Fighting for Equity in Education

The struggle is long but hope is longer

The Market in Education has Failed in Sweden

Posted on Tuesday April 2, 2013

The introduction of a market in education in Sweden has failed. Since the introduction of government funding for private schools Swedish school results in reading, science, and mathematics have fallen and social stratification and segregation in schools has increased. Private schools have no better results than public schools. < >> Read on...

Symposium on Applying Market Principles to Education

Posted on Thursday March 28, 2013

An international symposium conducted this month by the Swedish Academy of Sciences examined the consequences of school choice for the efficiency and equity of schooling and the consequences of applying market principles for systems of governance, accountability and the teaching professions. >> Read on...

Garrett Admits There is Little Evidence to Support School Autonomy

Posted on Friday March 1, 2013

The Federal Minister for Education, Peter Garrett, yesterday completely undermined his own school autonomy program with a stunning admission that there is little evidence that charter schools – the archetype of school autonomy – lead to better school results. >> Read on...

OECD Education Director Says ‘Autonomy Can Work Against You’

Posted on Friday February 15, 2013

The deputy director for education at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, has warned that independent public schools risk reducing collaboration between schools and creating a wider gap between the best and worst performing schools. >> Read on...

SOS Submission on the Govt’s Education Bill

Posted on Tuesday February 12, 2013

The SOS submission on the Australian Education Bill recommends adoption of a clear definition of equity in education and that collaboration between schools be included as part of the national plan for improving the performance of schools and students.< >> Read on...

School Autonomy Fails to Increase Student Achievement and Undermines Collaboration between Schools

Posted on Tuesday February 5, 2013

A submission by Save Our Schools to the Senate Education Committee inquiry on Teaching and Learning shows that school autonomy has little to no effect on student results and leads to greater inequality and social segregation between schools. It calls for governments to support greater collaboration between schools. >> Read on...

Independent Public Schools are No Panacea for School Improvement

Posted on Thursday January 31, 2013

Independent public schools are not a panacea for school improvement according to a review of academy schools in England. They also undermine collaboration between schools, increase social segregation and entrench social inequalities . >> Read on...

Competition and Choice Fail to Produce Better Student Results

Posted on Wednesday January 23, 2013

A new review of research studies on competition and choice has found little evidence that it improves student results. It says this is not surprising because key characteristics of education services do not match the assumptions of market theory. >> Read on...

School Autonomy Brought a Lost Decade in NZ Education

Posted on Tuesday December 11, 2012

New Zealand schools have amongst the most extensive school autonomy in the world. A new book shows that it is responsible for a lost decade in education in New Zealand as education improvement was sidetracked by focus on managing properties and finance. >> Read on...

School Autonomy, the Education Cost Disease and Funding Cuts

Posted on Monday November 19, 2012

A speech by Trevor Cobbold on school autonomy, the cost disease in education, funding cuts and the market in education. >> Read on...

Academy School Results Dispel Claims About School Autonomy

Posted on Thursday November 8, 2012

In another blow to the claims that greater school autonomy leads to improved school performance, new research shows that academy schools in England have not improved student achievement. >> Read on...

Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 3

Posted on Friday September 7, 2012

The third in a series of articles mapping the extent of school autonomy in different jurisdictions and school sectors across Australia. Comments are invited to correct mistakes and omissions >> Read on...

‘Independent’ Review of Research on the Impact of School Autonomy is a ‘Dud’

Posted on Tuesday August 28, 2012

A review of research studies on school autonomy published by the Federal Department of Education is a ‘dud’. It is highly selective and relies heavily on dated research. The review ignores recent studies from many countries which show that school autonomy in budgeting and staffing has little to no impact on student achievement. >> Read on...

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

Posted on Saturday August 18, 2012

The ACT P&C Council has called for no further expansion of school autonomy in ACT schools and an independent review of the benefits and costs of school autonomy. >> Read on...

Teachers and Principals Say School Autonomy Means Cutbacks

Posted on Friday August 17, 2012

Principals and teachers in 23 ACT schools participating in a pilot project on school autonomy say that it means that schools will have to hire less experienced, cheaper teachers and cut back on specialist teachers. >> Read on...

Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 2

Posted on Thursday July 26, 2012

The second in a series of articles mapping the extent of school autonomy in different jurisdictions and school sectors across Australia. Comments are invited to correct mistakes and omissions. >> Read on...

Another Faith-Based Statement by Garrett on School Autonomy

Posted on Monday July 9, 2012

The Federal Education Minister, Peter Garrett, has failed to provide convincing evidence that greater school autonomy will improve student outcomes. His case is based on faith and ideology. >> Read on...

How GERM is Infecting Schools Around the World

Posted on Friday July 6, 2012

Leading Finland educator, Pasi Sahlberg, criticises the education reform movement centred around choice and competition and contrasts it with policies adopted in Finland to make it the most successful education system in the world.< >> Read on...

Mapping School Autonomy in Australia: Part 1

Posted on Wednesday July 4, 2012

The first in a series of articles mapping the extent of school autonomy in different jurisdictions and school sectors across Australia. Comments are invited to correct mistakes and omissions. >> Read on...

The Evidence for School Autonomy is Far From Compelling

Posted on Thursday June 14, 2012

The Federal Government’s school autonomy program is ill-conceived as the weight of evidence from research studies is that it has very little impact on student achievement. The $500 million would be more effectively spent on directly targeting disadvantage in education. >> Read on...

Interview With Diane Ravitch

Posted on Sunday May 27, 2012

Diane Ravitch speaks against high stakes testing and privatisation of schools and on the importance of a strong public education system. >> Read on...

Charter Schools Come Closer to Home

Posted on Friday April 13, 2012

Charter schools are about to be launched in New Zealand. Last month, the New Zealand Government announced the establishment of a working group to advise on a charter school model for NZ. >> Read on...

More Evidence that Private Schools Do No Better than Public Schools

Posted on Monday April 2, 2012

A new study has found that secondary students attending private schools in The Netherlands do no better than public school students. Over 70% of secondary school students in The Netherlands attend government funded private schools. >> Read on...

Charter Schools are not a Good Advertisement for School Autonomy

Posted on Wednesday March 14, 2012

Charter schools in the United States are an experiment in school autonomy. After 20 years we can say that the experiment has not been a marked success. The latest research evidence shows that charter schools do not deliver better results than other public schools. < >> Read on...

Finnish Lessons

Posted on Monday March 5, 2012

Finland’s director of education, Pasi Sahlberg, says that Finland has successfully avoided the Global Education Reform Movement (GERM) virus by building trust, responsibility, co-operation and sharing in schools. >> Read on...

OECD Study on Choice and Equity Informs Post-Gonski Debate

Posted on Sunday February 19, 2012

An OECD study shows that school choice has lead to greater social segregation and inequity in education. Increased school choice in OECD countries has not led to any improvement in student achievement. School choice schemes have benefitted advantaged students but harmed disadvantaged and low income students.< >> Read on...

Devastating Critique of US Education Policies

Posted on Wednesday December 14, 2011

Diane Ravitch has made another devastating critique of market-based education policies in the United States, many of which have been copied by the Gillard Government. >> Read on...

The Logic of the Education Market Revealed in English State School

Posted on Tuesday August 2, 2011

An English state school has taken the logic of the market to its ultimate end. It is colour coding and segregating students by ability. >> Read on...

School Vouchers Are Another Failed Market Reform

Posted on Saturday July 30, 2011

A new review of research studies on voucher programs over the past decade in the United States has found that students in receipt of vouchers to attend private schools had similar gains in achievement as comparable public school students. < >> Read on...

Save Our Schools March on Washington DC

Posted on Tuesday July 26, 2011

Save Our Schools USA has organised a march on Washington DC this weekend and a national call for action against market-based education policies which are destroying public education. >> Read on...

School Autonomy Leads to More Social Exclusion and Inequality in Education

Posted on Tuesday July 19, 2011

Academy schools in England have increased social stratification and education inequality according to a new study. >> Read on...

Education Should Not Be a Race

Posted on Thursday June 30, 2011

A leading educator says that the competitive pressure placed on students has become an epidemic which is damaging their education. She calls for schools to focus more on student engagement in learning instead of test grades. >> Read on...

Marching With Save Our Schools (US)

Posted on Sunday June 26, 2011

Diane Ravitch explains why she is marching in the Save Our Schools (US) march on 30 July in Washington DC. >> Read on...

US National Research Council Fails Test-Based Accountability Programs

Posted on Saturday June 11, 2011

An expert report just released by the US National Research Council says that test-based accountability programs have had little to no effect on student achievement in the US over the past decade. It is a devastating verdict on programs being introduced by the Gillard Government which use test results to reward schools and teachers. >> Read on...

The Impact of Choice and Competition on Student Results is “Underwhelming”

Posted on Wednesday June 8, 2011

A new review of choice and competition between schools finds that its impact on student achievement is underwhelming and that key assumptions of free market theory are not present in education. >> Read on...

Another Nail in the School Voucher Coffin

Posted on Thursday March 31, 2011

The latest test results for students in the much vaunted Milwaukee school voucher program were worse than or about the same as students in Milwaukee public schools. It is another nail in the school voucher coffin. >> Read on...

School Choice Means Increased Social Segregation

Posted on Monday March 28, 2011

More evidence that school choice increases social segregation between schools. >> Read on...

What ‘Superman’ Got Wrong

Posted on Saturday February 26, 2011

The documentary education film Waiting for Superman soon to be released in Australia gets a lot wrong. >> Read on...

The Myths of Waiting for “Superman”

Posted on Monday February 21, 2011

There are many myths about charter schools in the education documentary Waiting for Superman which is about to be released in Australia. >> Read on...

Charter Schools Segregate Students by Race and Class

Posted on Thursday February 17, 2011

A new study shows that charter schools segregate students by race and class in the United States. Charter schools are more racially isolated than traditional public schools in virtually every state and large metropolitan area in the US. < >> Read on...

No Compelling Research Evidence For School Autonomy

Posted on Friday January 14, 2011

Another of Labor’s education polices is found not to have a solid evidence base. A recent review of research studies has found there is no compelling evidence to support giving school principals autonomy over hiring and firing teachers and for financial management of schools. < >> Read on...

The Year In Research On Market-Based Education Reform

Posted on Monday January 10, 2011

A review of research studies in 2010 on market-based education reforms shows that performance pay for teachers, charter schools and value-added measures of school and teacher performance are not succeeding in raising student achievement. >> Read on...

OECD Study Shows that School Autonomy is no Silver Bullet

Posted on Tuesday January 4, 2011

An OECD report shows that schools which have control over budgets and the hiring and firing of teachers do not achieve better results. < >> Read on...

Learning from Finland

Posted on Monday January 3, 2011

A leading Finnish educator says that choice and competition policies should be replaced by policies which focus on equity and co-operation. Gillard and Garrett should take note. >> Read on...

PISA Study Says that Competition Between Schools Lowers Student Achievement in Australia

Posted on Friday December 17, 2010

A report published as part of the PISA 2009 study shows that competition between schools has not increased student results across OECD countries, while in Australia it has lowered results. >> Read on...

The Things They Don’t Tell You About Charter Schools

Posted on Sunday December 12, 2010

The Wall Street Journal explains that charter schools are not the success claimed by the Obama administration and other advocates of competition in education. >> Read on...

Vouchers Increase Racial Segregation in Schools

Posted on Monday November 29, 2010

A new study has found that universal voucher schemes are likely to increase racial and ethnic segregation across schools. White families tend to use vouchers to leave schools with a high proportion of non-white students. >> Read on...

OECD Study Says Markets in Education Have Not Worked

Posted on Friday November 12, 2010

A major new OECD study shows that the introduction of market reforms in education had little positive effects on student achievement, generated little innovation in education and brought greater likelihood of increased segregation by race and class. >> Read on...

Competition Favours the Strong

Posted on Monday August 9, 2010

Competition between schools leads to a few winners and many losers. It exacerbates inequity and disregards the common good. It also fails to increase student achievement. >> Read on...

‘Free Schools’ Will Increase Social Segregation

Posted on Sunday July 25, 2010

The creation of privately-operated, publicly-funded “free schools” in England is likely to increase social segregation without significantly improving student achievement, according to a leading academic. >> Read on...

Impassioned Call to Defend Public Education

Posted on Friday July 9, 2010

An impassioned call to defend public education by Diane Ravitch, author of the best-selling book The Death and Life of the Great American School System. >> Read on...

Another Study Shows that Charter Schools do no Better than Traditional Public Schools

Posted on Friday July 2, 2010

Another report has found that charter schools in the United States do no better in increasing student results than traditional public schools. It adds to the accumulating evidence that charter schools are not the answer to better results.< >> Read on...

Growing Corporate Control of Education Policy

Posted on Tuesday June 8, 2010

Large corporations and wealthy private foundations are gaining increasing control over US education policy to further the agenda of more competition and privatization of education. It is leading to the dismantling of public education. There are calls for corporate Australia to similarly transform Australian education. >> Read on...

Paying Cash for Better Test Scores is no Silver Bullet

Posted on Tuesday June 1, 2010

Paying students to increase their results makes no difference according to a new study published by the US National Bureau of Economic Research. >> Read on...

Swedish-Style School Privatization for England

Posted on Thursday May 27, 2010

Sweden is the latest miracle cure in education for free market ideologues. The new UK Government has announced plans for the widespread privatization schools in England following the model used in Sweden. The strong evidence is that privatization of schools in Sweden has failed to deliver school improvement. >> Read on...

Voucher Experiment Draws a Blank

Posted on Friday May 14, 2010

The much vaunted Milwaukee school voucher program has been shown to be a failure. Last month, a major report on the 20 year-old scheme concluded that students in the voucher program were achieving similar results to those in Milwaukee public schools. >> Read on...

More Evidence of the Failure of Choice and Competition to Improve Student Outcomes

Posted on Friday March 26, 2010

The latest national reading test results in the United States show that school choice, competition and accountability measures have failed to increase average reading scores or reduce achievement gaps. Julia Gillard would do well to take note. >> Read on...

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 3

Posted on Wednesday March 24, 2010

The final part of a review of Diane Ravitch’s new book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.< >> Read on...

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 2

Posted on Wednesday March 24, 2010

Trevor Cobbold continues a review of Diane Ravitch’s new book: The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How Testing and Choice are Undermining Education.< >> Read on...

A Devastating Critique of Choice and Competition in Education by a Former Advocate: Part 1

Posted on Wednesday March 24, 2010

Diane Ravitch has been one of the most influential voices in American education for the past 30 years. When such a person changes her views it is big news and it has been in the US for the past few weeks. Her new book is a devastating critique of markets in education. >> Read on...

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