falling PISA scores' Then on May 13: 'Fears over contaminated NAPLAN as some tests move online' SMH. Grattan's Peter Goss explains why NAPLAN tests are vital (Guardian).
- And the Gonski push-back goes on. Kevin Donnelly tilts at windmills (again) in the Fin Review. Then Jenny Allum..'an abject failure and a wasted opportunity'....Gonski, that is. A much better read is from Geoff Masters: 'Gonski's model for schools' in Teacher.
- Dean Ashenden's article in Inside Story includes powerful reminders of things left undone as well as supporting the new directions. Will the education wars break out again? If so, it will be important to look at some schools that are already heading in the Gonski 2.0 direction. Also, assessment has always been a driver so much rests on the proposed online tool to assess growth.
- And on NAPLAN. Stephanie Dowrick laments the narrowing impact of NAPLAN (SMH), Rob Stokes wants it dumped, ACARA's Rob Randall revisits what NAPLAN actually is. The problem is not what NAPLAN is, it's what it has been hijacked to represent.
- More on Gonski. Peter Hutton's work at Templestowe College is reported by the Guardian, along with an article from Peter. David Gonski is very active addressing concerns. If ever we needed more, Michael McGowan's report on Shepparton is a great backdrop (Guardian)
- Gonski's second coming is now a reality. Find the full report here. Reports from The Guardian, SMH, ABC. Widely supported by those who know schools e.g. Piccoli, opposed by the usual suspects. Signs are that Gonski will be more proactive in countering the critics this time. My first response is 'Gonski's second coming' in P&I. More to come, that's for sure....
- SMH reports on the poor oversight of spending of gov funds in non-gov schools.
- 'Second Gonski report to recommend new measure of school performance' Guardian, April 28.
- Its like a horror movie: just when you think he's gone, he's back! Kevin Donnelly's latest.....more rich pickings for Edu-fact check.
- 'Schools ignore My School data on school performance....' SMH. Looks like the school improvement rationale for My School continues to fall apart.
- 'To reduce inequality in schools, make them less socially segregated' Laura Perry in The Convo, drawing on her work with others in the recent CEDA report on inequality in Australia.
- 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. Also an interesting discussion in Teacher magazine.
- 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
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.