Thursday, 23 May 2019

After the disaster our federal election outcome.....

Victoria will reluctantly sign up to the Morrison government’s school funding deal amid growing concerns that federal funding to the state's schools will run out next month.

Facing intense pressure to provide funding certainty to state, Catholic and independent schools, Premier Daniel Andrews said he’d been left with no choice but to ink an agreement with the Commonwealth.

Mr Andrews said while he’d fought for a better deal, Australians had elected a Prime Minister who was not going to budge on his school funding offer.

Funding farce

How is this new funding deal fair?

$31.2 bill Victorian state schools (65.7% students)
$30.1 bill Catholic sector (19.7% students)
$18.7 bill independent sector (14.6% students)

Catholics same funding as state schools but 47% less students!

Dating app

Dating app that's only for private school graduates comes to Sydney. This is so cringeworthy. At least it rids the dating pool of those who judge others based on what school they went to.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Election disaster

There’s no getting around it. The election result will have profound and negative impacts on our schools, TAFEs and early childhood centres. We find ourselves faced with a hostile federal government who offer no fair funding for public schools, no permanent federal funding for preschools and no support for TAFE.

For those of us who care about public education, this result comes as a blow. But there is much to be positive about. 

Thank you all for your hard work. While it’s no consolation, the result of these efforts is that we managed to contribute to the demise of two Liberal Party MPs in the seats of Corangamite and Dunkley and helped ensure that the Liberals didn’t pick up any new seats in Victoria.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Fair funding now!

Government schools have been getting no increase in effective funding while carrying more of the load of teaching more disadvantaged students. Combined gov funding for public schools grew by 22%,  for non-government schools 46%

Thursday, 16 May 2019


“When Hawke came to office in 1983, Australia had one of the lowest high-school retention rates in the developed world. Just 30% completed year 12. When he left office that number had increased to 70%. You can only imagine the difference that made...”
Vale Bob Hawke


So, public funding to private schools grew by $1497 p.a. per student, but only by a paltry $155 in public schools, yet enrolment of neediest kids in privates fell from 19% to 12% over same period. Public schools coping with increased need on less money. VOTE LABOR ON SATURDAY.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Election on Saturday

This Saturday, Australians have a chance to change the direction of their nation. Whether led by Abbott, Turnbull or Morrison, this is a federal Liberal government that has failed to tackle the most important issues facing this nation, including climate change, wage rises, job security and growing inequity that makes life so much harder for too many.

Crucially for state teachers and principals, this is a government that has failed Australian public schools — cutting $14 billion in much-needed funding from the schools that educate the majority of our children and young people (see the first item below).

State teachers have spent more than a decade campaigning for Fair Funding Now!  Let's vote for fair schools funding, for three and four-year-old preschool, for proper funding of public TAFE and apprenticeships.

The federal election result will be critical in this regard as the Labor opposition has committed to a review of NAPLAN.

Let’s vote for public education. Let's vote to change the government.

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Potential NAPLAN farce

Principals fear technical glitches will plague the rollout of NAPLAN Online this week after students struggled to log on to the platform during recent practice tests.

Pen-and-paper tests have been sent to the more than 900 Victorian schools taking part in NAPLAN Online in case the system fails.

And some schools have warned students against accessing the internet during testing periods due to concerns about limited bandwidth.

The union’s Victorian branch president, Meredith Peace, said many schools who took part in the practice testing were frustrated to discover that the technology dropped out.

“Teachers are worried their kids will be disadvantaged,” she said.

One assistant principal who did not want to be named said teachers at her school gave up on the practice tests in April after students spent 30 minutes trying to connect to NAPLAN’s lockdown browser, which prevents students from cheating and links them to the test.

“We gave up and that was 30 minutes of teaching and learning that we lost,” she said.

“As a school we will be judged on this. We think that is really unfair.”

She said her school had a limited number of laptops and iPads, and students would have no access to this technology during the two-week testing period unless they were sitting NAPLAN.

Teachers at Fairhills High School in the eastern Melbourne suburb of Knoxfield have been told to avoid using the internet for classroom activities while years 7 and 9 students sit the test.

The precaution comes after some computers froze during last year’s NAPLAN Online tests.

Curriculum co-ordinator Michelle Nickels said she wasn’t sure whether the issue was caused by inadequate bandwidth or another issue.

Curriculum co-ordinator Michelle Nickels said she wasn’t sure whether the issue was caused by inadequate bandwidth or another issue.

This week marks the third time the school has taken part online in NAPLAN, and Ms Nickels said students preferred the online format to pen and paper tests.

“We surveyed kids and 80 per cent preferred NAPLAN Online,” she said. “It is much more colourful and there are pretty pictures. They are much more engaged.”

She said the online tests provided teachers with more detailed data on student performance because they diverted students to easier or more difficult questions depending on whether they’d answered questions correctly.

It's not known how many Australian schools encountered difficulties during the practice testing because this information is not collected centrally.

A spokesman for the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority said NAPLAN performed well online last year and students found the test engaging.

“Schools are aware of procedures to manage any issues, and can also contact their local Test Administration Authority and helpdesks for guidance,” he said.

A spokeswoman for the Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority said schools taking part in NAPLAN Online had contingency measures in place.

“This includes the options of students sitting a paper test or rescheduling the online tests to another time,” she said.

The VCAA wrote to schools on Friday and told them to have at least three back-up devices available during every test session. Schools have been told to reboot devices if a blue or a black screen appears.

All Australian schools are expected to run the online test next year.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Scrap the Chaplaincy Program

With one week to go in the federal election it's time for Labor to commit to scraping the Chaplaincy program. Since 2007, the school chaplaincy program has cost $1bn in public money, with little evidence of any positive result. Twice ruled unconstitutional in its funding and found to be discriminatory in its hiring practices, isn't it time this was scrapped?