11 June 2019

Student mental health and wellbeing matters

If you ask a policy wonk how well a primary school is doing, you’ll probably be subjected to statistics about NAPLAN. If you ask a parent, you’re more likely to hear how their child feels about school. Of course, both things matter. But the dynamic interplay between wellbeing and mental health, social and emotional skills, and academic learning is starting to get a higher profile in policy circles.

31 October 2018

No state has all the answers in school education

At the moment, no state or territory has all the answers. Each should learn from the others and do better, in pursuit of a national imperative: providing the best education for all children.

26 October 2018

Tassie maths scores don’t add up

Australia focuses heavily on school students’ achievement at a point in time. But the sad reality is that achievement tells us a lot about real estate values, and little about how to improve the school system. Student progress (that is, student growth) gives a better indication of how much a student learns during their time in the classroom.

24 October 2018

Why some NSW students are a full term ahead of Victorian counterparts

Australia focuses heavily on school students’ achievement at a point in time. But the sad reality is that achievement tells us a lot about real estate values, and little about how to improve the school system. Student progress (ie learning growth) gives a better indication of how much a student learns during their time in the classroom.

23 October 2018

Queensland’s rise to top education performer could provide a model for the country

Ten years ago, nobody would have believed that other states should be learning from Queensland’s school education system. When the very first 2008 NAPLAN results were published, Queensland was the lowest achieving state in the country. But a lot has changed.

22 October 2018

ACT students are falling behind

Australia focuses heavily on school students’ achievement at a point in time. But the sad reality is that achievement tells us a lot about real estate values, and less about how to improve the school system. Student progress (i.e. student growth) gives a better indication of how much a student learns during their time in the classroom.

20 August 2018

The expensive truth about private schools and student learning

When Australian parents shell out fees to send their children to private schools, they like to think they’re getting many things for their money. So they may be surprised to learn that superior student growth in literacy and numeracy is not one of them.

8 July 2018

Children of migrant families do better at school – and we should think about why

Children of migrant families in Australia consistently outperform their non-migrant peers at school. And new analysis using NAPLAN data shows schools with lots of migrant-background students not only achieve at higher levels, but they have higher growth over time, on average, too.

15 May 2018

Five things we wouldn’t know without NAPLAN

NAPLAN, the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy, has been a prominent part of Australia’s education landscape since 2008, when it was introduced by then Education Minister Julia Gillard. It’s a controversial test, lauded by some but disliked by many. Ten years on, the role of NAPLAN is under question, with some arguing it should be dropped entirely. Here’s why it’s a vital navigation tool for policy makers and researchers.

4 May 2018

Gonski is right: We must make better use of our best teachers

David Gonski’s “2.0” review, released this week, recommends the creation of structured career pathways that value teaching expertise and keep excellent teachers teaching. This would build the capacity of the education system and enhance the status of the profession.