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The Forum > Article Comments > Pyneing for school reform > Comments

Pyneing for school reform : Comments

By John Benn, published 7/1/2013

The government's 'education crusade' included nothing more than motherhood statements about the need to improve student learning outcomes.

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Someone else can speak for other states, but the Victorian Labor government did not let infrastructure languish. It invested $3.4 billion in building new schools and rebuilding old ones. It did this while cutting state taxes and running a budget surplus every year.

The Gonski report did not recommend the expenditure of $5 billion more on education. It recommended a model and then estimated that this model would cost that much (http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/the-age-goes-gonski-at-the-government/) but left the precise cost to further work.

Christopher Pyneís call for a two-year delay to allow schools to plan is absurd. There is a guarantee that no school will be worse of, so every school can already plan on the basis of receiving at least the same amount per student as now. Schools that receive extra can easily make plans for spending the extra in the second half of this year. Itís not as if it knowing what to do with the money is complicated. (The problem with the guarantee arises if the SES model is kept because the necessary compensation will be called overfunding. Will the private schools lobby fall for this again?)

Even though you wonít read this in the newspapers, the Gonski report has recommended keeping the Howard governmentís bizarre SES funding model, the one that totally ignores school fees, the one that funds schools on the basis of how well off the studentsí neighbours are, the one that is so bad for private schools that about half of them have to get compensation to be as well off as they had been under the previous Labor governmentís model. So, what can his objection to the Gonski report be? Perhaps it is the demise of the ridiculous average government schools recurrent costs formula and its replacement by a base amount per student and loadings for particular extra needs.

There is comprehensive coverage at http://community.tes.co.uk/forums/t/576719.aspx?PageIndex=1 and, more recently and specifically, in my posts at http://theconversation.edu.au/test-shock-is-our-education-system-failing-students-11308. Itís well past time that people started to pay attention to how the current system actually works and what the Gonski proposals would actually mean.
Posted by Chris C, Monday, 7 January 2013 3:06:51 PM
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I am always suspicious of Labor's inquiries. They without fail are stacked with Labor cronies, and come up with conclusions that favour labor ideals, and recommend spending vast piles of cash. Gonski is no different. In spite of increases in school funding, the outcomes, particularly at public schools have gone backwards.

The independent school model is working well, the public schools would do well to emulate it.
Posted by Shadow Minister, Tuesday, 8 January 2013 4:57:29 AM
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I can't believe there are people who want to spend even more on dumbing down our young !
Posted by individual, Tuesday, 8 January 2013 6:35:09 AM
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