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.

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.

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.

26 November 2017

How to achieve excellence in Australian schools

Australia’s school education system is not fit for purpose, and we need to rethink the way we teach students, support teachers and run schools. The “Review to Achieve Excellence in Australian Schools”, led by David Gonski and due to report next March, offers a reform opportunity that must be seized.

17 March 2017

Poor behaviour in class is not acceptable but zero tolerance is not the answer

The promise of “zero tolerance” from federal education minister Simon Birmingham is well meaning but can do more damage than good. Poor behaviour in class is not acceptable but zero tolerance is not the answer.

3 August 2016

Education funding: we should be wary of simplistic arguments about money and outcomes

Today’s Naplan results show that literacy and numeracy skills among Australian school children have plateaued. It’s a concerning outcome and federal politicians have immediately entered the fray.

1 April 2016

Split funding idea for schools has big risks and few clear benefits

An innovative idea has been brought to the table; the federal government ceasing funding for public schools, but continuing to support non-government schools. Unfortunately, the fact that an idea is innovative does not make it worthwhile.

22 March 2016

NAPLAN analysis points out policy gaps

In practice, it is hard to compare different groups of students using the NAPLAN points scale. A new analysis of NAPLAN data suggests that students are falling much further behind than previously thought.

21 September 2015

Grade repetition: there are better ways to move kids forward than by holding them back

When students are being left behind the solution presented is often to make them repeat a year level. The evidence is overwhelmingly clear that repetition should not be the default solution. What’s needed instead is a proactive educational approach.