1 May 2018

Gonski 2.0: Students mustn’t sink before they can swim

David Gonski’s new report on school education has one central goal: lift student achievement by maximising student learning. Wherever a student starts from on the first day of the year, he or she deserves to have made at least a year’s worth of progress by the end of it. Any less, and our students will fail to reach their full potential.

13 April 2018

Regional and rural students need to be a national policy priority

Australia needs to improve the school outcomes of regional and rural students. Non-Indigenous students in regional areas are already three-to-six months behind their metropolitan peers by Year 3. Remote and very remote Indigenous students can be up to six years behind the national average by Year 9.

30 March 2018

Building adaptive excellence

Australia’s education policy makers need a new model of system leadership. To create a more adaptive education system, we must bring three pieces together: an explicit focus on inputs (what is done), an equal focus on outcomes (what is measured), and a systematic learning process to decide what to do differently next time.

22 March 2018

Catholic schools aren’t all the same, and Gonski 2.0 reflects this

Bill Shorten is being accused of buying support from the Catholic sector to win the seat of Batman, by appearing to promise Catholic schools A$250 million in the first two years of a Labor government. The Catholic sector says this money goes a way to restoring the funding lost in the Gonski 2.0 reforms. Public and independent schools are outraged at the perceived favouritism.

21 March 2018

Using data to adapt and improve teaching practice

Education systems are awash with data. But how do teachers use data to improve their teaching? Big data can inform teaching, but small data drives learning. In this speech, Grattan’s Peter Goss argues for an adaptive education system, where central guidance and regional support help schools to make good local decisions.

18 February 2018

The Commonwealth’s limited role in improving schools

We’ve been down this path before. Imposing prescriptive federal funding conditions is costly and sometimes counterproductive. It can destroy policy coherence and simply increase red tape. Unless the states and territories buy in to the changes, they will just go through the motions of complying, without actually enforcing real change.

12 February 2018

Why the Commonwealth should resist meddling in schools

Australia’s education debate is shifting at last, from how much money governments should spend on schools to how best to spend the money for the benefit of students. The Grattan Institute’s new report, The Commonwealth’s role in improving schools, examines what the Commonwealth should do if it really wants to boost student outcomes.

8 February 2018

Closing the gap in Indigenous literacy and numeracy? Not remotely – or in cities

Every year in Australia, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) results show Indigenous school students are well behind their non-Indigenous peers.

8 February 2018

The shocking truth about Australia’s efforts to ‘close the gap’

The “gap” between Indigenous and other school students is even bigger than official figures show. Grattan research reveals that Year 9 Indigenous students in very remote areas are five years behind in numeracy, six years behind in reading, and seven-to-eight years behind in writing. Even in the cities and regions – where most Indigenous students live – the gap is three to four years by Year 9.

7 December 2017

How to achieve excellence in Australian schools: a story from the classroom

A new Gonski review is examining how to achieve educational excellence for Australia’s 3.8 million school students. The success of the review will ultimately depend on whether its recommendations lead to better practice in the classroom. And the best way for policy makers to improve classroom practice is to develop a more adaptive education system.