A new phonics test won’t help us understand what the problems are. We need solutions.
Being able to sound out letters in words doesn’t mean you can understand them. There is no clear evidence that a new phonics screening test for children in Year 1 will help improve reading levels.
Has education spending gone up while student achievement has stalled?
AAP Image/Dan Peled
The Productivity Commission has said that education spending has substantially increased over the last decade but student achievement has shown little or no improvement. Is that true?
Children taking part in a philosophical discussion at Buranda State School in Brisbane.
Teaching philosophy for just one hour a week can improve children's progress in writing, maths and reading.
Is it fair to say that NAPLAN results have plateaued?
Claims made by politicians and the media about what does and does not improve education outcomes are repeated on a regular basis. But is there much truth in them?
Research shows that the test error is too high in NAPLAN.
It is not reasonable for politicians to say NAPLAN results have plateaued, because comparisons from year to year are not reliably accurate.
Education Minister Simon Birmingham says the results are extremely encouraging.
Teaching graduates are expected to meet new test standard from July 1 this year.
Given how much money, time and effort has been invested in schooling reforms, why aren’t we seeing substantial improvement across Australia?
Average NAPLAN results don’t tell the full story. Diving into the details is essential if we are to understand what is going on in Australian education.
Education policy should focus on making sure that every student makes great progress, rather than accountability for test scores or teacher performance pay.
Focusing on progress – not just achievement – and investing in improving teaching practice will help to lift slipping standards in Australian schools.
Should the government both manage and regulate school systems in Australia?
Responsibility for the operation of public schools needs to be separated from the policymaking and regulatory functions and put into a separate authority.
Government wants to create a national test for reading, phonics and numeracy in Year 1.
Research shows linking teachers’ pay to performance has little impact on student achievement. Similar tests to the ones the government proposes for young children now face a backlash in the UK and US.
Classrooms should be full of discussion.
Students reach the middle years of high school with poor vocabularies and unable to work with language in sophisticated ways.
What makes a good teacher?
There is little evidence to suggest that testing teaching students on their literacy and numeracy will have any impact on the quality of teaching and learning in Australian classrooms.
Young children enter care as a result of neglect or abuse, which has a big impact on their ability to engage in school.
A new report finds children in care are less likely to achieve the national minimum standards in literacy and numeracy – with the gap growing as they get older.
School funding should be needs-based, but how do you judge the need?
For the first time in Australia's history the education levels of parents will be taken into account when funding is being allocated.
Isolation affects ability to perform on national standardised tests.
While the NT consistently performs lowest on national and international tests, with a long tail of low achievement, the ACT consistently performs highest.
It is usually students in the lower band who are absent from NAPLAN testing so results may be inflated.
Results from NAPLAN testing could actually be inflated given the high rates of absenteeism from the lower bands of achievement.
Different questions for low and high achievers is actually beneficial for judging how students at each end of the spectrum are going.
Tailored testing where the test gets easier or harder depending on how the student is faring actually gives us a better idea of how students are going.
Will a computer algorithm understand the creativity, flair, irony, wit and unconventional approaches used in kids’ writing?
NAPLAN is going to be marked by computers from 2017. Can an algorithm understand the complex and emotional writing techniques we want our children to be learning?
While more information on schools isn’t a bad thing, it won’t lift outcomes.
Expecting the My School website to improve learning outcomes assumes that parents will see a drop in results and move their child to the other school down the road - but markets in education just don't work like this.
Measures to close the gap in Indigenous education outcomes aren’t working.
This year’s update on Closing the Gap presents a picture similar to 2014 in education - there is much work still to be done to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students…