I don’t write much about school funding. I think that it is an important issue but I also think that discussions that focus solely on funding miss a crucial point. Still, I thought it would be worth placing the Australian federal government’s new announcement in some context.
I lived through the Blair years in England when school funding increased dramatically. This correlated with a massive increase in the pass rate of GCSE exams sat by 16-year-olds. However, in his inaugural lecture after being appointed professor at Durham University in 2013, Rob Coe pointed out that performance on international tests was flat over the same period:
Analysis produced by Professor Robert Coe of the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring at Durham University. Source: http://www.cem.org/attachments/publications/ImprovingEducation2013.pdf
It seems that the improved performance at GCSE was a case of smoke and mirrors. Tactics such as schools being permitted to enter students for courses…
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