Despite the rhetoric surrounding the Rudd-Gillard education revolution and the additional millions spent on education during the past six years, "there's no denying too many Australian students are underperforming and that standards are in decline,'' says Kevin Donnelly director of the Education Standards Institute, in '' Gonski's 'rivers of gold' won't lift school standards,'' The Australian, 7 December 2013. Based on last year's Program for International Student Assessment results, Australian 15-year-old students are ranked 13th in reading, 19th in mathematics and 17th in science; representing a significant decline compared with the 2009 rankings, where students were placed ninth in reading, 14th in mathematics and 10th in science. And as Australian Year 4 students are ranked 27 out of 44 countries in the Progress in International Literacy Reading Study, and that ''most of our universities now have remedial classes in essay writing and algebra, and it's clear urgent action needs to be taken.
The proof that more money won't help but rigour in teaching methods - those which older Australian will remember, is in this irrefutable fact. Catholic schools achieve better results than government schools with less funding . (On average Catholic schools receive $8286 in state and commonwealth recurrent funding while state schools receive $10,868.)
''Evidence that Catholic schools and their teachers are especially effective is proven by the fact such schools,'' says Kevin Donnelly ''compared with government schools and notwithstanding larger classes, have higher retention rates and better success at getting students into tertiary studies.''
''In addition to looking to education systems in Shanghai, Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea and Japan, what policymakers, governments and educators should also be focusing on is identifying the characteristics that help explain why Catholic schools, and non-government schools more generally, do so well.''
They don't taking their instructions from those who promote fashionable but unworkable theories of education, as well as well funded unions capable of launching an untruthful TV campaign whenever their agenda is challenged.
Read more: http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/opinion/gonskis-rivers-of-gold-wont-lift-school-standards/story-e6frgd0x-1226777459244