Tuesday, 30 June 2015
Monday, 29 June 2015
Sunday, 28 June 2015
Saturday, 27 June 2015
Friday, 26 June 2015
Features loads of teaching ideas, printables and samples of student work. Great book and great value at $3.00.
Go to TPT to download: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Ghost-of-Thomas-Kempe-1925780
This TPT download (for a mere $5.00) is 125 pages of great teaching ideas, loads of easy to use printables, photos of student work samples (like everything I put on TPT it has been used by me in a classroom and works. If it doesn't work I don't include it or don't post it) and lots of higher order thinking and creative ideas.
Go to TPT to download: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Tales-of-Terror-Gothic-Horror-unit-featuring-Edgar-Allan-Poe-1925747
The New South Wales Education Minister, Adrian Piccoli, who's implemented the Gonski model, says it is working. Now, he, Gonski panel members, principals and the Education Union are calling on both sides of politics to recommit to Gonski before the next federal election.
Thursday, 25 June 2015
Wednesday, 24 June 2015
Tuesday, 23 June 2015
$2 million for tea money.
Impotent DET auditors From today’s Age
Education Department senior auditor Neil Loveless said the 2010 review into so-called "banker" schools that distributed funds to other schools recommended the funding system be replaced immediately. In one instance $3 million was transferred into one school's "tea money" account, Mr Loveless said. "It was not an appropriate place to put the money," he said. "Once it hit the schools it was just lost to us in terms of what was going on." Mr Loveless told the hearing he also conducted a separate review of former department deputy secretary Darrell Fraser's corporate credit card. At one point Mr Fraser was allegedly spending $12,000 a month on some expenses that were "dubious", Mr Loveless said. "There was a lot of socialising, a lot of meals, a lot of alcohol." He said one of Mr Fraser's "subordinates" would use his corporate credit card and Mr Fraser would then sign off on the expenses. A review of former acting secretary Jeff Rosewarne's credit card use also found he had used his work card to buy jewellery that he then had to repay.
Mr Loveless said if school principals and business managers wanted to collude to hide their financial practices from him they had been able to do so. "The culture and the system that was in place was all against us," he said. Mr Loveless said there was also "chaos" in the international travel programs for school staff. He said it was unclear how schools benefited from all the overseas travel by staff. (Yikes! That could be an interesting path for the inquiry to take?) Mr Loveless said online resources were available to schools to examine the success of high-performing countries such as Finland. "The first thing a lot of our principals want to do is jump on a plane and go to Helsinki."
From the Sydney Morning Herald
An architect of the Gonski school reforms has slammed a proposal, contained in a leaked government discussion paper, for the federal government to abdicate funding for public schools as "completely foreign" to the equity principles underpinning the Gonski funding model.
Ken Boston, a member of the Gonski Review panel and a former head of the NSW education department, said he strongly opposed the proposal for state governments to fund public schools while the federal government assumes sole responsibility for independent schools. "This would be the antithesis of Gonski," Dr Boston said, referring to the review's model of a needs-based funding model which applies equally across all school sectors. "The idea should be ruled out completely - it is completely foreign to the Gonski formula."
Dr Boston said he saw merit in exploring the green paper's first proposal: making the states and territories fully responsible for schools. This would increase clarity and could be implemented in accordance with Gonski principles, he said. The paper's fourth option - handing over full funding responsibility to the Commonwealth - would pose "major constitutional difficulties and go against 200 years of Australian history", he said. Dr Boston said universal access to free public schooling must be maintained.
Option four makes explicit the prospect of public school fees for high-income families by saying: "The states and territories would have the option to 'top-up' funding to government schools, if they wished to do so, to ensure all public school students, regardless of the ability of families to make a contribution, were able to attend for free."
On the flip side: A former adviser to Mr Abbott, Terry Barnes, said means-testing for public education was a good idea that should not be ruled out by "reform shy" politicians. Mr Barnes was the architect of the dumped $7 fee for GP visits. There’s a surprise – need I say more?
From the AIM Network
If anyone had any lingering doubts about Christopher Pyne was completely unsuited to be Minister for Education, unlikely I know, I present irrefutable proof.
Christopher Pyne, who is not only suggesting that the Federal government completely withdraw from public school funding, but that parents who can afford to do so should pay fees. I cannot put it better than John Birmingham from the Brisbane Times: “And then the laughing stopped and the grins froze in place and everyone realised this jabbering toff from Adelaide was serious. Serious enough to float a proposal that the federal government stop paying anything towards state school education, while maintaining billions of dollars in funding to the elite private schools that so many members of this government went to, and which so many of them send their own children to now. Serious enough to float the idea of a punitive charge on any class traitors who dared send their own children to the local state school rather than enriching the coffers of a Churchie or a Knox Grammar.
Could there be a policy more transparently designed to sort millions of school-aged children and their families into a privileged elite, and a much greater mass of the poor, benighted and put upon? Other than using hot irons to brand the foreheads of the poor with the mark of their shame, I can't think of one.” The King’s School in Parramatta charges senior students about $31,000 a year ($53,000 if boarding) plus a host of extras like a $3,600 family admission fee and $300 a term bus charge and $1700 a year lunch fee and $275 a term technology fee and a $250 registration fee.In 2014 federal government funding for The King’s School increased by $176,824 to $5,818,862. This figure, from the federal Education Department, does not include the state government's funding for private schools, typically about a third of the federal figure.
As Stewart Riddle points out at the Conversation; “A two-tiered system of schooling will have devastating effects on our social fabric, widening an already too large and persistent equity gap.Since the New South Wales Public Schools Act 1866, legislation has enshrined compulsory, secular and universal access to public schooling. This is not something that should be taken lightly, nor should it be cast aside with a spurious argument that it is not the responsibility of the federal government. Providing universal access to high-quality education that is publicly provided is something we are all collectively responsible for. Public schooling should not be seen as a safety net, providing limited education for those who cannot afford to go to a private school. Instead, it needs to be celebrated as being one of the most important foundations for a healthy democracy. Access to education provides enormous benefitsto individuals and societies – increasing health, prosperity, social cohesion and political awareness – while also reducing welfare dependency, crime and incarceration rates.”
It took a while. Too long I think, and let’s face it, they leaked it! For Abbott and Pyne to disown their means-tested public education system pipe-dream……But it has left open the door for the states and territories to impose fees, depending on a review of how the Australian federation can work better.
"The Australian Government does not and will not support a means test for public education, full stop, end of story," Prime Minister Tony Abbott told the parliament…..eventually and I dare say reluctantly.
However, if the states and territories want to charge fees for public schools, that is a matter for them, he said. (there’s always a catch with this ‘tricky’ politician.)
A discussion paper sent to states and territories as part of the federation white paper process has suggested four options for simplifying responsibility for school funding. One is for the Commonwealth to take over funding for all schools. Federal funding would go to schools based on student need and the ability of families to make a contribution. In effect, schools with richer students will get less money.
It will then be left to the states and territories to top up funding so wealthy students can still attend public school for free, the paper prepared by the Prime Minister's department states. It notes that many public schools already ask for voluntary contributions from parents.(Refer to previous posts about the amount of money schools in Victoria need through fundraising and voluntary fees to just keep going)
Education Minister Christopher Pyne says the Commonwealth has no intention of being responsible for charging public school fees. "We have no plans, no policy and no support for hiking fees for public school children, whether their parents are wealthy or not,"NO…he’ll just make it so hard for them they might have too! (Surely Abbott speak and Pyne speak can be deciphered by people now?)
However, earlier on Monday Abbott said it is good that some states and territories are thinking creatively about how they can fund their operations. "We don't have any role at all," he told reporters. The Commonwealth will give states and territories $15.7 billion for schools in 2015-16, more than a third of which is for public schools.
Labor says the discussion paper reveals a secret plan for a schools tax. "This is an appalling piece of public policy which Tony Abbott and Christopher Pyne need to walk away from immediately," Education Spokesman Mark Butler told reporters at Parliament House. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says his state will not cop any means testing and he will tell the prime minister as much at a leaders retreat in July. ACT Education Minister Joy Burch also vowed to fight any moves to charge for public education.
Another option canvassed in the discussion paper is for the Commonwealth to withdraw from school funding altogether, leaving the states with a $15 billion annual shortfall. It also suggests the states can become wholly responsible for public school funding while the Commonwealth only gives money to private institutions.(oh they’d love that!)
That would leave the states $2 billion short each year. The final option suggests tweaking the status quo with both levels of government continuing to fund both school sectors, but the Commonwealth interfering less by ending programs such as school chaplains or support for children with autism.
The full discussion paper is expected to be released later in 2015.(after an early election?)
Monday, 22 June 2015
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has ruled out supporting a controversial proposal to means-test free public education only hours after praising it as "creative thinking". Earlier on Education Minister Christopher Pyne dismissed the proposal, contained in a leaked discussion paper developed by the Prime Minister's department, as a "balloon that's been floated" and said he did not support it. Both Mr Abbott and Mr Pyne left open supporting other radical ideas in the paper, including ending all Commonwealth funding for public schools. Asked about the issue during question time on Monday afternoon, Mr Abbott said: "Let me say this, the Australian government does not and will not support a means test for public education, full stop, ends of story. If the states and territories want to change wealthy parents fees for public schools, that is a matter for them. Charging wealthy parents for their children to attend public schools is not this government's policy." Earlier on Monday, the Prime Minister praised the idea as "creative thinking" and refused to rule it out!
Victorian premier Daniel Andrews described the idea of making wealthy parents pay for state schools as "appalling", saying: "Victorians will not cop this."
The usual suspects bobbed up to support it: Liberal MP Andrew Laming (One of Abbott’s previous detractors) backed the proposal, saying it was incongruous that 18-year old university students have to pay fees but the wealthy families of 17-year old school children do not. "Should high-income earners be paying to attend a state education facility? My view is firmly yes," Dr Laming said. "Ultimately the product has a value and that value should be reflected by those who have the ability to pay."John Roskam, executive director of free market think tank the Institute of Public Affairs, supported the idea and said it ought to be debated. "Many people, such as myself, have long argued that wealthy parents should make a contribution to government school education," he said. "The idea that education is free is a misnomer." Requiring wealthy parents to pay school fees would produce "parents with a stronger, better stake in government school education". (Umm Claptrap!)
The fact is, they'd love to introduce this policy. In fact Abbott saying 'This is not our policy' is not the same as saying ' I totally repudiate the his official paper' Tony Abbott’s education green paper recommends ending universal access to education in Australia.The official paper, currently being considered by the Liberals, includes plans to charge compulsory government fees to parents who send their kids to public schools and even suggests ending Federal funding for public schools altogether.Cutting federal funding to public schools and introducing compulsory government school fees for public school students is the biggest attack on public education by a federal government ever. If Abbott goes ahead with these changes they would end universal access to education in Australia.
Sunday, 21 June 2015
Victorian Education Minister James Merlino has been briefed on the proposals and hit out at the suggestion of means-testing. Victoria's always happy to participate in reforms of the federation, but universal free public education is non-negotiable," Mr Merlino said.
"This process should not allow the Commonwealth to walk away from its obligation under the Gonski agreement. "If it does, Victorian schools will be about a billion dollars worse off."
Queensland Education Minister Kate Jones said the proposed changes would be extreme and kill the Gonski school reforms. "I don't think any Queenslander wants that and certainly no-one that I've spoken to has said they'd like to see increases to fees and means-testing of public education," she said. "I think fundamentally it's part of our Australian values, that every child in our country deserves access to good quality education."
Abbott continues to duck around the issue and far-right wing ideologues say a ‘service fee’ for wealthy parents is acceptable (while Pyne himself and Hockey have said no-is that dissention in the ranks?)
I expect Abbott and Pyne's cost shifting exercise which will seriously disadvantage 2 000 000 state school students to continue for a day or 2 at least. I'll keep you posted.
meanwhile a lovely sunrise over the playground equipment this morning