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The Forum > Article Comments > Loaded for disadvantage > Comments

Loaded for disadvantage : Comments

By Dan Carr, published 18/9/2014

Given there is evidence that devoting more funding to disadvantaged students can lead to improved school results, the challenge is delivering funding in a manner that maximises this benefit.

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The link under “gain” states:
‘As shown in Chart 9.7.6, Australian students’ comparative results in international testing declined between 2000 and 2012 despite real growth in Commonwealth and State funding of over 3.8 per cent per year (3.1 per cent per year on a per‑student basis) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2013a). This result is consistent with trends over a longer period, with Australian literacy and numeracy test scores falling slightly from the mid-1960s to the early 2000s, despite substantial real per-student growth in both total and government expenditure over the same period (Leigh and Ryan, 2011).’
This argument is illogical because it ignores economic growth. Those who think that the claimed total increase in real expenditure per student of 333 per cent between 1964 and 2003 – the most extreme of all the claims – was outrageous should do the exercise in reverse by cutting teacher salaries by 77 per cent (i.e., to around $19,900 for the top level in Victoria), by increasing the maximum class size by 333 per cent (i.e., to 108 students in a secondary school), by increasing teaching loads by 333 per cent (i.e., to 97 hours a week in a primary school) or by some combination.

How many able people would become and remain teachers if the pay and conditions were as bad as their advice would make them?

Increases in real expenditure have to be assessed against improvements in the overall living standards of the country and in the additional load that schools have taken on.

It is true that the Gonski plan puts more money via loadings into particular disadvantages, but the plan is seriously flawed and will increase social segregation in our schools because it ignores school resources and forces people of each class to congregate in their own school. Enthusiasm for the Gonski plan is based on the almost universally inaccurate reporting on it and the refusal of a number of websites to publish the truth about it.

Rather than type or cut and paste the explanation yet again, I invite anyone reading this to Google my name, SES and “Gonski”.
Posted by Chris C, Thursday, 18 September 2014 7:53:22 AM
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