Fighting for Equity in Education

The struggle is long but hope is longer

New research shows what makes a difference in teaching literacy and why ‘evidence-based’ is not enough

Posted on Monday March 5, 2018

Well-intentioned efforts to improve literacy in Australia should be built upon the understanding that the work of teachers is complex. We need to change the script that blames teachers for low literacy levels by telling them how to do their job. Our observation of uncommon pedagogies is an indication of how doing a teacher’s job can’t be simplified into a set of ‘evidence-based’ method >> Read on...

Who is for teaching?

Posted on Thursday February 15, 2018

Attracting and retaining high calibre teachers requires more sophisticated strategies than quick fixes such as fast tracking ‘tradies’ into teaching. It is a simplistic solution that ignores the skills required for high quality teachi >> Read on...

Doubt About Reliability of Figures on Teacher Attrition in Australia

Posted on Thursday February 1, 2018

A new research paper has found there is no robust evidence to support claims that high proportions of teachers leave teaching within their first five years. It says the teacher attrition rate in Australia is unknown. >> Read on...

Pathetic Response by Teach for Australia to Criticisms

Posted on Monday September 11, 2017

Teach for Australia has abjectly failed to answer criticisms of the program. >> Read on...

Teach for Australia Fails in its Mission

Posted on Thursday August 31, 2017

An evaluation report shows that Teach for Australia is not targeting the most disadvantaged schools and that it has a very high attrition rate. Previous evaluations show that it is not cost effective. >> Read on...

Australia Has High Quality Teaching But Too Much Out-of-Field Teaching

Posted on Monday February 27, 2017

Data from PISA 2015 and other studies show that Australia has a very high quality teaching force by international standards. There is no evidence of any decline in teaching quality that could have contributed to Australia’s declining PISA results. >> Read on...

The De-Professionalization of Teaching

Posted on Friday January 8, 2016

A policy brief from a US education policy think tank says that competition and choice policies in education are leading to the de-professionalization of teaching. >> Read on...

Reflections on Teaching: The Craft of Teaching

Posted on Monday November 30, 2015

Teaching is a craft. A teacher needs to have many techniques because every teaching situation is different and a good teacher constantly thinks about which ones to use in different situations. >> Read on...

Principal Leadership Makes Teacher Training Effective

Posted on Sunday May 31, 2015

Retired principals’ leader outlines ways that principals can meet their responsibility to make teacher training effective. >> Read on...

In Finland Less = More

Posted on Saturday April 25, 2015

An American teacher teaching in Finland explores the reasons for Finland’s success in education. >> Read on...

Australian Teachers Work Longer Hours and Face More Challenges Than Teachers in Many Countries

Posted on Tuesday July 8, 2014

A new international survey shows that Australian teachers work longer hours and in more challenging circumstances than teachers in many other countries. >> Read on...

Teach for Australia is Not Cost-effective

Posted on Sunday June 29, 2014

Teach for Australia is not cost-effective. It incurs very high costs to the taxpayer, but there is no substantive evidence that it improves outcomes in disadvantaged schools and a very high proportion of TFA teachers leave teaching within four or five years. >> Read on...

The Victorian Government is Floundering in Education

Posted on Wednesday November 13, 2013

A school principal blasts the Victorian Government’s new teacher appraisal scheme as hare-brained and insulting to teachers and principals. >> Read on...

Business Council Ignores Evidence on Performance Pay

Posted on Wednesday August 7, 2013

The Business Council of Australia’s support for teacher performance pay ignores the evidence. Research shows it does not increase school or student results. There is also no relationship between performance pay for executives and corporate performance. >> Read on...

“Blanket Stigmatisation” and “Battering” of Teachers Must End

Posted on Wednesday March 13, 2013

Professor Stephen Dinham, Chair of Teacher Education at the University of Melbourne, says that the quality teaching movement is in danger of being hijacked by naive, ill-informed, half-baked solutions and that education has become the ‘battered profession’ subjected to ‘blanket stigmatisation’. >> Read on...

Incentive Pay Schemes do not Change Teaching Practices

Posted on Wednesday February 27, 2013

A study of three teacher performance pay schemes in the United States has found that they did not change teaching motivation and practices. < >> Read on...

No Evidence That Incentive Pay for Teacher Teams Improves Student Outcomes

Posted on Monday June 4, 2012

The latest issue of the RAND Corporation’s Congressional Newsletter informs members of the US Congress that teacher performance pay is not improving student achievement. The latest trial which gave pay bonuses to teams of teachers rather than individual teachers also had no effect on student achievement or teaching practice. >> Read on...

Another Blow to Teacher Performance-Pay Schemes

Posted on Monday May 21, 2012

The OECD has delivered yet another blow to the Federal Government’s teacher bonus scheme. Its analysis of the PISA data shows no overall relationship between average student performance in a country and the use of performance-based pay schemes. >> Read on...

Performance Pay Does Not Even Work in Business

Posted on Friday March 23, 2012

Leading international business academics say that performance-related pay does not work and encourages the wrong sort of behaviour. Education policy makers should heed this advice and scrap performance pay for teachers. >> Read on...

High Profile Teacher Bonus Pay Program has Failed to Increase Student Results

Posted on Monday March 19, 2012

Yet another study shows that bonus pay programs for teachers fail to increase student achievement. A new study of the high profile Chicago Teacher Advancement Program shows no improvement in reading, mathematics and science. >> Read on...

Tapping Into What Makes Teachers Tick

Posted on Friday February 17, 2012

A report finds that performance pay fails to increase student achievement because it ignores the things that teachers care about most such as working conditions, access to resources, supportive teaching and learning environment and good leadership. >> Read on...

High Attrition from Teach for Australia

Posted on Friday January 13, 2012

Nearly half of participants in the fast-track Teach for Australia program are no longer teaching after two years. This very high attrition rate could be compounding the problems of teacher turnover in disadvantaged schools. >> Read on...

Wide-ranging Report on Improving the Schools Workforce

Posted on Sunday November 27, 2011

The Productivity Commission has published a wide-ranging and valuable draft report on the schools workforce. However, it is over-optimistic about the potential to design an effective bonus pay system for teachers and its support for school autonomy is more based on faith than evidence. >> Read on...

High Teacher Turnover in Teach for America

Posted on Wednesday October 19, 2011

New research shows that the majority of teachers in Teach for America leave teaching after 3 years. The attrition rate is much higher than for traditionally trained new teachers. < >> Read on...

Business Writer Defends Teacher Unions

Posted on Monday October 10, 2011

A business writer makes the case for teacher unions. >> Read on...

Teacher Bonuses Fail Again

Posted on Thursday July 21, 2011

Yet another study has shown that paying performance bonuses to teachers does not improve student achievement or change teaching practices. There is now overwhelming evidence that the Gillard Government’s teacher bonus scheme is doomed to failure and will be a waste of money. >> Read on...

Forced Grade Retention and Student Transfers Lead to Lower and More Inequitable Results

Posted on Saturday July 16, 2011

Countries in which more students are forced to repeat grades or are expelled tend to have lower overall results and more socially inequitable education systems according to a new analysis of international test results. >> Read on...

Teacher Turnover Harms Student Achievement

Posted on Tuesday July 12, 2011

A new study from the United States shows that teacher turnover in schools lowers student achievement, especially for low performing and black students. >> Read on...

Gillard and Garrett Ignore the Evidence Against Teacher Bonuses

Posted on Monday May 30, 2011

Nothing more clearly demonstrates that education policy under the Gillard Government is an evidence-free zone than its teacher bonus scheme. Three new academic studies show that teacher bonuses do not increase student achievement and may actually cause it to decline. >> Read on...

Competition for Test Results is not the Way We Should be Heading

Posted on Thursday May 5, 2011

Maralyn Parker is right on the money about teacher bonuses. She says that competition between teachers for test results is not the way we should be heading. >> Read on...

Performance pay for teachers is a terrible idea and here’s why

Posted on Tuesday May 3, 2011

The overwhelming evidence from both England and the United States is that the Prime Minister’s performance pay initiative is a really bad idea. >> Read on...

Train Teachers as Education Researchers Says OECD Report

Posted on Monday April 18, 2011

A new OECD report says that the most successful countries in school education make teaching an attractive, high status profession, and provide training for teachers to become educational innovators and researchers who have responsibility for reform. >> Read on...

Teacher Performance Pay is Another Stunning Joel Klein Failure

Posted on Monday March 14, 2011

Another study shows that teacher incentive pay fails to improve student achievement. >> Read on...

Another Study Shows that Teacher Performance Pay Doesn’t Raise Test Scores

Posted on Thursday September 23, 2010

The most rigorous study of performance-based teacher pay ever conducted in the United States shows that it does not improve student results. This and other recent studies indicate that the Gillard Government’s plan to pay cash bonuses to the best performing teachers in Australia is likely to be a complete waste of money. >> Read on...

Expert Report Slams Value-Added Ratings of Teachers

Posted on Monday September 6, 2010

Value-added ratings of teachers have been slammed in a new report by education measurement experts in the United States. The report says that the ratings are highly error-prone, will lead to unreliable and unfair assessments and will have significant harmful consequences. >> Read on...

The Research Consensus on Value-Added Ratings of Teachers

Posted on Saturday September 4, 2010

The broad consensus amongst researchers is that value-added measurement of teacher performance should not be used for high stakes decisions on pay, evaluation and tenure. >> Read on...

League Tables of Teachers Published

Posted on Thursday September 2, 2010

A controversy has erupted in the United States over the publication of performance ratings of individual teachers. >> Read on...

Curriculum Matters as Well as Teachers

Posted on Tuesday August 24, 2010

The measurement of value added by teachers for the award of bonuses for increasing students’ test scores is likely to be confounded by curriculum effects. Some curriculum programs have a greater effect on student achievement than others according to a new study. >> Read on...

Measures of Value Added by Teachers and Schools Have Large Errors

Posted on Friday August 20, 2010

High performing teachers and schools could miss out on proposed bonus payments while average teachers and schools are wrongly rated as highly effective because of large errors in measures of value added to student test results by teachers. >> Read on...

Duels of Faith in Teacher Bonuses

Posted on Monday August 16, 2010

Both a Labor and a Coalition Government will implement teacher bonus schemes without regard to the evidence that cash bonuses for teachers have little impact on student achievement. Once again, faith rules over evidence in formulating education policy. >> Read on...

Lessons from the US for Labor’s Cash Bonuses for Teachers and Schools

Posted on Thursday August 12, 2010

Far from improving student achievement as Julia Gillard asserts, linking cash bonuses and teacher evaluation to student test scores is likely to narrow teaching and produce misleading and unreliable assessments of teachers. >> Read on...

Teacher Performance Pay has not Increased Student Results

Posted on Tuesday June 15, 2010

Evaluation reports on the major teacher performance pay programs trialled in the United States in recent years generally show that performance pay does not increase student results. >> Read on...

Teach for America is Not the Success Claimed

Posted on Thursday June 10, 2010

The likely success of Teach for Australia has been brought into question by a new report on Teach for America. The report found that research evidence shows that credentialed beginning teachers have better student results than Teach for America teachers. >> Read on...


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